Home stagers have to step out in faith when they decide to embrace their creative talents.
There’s no firm guarantee about what the future holds. Which is true of anything you decide to do in life, isn’t it?
Aren’t we all looking for “wow moments”?
The times that make us come alive. Sometimes they even take our breath away.
When I think back on my own home staging career, there is no way I could have anticipated the experiences I would have.
While it’s great to look ahead and set goals for your future, it’s also important to look back on where you’ve been.
That’s the only way to see your progress as a home stager.
There are so many things I love about being a home stager. The moments that make me say “Wow!”
My 10 Wow Moments as a Home Stager
I hope this selection of 10 of my own “WOW Moments as a Home Stager” will inspire you to reflect on your own and share in the comments below. Why not inspire yourself and others too?
So here are mine:
- Finding the right duvet cover that pulls all of the rest of the home’s accent colors together.
- Walking into my client’s home after the painter has finished. The old wallpaper and ugly wood paneling are no longer visible. He’s used the color palette I’ve chosen for the entire house. A complete transformation!
- Trying not to giggle while walking into a tiny condo bathroom. I’m on camera for HGTV and pretending the room is empty while the camera man and lighting guy are huddled together in the bathtub.
- Arriving to an overwhelmed client who is relaxed and looking forward to selling her home at the end of our home staging consultation. Making such an immediate difference in someone’s life is very satisfying!
- Re-rolling that final bath towel for the stack of 3 beside the jacuzzi and having it finally look like it does in the magazines.
- Getting a call from a CNN reporter on the very same afternoon that I’ve already spoken to The Wall Street Journal! It really did happen and I felt like I must have fallen into “The Twilight Zone”!
- Savoring those 15 minutes after the furniture rental truck is gone. I’ve finished making the beds and placing all the accessories. I’m walking through the house delighting in the “model home” I’ve created, simply from my own creativity and hard work.
- Answering a call from a past home staging client who says “I feel like I won the lottery thanks to you!” She tells me how they got an extra $100,000 for their home when it sold and that she’s debt free for the first time in her life.
- Spending 5 hours with a couple rearranging their home at our first appointment. After sitting on the market for 6 months before my home staging consultation, they sold within days for 98% of their original asking price. All we did was rearrange what they already had! Doesn’t that feel like magic?
- Always getting paid right away for my services, and never having to chase my money.
Home Stagers Share Your Wow Moments Too
Please add your “Wow Moments as a Home Stager” by commenting here so that we can all remember how many incredible gifts this career brings to our own lives, as well as those of our clients.
If we can get a good size list going, I’ll collect the best and put them into a free report to share with my readers, naturally you’ll get a copy too!
Great list Debra. A “WOW” moment for me was when my very first clients did the staging themselves and when I saw the listing photos on MLS they incorporated all of the suggestions that I had given them during the consultation, including paint colors. This was just another “confirmation” that I had made the right decision to start this business.
Donna Dazzo says
Debra, some of my moments were (yours jogged my memory):
1. Being contacted by HGTV to be taped for their special about secrets of successfully selling a home. I was taped, but unfortunately eliminated at the last minute by the editor.
2. Being hugged by a client after the staging telling me that she thought I did a wonderful job. And this client was probably THE most difficult client and I have had to date, so it was totally unexpected.
3. Recently I was contacted by the #4 real estate agent in New York City as well as #17 nationwide telling me he saw one of my stagings and loved it and wanted a staging proposal on a new exclusive listing he has.
4. Being told by the agent after I staged the property that she had 3 offers in the first week and hadn’t had any for the 15 weeks prior to the staging.
If I think of some more I will let you know.
Pat McArthur, Home Definition says
Terrific WOW moments Debra.
Getting a call from the buyer of a home I staged and hiring me to stage her condo. It sold first day on the market.
Katie Mines says
Debra it is exciting when the client calls and expresses their excitment that their house sold in 10 days to the first person that looked at it and for a higher price. The buyer like the layout and the design so much that she wanted all the furniture and art work in the living room and dining room. Which worked well for my client because she was wanting to move light as possible since she was traveling to a different state.
Debra Gould says
Cheryl, Donna, Pat and Katie: Thanks so much for sharing these moments with me and our fellow home stagers. I know it will inspire them.
I also want to say that having personally interacted with all of you following the Staging Diva courses and in our coaching calls or Staging Diva Dialog, it makes me VERY happy to read these since they are what inspires me to keep teaching others!
It’s such a wild adventure when we put ourselves out there in a new way and market our services. None of us really knows in advance how it will all turn out (that’s part of what keeps life interesting), but by just being out there we open up so much possibility that we never dreamed of. I continue to find this as a home stager and as a mentor and teacher to other stagers.
So thank you all for sharing your WOW Moments and pause a moment to really take in how great you are for making those possible for yourself and your clients!
And keep those moments coming! In writing them down others see what is possible and we all get to remember our own similar ones.
Jodi Whalen says
1) Sometimes you need a little pat on the back in this business, since we work for ourselves there is no boss to do that for you…one of my best WOW moments was listening to a realtor genuinely sing my praises to her client…my new client…while I was in their home for a consult. I honestly could not have sold my services any better. It’s just nice to hear it once in awhile!
2) Last night I had a WOW moment…I was closing out my books for the year and I realized that since I started my business over 3 years ago, I have tripled my revenue every year. It may have started out small, but it’s growing quickly now, it was a nice jump from my previous years to see it on paper…or a screen. So hang in there newbies!!
Debra Gould says
Jodi, thanks so much for sharing these and congratulations on your success. Three years in your own business is indeed a milestone and it’s great to see that money line on a steady upward slope!
This is one of the many benefits of having your own business. If you work for someone else, these days you’re just lucky to keep your job or get a raise of a couple of percentage points if you’re REALLY lucky, no matter how hard you work. Yet when you work for yourself, if you put the time in, you do reap the rewards. To triple your revenue every year, how cool is that???
Susan Atwell says
I think it’s the little things that constantly WOW me, like every time a client makes an appointment, when I return to a home and the owners have done everything I’ve asked, when I get a hug at the end of a consultation, when I leave a home and the furniture and accessories are in just the right place after only a few hours, when a $5 piece of molding makes a book case look like custom furniture, succeeding in the challenge of transforming a room without spending a dime, when an agent sends my newsletter to their client, when an agent hires me for a home staging consultation and at the end hires me to help them decorate their own home, when a home staging client invites me to help decorate their new home, the drama that paint adds to a space, when my clients are happy, and of course, when a home sells quickly. This business is a constant WOW for me. I’m so glad I got over my initial fear, broke out of my comfort zone, and took a chance starting this business. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Debra Gould says
Susan, thanks so much for sharing your wow moments! I know they will inspire others. And especially congratulations on all your staging success, it has been a true joy for me watching your business grow and getting to know you during our coaching calls!
Stacy Goade says
My WOW moment came when I picked up two phone calls on December 29th from two realtors who called me to invite me to speak at a “team” meeting in March, and the other who wanted to know about my home staging services. Debra launched my staging business on the “Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers” in early August and though I have been working quietly behind the scenes to get my business name and services “out there,” I have not had any calls. Two days before 2010 came to an end, my 2011 season began with those two phone calls. WOW – tomorrow, I have my first home staging consultation!
Juanita Johnson says
I’m nearly finished with the 5-course Staging Diva Program (some homework to finish up), so I’m not a staging grad yet, but my knack for decorating/staging was confirmed two years ago when my husband was selling his house in his hometown to move in with me. It was a typical bachelor home… very sparse and undecorated. I spent about a little money at a big-box discount store on table decorations and plants, etc., had his carpets cleaned, and repainted with his same neutral color, just to freshen the walls. The house was on the market for only 10 days and sold at nearly his asking price. It was a wow for me… a tap on the shoulder saying “why aren’t you doing this for a living?”
carpet cleaning dublin says
Hi and thanks. It was indeed well worth the read.
Lisa Bridgemen says
Wow Moment-Gently convincing my skeptical client and her husband to try my room re-arrangement suggestion for their daughters room only to have their realtor come in and say “wow this room looks a lot better”! Hard to hide my own excited relief…I do know what I am talking about, I thought to myself, that felt amazing! I would have never had the guts to even attempt actually staging that home if not for your news letters and inspiring confidence. It helps to hear you share your experiences, nerves and excitement both! It makes your advice more real!
Thanks for your continued support! I haven’t been able to take your whole program yet but I am purchasing what I can and love your material!
Debra Gould says
Lisa, That’s a great wow moment! I appreciate you sharing it. Never under-estimate your talent. What comes naturally to you, doesn’t to others — otherwise there wouldn’t be so many ugly homes on the market!
I also appreciate your feedback. By the way, I was exactly where you are now in 2002. That’s not all that long ago and I never could have dreamed at the time where this journey would take me. Keep going towards your dream, you WILL get there!
So glad you’re gaining confidence from what I write and teach. Mindset is so critical. Believing you can do what you want to do is 95% of the “battle.”
If you’re looking for a way to improve your cash flow immediately, I recommend Course 2. What you learn about pricing strategy alone in that course will ensure you earn enough to pay for the entire home staging training program with your next project or two.
Thanks again for commenting Lisa, great to meet you!
Adam Luttrell says
I think we are going through our WOW moments still. This last year has been a crazy one but full of excitement. My business partner (and wife) joined the business full time, we’ve put on a number of staff members, we’ve moved warehouses (initially starting at home through to now being in a 900 square metre (over 8500 square feet) warehouse fully racked, and we’re fully booked through until March. The WOW’s keep on coming and we love them, almost 9 years down the track!
Debra Gould says
Adam, thanks so much for popping in to update us on your progress. I’ve been so proud of all you’ve accomplished and would love to write another article about you. Don’t forget to send me details at: https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/staging-success-stories/
Red Barrinuevo says
Debra here are my WOW moments–
1.Staging my own place to jump start my staging business 4 yrs ago to staging multi-million dollar homes, all booked up for the next 2 months!
2. Being contacted by HGTV, A and E last year for a new staging show in Canada. Unfortunately, the show didn`t air.
3. Being contacted by Shania Twain`s agent to stage her penthouse condo in Toronto. Penthouse was sold privately, but just thinking that she might at some point looked at my website is a WOW moment for me..
Debra Gould says
Red, I’m so glad you jumped in here with some of your highlights. All awesome!
I’ve had such fun watching your business grow since you dove in and took the Staging Diva Program. I can still remember our first telephone conversation when you were still working a trading desk and you were worried about taking the first steps to a new and way more creative career.
As Dr Seuss would say, “Oh The Places You’ll Go!”
Laura Gariepy says
My WOW moment came when I got a million $ home to stage that was on the market for 6 months. After the home went back on the market it sold and received an offer that was $100,000 more than the first offer before staging. To top it off the realtor met me for coffee and wants to use me for his listings before going on the market. Win, win!
Debra Gould says
Wow Laura, thats amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I’d love to write an article about this and give your business more publicity. Please share more info and a photo or 2 I can use at:
Meeta Gusnheen says
So happy to read all these incredible moments! Its these moments that really fuel a company more than anything else. Thank you so much for sharing Debra!
Debra Gould says
So happy you’ve found this inspiring Meeta! I hope you’ll be adding your own “wow moments” very soon!
Mary Ann Benoit says
Wonderful list. For me, when the realtor told me we got 2 over priced offers in 24 hours and 15 offers in 3 days on the place I just staged, and it sold for 30k over asking.
Debra Gould says
Thanks for commenting Mary Ann, that really IS a wow moment! Especially in a relatively small community!