Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Staging Training Pride

 From the moment I found Active Rain I knew it was a very special site. It was amazing to see how Realtors from "rival" companies reached out to colleagues to freely share information to help and better their "competition". I believe because of this generosity, Active Rain is the success it is for ALL who participate.

In the beginning of Active Rain, there were only a handful of Home Stagers. Over time more and more Stagers found this site and began contributing. Amazingly, Stagers from across North America (YEAH CANADA!) started sharing, ideas, frustrations, challenges, successes, tips and approaches to staging homes and running home staging businesses.

As soon as Active Rain created the "group" feature, Stage It Forward was born. Stage It Forward now gives Home Stagers ONE easy resource and forum where, regardless of where foundation training was received, we can gather and learn MORE and become BETTER Home Stagers. Any Home Stagers who has spent any time in Stage It Forward knows the benefit from the varied and diverse flow of ideas and dialogue that takes place on a DAILY basis.

So as more and more Stagers find this site, don't be surprised that when they first join us they come in spilling over with what I call "foundation training pride"... which at times will look like they "drank too much of the Kool-Aid"!

It is up to us to welcome them in and BE what gives Active Rain and Stage It Forward its strength. Active Rain and Stage It Forward are places where Stagers and the Home Staging Industry has and will continue to grow to greater heights through the simple acts of kindness and sharing.

Stage It Forward... Me


Comment balloon 29 commentsCraig Schiller • February 10 2007 11:40AM


Hey Craig,

Great graphics and great topic . . . There are many options for training and learning whether in a classroom, online, in a book, or with going out there - and it's best to focus on the strengths of companies and benefits and not "the dark side."  I love the site - lots of fun topics and people!  I think the point of focusing on topics that actually help you and me get BETTER is the key. Why look back?  What is the point?  We can't change the past and experiences are more than the sum of just who the person is - there is a lot we can't understand because we were not there, and we have our own collective experiences.  I have a saying at the bottom of my emails that states, "The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift - that is why it's called the present."  All we know is what we have today and life is short.  My colleague has lost one adult son in a car accident 2 years ago, and that prompted her to get into Staging to find something she was passionate about and could help others.  In the last 2 weeks, her house burned down and her other son was in a head-on 2 days ago (he is OK).  THOSE are important things to focus on and yet she is amazingly handling everything by measuring it against what real tragedies are (losing a child).  What is not worth focusing on is who gave me what in training or I didn't get enough of this or I didn't like that or that person didn't say enough or said too much or whatever.  In life, there are way more important things to focus on and in our businesses, we can only impact our future by doing something every day that is positive and will move us forward. Why look back?  The past is done and dwelling on it to me is really not productive.  Thanks for putting this up.  There are a few places I won't be going back to and instead will just focus on how to help others and enjoy the funny anecdotes.  Loved seeing you without hair and with that shirt in the blog with the peace umbrella.  Too funny! - Jennie

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

Florida Real Estate Appraiser working from West Palm Beach in Palm Beach County.Hi Craig.. gotta love this new subscribe feature. I think you captured on of the things about AR that is so great.. to grow as a group. To learn from each other.. to offer advice to like minded people. A simple and powerful idea. now i gotta go to the market ad buy some Kool-Aid. you brought back some memories! :))

Thanks for sharing..!!

Posted by Nick M., Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser (Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Craig, it's good to see you back in the saddle! (butt eye dry dress)

That ought ta really confuse 'em!


Posted by Mark Flanders (Consulting) over 13 years ago
Hey Craig - Great Post and very timely.  I think there are so many great training programs out there and everyone should be proud of the time and effort they put into learning about their chosen profession.  I have to say that I am in agreement with Sheron when she said that Active Rain is the best classroom around.  I've learned so much from the wonderful stagers here.  Thanks for the great Blog - keep it up!!!
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago

AR is the best training forum.  Stage it forward!

Posted by Home Staging over 13 years ago

Hey Craig - do you know where I can find a picture of a person just not getting it? You know, the one where the guys hand zooms over the top of his head from front to back like the subject is way over his head?

Stage it forward! 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago

Craig, once again, you've done it! If the Martians ever come, looking for our leader....I'll point them your way!   This was awesome! This is why you are our LEADER! 

BTW***I try to welcome all stagers regardless of school of training! 

I like the Fruit Punch Kool aid!

Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago
Great post!  We can all learn from one another and I really like the fact that AR is a place we can all come together and share ideas and learn something new every day!
Posted by Judy Heinrich (Judy Heinrich Home Staging) over 13 years ago
I could not have said it better myself! Stage naked! kh
Posted by Kate Hart (Hart & Associates Staging and Design) over 13 years ago
This is a great post.  I agree with everyone here.  AR is a great forum to learn from others. 
Posted by Kimberly Uksik, Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On. (Independent) over 13 years ago

I know people with degrees from various universities who work well together.  Why should staging be any different?

Great point Craig.  Its the pride that can stir up undue competitiveness and get in the way of progress. I can't help but feel a sense of pride to be a part of ActiveRainLand.

Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Keller Williams Select Realty) over 13 years ago
How is this for some new speghetti: Home Stager Credentials from  ARSIF. arsifffffff (Active Rain Stage It Forward) I like it.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago


You just come up with the best graphics!  Love the Kool-Aid pitchers (remember those commercials?)!

You are so right about the pride that some people develop as a result of training with specific programs.  I remember feeling that way in the beginning - but largely because I didn't know much about the other 'schools'.  I knew about Barb Schwartz and her program, and of course Lori Matzke's, but only learned about others here on AR.

At the risk of starting an 'explosion', I just want to say that, for myself, I have learned more here on AR than anywhere else!  This is the kind of stuff that, perhaps, can't be learned in a textbook or classroom because it is based on getting out there and doing.  How fortunate we are to have so many wonderful stagers and realtors here on AR that are willing to share what they have learned through trial and error!

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 13 years ago
Craig - Thanks for this.  Sometimes we all need a little reminder of why we are here.  You know I am not a 'koolaid drinker', but with your attitude, I may be able to take a sip of yours! (Could it be grape?)
Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago forgot to mention that AR is FREE. So exactly what is better than that? Can't think of a thing!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago

Kimberly it is NOT mine... it is OURS that I speak.

I will have more to say on this in the future as it becomes clearer to me. (Which oddly it is.)

Stage It Forward...


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
Craig, if this staging community can make everyone better, the entire industry will benefit!
Posted by Jeff Turner (RealSatisfied) over 13 years ago
Jeff, can we borrow your waterfall? Please? Can you send it over via AR? The flow...remember the flow? Every once in awhile we need to blow up the damn dam. Do you know what we mean? Please post your waterfall video in Stage It Foward. Thank you!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago

I am not a stager but I had to come in and say hi FC and ty for posting and the fab graphics and of course the organizational effort; you rock as always

Much success!

Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) over 13 years ago

Being a part of Active Rain makes me feel like we are a United Nations of Stagers....all coming together to share thoughts and ideas for the greater good.  We may have different beliefs and backgrounds but our common goals should be to keep improving and growing our industry.

Posted by Judy Kincaid over 13 years ago

"I pledge allegence to the staging of the United Nation of Stagers.. and to the outcome, for which it stands, one nation, all for staging, highest price possible, individually, one house at a time, for sellers and buyers involved.. AMEN!"


Posted by Nick M., Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser (Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate) over 13 years ago
cr@p.. I forgot to sign out!
Posted by Nick M., Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser (Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate) over 13 years ago


Thanks for the post. I'm not a stager. However, I have learned about staging from you and ActiveRain. Hopefully, one of my client's properties will be through with major renovations next week and three stagers from AR, will then meet with the client for consultation. My first attempt at working with stagers. Wish us luck!

Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) over 13 years ago

Great post, Craig!   Finding AR and more specifically Staging it Forward was like a dream come true!!! 

Stagers Unite!

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


Thank you so much for again, being a wonderful natural leader and helping everyone place nice.

....Group Hug....


p.s. there cannot possible be one "best" training or background anyway....we are all too dynamic and there are so many ways to run your staging business...that just leaves "different"! ...and who doesn't love something "different"?! 

Posted by Pamela Lachance (AKKiRA Realty Inc. Real Estate Brokerage) over 13 years ago

I feel privileged to have found AR I have learned so much from everyone. I also made some friends and the encouragement received from all is amazing. Who cares where we were trained let's keep sharing our triumphs and failures so we can push each other over the next hurdle.

Love the Kool Aid Pitchers...Hmmm, staged in a kid's room might be cute, no?

Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 13 years ago

Hi Maureen,

It is so nice to see you as a fellow stager here on Active Rain!  Welcome!

Since we all had to start from the beginning, as you are now, we have many experiences to share and we have learned along the way (and continue to do so).  Don't hesitate to e-mail any of your fellow AR members to ask will save you a lot of time and effort!



Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 13 years ago
Funny I was just talking about the "kool aid" to someone today and checked out this post...I like your 'tude stager man and look forward to what's in store at the staging drinking pool...I'm a newbie ARainer - when was this site activated and how long has Stage it Forward been a group - ? BTW your photos are fabulous and you obviously know what you're doing.  Thanks for sharing!        Cat frog
Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago

HURRAH!  Agree 100% that we are all in this together.  This is what we are about, supporting each other and SHARING with peers, regardless of affiliation.  We become the industry that makes the change in the world by being united, not separated into small groups holding back our goodies.  Whose got better goodies?  LOVE the roundtable idea and can't wait to attend.  THANKS for showing us the way and that there is nothing to be lost by sharing.  In fact, it enhances us all as so many on this post have said.  Carry on.

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