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POWER of the RAIN... AR's Group Feature GIVES VOICE to Our Industry

  I know there are MANY milestones that are now taking place, almost daily, here on Active Rain. So with so many wonderful stories of success being shared, the power of just what this site is capable of has definitely been proven. AND, considering Active Rain is REALLY only just in its infancy, it is mind boggling to think what is possible in the future.

I can personally attest to just what impact Active Rain can do to legitimize and move forward an entire industry.  You see, the very day Active Rain added the "Group" functionality... the Stage It Forward group was born. This past Saturday, that small group hit its own milestone...  the 300th member joined. (Actually it hit and surpassed 300 as I was writing this post on Saturday.) And while that might not seem like a big deal to most... for the Staging Industry it is HUGE.

The Stage It Forward group, one of the Top 10 most active groups here on AR, has become a gateway resource for GREAT home staging information, FREELY and respectfully passed along to Realtors and Home Stagers alike. Each day, as members and the general public log in, they can read well articulated stories of staging from all across the USA and Canada.

Realtors, who never considered using a stager, are being bombarded with visually stunning examples of what Stagers do. Stagers are relentless to make sure Realtors GET the power of what they can do for them and their sellers. Still not sold on staging? All one needs to do is go in our group to read stories of success, after success, after success... for these stories abound in this group.

But what I am most proud of is to see how Stagers help each other. You see I have been in the home staging industry long enough to know that there WAS an underlying negativity that was keeping our industry small. In fact last fall, before the Stage It Forward group started, I heard that the Oprah Winfrey Show was going to be doing a show on home staging, so I wrote a producer alerting them to becareful who they picked to be featured on the show.

  • Here is what I wrote to the Oprah Show...

     "While the ‘concept' of staging has been around for years, a separate and distinct staging industry is just finally being born. (And OH BOY there will be nothing like an Oprah show to push it out the industrial birth canal!)

     But there seems to be a network of feudal warlords, within our industry, who have developed their own staging kingdoms... and are right now battling it out.  AND THIS DRIVES ME NUTS! Why... because I watch Oprah and I too believe in a greater possibility. 

     I am so trying to create synergy and harmony at the BIRTH of an industry. I know that thinking together as a united group will benefit the consumer. I know that being a Stager, has become, and for more and more will be their dream career. But right now... this "industry" is and stays small because it resorts to being lead by a bickering bunch."

I believe that writing this to Oprah, planted the seed in me to do something more. So when Active Rain created the Group functionality... I instantly (literally) saw an opportunity to mimic what was happening in the "larger" Active Rain and establish something that would specifically benefit ALL Home Stagers, regardless of where they received foundation training. And it is working... through Stage It Forward stagers now have easy access to and can see what the power of sharing and respecting diversity can do to help them and to continue to move the entire Home Staging Industry forward into the future.

So once again, thank you to Active Rain and all the members that help Stage It Forward...

Me

POST SCRIPT:This blog/article was picked up and appears elsewhere:

 

Comment balloon 41 commentsCraig Schiller • March 27 2007 06:43AM

Comments

It is just incredible to see how this site has blow up in just a year. I think we would all agree that it is only going to get better with time. This is the wave of the future and will allow real estate professional to set themselves apart in communities across the world. 
Posted by Jacob Morales - Arizona Mortgage Planner (US Bank) over 13 years ago
Craig you have set an amazing example for all stagers. My business and knowledge about this growing industry has increased as a direct result of Active Rain and leaders such as yourself. You are to be commended.
Posted by Jackson West (Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver) over 13 years ago

Very interesting reading Craig!  You gave me much food for thought.  I note the power of synergy:

  • "So when Active Rain created the Group functionality... I instantly (literally) saw an opportunity to establish something that would benefit ALL Home Stagers, regardless of where they received foundation training.

And

the Negative Impact of Competitive Enmity:

  • But right now... this "industry" is and stays small because it resorts to being lead by a bickering bunch."
Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Craig, you seem to hit the nail on the post every time. 

I have been staging rooms/homes, probably since I could stand on two feet and push the bed around my room.  I am formally trained as a Visual Merchandiser, with an emphasis on Interiors.  I am new to "staging" as a formal industry, and have taken courses, specifically to understand the business  and the real estate side of this profession. I am very excited to be a part of AR and to eventally be able to contribute as a valuable member.   While I was doing my research on this profession, I could see the power hungry bickering.  I purposefully, chose a course, that seemed to genuinely want to improve the industry.   I will forge ahead with out fancy initials after my name.  However, I will hold my head high as others do, knowing I am providing a valuable service to home sellers, who stand to make consideralbly more than I.  I think those of us in this profession, truly are doing it out passion.  That passion will ultimately lead to success and a better public view of the staging industry.

Continue to Stage it Forward, you are a shining star!

Joelle

Posted by No Longer Available over 13 years ago
Craig, I would have thrown in the towel if it weren't for the sharing on active rain. The pats on the back, the humor, the sounding board, the free advice...priceless.
Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) over 13 years ago

You did it again Stager Man!  Great post and I felt instantly at home here (only one month yesterday!) - I know the "bickering" you mean - it may not be obvious but it's there all right and it's fear I tell you good old fashioned FEAR.

My theory is the MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET- it all comes back in the end.  This is NOT re-inventing the wheel stuff we're talking about and the information is sketchy at best when you visit a "foundation" site to get more information unless you've paid your dues.  The beauty of Active Rain is that - WE'RE NOT SELLING ANYTHING! Heck we don't even pay to be here (shush don't tell anyone - don't want to wake the AR gods).

I love this place and hope that my minor contributions are helping in some small way someone who may be going thru what I am. 

Thanks for always taking the time for meaningful thought Craig - you're one of the good guys -

Karen

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago

Craig - I know that I have only been an active, active rainer for a little over a week.  I have been visiting and going on for about 2 months now and just reading.  But I feel that I have grown so much in this short time.  I have been fevereshly reading!  I call it my university. I have a desire to learn as much as I can.

I see you as a mentor to an industry that is being birthed. Your positive affirmations to us stagers does more for us than I think you even realize! It helps us to push through when it seems as if nothing is moving.  Those that are apart of this group follow suit with their positive words! Because of their willingness to share their successes and their shortcomings it makes all of us the stronger. There is something much bigger at stake than our personal success. It is for the good of the whole. It is to grow a successful, respected industry together!

I wrote you last week in a comment that I saw you as a forerunner in the staging industry, setting a standard for others to follow. I realize that there are those that have been training and releasing stagers. Which I am grateful for.  But through the Active Rain network you have formed a place for stagers to find a place to grow and to have the unanswered questions answered, and to build relationships as they build their business on a daily basis.  Where does that happen in this world?   Thanks Ar and Craig!    Sue

 

Posted by Sue Shockley over 13 years ago

Craig, I remember being a lurker for so long and then Judy invited me into the RAIN!  I have learned so much from everyone here! 

I also remember writing to you when AR formed the groups, I was like Craig, We are all waiting on you to form us a GROUP!

Thanks for doing it and may we all continue to STAGE IT FORWARD! 

Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago

Craig,

You chose your word eliquently and perfectly. It really is quite sad all of the bitterness and bickering that is seen between the leaders in this business.  And for what reason? There is plenty of work for everyone so in my eyes it seems to be greed! 

Karen said it great above - You get what you give! For those that just take, take, take - their luck (and chasflow) will soon end. For those that truly help others and give back (such as those who are always so insightful and helpful on AR) your time will come to truly shine and grow.

I admire you for always saying what I can't put into words - time and time again!

Beth 

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

As always Craig, very nicely written. Until I came to AR, I had no real concept of what stagers were about. As you know, until recently, Medford & I were engaged in preparing homes for sale by performing minor, and contracting major repairs to enhance the home's sale. Stagers are the frosting on the cake. I've seen the transformation from "ho-hum" to "OMG that's beautiful!" in your posts, and the posts of other stagers.

Keep on "Staging it forward!"

Jay 

Posted by Boomer Jack Boardman & Carl McIntyre, the Codgers (Noted Curmudgeons) over 13 years ago

Craig,

You are such a shining example of humanity! Would have been nice to be the Stager they had on the show. I notice that the two they used had both written books..Maybe you could compile a Staging book here in the US, derived from your Active Rain Group. I wouldn't mind seeing a Staging Show either...Thoughts to ponder.

Posted by Karen Hurst, Rhode Island Waterfront! (RICOASTALLIVING.COM) over 13 years ago
What we have here is so much more powerful than any Oprah show or anything else going.  We share freely and encourage and seek ways to promote each other .....its truly powerful and nothing will stop the growth.  Staging is going to be huge, 3-months from now we will all be so busy....lets just all find time to keep logging in and staying in touch!
Posted by Home Staging over 13 years ago
Thank you Craig! 
Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago

I feel so strongly about this that I decided to write this and submit it for publishing on the  American Chronicle. 

Home Stagers Work Together Through "Stage It Forward..." to Create Home Staging Industry Leadership

If you go there to read it you will notice a couple of things... first as I was rewriting it in a context more befitting an article and less a personal blog post (ie I took out of the first person) and I really realized that the ALL of the members together have stepped up to become leaders. It is our COMBINED voice sing together that is transforming and moving this industry ahead. We are leading ourselves.

It just blows me away.

In a time whem more and more people are becoming stagers... Active Rain came along. WE are sooooooooooooo lucky. All I am trying to do is be the "big mouth" and make sure all know about who we are and what we do.

Me

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

I feel so strongly about this that I decided to write this and submit it for publishing on the  American Chronicle. 

Home Stagers Work Together Through "Stage It Forward..." to Create Home Staging Industry Leadership

If you go there to read it you will notice a couple of things... first as I was rewriting it in a context more befitting an article and less a personal blog post (ie I took out of the first person) and I really realized that the ALL of the members together have stepped up to become leaders. It is our COMBINED voice sing together that is transforming and moving this industry ahead. We are leading ourselves.

It just blows me away.

In a time whem more and more people are becoming stagers... Active Rain came along. WE are sooooooooooooo lucky. All I am trying to do is be the "big mouth" and make sure all know about who we are and what we do.

Thanks again to my fellow pioneers...

Me

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Hi Craig - Wow, Oprah.  Oprah is a very powerful influence in our society.  Forget about those old EF Hutton adds.  These days, its when Oprah talks people listen!!!  I believe the reason that people are so influenced by her is that she always trys to reamain above the fray and keep it in the positive.

Anyway, what I most liked about your blog was when you talked about the bickering among the various stagers who went to different "training programs".  I don't know why people have the need to believe that buying some unofficial credentials will make them any better than anyone else.  I am not judging them, I just believe that because there is no supreme head of staging, there is room for everyone at the table, despite whatever "credentials" they have, (or don't have).

In summary, let me say good for you Craig.  I love the spirit behind Stage It Forward.  Although sometimes there is a nasty comment here and there, overall I find it a positive and great resource.  I agree the bickering few really can hurt the good of the whole.  A house divided cannot stand!

Posted by Maureen Graziano (Third Eye Home Staging) over 13 years ago
What is a stager?  Just kidding.  You guys have really come into your own.  i now have clients asking me to recommend stagers it used to be that I felt like I had to sell them on the idea.
Posted by Teresa Boardman (Boardman Realty) over 13 years ago

By all means  Mr. "Big Mouth" - Keep going! Thanks for leading the choir..

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago

Congrats Mr "Big Mouth"  as a guppy here on AR I appreciate all the sharing & being able to share.Not a guppy!

Not a guppy:)

Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 13 years ago

Craig, thanks for the post and the article.  Being new to this industry, I was so happy to find the Rain to learn MORE.  Not just learn more about staging and developing my business but about how others in the industry really work their businesses and learn from the pros, such as yourself.  I am impressed with professionalism and the passion in here.  AR is an amazing learning tool aside from being an amazing way to network.  Thanks for giving Oprah the heads up.  The bickering is out there and it's a shame.  Glad to see it doesn't exist here! :)

Abby

Posted by Abby Roselli, Staten Island Home Stager (ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC) over 13 years ago

Craig-hopefully the producers will give YOU a call. You would be awsome!

Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) over 13 years ago
Beautiful post, Craig.  Isn't it nice to be the "pioneer" of something new to others?  With drive and passion, I don't believe people ever fail if it's something they truly love. And YOU and lots of AR members LOVE what you do!
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 13 years ago
Hi Craig - Have you read The Tipping Point?  Active Rain is the tipping point for the Staging Industry.  Your efforts to build ONE community of Stagers has made all of us Stronger.  Until Active Rain, our industry was fragmented by personalities, training schools, etc.  Now there is a level playing field for all the voices of Stagers to be heard.  We all bring many talents to this passion.  Your seed of an idea was the tipping point for all of us - bet you read the book!  
Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago
Craig, I've enjoyed reading many of your posts over the last few weeks that I've been a member of AR. You've got a tremendous gift and I thank you for your willingness to share information.
Posted by Kelly Kilpatrick, Broker-Associate over 13 years ago
Craig,is Oprah next for you? Be sure and let us know so we can tune in...great job in bringing Staging to the forefront and establishing a camaraderie with your peers.
Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) over 13 years ago

Craig... this is huge for your industry. And it has a lot to do with what you have been able to share on here, with other staggers jumping in. I sometimes think there are more staggers than lenders online now. Kudos to you...and great post also.

                                                                                                            jeff

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 13 years ago
Craig - I love being part of an industry in which someone of your calibre is a strong and clear voice. Staging has the power to help so many and I love coming to active rain and reading about the successes.
Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) over 13 years ago

Hi Craig,

Congratulations on acheiving the goal that you set out to create.  You have been the voice of reason here on AR as well as a shining example of how 'in giving we receive'.  It is a pleasure to know you and be a part of your group.  I have learned so much from you and by your example.

Thank you for being such a great role model to all of the Home Stagers on Active Rain!

VAL

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 13 years ago

Val...

Only one thing I would like to say... it is OUR group for ALL stagers.

ME

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
Dear Craig.....Harmony: Reaching out beyond the limited boundaries of our skin to touch what lies in some mysterious place of balance and delight...maybe it is inside...maybe it is beyond...maybe it is cosmic......the Muse knows, for sure....and so do you. Thank you for your keen spirit .
Posted by ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com ( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK ) over 13 years ago
Craig I am so pleased that the staging folks are active here.  I have learned more than I ever imagined.
Posted by Randy L. Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 13 years ago

Craig,

As we talked about last week, you are the long awaited voice in this industry to answer the question, "why can't we all just get along'? Through your site, the tide is changing for the better and the new wave is that of Stagers and others honoring and respecting each other, regardless of where or who they trained with or what association they belong to.  We are all in this together for the same end result.  Thank you for standing up and giving us a place to unite, support and encourage each other! The SDP believes in this thinking, but it's also great to see the same train of thought from someone with absolutely no association ties.  You truly are a great leader!

 

Posted by Judy Pelinski - The Staging & Redesign Academy, Member SDP, IRIS over 13 years ago

Craig,

Thank you so much for your positive leadership!  You set a great example for those "staging training organizations" and they would be better off if they followed your concept of sharing information with all, for the benefit of all....and for staging as an industry.  AR is an amazing experience and so encouraging to stagers at all levels.  Your incredible energy, enthusiasm, and unfailing "cheerleading" is helping hundreds of stagers each and every day.  How can we possibly thank you?  

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 13 years ago

Maureen...

The answer to your last question is easy... just Stage It Forward.

With sincere thanks,

Me

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
"combined voice singing together" - that really is what it is - we are in harmony!  
Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago

Great story Craig,

 Good Luck with Oprah..Michael Losier has been asked to talk on her Radio Show this week, If you read his Book The Law of Attraction, I know you'll see your your goals and ideas happen sooner.

 Good Luck, have and awesome day!

Fred Carver www.fredcarver.com

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 13 years ago

THANKS FRED... I have read The Secret. It sounds like a good next step.

Craig

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Thanks Craig

 Oh ....by the way there are very few home staggers in Victoria BC,, come on over anytime, I know I and many others could keep you busy!

Cheers, have an awesome day!

Fred Carver www.fredcarver.com

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Craig~ I just wanted to say congrats...you are truly a phenomenon, and your sharing your voice with all the other stagers who are helping agents realize that the small investment to stage has HUGE rewards! 

                                                                                                                            

Posted by Laura Monroe, Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media (Inman News ) over 13 years ago

Hi Craig,

Wonderful blog.  It is amazing how ActiveRain has catapulted staging into e-mainstream.  All of your efforts hasn't hurt us either, thank you very much.  I just received 2 inquiries this week from them seeing me on ActiveRain.  I haven't been able to do much on it lately but when I heard where they got my name, it reminded me that I must not be a stranger to AR.  Not only does it help in giving me more visibility on the net, I miss the rapport - I miss ya'll man!!

Posted by marcyne Touchton over 13 years ago
Hi Craig,
Just arrived via Jackie's introduction of you as a "hidden gem".....seems she's on to something. 
Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) over 12 years ago

Participate