Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Is ROCK & ROLL "Where Its At" for Home Staging?

 A winter's drive over the holiday weekend gave me a chance to reflect on all that I see going on in our industry. As I stand back and look WHO we are and WHERE we are... the more I am sure this industry is not quite YET ready to handle the BIG vision so many of us want. I see our collectivey industry action speaking louder then our words. This is not a BAD thing, this is just an "IS" thing.

Early last week I made a comment in a post regarding how home stagers could learn from the Realtor community who annually benifit from coming together and learning together as our own unified group like the NAR. There are MANY of us who are beginning to understand and believe in the fact that having common association(s) can be a good thing for ourselves and our clients. Terrylynn Fisher generated more compelling dialogue on the same subject when she wrote her own thoughts and feelings about having and an END GOAL of a NAR like association for staging in her post entitled: Exclusionism keeps us small and weak! 

It is no secret that to ultimately achieve an end goal it must first be envisioned. Having the END GOAL of a NAR like organization/assocaition for the home staging industry is AWESOME... and I embrace THAT goal 100%. But I thnk maybe we are trying to hard. Not loosing site of the END GOAL, maybe what is more important is that we FIRST define and take smaller steps that start moving us to that "associated" END GOAL.  

To helps us see where we are and to help us define the steps to move ahead we need to ask ourselves "what do we as stagers REALLY want for and as our industry?" Then take a hard look and ask if this is what our collective actions are communicating in spite of what we think?  Is what we REALLY want happening equal to the vocal minority that is shouting for a BIGGER picture? If you think it is then why does it feel like we are still stuck here?

Why isn't there this vast tidal force moving us toward a greater good that some of us are shouting for?

Well, I believe part of the reason is the fact that our industry is riddled with distrust, misunderstanding, conflicting philosophies, and egos. PLUS this industry is trying to GROW and UNITE during the WORST real estate market in decades. But even though this obviously is NOT ideal, this should NOT stop those of us who are committed to creating something more for ALL in this industry.

So as an industry (or fledging industry) how we ARE working to get unstuck? Well maybe, without realizing it, we are getting ourselves out of this rut by starting with a rock and roll motion... kind of like what one does to get a car unstuck out of a snow bank. I have come to observe that sometimes when someone tries to rock forward for this industry, there are those that roll back. Is this BAD? I have to say "No". Do I like it? Well I have to say "NO" again. But it is a reality.

Case in point...SIF now has over 25 Roundtable discussions planned for all over the USA and Canada, and even though we have "rocked" there are some who feels it is necessary to roll with their own independent gathering of stagers they too have dubbed a "round table". What are this person's "underlying intentions"? I really don't think it matters? Is this a bad thing that it is taking place? I really don't think it is. This just is the rock and roll I am talking about. Different interpretations of a similar thing can be helpful, but who we are and HOW we respond matters MORE.

When someone seems to rolls forward the rolling back response can seem like negativity.(Please do not confuse this  use of the word "negativity" with with mudslinging.) But I am beginning to see how this BACK and FORTH motion WILL create the monument that will get us unstuck so that we can trust and fully embrace bigger goals like creating an NAR for home staging. 

There are a lot of little things that can be done to get us unstuck and driving on to our associated END GOAL. To get a car unstuck there are a number of things one can do, like: put on chains, throw down rock-salt, shovel out the snow packed under, or just give a push... likewise there are many little things we can do to help move us all along and to be associated in a way that benefits all.

While I have hoped we would move faster... this is not all doom and gloom. I have come to learn that our industry IS moving and moving in the way it is supposed to. My hopes are based on MY rocking vision... but with each passing day I see there are those rolling with equally important visions that need to be taking into account too.

Just my thoughts as I rock and roll...


Comment balloon 25 commentsCraig Schiller • November 26 2007 07:50AM


I am now hearing Neil Young banging out :"Keep on Rocking in the Free World" and will probably walk around all day with this tune in my head. Craig you ROCK!
Posted by James Frazier (James Frazier Personal Development Coach) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig - We ae rocking and rolling - great analogy.  Realtor Magazine has an article about Likeability Factor for Realtors; perhaps Stagers have to improve their likeability factor with each other!  Is that you in the red jacket in the photo?  I am behind you 110%!

graphic:  mocambo - hot cider drink after playing in snow!

Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) almost 13 years ago
Great post Craig.  You're right, the rock and roll analogy is not necessarily a bad thing.  It can create the momentum to get us unstuck.  It's nice to know though that we have SIF as a group, to act as the metaphorical tow truck if we need it.
Posted by Charlene Storozuk, Home Stager - Burlington Ontario (Dezigner Digz) almost 13 years ago

Loved the analogy, Craig. 

Particularly glad to see you pointed out not to confuse "negativity" with "Mudslinger"  There is a huge difference

Negativity creates opportunity to shed color on the gray areas.  Mudslinging is just painting the picture black.

Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) almost 13 years ago

I had not heard about the other 'round tables' yet.... interesting!

If we take 2 steps forward and 1 step backwards, we are still taking 1 step forward!  Slow is OK as long as we are moving forward....

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 13 years ago

Yes Craig! The end goal of being associated in a way which is beneficial to the industry and to individuals is the remarkably simple goal which must be pursued painstakingly one step at a time. If we, for some reason, choose to bypass the essential baby steps we will learn that we don't really have the strength, fortitude and most importantly KNOWLEDGE to not only walk but eventually RUN! 

Sometimes to get a vehicle "unstuck" it takes the guy down the street bringing his kitty litter and the fellow in the passing car loaning his shovel and the 3 gals next door being willing to push. When we all bring our talents and our will to the task we will be rolling sooner than we may have thought. 

Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) almost 13 years ago
I can't imagine that the growing pains this industry is experiencing is any different that other industries when they were just taking root.  This post is a great encourager for those who may get caught up in the temporary set backs.  Step back and look at the big picture here...we are at the beginning of something big!
Posted by Susan Smith (Rooms That Work LLC) almost 13 years ago

Excellent dialogue Craig...and VERY well said.

I compeltely agree...we should ALL ROCK AND ROLL together!!!  It's way more fun to dance in a group than on your own. Plus you sometimes look silly if someone catches you  :)


Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) almost 13 years ago

Wow!  As a relatively newbie on AR I am honored to have been mentioned here.  Glad I was able to articulate the message well.  I love the Roundtable idea, and I guess as you say in any form is better than no form as it is dialog.  The Roundtables serve the ultimate purpose of the regional voice for the ultimately national or international member run trade organization to be in touch with the thoughts of ALL of it's members.  I guess NAR is the easiest analogy to understand regionaly and nationally, that's why I used it.  Thanks for the  vision and infusing the conversation with more ideas.   Terrylynn

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 13 years ago


What can be said, another great post!

Brian Bloom

Posted by Brian Bloom, All in One Staging Inc. - Home Staging Consultant, Redesign Expert ( 1-630-292-2710) almost 13 years ago

Craig, I am thinking you realize that the journey is as important as the destination.  I commented on the post you refereed to by Terrylynn Fisher, which was an outstanding piece, that I believe we all have the freedom to choose to be involved in which Training Programs, which Associations and which SIF activities we want or not to be involved in.  We even have the freedom to be involved in multiples of them if we choose to.  There is no reason these should be looked at as competitive segments of our industry.  Choose to be involved in whatever journey takes you to your destination.  BUT please do not try and convince me that any one of any of these is better than any of the others.  They are just different, not bad choices.  One of the choices I freely pick is to be a part of any of the SIF efforts.  I can only speak for me, but me as one person is 100% behind your efforts because I believe in the destination and I respect and enjoy the journey. 

Oh, and thanks James for making me feel like an antique.  I have followed Neil Young for 20 years before "Keep on Rocking in the Free World" was cut. (LOL)

Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) almost 13 years ago
Craig this is an exciting privilege, helping to drive your visions forward.   We look forward to positive, productive and inclusive growth for the Staging industry with our Round Table discussions
Posted by Andy Capelluto almost 13 years ago

Craig- I think we are moving, perhaps sometimes looking more like twirling dervishes than the rock and rollers we'd like to be - but hey - they move in sync too, right?  And they do after all have the same goal in mind....(OK, yeah, little pun there, ha ha)

I think you've defined one of the problems we may be experiencing and that being a lack of definition of what it is that will get us to our end goal and what the end goal might even look like so we know if we're headed in the direction we want to go - collectively speaking, I mean.  Even so, the Round Tables help to shake all that out and not the very least create a greater solidarity amongst us - that is a huge feat in itself!  

Need I say it again?  Another honest look and great post.


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

The more people we have pushing the car out of the snow, the easier it will be.   Those who choose to join in the push will likely benefit the most.  There's not only reward at the end but, as Gary points out, a journey from which to understand things better and to grow. 

Let's keep rockin and rollin.



Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( almost 13 years ago

I like Kathy's analogy above about how the more of us that push the car the easier it will be.

Craig: There will always be nay-sayers no matter what we are trying to accomplish and how many it helps. Some are just contrary, some are not "joiners" and some are threatened. Not our problem. Let's not waste our energy worrying about them. The important thing is that there are an awful lot of us that are interested in joining together and working together to make this industry better.

Thanks for getting the ball rolling.


Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 13 years ago
Funny thing is... a rock will roll.  It just takes a little push to get it going. Once in starts rolling, it will only stop if it looses inertia.  Lets keep the rock rolling.. it goes on and on and on and on.
Posted by Lori Kim Polk, Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento ( Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services) almost 13 years ago
And a rolling stone gathers no moss......
Posted by Sharon Lancaster, SRES, Realty Executives Okanagan (Sage Executive Group Real Estate) almost 13 years ago


I actually see this slower market as a blessing to Stagers. Up until a year ago very little was required of Realtors. Now we need every trick in the book to get our listing sold and staging is, by and far, the most important tool in our arsenal. We all just need to continue to strive for excellence and keep beating the drum.

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) almost 13 years ago


Thanks for the comments so far. This is what I like about this forum. I like how different people add a slightly different viewpoint/perspective/insight.

We ARE at an amazing point and we still have to ROCK and ROLL a bit...

Thanks for stopping by.


Posted by Craig Schiller almost 13 years ago

There's no question we have evolved to an interesting, richly complex point in the Staging evolution.  At it's simplest level, staging is merely a service like car detailing.  If people continue to get busier, and the employment world continues to need horizontal expansion, careers like ours will develop healthily.  I'm not convinced yet that Staging is a necessity seperate from realty and interior design.  There again, we all love a cleanly defined niche, and the person whose skill is purely marketing your house does keep things clear incisive and hopefully productive.

Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) almost 13 years ago

Craig-  ever see the movie, "What About Bob?"  Baby steps.

I appreciate what you shared here - and it is about moving forward always keeping in mind that we want to still value and feature what makes us unique or special in our eyes.

- Jennie

Posted by Jennie Norris, Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource, (Sensational Home Staging) almost 13 years ago

Craig I always enjoy reading your posts. They are always so well written.  They move us to reflect and act.  I must admitt I envy you. You have a great gift. The analogy of Rock and roll is great.  May the rock and roll effect always be forward.


Posted by Isabel Gomes, Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont (Gomes Design) almost 13 years ago


If aliens land and ask me to them to my leader, I think it will be you that I send them to! Another well written, thought out post, THANKS.

Posted by penny white almost 13 years ago

I forgot to mention, did Karen Otto and I ever tell you how we are KISS fans?

We LOVE to Rock AND Roll!  Soemtimes the music can get a bit loud, but that's usually when I put on the ear muffs :) 

Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) almost 13 years ago

Rock on and keep rollin' for sure! (Hi Beth ;)

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) almost 13 years ago