Many design-oriented individuals decide to become home stagers without any kind of business training or marketing knowledge. While they mean well, they often stumble into some terrible marketing tactics that will likely put them out of business faster than you can say, “what were they thinking?”
In Monday’s post, I discussed why using sex appeal and inappropriate humor are awful ideas for home stagers trying to build their businesses and be taken seriously. Today I’ll tell you about another marketing tactic that will probably put your home staging business under: Offering a guaranteed sale.
I can’t believe how many ways home stagers are finding to bankrupt their businesses. The latest I’ve heard is that some home stagers are actually guaranteeing the sales of their clients’ homes.
In a tough economy and slow real estate market, one can guess why a home seller would want a guarantee when they’re investing in home staging services, and one can see why a home stager would be tempted to provide it, knowing how effective staging is in getting a quicker sale and wanting to do anything to attract new business.
But, if a stager is in business for the long run, they really have to explore the business rationale behind providing a sales guarantee.
I am against home stagers making any guarantee of a real estate sale from their staging because of the numerous factors involved that the stager has no control over. No matter how well a home is staged, there are several factors that will help determine whether a home sells or not.
- Is the house being listed in the right season? (Christmas and Spring Break are known for being poor times for real estate sales)
- Is the house priced correctly for its location, size and market conditions?
- Does the house have the features buyers are looking for in that area? If it’s a one bedroom home in a family neighborhood, it’s going to be a tough sell no matter how well it’s staged.
- Will the agent do an effective job of marketing the property?
- Will the home seller maintain the home in showing-ready condition 100% of the time?
- Is the home seller going to make it easy to show by not requiring lengthy notice, preventing showings during certain times, etc.?
- Will the home seller keep the house sparking clean and odor free during all showings?
- How are the agent and home seller going to handle offers they receive? Negotiations break down all the time for different reasons.
- Will the home seller accept any offer? More goes into an offer than the price.
- Will the home pass inspections?
- What if the buyer doesn’t get financing and the deal doesn’t close?
- What if there’s a natural disaster, political or economic event that interferes with the real estate market when the house is listed?
A home stager can guarantee that a house will show better when it’s staged, but they can’t guarantee a sale unless they’re prepared to buy the property themselves! It’s a much better business practice to gather statistics from past clients about the average amount of time properties remain on the market after you stage them and how that compares to similar properties in that price range at the time.
Collect testimonials and be prepared to share your track record and show off your knowledge of the local real estate market, but don’t guarantee a home sale.
Do you disagree with the point I’ve made here? Do you see a way that offering a guaranteed sale could work? Or do you agree that this is a quick way to bankrupt a home staging business? Please comment below and add to the discussion!
Check back on Friday for the final installment in this series of blog posts. “See” you then!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.[tags] Debra Gould, Staging Diva, Six Elements, home staging marketing, marketing strategy, marketing strategies, home staging marketing gimmick, guaranteed sale[/tags]