With more and more stagers entering the industry... I think it is important that they get a real understanding as to just what it takes to run a staging business.
Many stager's have been coached to stage with what the seller already has in the way of furnishings and decorative accessories (props). Which is all well and good, but what if what the property that needs to be staged is a vacant property? Or what if the property that needs to be staged is occupied but basically an empty home? What does the stager do if a house needs more "bling" to bring some life and appeal to it?
Here at Real Estaging we made a commitment 3 years ago to build a prop library to best serve our clients and all different types of staging for home selling needs.
Currently we have nearly 5000 items available in our "PROP LIBRARY"... which sounds like a lot. But what do you do if all of our props are out and placed in homes and a new staging job comes in? Well, you're going to need to buy more! AND... you just can't put shlocky junk in a house and call it staged. (Well you can, and I have seen "stagers" that have.) But if you want to build a reputation for quality staging... you gotta get and have quality props.
However I have to admit owning a Prop Library sometimes feels like that voracious plant in the play The Little Shop of Horrors that constantly screams, "FEED ME SEYMOUR!"
July for us has been a CRAZY BUSY month here at Real Estaging (hence, I have had NO TIME for Active Rain). Fortunately (or unfortunately) much of what we own in our inventory was already out "PLACED" in client properties.... and we needed more!
So shopping for nic-nacs we went... and racked up a whopping $6,448.21 for our prop tab for the month of July! (We us Brook rental furniture as our supplier for furniture.) THAT is a lot of money we had to spend... and remember it does NOT pay for itself the first time it is placed... it takes a few flips!
Oh and then there are the hidden costs to creating and maintaining a prop inventory. Costs such as...
- Pay to the employee for the time the spend sourcing and shopping for props.
- Mileage and travel time to various suppliers
- Inventory Management... tracking who has what and where.
- Packing and shipping items to and from client sites.
- Cleaning, repair and damage of props.
- And of course Storage.
Having options and a variety of service levels... WILL help differentiate your staging business from other stagers in the market place. Being a one stop staging shop... will help build your reputation. But be forewarned, if your not careful owning a Prop Library can turn that one stop shop into a Shop of Horrors.
Stage It Forward...