Lately I have been getting a lot of email from stagers that are frustrated with the response they have been getting from the real estate community. Basically they are surprised that realtors are not flocking to them with open welcoming arms and lavishing them with clients. Compared to mortgage brokers or home inspectors we are "red headed step children that get no respect".
The best advice I can give you is to "persevere".
Staging is new and in many parts of the country untested. So it is up to us as a united industry to get the word out about staging and the benefits it provides. When you are marketing yourself to realtors keep in mind the following and remember ultimately you need to craft your message to them and their issues/needs/concerns/benifits.
1.) Staging has become a marketing tool for realtors that demonstrates they are savvy and leading edge.
2.) Staging fee is typically the seller’s expense, not the realtors! (Many realtors think the fee has to come out of their pocket.)
3.) Real estate staging is NOT just renting furniture… it is much more. It is up to you to explain the depth at which you go to prepare a house for market.
4.) The best time to stage is BEFORE a property is listed. Our work can move the listing price to the top end of the property’s possible price range thus covering our fees and making the seller MORE money.
5.) Let us discuss our services and fees directly with the home seller… this keeps the home seller from feeling as if additional fees are being tacked on by the realtor.
6.) INSTEAD of a price reduction… consider using us. Staging can be less costly and have more of an impact.
7.) Do not market yourself as a designer/ or decorator... rather market yourself as a "real estate/property merchandiser". Why? Because bringing in a "designer/decorator" may be construed as an insult to a seller's tastes. Hiring a property merchandiser is a wise marketing strategy.
In today's age, where it seems like it is all about hard core marketing, sometimes what is forgotten is that marketing ourselves and our services is ultimately about building authentic relationships. Finding ways to be of help to the realtor will surely end the "little orphan Rodney syndrome" we all experience in this new industry.