Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


STATISTICAL VERIFIABILITY... Key in Our Crawl Toward Professional Recognition & Acceptance

On Monday I introduced  SIF Quarterly Qwik Staging Stats (QSTAT) program to the stagers here on ActiveRain, and yesterday I introduced the concept to the Realtor community in a post called REALTORS... Will Staging Stats Crack Your Nuts?. While that post was fortunate to be FEATURED on the main page in the "big" Active Rain... I have to admit I was disappointed in the lack of Realtor Comments.

As you know posts on the main page of ActiveRain usually attract many comments. (In fact as of 10:05 AM CDT of the 20 Featured Posts on the main page -of which my post from yesterday is still part- there are 960 total comments. This means the average number of comments a post is receiving is 48.)

So that I say "USUALLY"...  is because as I write this post, only a handful of Realtors made a comment (THANK YOU to those that have). But MOST of the comments have come from Stagers.  To me Realtor's silence speaks LOUDER than those that commented.

It is for THIS reason this particular post is even MORE important. Good staging stats WILL support the Realtor to suggest and use staging (when needed) as a marketing tool to help the seller sell. It is that simple.

What I wanted to address today is something we must consider if we are going to gather appropriate data and then share statistics to be credibly relied on. For "data" to be taken as credible it MUST be verifiable. Verifiable data about home staging is a key element that will help make ALL in this industry be respected, accepted professionally and relied on.

So while going "back to paper," in this age of automation, may seem a bit backward it actually works in our favor. A reporting system that relies on paper, by default, sets up some barricades and filters. Barricades that are not part of the online survey systems which, because they are often open, expose the findings to be skewed and manipulated. We MUST error on the side of caution.

Consider these 5 points regarding the EXTREME importance of verification of SIF QSTATs and the way we are going to be gathering staging data...

  1. If one is serious about submitting SIF's QSTATs they will need to invest the time (as little as it is) to file out the QSTAT from.
  2. Faxing the QSTAT over is going to require the person invest in a long distance call.
  3. The fact that there is a chance that by submitting their QSTAT's their submission many randomly verified (and they will be) will help to deter people from submitting false data.
  4. RANDOM SPOT contacts (phone OR email) to Realtor's to verify stats will send a message of PROFESSIONALISM to them about the Stager who submitted the QSTATS. False data will reflect poorly on the Stagers credibility.
  5. If our data is challenged, paper gives us an easy audit trail.
  6. A person signature is their word... each submission must be signed off on before it will be even verified.

Finally one other direct BENEFIT to those who submit data is that stagers that submit QSTATs will have quarterly records that they hold on to and file. Later down the line we have plans to create a tool that will allow individual stagers to go back enter THEIR own data and crunch it against both State and National Data. HOW COOL IS THAT!

Now I know our approach is NOT 100% perfect... but as I said, we must first CRAWL before we walk.

Staging It Forward...





Comment balloon 19 commentsCraig Schiller • November 07 2007 09:53AM


Craig this is great! I hope you have a sturdy fax machine
Posted by Maria Lechner, Home Stager Boise ID (The Added Touch Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig: I think this is a great idea. Most of my REA's would happily verify my data. However-we have worked with some who feel the staging is a minor tool or were not behind the seller's decision to stage. I also have had many times when agents won't return phone calls. Will the data be verified by phone or email? Should we include the agent's email address on the form? There are very few jobs anymore that do not include peer review-why should staging be any different?
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) almost 13 years ago

Cheryl... if you check out the form you will see we are capturing both email and phone contact information.

Please keep in mind that NOT every submission will be verified.



Posted by Craig Schiller almost 13 years ago
Hello Craig.  What starting point would you like to set on data collecting?  By now you probably have seen the stats I e-mailed you that we have collected here at Home Matters for all of 2007.  Do you want forms on them or should we simply start today?  Oh and by the way, if you want what we have for 2007 I more than likely will want to fill out all the forms (47) and mail them to you.  I'm thinking my fax will start smoking about half way in.  Anyhow, what ever you want us to do we are all dressed up and ready to go, or should I say we're all dressed up and ready to Stage It Forward.
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) almost 13 years ago

Gary THANKS for the question... I went and added to my blog this line:




Posted by Craig Schiller almost 13 years ago

Craig:  I'm ready to fax over a few forms to you.  Two are for model condo units where I know they're selling in the complex, but the form doesn't help delineate this.  Perhaps a tweak is in order?


Also HANDY HINT:  I made copies of the blank form to include in each folder for each future client so it's ready to go - no back tracking. 

Thank you, Superman - Julie

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 13 years ago
How far back do you want us to go? I, like Gary, don't want to burn up my fax machine.  We could just do homes Staged.. instead of Consultations to start with. Any thoughts?
Posted by Lori Kim Polk, Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento ( Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services) almost 13 years ago

Craig - I have a couple of ?? about this  - Could it be that we're assuming those stats are important to the majority of real estate professionals as that's the way it's always been presented?  I'm not saying they're not, but I also watched and noticed a lack of response - it made me wonder if we were answering the wrong question.

Also, I don't have an issue with long distance charges in sending in FAXes, but can't help but be curious, who will be picking up the fee's for the calls to long distance realtors in verifiability?  And the other associated costs in keeping this whole thing going?  When will we get more information on structure for this process?



Posted by Jackie Peraza, Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts (Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC) almost 13 years ago

Jackie and all...

My NEXT post will be on how this will unfold. I am THRILLED people are chomping on the bit to get going.

As for WHAT the form tracks I encourage you to study it closely and reflecect on the 2 qquestions it always comes down to.

  • How much is it going to cost?
  • How fast do staged homes cost?

For the MOST part while REALTORS understand what staging is the do NOT know how to present staging to sellers. They are concerned that it will be insulting their sellers to suggest a stager come in.

I have heard this from both individual Realtors AND the executive management of some of the largest real estate companies in the Chicago area.

Realtors bo bring in stagers  on a regular basis are still "early adaptors" the main stream Real Estate community is STILL in Missouri  "Show Me State" phase. Stats will help to SHOW ME.


Posted by Craig Schiller almost 13 years ago


I am really excited you put this together. I really like the audit system you set up too.

Posted by Anthea Click, Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly! (Fresh Perspectives - almost 13 years ago

Craig, You are really taking this group to the next level. This is an excellent idea!!!! Sometimes I wish I was a Stager just so I could come play with you. Really good stuff Craig.

OK I admit I did not tread your last post but will pop over and do so now. My bad. Been busy as heck!!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 13 years ago


Yesterday I gave a presentation to about 15-20 Realtors. I got only one real response before I started my presentation and she was totally convinced that staging works. After my presentation it seemed to me the only thing they were really interested was the cost. I even told them during my presentation that staging a home will cost less than the first price reduction they would have to make in order for the home to sell. I recently staged a home (3 weeks ago) and thee homeowner got a contract on the home last Friday. So it just goes to show you Realtors out there that think staging is a waste of time maybe they should think twice. By the way the closing on the house is the 21st of this month. I will fill out the form for this home and fax it over.  

Posted by Ann Krewson, A.L.I. Designs; Staging Houston Homes; Allied Member of A.S.I.D. (A.L.I. Designs, Inc.) almost 13 years ago


I'm wondering if I could/should participate in this, since I'm a Realtor who stages my own listings at no additional cost. I know from 1st hand experience, the value of staging. If I'm eligible should I just check off less than 1% for my staging fee? 

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) almost 13 years ago
Craig, my sister in law worked for a winnetka interior design firm. She has moved to the northwest suburbs and has done some staging in the local area. If you need a great eye and contract employee in this area, I can have her call you.
Posted by Gil Kerbashian Real Estate Loans (Gil Kerbashian Real Estate Loans) almost 13 years ago
Craig ~ Can you accept scanned copies of the form which are then emailed to you?  This technology is more readily available to some of us -- please let me know, thanks!
Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 13 years ago

Craig - question... what do we do when the property is rented instead of sold?  Some of the properties we've been staging are lease purchases or out and out rentals.  The owner is thrilled to have someone in the property but technically the home isn't sold.  I plan on working on gathering this week and faxing them to you, but not sure how to handle these situations.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 13 years ago
Couldn't we mark the 'OM' area then state in the notes comments.. "Up for rental or rented after X amount of days"?  I am in the same boat as Melissa on a couple.
Posted by Lori Kim Polk, Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento ( Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services) almost 13 years ago

Craig: Sorry, I still have issues with providing Realtor's contact information. But I do have a suggestion which may serve both our purposes:

Provide a place on the form for the Stager to have the Listing Agent verify the information by signing and include their NAR # or state license number. Since you will have the MLS number, anyone who wanted to dig that deeply would be able to get the Realtor's number and call them. That way, every submission will be substantiated.

Or, if you prefer, give people the option of either providing the Listing Agent's contact information for later verification or having the Agent sign off as above.


Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 13 years ago
Craig, you're talking real sales talk here, something I'm glad you recognize the need for.  If you want to make a sale 1) first make yourself equal to what the current situation is (you don't want them thinking it could get worse), 2) make yourself better, and 3) back it up with real data.  That's it, pure and simple (well, in concept!).
Posted by Gabriel Silverstein, SIOR (Angelic Real Estate, LLC) almost 13 years ago