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Issue 68: May 2012
On stage this month

To Set the Stage

Backstage with Debra

Staging Helps Buyers Connect With an Empty House
Katrina Gibbons

Staging Success Spotlight and 13 Free Marketing Tips
Lori Fischer

Avoid This Pricing Mistake
Gary Baugher

Knowing What You're Worth

Hats Off to Directory Members
Leah Fritz, Katrina Gibbons, Marie Henault, Bunny Burgoyne, Sylvia Glazenberg


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Save the date for Staging Diva Dialog

Mark your calendar for May 17th. I'd love to answer any and all home staging business questions you may have! Learn how to be part of the next Staging Diva Dialog conference call on May 17th.

To Set the Stage

"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." - Henry Ward Beecher

Backstage with Debra

I'm so glad April is over, it was a very tough month, and I'm definately ready to hold onto that "handle of faith instead of anxiety" to paraphrase Henry Ward Beecher!

In addition to death in my family, my teen suffered a brain injury only weeks before final exams. In the face of all that, getting my taxes done almost felt like a welcome break.

Thankfully I run my own business. I don't know how I could have dealt with all this (and been available to the people who needed me most) if I were an employee begging for time off.

Plus, I saved a small fortune in taxes because I have an incorporated company. If that's not something you've set up, you should really think about it. You'll find that topic covered in Course 2 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program, please re-listen to your recordings for more details.

Since we're into the busiest staging season in North America, in this month's newsletter you'll learn how staging helps buyers connect with a vacant house with an excellent example of a staging transformation by a recent Staging Diva Grad.

You'll also discover where you can find 13 free marketing tips, avoid the most common home staging pricing mistake and meet 7 inspiring home stagers.

Please send me your questions or story ideas so that I can cover them in future issues of this newsletter or in the Home Staging Business Report.

Enjoy this issue and Happy Mother's Day!


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

P.S. Did you get a birthday gift from me yet? If not, click here to join my birthday list for free and I promise to send you a surprise on your special day!

Birthday gift from Staging Diva

Staging Helps Buyers Connect With An Empty House

Let's face it, it's not easy to fall in love with empty rooms. It's usually quite depressing walking through an empty property.

It looks lonely and forgotten and makes a perspective buyer wonder why the house is sitting there.

These thoughts inevitably become, "Perhaps someone got divorced, died, or ran into financial trouble? Perhaps they're desperate to sell, which means I can write a low-ball offer or wait until the asking price drops?"

None of these ideas lead to warm and fuzzy "This is home, I have to live here!" feelings. The feelings that motivate a perspective buyer to make a solid offer now versus later.

In other words, putting a vacant home on the market is almost guaranteed to leave money on the table.

New Staging Diva Graduate Katrina Gibbons of Stylus Home Staging (Brisbane) shares a terrific example of how much more desirable a staged home looks than a vacant one.

  • Which living room would you make an emotional connection with?
  • Which living room would catch your eye on an MLS listing?
  • Which room looks bigger?
Brisbane home staging before

Brisbane Home Staging After

Photos of living room staging by Katrina Gibbons, who writes, "My client's Realtor had been telling her for months that she needed to stage her vacant home, and I convinced her to do it."

Katrina Gibbons shares her personal experiece about what it's like being a home stager:

"Creating Stylus Home Staging has allowed me to work from home while raising two young children. Having a home business that I am really passionate about enables me to structure my business hours around my busy family life. Plus I get to use my creativity to help home owners.

The Staging Diva Program showed me how to correctly establish my business and taught me how to talk to clients with more confidence. It also helped in my pricing structure, website, social media and marketing."

Staging Success Spotlight

Congratulations to Staging Diva Graduate Lori Fischer of Rethink Home Interiors who started her Philadelphia home staging business exactly a year ago and reports that she has been going non-stop with projects since last November.

During our last business coaching call, Lori asked me how to keep up with her marketing while she is so busy with client projects. Our discussion inspired me to write an article for you with 13 home staging marketing tips that:

Pennsylvania home stager
  • Take almost no time at all.
  • Are really effective.
  • Cost nadda, zilch!

> Get these 13 home staging marketing tips right now for free

My mission is helping people create their ideal business and lifestyle so I was really happy when Lori shared during our conversation, "Debra, if I hadn't found the Staging Diva Program, home staging would absolutely still only be a hobby for me!"

> Read more comments from Staging Diva Students

Avoid This Home Staging Pricing Mistake

A common pricing mistake made by new home stagers is to quote their fees on a "per room" or "per square foot" basis. On the surface, this seems like a smart way to go because it's easy to quote and it's easy for people to understand.

But, this home staging pricing approach can also cause you to lose money quickly.

It ignores the reality that there are many "surprises" beyond your contol that influence how long any home staging project takes. When you're locked into a per room or per square foot price, you have no leeway to deal with these.

Examples of these factors include:

home staging Nashville
Living room staged to perfection by Nashville Staging Diva Graduate Gary Baugher of An Eye 4 Change.

> See the before of this room, you won't believe the transformation!

  • How big each room is and how much needs to be done. I have staged 3,000 sq ft homes that take less time than a 1,000 sq ft condo.
  • Whether the client is busy attending to ringing phones or toddlers while you're trying to meet with them for your home staging consultation
  • Whether the house is so filled with clutter you can almost imagine it on an episode of "Hoarders."

> Continue reading about this home staging pricing mistake.

Knowing What You're Worth

There's no need to undervalue your talents! As home stagers, we make a significant difference in our clients lives. For example in the home shown above staged by Gary Baugher, there was a full price offer after only 2 days (compared to an average days on market at that time of 71 days).

Aside from the emotional costs of being stuck with a non-selling house, there are carrying costs too. Bottom line is that whatever a client makes on our services will be more than we charge them, even when we're being paid VERY WELL for what we do.

An important key to making a living doing what you love is to know what your talents are really worth and how to go about getting it!

Need help with your home staging pricing strategy?

Course 2 The Business of Home Staging: What you Need to Start and How to Grow covers the ideal traits for being a successful home stager, what you need to get started and how to grow your business, whether you should incorporate, how to set your pricing and make sure you get paid, pros and cons of owning inventory, how to get designer discounts, and more.

> Learn about the complete home staging training program so you can finally make money doing what you love and save up to $830!

business of home staging

This course is free when you choose one of our 5-Course Training Packages, a savings of up to $830!

Hats Off to Directory of Home Stagers Members

Once you're a Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers member, it's easy for agents and home sellers to hire you! PLUS, members enjoy F'REE project referrals, notification of guest speaking opportunities and media interviews!

Congratulations to these 5 Staging Diva Graduates who joined or renewed! Visit their Directory Profiles and get inspired:

A special shout out to Leah Fritz of Perfect Place Home Staging who is entering her 7th year in the Directory and her 7th year as a home stager — quite a milestone as a business owner!
home stager

Leah Fritz
Year 7!
Perfect Place Home Staging

It's been a true joy watching Leah step into her power as a home stager and mentoring her through the different stages of her business.

I'm sure Leah has her own list of wow moments as a home stager, but some of the highlights that stand out for me are: remembering when she submitted her first set of portfolio shots for the Staging Diva Directory; watching her amazing logo come together; learning one of her staging clients had given her "pick of the litter" on a new puppy; and when her home staging fees paid for her kitchen renovation.

Leah appears 97 times on the Staging Diva site, you can learn more about her here and get ideas for how you can get just as much exposure for your own home staging business!

Australia home stager

Katrina Gibbons,
Brisbane AU
Stylus Home Staging

Oakville  home stager

Marie Henault,
Universal Home Appeal

New Jersey home stager

Bunny Burgoyne,
New Jersey
Bunny's Home Staging & Design

Extra Benefits for
Profile Listings!

You can have a f/ree brochure produced by Staging Diva for your company when you have a full year Profile Listing.

brochure sample front brochure sample back

Sample front & back of custom brochure

Plus, you'll get a download link on your Directory Profile Page so your customers can access your company brochure instantly!

Download Brochure link

Sample download button that goes on your Directory listing Profile Page

home stager TorontoSylvia Glazenberg, Ontario
Unique Space Lift Staging & Redesign

Social Media Links!

You can add these Social Media icons to your Directory Profile and link them to your accounts on these sites:

Social Icons for Directory

Sample icons. Choose any or all: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Social Media links are a F'REE perk with an annual commitment, or $75 on quarterly billing.

Be The Top Directory Listing!

When you're the first stager to join the Directory for your areas, your listing will always come out on top in a Directory search, no matter how many people join after you!

If there are others listed above you for certain cities or neighborhoods, your rank will move up if any of them leaves the directory.

> How to get your own Profile Page

> How to get a Mini Listing

The sooner you join, the higher up on the list you are for your locations.

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 7,000 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.