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Issue 90: April 2014
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On stage this month

To Set the Stage

Backstage with Debra

How To Write About Your Staging Business

Is Your Neighbor Lowering the Value of Your House?
Jennifer Conly Fanham

Success Spotlight
Heather Raine

Let's Talk About Staging
Save the Date

Hats Off to 6 Home Stagers
Leah Fritz, Trish Mohring, Victoria Guillot, Lori Carbone, Robert Reinhart, Patricia Wellman

8,000 Stagers Can't Be Wrong

staging diva store

To Set the Stage

"You can't find your passion just by thinking about it. Clarity comes from taking action, not thought." Marie Forleo

Backstage with Debra

I've had an awesome few months with my teen who was living with me during her co-op work term. She heads back to college for the summer and I'll be back to being an empty nester.

I'll miss having the pleasure of just hanging out and giggling or talking about life, careers or the latest episode of some show we got hooked on. Lately, it's been Nashville.

Continuing on my objective of overcoming any fear of heights, we went rock climbing last weekend. There's nothing like taking action to get over your fears.

I've discovered that when I conquer something scary in one area, it has a ripple effect in others. I wrote about how that relates to growing a home staging business after I took a hot air balloon ride 3,000 feet over the Sonoran Desert.

In this month's issue you'll learn my tips for getting over writers block so you can write about yourself and your business, and discover how one stager turned her neighbor's house into a show home that sold within a week after sitting on the market for two years.

You'll also meet a home stager who is getting her first TV break and another who is in her 8th year as a home stager.

We have plenty of new members in the Staging Diva Directory, ready to take advantage of the spring real estate market. I know you'll enjoy their home staging portfolios introduced in this issue.

I hope you'll join me for an open discussion about the business of home staging on April 17.

Happy Spring, Happy Easter and Happy Passover,


Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Voice of Possibility™ Group Inc.

P.S. If you have any story ideas you'd like me to address next month, please hit "reply" and let me know.

How to Write About Your Home Staging Business

Have you ever sat down to write about yourself or your home staging business, only to get totally stuck. Suddenly, running another load of laundry seems like it can't wait. Or, you realize you've been eating snacks non-stop for the past 3 hours with hardly a paragraph to show for it.

I've been there more than I care to admit. Every time I sit down to write, I'm convinced I can't possibly think of something that I haven't said before in the 1000+ articles I've already written about home staging or the business of home staging.

Usually when I sit down to that blank page, or computer screen, I don't even have a clear idea of where my topic will take me once I start writing.

I've never followed that old teacher advice to write an outline first. I only know what I have to say, once I start writing.

home staging writing

Here are tips I've found to help get over my own writer's block. I know these will help you too, the next time you have to sit down to write about your home staging business for your website, blog, social media, newsletter or press release.

1. Write a terrible first draft.

Stop playing "editor" while you're trying to create. Just write whatever comes to mind and know you can fix it later. The key is getting your ideas out of your head and onto the paper or computer screen.

2. Change locations.

If you've forced yourself to sit at your desk or kitchen table staring at your computer and you're not getting anywhere, it's time to get out of the house. It's amazing how much easier ideas can flow with the din of a coffee shop surrounding you.

3. Think about what people ask you.

When you're struggling for a topic, consider what potential (or past) clients ask you about. Do they wonder about curb appeal or whether they have to put in a granite counter top and stainless appliances to make their kitchen more appealing? These are both great topics for a short home staging article. You'll think of many more when you reflect on the questions you're usually asked.

> Read the rest of my 5 Tips to Conquer Home Staging Writer's Block

Want to save a ton of writing time?

I've pre-written 24 articles about home staging which you can repurpose for your own blog, newsletter, website, etc.

They're inside Volumes 1 and 2 of Staging Diva Chronicles.

Many of my students have started their blogs and newsletters this way. Staging Diva Chronicles gives them ready-made content, freeing up their time to get back to the practice of home staging, instead of writing about it.

> Learn more about using my pre-written home staging articles

Staging Diva Chronicles

Is Your Neighbor Lowering Your Home's Value?

As a home stager, it's bad enough seeing all those ugly MLS photos and knowing you could help sell the home way faster. But what if the non-selling house belongs to your neighbor? The longer it sits on the market and the more they lower their price, the worse it gets for you.

Now you might not be planning on moving anytime soon. But what if that changes? Perhaps your spouse gets a job transfer, or your kids move out and you decide it's time to downsize.

Even if you're not moving for another year or two, the time on market— and eventual selling price of the homes on your street— effect the value of your own house. These homes become "comparables" in real estate terms.

Staging Diva Grad Jennifer Conly Farnham of Fresh Designs Home Staging and Interiors (PA), sent me these before and after photos from a home she staged in Chester Springs.

bedroom home staging

bedroom home staging
Rationally, you'd imagine potential buyers might think, "I hate this color but it's easy to change." But that's not often the case. Most people can't look past superficial things and see potential. That's one of the many reasons home staging works so well. Photos provided by Jennifer Conly Farnham.

This house belonged to her neighbor and had sat on the market for two full years with little interest and no offers. Jennifer approached the RE/MAX listing agent and learned that he was tired of getting "beat up" over the way the home looked by potential buyers and his fellow real estate agents. But he really didn't know what to do about it, other than keep lowering the asking price.

Jennifer introduced him to her home staging services. For less than half the cost of the next planned reduction in the asking price, Jennifer transformed the home to showcase its features and help buyers see the potential of this "ugly duckling."

After the home was completely staged, new MLS photos were posted. Suddenly there was new interest in the property because it didn't look as it had for the past 2 years. The owners received their first offer with an week and settled 30 days later for 98% of the $599,000 asking price.

> Read more proof home staging works

About her training and new life as a home stager, Jennifer says: "Staging Diva has allowed me to finally pursue my passion for real estate and interior design, and create not only a fulfilling, but also a financially supporting, career path."

You can learn the staging business success formula I taught Jennifer through these products:

staging diva program

Success Spotlight

Texas Staging Diva Grad Heather Raine of Porch Swing Staging & Redesign is getting her first TV break. She writes:

"I just got a call from a builder to stage a home that will be used in a commercial and TV show. I am so excited to have this opportunity, especially since I'm just starting out. I will be doing a paid initial consultation and then the staging/destaging (price points have already been established with builder). We will be renting furniture and accessories."

home stager TX

Let's Talk Home Staging - Join me April 17

Staging Diva Dialog

April 17 (7pm, eastern)
Staging Diva Dialog Coaching Call

For beginner and established home stagers. You don't need to be our student.

Ask me questions and get semi-private coaching in a small group for only $47.

You're guaranteed to make $500 when you implement the ideas from our conversation.

"This is a wonderful way for stagers to connect, ask questions and receive support from fellow stagers and Debra. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Dialog membership." Jayne Steuart, Pearl Home Staging and Redesign LLC

Ask Me Anything About Staging

You can ask me anything you like during Staging Diva Dialog. Here are some of the topics we covered in recent calls:

  • How to get media attention
  • How to write about yourself
  • Realtor presentation tips
  • Email marketing tips
  • Sales tax and recording keeping
  • How to start a blog
  • When to use an assistant
  • How to help Google rank your site
  • And more.

"Speaking with other stagers exposed me to topics that I had not yet even considered. Can't wait until next month's call." Darby Dwyer, Queen Bee Staging Company

> Join us this month + get the recording too

Hats Off To 6 Home Stagers

Join me this month in congratulating these 6 home stagers in reaching significant milestones in their businesses and welcoming them to the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers. Check out their profiles and get inspired.

Special congrats to Staging Diva Grad Leah Fritz, of Perfect Place Home Staging, LLC on her 8th year in home staging. This is quite a milestone for any business owner.

Wisconsin home staging

Leah Fritz (WI)
Year 8!

Perfect Place Home Staging, LLC

Leah writes:

"Debra Gould has been a lifeline to me and my home staging business. The money I have invested in all things Staging Diva have been dollars well spent, and the most valuable component — the never-ending SUPPORT — has been absolutely priceless.

You can’t pay a person or company to care about you— it just can’t be done.

But Debra and my fellow Staging Diva Grads have freely given so much care and support that it’s nearly impossible for me to feel anything but driven in my quest to build Perfect Place Home Staging."

home stager ON
Trish Mohring (ON)
Year 2!
Beyond The Eye Home Staging

home stager CA
Robert Reinhart (CA)
Make It Home

home stager NJ
Victoria Guillot (PA/NJ)

Stage Coach Services LLC

home stager
Lori Carbone
Spaces That Speak Home Staging

home stager CT
Patricia Wellman
Fearless Edith Home Staging and Design
Did You Know?

When you're a member of the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers, you don't even have to build your own website to promote your business. You'll make it easy for potential clients to find you online within 7 days of submitting your materials to us.

You also get free project referrals for any home staging projects we get in your area.

Plus, with a Profile listing, I'll custom design a brochure for you at no charge.

brochure sample front brochure sample back

Sample front & back of custom brochure

Here's what Jennifer Farnham says about hers, "Many thanks for providing the brochure as part of the directory listing. I'll be using it in an upcoming silent auction to promote my business. Thanks again for all your help in this new chapter of my life. You provide much more than straight business advice. Your emotional and psychological support is just as important, if not more!"

Learn how you can have a successful staging business like Jennifer and the other members of the Staging Diva Inner Circle.

8,000 Home Stagers Can't Be Wrong

Staging Diva Graduates live in 22 countries, in both small towns and large metropolitain cities. The reason our home staging business training program works no matter where you live is because you're learning proven home staging business principals, and the thinking behind them.

All Staging Diva Graduates receive personalized certificates plus free Grad Badge artwork for their marketing materials and websites.

Unlike other staging programs, Staging Diva Graduates DO NOT PAY AN ONGOING FEE to be "certified" or "accredited" after completing this program.

Once you've completed the 5-course training program, you'll be able to say "{fname} is a Graduate of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program" for as long as you like.

We don't put a time limit on this like other companies do!

> Learn how to save up to $830 with a 5-course staging training package.

Staging Diva Graduation Certificate

Do some research before enrolling in home staging training so you're sure what you're buying.

> The Staging Diva Difference

About Staging Diva

Debra Gould has been a serial entrepreneur since 1989. She is president of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. with a mission of helping entrepreneurs create their ideal businesses and lifestyles.

An internationally recognized home staging expert, Debra created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with 8,000 students in the U.S., Canada and 20 other countries. She is the author of 5 guides, offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and agents locate stagers in their area and is frequently profiled in the media.

Direct inquiries to:

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® Staging Diva, Voice of Possibility and the Staging Diva logo are trademarks of Voice of Possibility Group Inc.