Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Will Staging Biz Book Hitting Shelves (this week) Hit the Target?

Well, I couldn't have planned it better if I tried. But considering my last post, about the difficulties of owning a home staging business, the fact that Barb Schwarz is releasing a new book this week entitled "Building a Successful Home Staging Business" is timed perfectly.

Just what will this book reveal?  I do not know. But I will SURELY read it and share my thoughts about it in a future book review here.

However, the inside front cover (quote taken from Amazon) says this: "Whether you are thinking about starting a Home Staging business or want to improve upon an existing one, this timely guide can help you master the essential elements of a successful Home Staging business." So, considering and knowing what the home staging industry is hungering for... that sounds mighty good.

But I have to admit Barb's book puts her and her company in an odd predicament. If her book reveals too much it could jeopardize the enrollment of future students from taking her expensive classes. For they might think that all they now need to do is "buy the book".

On the flip side, if Barb's book reveals to little it can STILL jeopardize her seminars. For if people who are interested in a career in home staging buy it  believing in its promises to provide "various strategies and techniques needed to achieve unparalleled success in this field" (inside cover quote) but think it is "fluffy" they then might think the same of the seminars.

Additionally, revealing too much might alienate her from her past graduates who already paid thousands of dollars to learn in her home staging training seminars. Buying a key and strategic book for a mere $16.47 (today's price on Amazon) might be seen as now selling off the ASP secrets. PLUS, if the book is any good, any non-ASP stager can benefit from the ASP leader's wisdom... Barb's book might be seen as a betrayal, to those who have helped her build and were committed to her network, for she is now directly helping their competition!

(WOW! As I write this I see the pickle this one book puts Barb in... what a thin line she has to walk!)

So that leaves just one more scenario to examine. How will revealing too little in the book be looked upon by graduates of Barb's ASP seminars? Well, her ASP graduates tend to be her biggest fans... so they will most likely be content and cheer it along as they did with her previous book. Others, outside - who make up the fastest growing segment of the staging industry, if they buy and read it and think Barb's book is just "puffed up fluff,' they will then rip it to shreds. She will be seen as shrewd, but as an opportunist. This surely will give Barb's PR people something to dance around.

Just in writing this post I now have come to a conclusion as to what I think Barb's Home Staging Biz Book will reveal (or not).  I look forward to reading it, and when done I will surely let you know in my review if it hit the target.

Stage It Forward...


5/23/07 Post Script: The release of this book must have been delayed. Amazon HAD been pre-selling and stated it would be available on May 18. Amazon now says its availability is anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks out. It is Amazons policy to tag books that ARE in-stock as "In Stock".


Comment balloon 70 commentsCraig Schiller • May 13 2007 07:29AM


Craig, I like your graphic.  How did you put that together?
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 13 years ago


I custom built it using both MS WORD and Photoshop. It is SUPER complicated as I go back and forth between the 2 to build it up.

Glad you like it.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Hi Craig,

First of all, it's been a while since we last 'chatted'...I know that we've both been busy...hope all is well in your world (but knowing you I trust that it is!)

Heck, I didn't even know Barb Schwartz had a book coming out, so thanks for bringing that to my attention.  You can bet that I'll be buying the book this week and keeping it with me at all times so I can squeeze in a quick read on any 'downtime', like when I'm stopped at a traffic light (just kidding!). 

You bring up some interesting challenges that Barb must have faced when deciding to write such a book.  Obviously it is much needed for our industry (hello, we have grown to over 800 stagers here on AR alone in what seems like only the last few months!) and you can tell  by just reading the posts and comments of the Home Stagers on Active Rain (hmmm, I wonder if she's been watching us, monitoring our discussions and sensed the need to pen this tome!) that there is a need to know more about how to build and successfully run a Home Staging business. 

That being said, she is in a bit of a quandary as to how much she can actually disclose about running a successful business, and for all of the reasons that you so eloquently pointed out!  This should be quite a read and I'm looking forward to it!

Take care & Be well!


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

I am sure that she has thought this through carefully. Maybe it falls into the " there is no such thing as bad publicity!"

Of course you are both about to run out and buy it so whatever is in it she has suceeded and will make money!


Posted by Sue Riley over 13 years ago


Point well taken - you're absolutely right!  But inquiring minds just have to know :) !


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, writing a book rarely has a negative impact on an experts main source of income. In fact, the opposite is usually true. If the book is any good at all, it could dramatically increase her business. 
Posted by Jeff Turner (RealSatisfied) over 13 years ago

Craig and Val- 

As an acknowleged garduate of the ASP course, I have no intention of buying this book.  We should all get it for free, considering what we paid for the course.  I, too, am curious.  My plan is to meet another ASP at Barnes and Noble, buy a coffee and spend wome quality time reading - for free!

If it reveals anything new - I will be upset.  If it doesn't, I will also be upset (but glad I did not spend any hard earned cash).  See where I'm going with this?

Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago

Craig...I have a RE client who just closed her Bed&Bath Design Business and thought Staging sounded interesting! It is an open field out this way.

I am going to send her a link to your Blog because there is sooo much info here.

So if you get an email from a Susan Hall don't delete it OK!

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Craig - your a snake charmer!

Kimberly - I am with you on that 100%! 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago
Craig, I look forward to reading your review.  I'm an ASP Realtor and I wonder what she can give away in the book to make it worthwhile without giving away the farm.  I wouldn't want to pay for an infomercial telling me to go to her class (since I have).  Hopefully it will have some good tips on starting a business because that requires so many different skills and it's so easy to miss something huge.
Posted by Sarah Cooper (Real Estate Shows) over 13 years ago


I too have wondered the same things regarding this book and have been looking to pick it up for review to see if I can learn anything new.  I have not been able to get my hands on it though.  It was supposed to have been released on May 2 but is still temporarily unavailable here in Canada and the books stores don't seem to know what is going on.  Either way I will find a copy and will also post my review on the subject.  Can't wait to see yours.


Posted by Kimberly Uksik, Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On. (Independent) over 13 years ago

Angel- My position is that if there is any information in this book that we did not receive, we should have gotten it considering how much we paid for the class.  If there isn't anything we didn't learn in this book, what do we need it for?  I'm certainly not going to pay again for information that should have already been given to me.

Why would she want us to go out and buy it, other than for her to make more money?  I certainly would not give my services away for free.  I can tell you that when I give a consultation, it is a thorough and complete report - I do not hold back and ask them to pay more to get the rest of the information. 

Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago


Another thought-provoking post  -- we're looking forward to your book review!!  Thank you for always taking the controversial subjects and making us think!

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

Wow Craig I cannot believe that you wrote this post because I have been struggling with something the past few days. Should I write a blog about or not? Here it goes....Enough is Enough!! Yes Barb is great at what she does but ASPer's ARE NOT THE ONLY GOOD STAGERS OUT THERE, DO YOU HEAR THAT???

I say this because I staged a vacant house a month ago and the realtor called me yesterday to give me an update and she asked me if I knew that I was competing for the job with another stager. My reply was no I did not. She began to tell me that when I got the job the other stager called the realtor in quite a tizzy that she did not get the job and wanted to know if I was ASP certified. She insisted that the realtor beware if I was not. The realtor said she did not care what certification I had and stated that I got the job because I was professional, persistent, excited about the work and submitted a report in a timely manner. As for you you did NOT get the job because you did not return calls, missed 2 appts and was late for one. Her answer to that was I have been busy staging homes. HELLO ME TOO, that is why I work sometimes until 2 in th morning. This stager insisted on stating I needed to be ASP certified. The realtor really went to bat for me and all I had to say was thank you very much and just because you attend a weekend seminar and get some letters after your name you do not automatically become a stager. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!!

So what are your thought, blog about it or not??

Phyllis Pafumi

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

MAN! Why is it that any time I say anything not exactly positive about Barb or SHC I get attacked by another ASP?  Sorry, Craig.  I hate it when that happens...

Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago

 We seem to be a passionate group of people! I love the fact that ANY Stager can voice an opinion and it will be heard. I took the ASP course 2 years ago and while I see the benefits of my accreditation (branding, more credibility) the biggest benefit I received were the other stagers in my association. We really support and help each other. I can tell you, if I had to do this alone, I would have been out of business a long time ago. Just like this blog, it is great to have a sounding board and people who know what you are going through. I don't blindly support everything Barb does but I know she is a big supporter of us and what we do. 

Heather Durren ASP

Posted by Heather Durren (Staging Places) over 13 years ago

 I agree with you Craig that Barb is walking a fine line with this book.   Thanks for giving me the heads up on this one.  Since I started my business last year this book comes a little too late for me.  Thankfully, I found you, and several other professional AR stager's to offer me support in this crazy, tiring but most of all rewarding business!  I wouldn't have been able to do it without all of you!!  :)


Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) over 13 years ago

Great post Craig,

I have been a fan of yours for a long time and I appreciate your comments on this growing industry. Like Kimberly I am afraid to make comments about Barb because I do not want to be attacked by her or ASPs.

After reading this post and seeing people defend Barb I thought it was important to share this email from Barb to a select group of ASPs about the publication of the book. I deleted the names to protect the innocent.

In her email she notes that she wrote the book for PR to get people into the course- not to promote the industry. I highlighted this part for all to read since it is a long email. The language is very self promoting, almost cult like.... "our asp world" and the "others"- maybe she is a Lost fan?



 Dear Barb,

How will the new book you are releasing soon on Home Staging affect the ASP designation if they receive a how to book without being an ASP? I will need to explain this at our next chapter meeting.

name with held


 Dear SHC Team!  And Dear ASP/ASPM's I have included in this email.

  Thanks for asking the question.  I have included others in my answer to you in this email so that they too can spread the word and my answers to the question.  It is important from my perceptive too that you all know and share the answers with others in our ASP/ASPM World as well. 

  My new Book is a How To Book; a How to Book about the importance of ASP/ASPM training!  It is full of ASPM stories and it drives people to our classes.....yes it teaches some Home Staging Ideas.  Yes, some, but to put 36 years knowledge of how to build a business into one book did not happen, nor did I want it to happen.

 Other people could and probably will write books about how to do a Home Staging Business and I had to do this to set the record straight NOW about the difference of ASP's and our skill, talent, AND training that we have that set us apart from any of the rest.  Ihad to write this too for the future for the day that I will no longer be here.  It needs to be a legacy for the future of why people should become ASP/ASPM's!  I had to record the history of Home Staging which it does, I had to record the ASP/ASPM Story and it shows the public the difference between us and any ‘others'. 

  I promise you as people read it they will want more info as I did not put all that I know into it....far from it.  It is to wet the appetite of those thinking of becoming Home Stagers and teaches them to do it right they have to become an ASP!  Someone will now say, "Well, we have too many ASP's now."  You have to be kidding me?   Whoever would say that is sure not up to date at all.  To have, 2,200,000 licensed agents in the USA alone and only 3,700 ASP/ASPM Stagers to take care of 2,200,000 agents businesses of having their listings Staged is scary.  We need more ASP/ASPM's to serve the huge need of agents AND the public and we haven't seen anything yet as far as need.  That is because the USA is just barely waking up to Home Staging.  Again, all you have to do is to ask the woman or man on the street if they have heard of Home Staging and hear them say no and we all know we have a huge long way to go!  A long way to go!  If any one doesn't believe me they should have been here in Seattle with me last week and listened to Rebecca Henderson, chapter president of our Tacoma Chapter of IAHSP who said they simply cannot keep up with all the work and there are more ASP's in Seattle than anywhere as that is where I invented Home Staging as you know, in 1972.

  Also, as Jennie Norris, ASPM, VP IAHSP has said since I have known her, "If people want to become Home Stagers and open up a business, they will do it anyway."   She continued, ‘and I would much rather  they become trained and professional as ASP/ASPM Home Stagers so as not to  Stage® the wrong way and to not do the wrong thing, work, or give the wrong impression to the public about Home Staging and ruin it for the rest of us."  Truer words were never said.  And you know what, that is exactly how I feel about the book I have written which will be released soon.  "If I didn't write the book, someone would have done so the wrong way and led the industry I invented down the wrong path for sure.  It has to be done right and the book I wrote will lead people to become ASP's as we so desperately need in our country and the world!


The new book could be a support text book in class but a support book only......for it is the ASP Course itself over 3 days that has the critical information and services that we teach and give to our ASP's in person that makes an ASP an ASP!!  That is the true experience of an ASP.   And that cannot ever be duplicated simply in a book. 

Books generate questions and concerns and there is no one there to answer the question nor the concern when you are reading a book.  That is another reason we have ASP Training's in person for real life experiences for our ASP/ASPM Stagers!!!


The picture is large and I am always so amazed as to the lack of how many people see the big picture. 

I do not direct this just to and at, for you ask the question that some others might have asked you and I want you to be prepared to answer the question anywhere, at anytime.


I direct it to those who would worry and ask you or me, "well, what if everyone knew what we know."  Tell them please first that if I had had that attitude I would never ever have shared what I know with anyone.  I would have kept it all to myself and made a ton of money.  And my most that know me know that my mission is not about the money.  Everything that SHC earns goes back into the company and supporting our ASP/ASPM's with the best in sites, information, services, great staff members to serve ASP's, to bring the best in vendors and more.  Staff members of SHC know this and will verify this too.


Most people don't do what you tell them or what they read anyway until they become an ASP.  Why?  Because people need the training of 3 days at least just to start their ASP Career.  Really all need the additional 5 day ASPM Training and should have the ASPM Designation with me.  Trainings are to learn the why, the how, the practices, the principles of Home Staging in the field in class and to keep on learning through our ASP Convention, our IAHSP Association, the SHC Newsletter, the Staging University, and our IAHSP Chapters and Forum. Again, that can not be learned nor practiced from and in just a book.


Nothing will stop Home Staging.  It is a gift that God brought through me and people forever now always now be Staging Homes.  I want to make sure that they do that as an ASP!  My new book is another way to help make that happen.


And remember, If reading a book was all it took, well I sure wouldn't have built all of our websites, put $660,000+ a year into web placement, I wouldn't continue to update the sties, I wouldn't promote ASP's on the site, nor would not have invented the Home Staging University, and the IAHSP Association, the SHC Newsletter, The SHC Forum, and the now 107 chapters and growing!  And that isn't even a complete list at all.  Oh, my dear tell all you meet it takes way, way, more than just a book.  Oh, yes, way more, I promise you!


A book is for PR.  That is mainly what a book is for.  That PR is for ASP's, SHC, as well as people knowing that I created Home Staging.  Do you know how many ASP's have gotten business in Home Staging from the public by the public reading my book released just a year ago on ‘How to Stage?'  The book wears the people/the public out. They say, oh my gosh, this is too much work.  I cannot do this, I must call an ASP.  Once again it drives people to call an ASP to work with, or to become one. 


This book will do the same in that people will say, oh gosh, I cannot do this career of Home Staging without ASP training.  To do so could be dangerous and risky.  That is what they will say.  And they DO NOT GET A DESIGNATION BY READING A BOOK my dear.  NO even close. 

They will have to come to our ASP Training to earn the ASP Designation to compete at all in today's world.  They have to become an ASP to become part of our wonderful network.  And, that, a book cannot give either. 


Once again the press is very concerned that people be trained as ASP's to Stage Homes.  Why do you think that 20-20, The Today Show, CBS Evening, News, Fox News, CNN and more have insisted that WHO they show off is trained as an ASP!!!!


Contemplate that for a moment!!!


Also the press exposure that I/we will receive from the new book from reporters, TV and more will allow me to once again sing the song of ASP and teach the press the difference between ASP's and those that ‘just try' to imitate us.  I just did this with CNN for over 80 min this last Friday and the basis of the whole conversation was how the training as an ASP is mandatory for the public to know about.  That the public needs to ask a Stager if they have the ASP Designation.  Why do you think CNN called and asked me that?  It is because of setting the ASP Designation as the standard in the USA and the ONLY Nationally Recognized Home Staging designation in the USA!!!  They interviewed me about the ethics that I have set for the industry that I invented and how I work and strive to keep them high through the principles that I stand for driven through ASP's and  The press gets it.  They really do, they come to me to ask about our ASP Designation and how ASP's are trained and how important it is to protect the public that people make sure that they work with only an ASP/ASPM!  Do you realize how huge that is???  That is what press and PR a book  can create and cause and do.  That is what the current Home Staging Book I wrote has helped to do along with our sites and more and that is also what the new book will do too! 


Help me spread the word, help me teach ASP's how to think out of the box, out of fear and help them see that the picture is huge.  Help me teach ASP's that my goal is to always lead the way for ASP's and ASPM's to be the best Home Stagers in the world!

My goal is to always set the bar high and to keep moving it higher.  My goal is to make sure that the industry I invented and created by the grace of God grows in the right way, the ethical way, with ASP's giving and providing the highest possible services for the public that come to us in need.


Blessings to you and to all ASP's and ASPM's everywhere....



PS Please read this to your chapter out loud.  Thank you for doing so.  Trainers please do so as well.  Gina, please send this out to all chapter presidents  this week too.


PSS My new book I understand is already on for pre order....which is amazing to me as I have yet to do the final edits and it hasn't even been printed me....together we change the world through Home Staging the ASP Way!


Posted by Anonymous over 13 years ago

WOW... I don't know what to say to that comment!


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

OMG...this is pretty scary stuff!  Two words come to mind: Jim Jones (remember that?). 

Secondly, to imply that anyone who is not an ASP is not a 'true' stager is what is known as 'personal and advertising injury' and can be cause for a lawsuit.

Up until now I have purposely stayed out of the whole ASP vs. 'other schools' debate because I value every stager here on AR and don't feel that any one of us is better than another.  The above, however, has left me with the most horrible impression of Barb Schwartz and her training program.

That's all that I'm going to say - it's my own personal opinion, which I am entitled to.  I am not looking for anyone to back me up or challenge me.  I'm finished on this subject and will not respond further - except to say that I will not buy or read the book.


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, it is completely inapproriate for this letter to be posted here.
Posted by angel over 13 years ago

Craig- once again you've written a very thought provoking blog - expressing thoughts that many have had.  I appreciate your perspective on all things staging.

I've read each and every comment so far and hope that this inspires dialogue and free expression, not accusations and attacks.  My feeling is that it is a big Real Estate world out there, yes I have an ASP designation, however I don't consider myself a better stager than another without it .  I think this is an issue of BRANDING (like Band-Aids - there are lots of other bandages out there but we all call them Band-Aids -).  Just think of the "cola wars".... it's going to get heated...

I do hold myself to higher standards and that is my God-given nature - not learned or taught in class. I believe in treating others as I wanted to be treated myself.  I answer to a Higher authority.  I am not a cult member or cheerleader.  I am a free thinker - I'm also a marketer and salesperson for my business. And as the entertainment industry knows - any publicity is good publicity and quite frankly - this exposure is good for branding ASP's and truly all stagers in general.  Barb Schwarz is a master of PR - can you blame her for that? It's getting the word out there Nationally about staging for ASP's and non alike. 

Don't live in fear of what it may do to your business - ride the WAVE!

There are many in the home staging industry as you wrote recently whose businesses fail - whether or not you hold a designation of some kind.  The true staying power of any successful business is the people, the passion behind it and the tenacity (and financial where with-all) to sustain it. 

I say hang on everyone -  it's going to be a wild ride....  PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL!

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago
Craig - funny she would be writing that book now. The one I am writing with Mary Larsen is due to the editor next week! It is about starting a successful redesign and home staging business but focuses mainly on the business end of the transaction. Lots on marketing. Lots on business processes. I'll let you know when it comes out! The best part is that none of the fine lines really pertain. And Mary has a very thriving business and does not suggest in any way that anybody can make a go of it.
Posted by Teri B. Clark ( over 13 years ago

Craig, what a shock it must have been to find Barb's own words and intent for the book placed here!

ROFL, Jim Jones is exactly what I was thinking! Home staging direct from God to! I may as well quit right now...or take her training...master of course, as the 3 day is still not enough.

To whomever reprinted letter from Barb, thank you!!!It explains the behavior of *some* aSP's. I'm sure many more are appalled with what they have read.

How these statements and her book (as she describes it) can help all stagers I can't fathom. Just makes more work for me to educate consumers of the truth....Thankfully! I now have correspondence from Barb herself that will make my job easier to dispel any uncertainty regarding using an aSP or not.


Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) over 13 years ago


Thanks for saying just what I was thinking! I am still trying to figure out why Barb's name keeps re-surfacing with such negativity.

I'm not sure if anyone out there is a fan of the DVD "The Secret" but one of the mistakes we tend to make over and over again is that by putting strong thoughts and emotions into someone or something that we feel negatively about, we are actually just making them STRONGER and more POWERFUL!

So unless you are trying to make Barb even bigger.......


Posted by Eva Rivera (Decorating Flavor) over 13 years ago

Oh My!! How does one response to this.  I cannot believe a leader of this organization would put such propaganda into people's heads.  I am completely stunned!!  I will no longer be purchasing this book even just to comment on it.  Thanks to these comments made I am glad I trained where I did and didn't take the ASP course.  This is a very small minded way of thinking!


Posted by Kimberly Uksik, Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On. (Independent) over 13 years ago

OMG Craig this is getting nuts!! What about the rest of us who are ready, willing and able to help one another and support each other with our staging businesses, doesn't that count?

Peace Phyllis Pafumi

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

Amen Phyllis!

I count my lucky stars I found you and many other AR Stagers that I respect.  :)

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) over 13 years ago
Well, now I am embarrassed for more reasons than one.
Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago

Wow, this is truly mind boggling.  I've never understood how belittling your professional peer group's training or experience is helpful to building up your own...

 Audra Slinkey
Home Staging Resource
Home Staging Resource...
Working together to make the practice of professional home staging an industry standard

Posted by Audra Slinkey over 13 years ago

What is that staging with a capital S and the sign of a registered trademark?  I have a trademark and I guarantee you that if the word staging can be registered then I have gone to a lot of trouble and expense for nothing.   Its just a word-------it cannot be copyrighted, as in the case of written material, or trademarked in terms of its usage.  Someone ought to check the trademark office in DC and see if it is indeed 'registered'.  Thats a HOOT! 

 I think this woman's head got outside her hair!  Setting yourself up for ridicule is a dangerous pastime and the ensuing bru-ha-ha is not likely to be very funny for her!   I do not wish her ill, but she has hurt the image and reputation of her graduates! 

Remember the old adage, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything?"  She shouldn't have said anything.  Reading her words is like walking through a cactus bed barefoot.  Glad I'm not an 'asp.'

Posted by Carol Ellis (Luxury-Domain to Home Stage) over 13 years ago

Hi Everyone,


Author Robert W. Bly discusses in one of his books, the subject of Gurus (people in any field that are widely recognized as a leader or expert) He says “ there are three schools of thought concerning gurus…. Some worship, idolize, or at least respect them, some don’t care much one way or the other, and some actively dislike or may intensely resent individual gurus”. I think we are witnessing this by the response to this blog.  It is very interesting to hear everyone’s opinion. I give you credit, Craig for thinking of such hot topics!


Posted by Heather Durren (Staging Places) over 13 years ago

I am not sure what to say either.  Yikes!  I share your embarrassment too Kimberly.  Maybe with a large hat, a moustache, and dark sunglasses....... they won't recognize us.

I look forward to the days when we can all play nice in the sandbox :)

Posted by Lori Kim Polk, Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento ( Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services) over 13 years ago


You sure know how to stir the pot! I can't wait for your review. 

Regarding the ASP vs. Non-ASP feud:  I have interior design training from the University of California as well as the ASP Realtor "designation".  I think it's always important to continue learning and growing in your profession.  However, there are many ways to do that and not just one "right way."  A significant component to interior design/decorating/staging involves talent and ability--which cannot be taught--you either have it or you don't.  You certainly can't "train it" into someone.  In choosing a stager, it wouldn't matter to me where they received their training as long as they were professional, trustworthy and talented.

I don't think Barb will be very pleased :( when she sees the e-mail intended for a select group posted here on AR for all the world to see!


Posted by Michelle Ewing, Riverside, CA (Trademark Realtors) over 13 years ago


Interesting post...yes you can see my tracks on bloglog so I had to leave you a comment as well.

It shows a different perspective on the staging industry versus my industry. Sounds like reading the book should not qualify you as an expert in your field.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 13 years ago

Hey Janice....thanks very much and the same respect you have for me and all on AR is exactly how I feel for you and others on AR. This network is amazing.

Kimberly you are awesome YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT..No one does. We need to move forward and continue in our profession with one common goal in mind. Help people SELL their homes!!

God Bless all Phyllis pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 13 years ago
How many times  does she need to point out that she invented Home Staging.....
Posted by Joanna Bonicker, Home Stager - Baltimore, Maryland (First Impressions by Joanna: Home Staging, Redesign, & Decor) over 13 years ago
Craig, what's in the air? Rain. Boy and does it pour.  I have quite enjoyed and have been educated by your posts.  This one not only shakes but may rock the industry.  To a better place of course.
Posted by Isabel Gomes, Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont (Gomes Design) over 13 years ago

Wow! I am looking forward to the book coming out.  Granted, it appears to be a marketing tool, and some will like it and some may not.  If you are interested in it - buy it or get it out of the library. If you are not - then don't!  I was a trainer for Stagedhomes.  I have to say that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  Barb is a genius and she is also human.  She has created an industry for all of us.  Her efforts have allowed all of us to make a living - and a substantial one for some of you - out of something that was nothing.  You may have gone to design school, or you may have gone to CSP or taken a online course.  In any event Barb has worked the marketing - stop the sniping and name calling and anonymous comments and stop the SHOUTING!  Move on and put your efforts into Staging.  If you don't like how Barb is doing it - then you do it.  Then see how easy it is - NOT!

I am expressing my opinion and look forward to all of us on AR having successful Staging businesses no matter what or where you trained.  Let's all Stage the world peacefully.  Thank you to Craig for Stage it Forward and thank you to Active Rain for this forum!

Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago

Another interesting entry...I can't wait to see your review!

Posted by Jo Potvin, Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market (Design To Market LLC) over 13 years ago


 Craig; YOU don't know what to say? Here - I think Barb says it all...

"A book is for PR.  That is mainly what a book is for. "

Hmm - how about ...educating? Remember-this blog started out with us asking asking "What is she hoping to gain from this?"

Now we know.

 Angel: This is SO appropriate for us to know what the incentive about this book was all about.

Posted by Mary Seferian (DIVA DECOR DESIGN) over 13 years ago

TO ALL.... I am sorry for the delay in responding more fully on this post. I am busy getting a home read for a tour of homes here in Park Ridge. However I have popped in to quickly look at all that is going on. 

So now I have some time to share my thoughts.

The last time I mentioned Barb Schwarz in a post all this comment "activity" happened. At that time I wrote... "As for all the controversy that surrounds Barb Schwarz. I am sorry it is such. But there is obviously something VERY REAL between these people and Barb. AS there is something REAL between those people that LIKE Barb and Barb."

So here we are again... same point but new post.

I am going to responded to each of you to give you MY OPINION. This is NOT to say I am right but this is how I am filtering and thinking about all that you share.

Val 1:I agree it is a quandary. As I wrote it it kind of opened up to me. I didn't actually think it all out until I started writing. From a marketing perspective, it is interesting to "watch". Like I said... I already pretty much know what to expect.

Sue: So true... I was curious the last time she wrote a book I bought it too. I'd rather "buy a $20 book" than pay 100x times that amount to sit in a 3 day workshop.  This time is a bit different because I can REVIEW it. So I am anxious to spend the money and get the book.

Jeff: I agree, "if any good at all" SHOULD be the reason one profits from their work.

Kimberly W 1: That is the rock and the hard place I was talking about. In some ways Barb is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.

Joan:I hope your friend doesn't like french manicures... cause they will be history.

Sheron: Is being a snake charmer a GOOD thing or a BAD thing?

Sarah:I would expect it to be a BIT of an info-mercial. Hopefully there is more INFO than MERCIAL.

Kimberly U: It is not supposed to be released until May 18th here in the States.

Angel W 1: There are MANY books out there that do teach and teach well. If a book did not, should not, or could not teach then why would we have books?

In particular I do BELIEVE that if Barb's book claims: "this reliable resource will show you how to launch an exciting, new career in the Home Staging industry, and help you run and maintain your business as it grows." It should DO just that.

My peers are priceless to me too. In the course of less than 1 years time I have made AWESOME connections with stagers all across North America. With time who knows what will happen. I will tell you this... I would work with a PROFESSIONAL regardless of where they got their training. I gotta admit I don't feel as though ASP (as a group not select individuals) would be as welcoming to other stagers.

Kimberly W 2: I gotta admit I think that making points using analogies is a powerful way to communicate. THAT is very interesting way to make your point.

Maureen: I REALLY did not expect the controversy. Gosh... now I know that it won't matter WHAT I say in my review. KABOOM!

Angel W 2: Yup... money is a good thing... and so is earning it.

Phyllis 1: BLOG ON! BLOG ON! BLOG ON! BLOG ON! BLOG ON!  Did I mention BLOG ON?

Kimberly W 3: You and Angel BOTH have your expirences and are sharing from the heart. That is how I read it.

Heather: Your few simple words "I love the fact that ANY Stager can voice an opinion and it will be heard." are a gift nestled in all the comments. Thank You!

Janice: It the "fine line" is fascinating if nothing else. Like I said I started seeing it as I wrote more and more. It was NOT my intent when I started writing this post.

Anonymous: Wish you felt safe enough to share your name. In light of the email you posted, I do see WHY you chose not to.

I got to admit... this is a doozie. NOT what I hoped or expected from Barb. To me, as I read I can't help but feel an underlying sadness. I can explain why... but for me it is there.

I am not going to comment on it... as I feel it speaks for itself.

I do have one question. WHAT the heck is the difference between ASP and ASPM?

(I am reading each comment in this post then writing this reply comment. Since Barb's email is so long I am doing the same.)

OK I have ONE point. EXPLAIN to all the REALTORS who after watching the PRESS last night (60 Minutes) if the press IS "getting it"?

Val 2:I gotta admit... I am stunned to. NOT what I expected. There are PLENTY of kind ASP stagers here on are. I will ALWAYS treat them and any other stager with respect... as long as it it reciprocated. Val I know you will to.

Angel ?: I do believe the first line in the email says "spread the word and my answers to the question." Whether you like it or not... that is EXACTLY what was done. Even President  Nixon had to live with and face his own words... words that were NOT "packaged" in a way that he liked.

Karen: You said it like a pro! Thank you.

Teri: Doh! Did Barb beat you to the punch? Only time will tell. QUALITY will always trump CRAP.

Dana:Remember... always let your own star shine first and britest. Others who think they are stars will burn themselves out.

Eva: I gotta go back and read watch/read The Secret. I actually have tried to MEND fences... but that email did knock some of the wind out of me. I did not expect that to appear here.

Kimberly U: You right from the heart. You allow others to have their opinion. And remember... information is power.

Phyllis 2: AMEN!

Janice 2: Ditto to your AMEN. (Oh I guess I did that already.)

Kimberly W: WE STILL LOVE YOU! :)

Audra: HEY long time no read! You is a wise one for sure.

Carol: OK your now our Dr. Phil of GREAT expressions! That one about the "hair" I just might steal that... and add a country twang when I say it.

Heather:I PROMISE YOU... I did not THINK this would be a "hot" topic. I see a trend here... Blog on Barb and blog go boom boom.

Lori:Remember this... Hell hath no fury as a stager scorned! (Please add a viscious evil laugh here for dramatic effect.)

Michelle:No matter WHAT I write I know the thing will EXPLODE! I think I'll post it then sit back on a blanket with a glass of wine and watch the show. Ooooooh. Aaaaaaah. WOW!

Neal: Sounds like reading SOME books will not qualify you for sure. NO matter what. Sound like some are just written that way.

Phyllis: Amen Amen! This is the sorry bickering I saw and hoped was over.

Isabel: We shall see. We shall see. But I would NOT hold my breath. I actually think this keeps our industry small... the bickering that is. It could EASILY be stopped. I actually hoped/hope that Barbs book was a way to create unity. THAT was something I am/was going to be looking for in the book. I guess now we really SHALL see.

Margaret: Bickering keeps us small i have said this over and over. Respect will make us all grow. But that respect MUST be mutual. There have been times in history when all a people asked was for others was to dignify them by acknowledge them. It happens between generations, between cultures, between countries, between races, between sexes, between religions and many other areas

WHY this can NOT occur in a simple industry is beyond me. HOW many times do others need to hold out the olive branch only to get a cold shoulder? THIS is the sadness. If we can not get it right HERE... on such a small scale, the there is NO CHANCE for the middle east.

Mary: The book will reveal what it reveals. But I gotta admit Barb's email will influence my reading. How can it not?

So that is it for now. Writing all my comments took MORE TIME than writing the orginal post.

THANK you all for all your comments.


Stage It Forward...


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Wow!  I thought that people at AR were supposed to be supportive and encouraging.  I am shocked at the negative and spiteful things people are writing about something you have not even seen or read yet.  It is all speculation and hurtful, nasty comments.  Craig - this is not what you state AR is about - the universal one-ness of Staging.  I am greatly disappointed.  Yes, I may be affiliated with and yes, I do have a different perspective on all this hoopla.  I actually KNOW Barb - so I do have a perspective on who she is - and she is not anything like what I am reading.  My gosh - how cruel some people are - in their words - so that they can feel better about themselves?  You might say that she asked for it by putting herself out there in writing a book, but think again.  Really think. 

For those of you that are writing the negative comments - Barb is a REAL person - and has poured her heart into this industry, and she has feelings.  I have no idea if she has taken the time to read what some of you have written, but I hope not as this is the same gossipy and nasty stuff that I thought we left behind in high school.  Whether you want to acknowledge that she has made a positive impact, and has in some way helped you in your business growth because she is able to get major exposure for our industry - whether you are an ASP or not - is up to you to admit or not.  The truth is out there.  I know there are others that make an impact, and yet she remains one of the leaders of our industry.  What I know is that if someone were writing about YOU in this manner, you would be hurt and hard pressed to be proud to be associated with those that call themselves Stagers.

As for the book - this is NOT the first book on Home Staging and how to do it.  It IS Barb's first book on the topic, and evidently many are interested in what she has to say - or else you would not have so many hits.  Staging is NOT a secret so those of you sitting in fear about how this book may give away "Secrets" of our industry - get real.  Think about the half a dozen TV shows dedicated to Staging - and all the other peripheral shows, etc.  Staging is NOT a secret - and yet doing it right matters.  What the book will do is point those that do want to start a professional (operative word) business to understand what it really entails.  You can't wake up one day and say, "I want to be a Stager" and make a go of it.  Those that have built actual businesses - that earn lots of income - know this to be true.  Whether they choose to take her course, or someone else's (and let's face it - I have seen "propaganda" from EVERY training company out there - not just - If you are a training company, you have to market to those that want to be trained!)....

As for the comments intended to tear down and not build up anyone reading them - please look at yourselves.  What is it that makes it OK to criticize and target one person?  Aren't we in our all encompassing openness at Active Rain supposed to be bigger than this - or is that just lip service?  Honestly - all the kumbaya blogs about being kind and supportive - I just don't see it here - and that really makes me pause.

I remain greatly disappointed and would like to see this blog posting represent us a professionals and not a bunch of little kids running around a play yard poking fun at someone that isn't even here!  Grow up and get back to the business of being business owners with a common goal of making our profession something to admire.  What I am reading here does not do that - let's make a change.

- Jennie

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

Failed experiments in ecumenism and social politics suggest that unity is not to be found in mass movements of like-minded people sharing common perspectives and policies. ...

Experience suggests that unity embraces the multitude of our differences, that community is often far from cozy, and that conversion does not mean changing others to our point of view but perhaps just the opposite --

weaning each and every person and institution from the arrogant exclusivism that prevents genuine conversation. ...

God comes to us, to rescue us not only from our enemies but also from our friends, not only from strangers but also from familiars, that we might see beyond these discriminating distinctions to a new way of relating.

--Sam Portaro, A Companion to the Lesser Feasts and Fasts

Blessed be that God looks upon us all with love - even when we cannot look upon each other with respect.  I agree with Jennie in her disappointment - and I don't even know "Barb".

Always be kinder than necessary  :)

Posted by Deanne Knutter (Turning Leaf Equities, LLC) over 13 years ago


Barb Schwarz IS going to be written about... this is part of her "legacy" which she writes of in her email to you and others that was posted anomalously as a comment in my last blog. Some of the things written about ANY captain of ANY industry will be good, some bad, some indifferent. This is the way of the world. THE BLOG world makes it possible for anyone to say what THEY THINK or FEEL... INSTANTLY! Blogs have EVEN given YOU a forum to express your feelings as a comment.

My original post was NOT mean, it was questioning. I shared with ALL just what I was wondering about when it came to Barb Schwarz's upcoming book. I had NOT made up my decision about her book... but when I REALLY started to think about it, I was led to a conclusion. This conclusion I did NOT share. I was NOT going speculate and pre-judge Barbs book; as THAT would no have been fair. But sharing my thought process about how I saw Barb needing to position her book is FAIR GAME for ME in MY blog. In fact, sharing your thoughts, via comments, is EVEN fair game for YOU in my blog. I do NOT delete comments... good, bad of indifferent.

The first thing you accused the AR stagers of is EXACTLY the thing that upsets them the most with Barb Schwarz and many graduates (not all) ASP and ASPMS of the Whether you chose to acknowledge it or not, there is a SNIDE indignant attitude that NO-ONE but an ASP/APSM can stage. Phyllis Parfum wrote of this in her own post yesterday. It is VERY REAL in our industry. The Universal-oneness you accuse stagers on AR of not having toward Barb is the same thing. ONENESS WILL be part of this industry when and only when all in this industry... this INCLUDES Barb Schwarz, support it. (Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that competition is NOT oneness.)

Barb is a leader. Even in this matter of ONENESS. However, ONENESS is NOT one sided.

If Barb wants this to change than SHE too needs to take a stand of ONENESS. Right now her words tell a different story. Because they do, people will continue to snipe at her. There have been times throughout history when all a people asked of others was to dignify them by acknowledging them. It happens between generations, between cultures, between countries, between races, between sexes, between religions and many other areas.

WHY this can NOT occur in a simple industry is beyond me. HOW many times do others stagers need to hold out the olive branch only to get a cold shoulder? THIS is a sad fact , because if we can not get it right HERE... on such a smaller scale, the there is NO CHANCE for Peace in places like the Middle East.

Barb will play a role in making this happen. OR not making it happen by staying the same. I actually thought this book WOULD help. That was one of the reasons why I wrote what I wrote. She IS walking a tight line. This was part of the quandary the book put her in. I even wrote "she was DAMNED if she did and DAMED if she didn't" somewhere in some comment. I do believe that. But this is also a great opportunity for her... if she sees it and if she can seize it.

However, Barbs own words in that very revealing email are like Rick Wagoner (CEO of General Motors) saying that Toyota, Ford, Daimler/Chrysler, etc can't build cars!

Barbs email does not shed a positive light on her. It reveals much of what she thinks of her non-ASP peers. HER words fuel this fire. HER words incite the negative comments that people make about her. HER words reinforce the snide attitudes (I too have personally experienced) from other ASP stagers. THIS was the negative barrier I wanted to break down. THIS was the reason I spoke of ONENESS in the industry way back in the very first Stage-It-Forward post.

Defending Barb because YOU have experienced her as a nice lady is not the same experience OTHERS have of her. (For the record the time I did meet her she was very gracious.)

Whether Barb likes it or not this is NOW an industry. An industry made of REAL PEOPLE. These people are as REAL as you remind us Barb is. However, Barbs words in that email close off possibility for ONENESS of an industry. I wish Barb could get that she is NOT just a leader of OF a company any longer. NOW she is a leader IN an industry. "Of" and "In" are 2 different things. She needs to realize this industry is made up of others. But she has to now share the industry with other leaders too. In my opinion she is thinking TOO SMALL. She holds tight to something much smaller than the possibility of what can be.

It is a fact Barb is seen as a leader in this BIGGER and GROWING INDUSTRY. And as a leader she is open to criticism... just as the leaders of our country are. Bush is bashed daily. Hillary is bashed daily. Do I like it? No. But being critical and questioning is woven into the fiber of our society. As any leader can do in any industry, if they don't like it...LEAVE the industry. But if Barb should leave... warn her on my behalf... she will be criticized for leaving too.

Stage It Forward...


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Yes bickering does make us small as individuals. I hope i did not come across as bickering because I usually don't.  Anyways, In life success is formed by each and every individual, and the same holds true for a business.  Either you have it or you don't, through an education or lack thereof, or our God given gifts and talents.  Business is business and all this comes down to is marketing and $$.  In the business world that is what it is.  And I am sure for that reason the book will have been strategically written.

I don't see the importance of initials after my name or anyones name for that matter.  This blog like many of your others was created to make people think and discuss and for us not to take things in our lives at face value.

I have not come across some of the experiences some stagers have except one.  At a local rental, I was told by the manager that I should be joining an ASP or CSP group that I should not be independant.  BAsically I was told those were the staging groups that they only involved themselves with.  I did go on to tell him that they were designations from different training programs.  From there he went on to tell me about the new division being created for the rental of furniture for staging.

Here are my true designations that no one except the one above can take away.  MF and 4ZENUF ( MOM Forever and 4 is enough)

Craig keep up the great blogs they make us think and respond

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

Goof..hey I just read a book on how to be a home stager....and I just opened my own company!!

WEW! not! I respect the way you spent probably a long time to make your business a success. It takes more than reading a book..although getting your RE license might be easier. LOL!

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 13 years ago


I know that your original blog was questioning and did not state anything outside of you were interested in the content of the book and waiting to read it to give a proper review.  You raised some questions intended to provoke responses and were not the instigator of the negative - so forgive me if my response seemed targeted that way.  But you have to see that the blog quickly downgraded from an interest to what has yet to be released to personal attacks on someone not even part of the process.  Not from you - but this is your blog.  My pointing that out was to appeal to the part of you and others that does adhere to the oneness - and the spirit of the Rain that I see written about.

The difference here is that Barb did not write on this blog and position her book and yet her supposed position, her intent, her motives, etc. - are all being judged but it's all speculation and looking for the worst.  It's all the comments and how quickly this blog of interest about a book of interest went to the dark side, starting with the person that would take an email out of context and use it to tear down someone else.  Again I go back to the WHY?  How is doing any of that helpful to anyone reading?  It quickly jumped to the school-yard bullying instead of staying above that type of mean-spirited activity. And from what I know of you based on your writings, this is NOT in the spirit of what you encourage here in the Rain.

That is what my blog addresses, and I do question the spirit in which people write things, knowing that you of all people promote the good feelings on AR.  These were not your words written - but it is your blog.  Keeping it positive is keeping it real - there are many ways to represent things - and now the blog is not even about Barb's book - it is about her motives and person, and a dumping ground for the same people that do this on other blogs.  I would like to go to the AR site without seeing this type of junkola.

It is not in the spirit of Oneness to criticize or back-stab or say negative things about someone that is not even part of the mix.  I think people can say things without having to get personal or nasty and there is the element of GRACE of Benefit of the Doubt that is missing as well with the whole "judge and jury" mentality.  And of course, I put myself out there - disagreeing with the sheeple because I do write what I believe and do come from a place of knowledge and perspective that most do not have.

By the way, the book is for new people - not those that want to feel like they should get something for free because they attended a past class.  The book is not being pushed on anyone - ASPs included.  If Stagers want to read it for free over coffee go for it.  If you took a class already - you are probably out Staging, and so probably would not use the book that is intent on sharing with someone who would like to be a Stager.  If struggling to succeed, the book might help.  If wanting to start a business - the book will be of great interest.  That is what I am expecting.

I am not defending anything other than pointing out that the people writing do NOT know her (or me or you) on a personal level to the point that they could evaluate accurately her character and intent, which is what I read above.  God forbid someone would do that to YOU or ME?  Her writing that ASPs are the only way - people could take that as her opinion, and of course she is going to be passionate about the designation she created and promote what she believes. I am sure that all the other books written on the topic tout the background and training of the person penning the book or article.  I don't get all upset - to me exposure for Staging helps us all.  Rather than get all up in arms over that one concern - why not focus on the bigger picture?  This is NOT a book about ASPs.  This is a book about Home Staging as a business, and it validates what we are all doing on a daily basis - ASP or not.

And Barb recognizes she is a big part of the industry she helped Create - that is her mission daily and her passion.  It goes well beyond - and well beyond any of most of our comprehension the amount of dedication she pours into making sure Home Staging is at the forefront of the real estate industry growth.  Again, people would not know that unless they know her - and my saying it may or may not make anyone believe it, but I have at least spent a lot of time with her well beyond the classroom or office, so I am qualified to offer an opinion.

Anyway, I imagine this will blow over as other things of this nature and those that want to continue to feed off negativity will post things that have no helpful benefit.  I for one would like to get back to the helpful and constructive blogs of the past and future.

As always, I do appreciate your role on AR and the thought-provoking blogs you post. 

- Jennie

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

Craig - Being a snake charmer is a good thing! You put the basket in front of you with the snake in it...take the lid off, and ward off attacks with the lovely sounds of your magical flute! It is a delight to observe.

cobra snake charmer

Jennie - we are not looking for the is handed to us, in our faces. Just as Isabel stated; (At a local rental, I was told by the manager that I should be joining an ASP or CSP group that I should not be independent.  Basically I was told those were the staging groups that they only involved themselves with.  I did go on to tell him that they were designations from different training programs) businesses are being told lies about the staging industry and that hurts everyone and the future of the industry. Guru's are made by the people, not self-made. You are the one that brings the anger to this post, not the other way around. Try to move on. In my opinion, all you needed to add was, in your own words... By the way, the book is for new people - not those that want to feel like they should get something for free because they attended a past class.  The book is not being pushed on anyone - ASPs included.  If Stagers want to read it for free over coffee go for it.  If you took a class already - you are probably out Staging, and so probably would not use the book that is intent on sharing with someone who would like to be a Stager.  If struggling to succeed, the book might help.  If wanting to start a business - the book will be of great interest.  That is what I am expecting.

Wow, reading this post IS like reading a book! 



Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago
Looking forward to your actual book review, Craig.  I don't believe it is available in Canada yet.
Posted by Sandi Gerrard over 13 years ago

Well, Sharon, you may perceive things differently than the intent - I am not angry at all.  Disappointed, Yes. Please do not box me in as again you don't really KNOW me - and my spirit is not one of being angry at all - that is just not who I am.  There is a big difference - and I know I put myself out on a limb by speaking up with an opposing viewpoint.  This should not make me a target of remarks.  I kept mine really general on purpose - and deserve the same respect.  

Like you, I also will put things for people to think about out there in print because people need to think about what they do write.  I think the original purpose of the blog Craig posted was good - but then to have so many jump at the chance to air dirt and discuss someone as if they are not a real person is really sad . . . instead of having the camaraderie and universal spirit of kindness that so many write about here at AR.

With the rental store person and suggesting getting designations - do you know how many times I heard "Are you a designer" when I was first Staging?  Did I then attack all the designers and decorators out there or feel badly because this person suggested I be one in order to succeed?  No - it is counterproductive to what I wanted to achieve which was to help educate sellers about the benefits of Staging.  I made choices for myself that I felt were best, and I don't go around judging others for what they do or don't do.  What I look for is what can I learn from what others share that is positive and helpful to me?  In this case I have to say, not much. 

My hope is that this blog can return to the original intent which was to wonder about a book coming out - and when it does hit the stores, and people read it, they can weigh in on their imressions and write from an educated viewpoint, and I hope that my viewpoint will be valued as much as the next AR Member, whether or not I am an ASP.

- Jennie

Posted by Jennie Norris, Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource, (Sensational Home Staging) over 13 years ago
Jennie - your loyalty is commendable.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago
I am not an ASP but I will read the book eventually - I like reading everyone's info & find that I can learn from them all.
Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 13 years ago

Wow! It would be great to see the same passion for a topic that was positive and productive. Like how can we all raise the bar a little higher? How can we make each other better? What can we share with each other that another may find helpful? What a waste of time and energy throwing out inuendos and accusations. I don't care what your designation is or isn't but I do care that if you are going to call yourself a Stager that you act with honor and integrity. It will serve us all as the perception of what staging "is" and what stagers "are" becomes prevalent in mainstream America. Let's focus on making that perception a positive one because one thing I am sure we can agree on is that other people's perception becomes our reality. "There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that it behooves all of us to be kind to the rest of us." I don't remember who said that but I feel like it fits the situation. Can we move on to more productive topics now? This is truly a huge waste of all our time. Read it ,don't read it. Really, in the big picture what difference does it make? " Work hard, do a good job, shut up and go home!"

Posted by Trish Pachak, ASP Master - Denver, Colorado (We Stage Colorado- Colorado's Premier Staging Experts) over 13 years ago

There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that it behooves all of us to be kind to the rest of us.

Trish, that is priceless! 

Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago


I mentioed you in my post today.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 13 years ago
That is quite the comment thread. You stagers scare the hell out of me!!!!
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago





Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
passionate is more like it not scary.... welcome to the birth of an industry.. scary, loud, painful but in the end smiling and wanting to do it all over again...
Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago


Blog Boy (Broker Bryant) sent this post to me via an email. He wanted me to see what scared him. I see...

And gee...A cat has my tongue :) 


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 13 years ago

Karen you said it .... PERFECTLY!

Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago


Even though people can read a book and go about staing their homes, there are few that will actually follow through. 

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) over 13 years ago
Hi Craig - A light moment here:  When I first read the title of your post I thought "target" was referring to "Target Stores" -- do we love to shop!  (smile)
Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago

Clearly agents have been staging homes since way before staging came to be.  Barb was an agent and so staged homes, as we all did and do, to some extent.  No one invented decluttering and making your house look as good as possible.

I can see someone saying they invented the BUSINESS of staging as a separate cost to the seller and a business opportunity.  I can even see someone saying they developed the Art of Staging.  But no one invented staging. 

Here's a funny for you.  As we were pounded in the ASP class that the word Staging was trademarked, I was also told that the word Realtor was generic  and a common use term used for ALL agents :)  LOL.  So much for honoring trademark issues.

Posted by ARDELL DellaLoggia (Better Properties Seattle ) over 13 years ago


I can't believe that you wrote that because when I read the blog title for the first time, I, too, thought it was about Target (stores) selling the book!  I guess that goes to show that, quite often, we read in such a hurry that  we only see 'key words'!



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

There will always be 'Barb Schwarts' in any industry. Unfortunately the onus is on us 'other' stagers to educate Real Estate Agents and also Clients to the fact that just because you have some initials on the end of your name that  doesn't make you competent. Even if there is a governing body to enforce the practices of that profession. (Which we all know Staging doesn't have) There are many 'professionals' in many different industries with initials following their names that have malpractice lawsuits against them. The message is Buyer Beware

Education is the key!

On a lighter note: LMAO JIm Jones! I was thinking something similar.

OOps, Sorry seem to have gotten a bit off target. :P

Posted by Kathy Somers, Stage it First Home Staging (Stage it First) over 13 years ago

Am I the only person who thought that "Barb's" letter was written by someone else, tongue in cheek??!!

As I was reading it, I was chuckling to myself that someone was impersonating her extremism.  Then I scrolled down reading everyone's comments, and NO ONE thought it was a joke but me.  

If this is real, this IS scary!


Posted by Donna Dazzo, Home Stager in the Hamptons & New York (Designed to Appeal, LLC) over 13 years ago


I wanted to say thank-you for your post (including Barb Schwarz's letter in response), your thoughts, and the discussions that have come about because of it. You are obviously very passionate about the ASP designation stigma, and/or the negative feelings that you have/are receiving from some ASP's. 

(UH-OH.....evil twin is about to speak)

Some people are stating that Barb MUST do this because of BRANDING know, negate other designations  and make them out to be inferior-----ensure SHE writes the BOOK...because she is the ONLY ONE WHO COULD POSSIBLY DO IT RIGHT.......state that no other Stager could POSSIBLY do the job like an ASP. 

me......I call it   TACKY and SElf-RIGHTEOUS...(bordering cult-like)..

love DANE CALDWELL'S comment---"direct line to GOD"

(By the way, don't send me hate mail.. I'm not trying to put any ASP's down...I know  a few, and they're great people.)

I'm back....sorry...I can help just comes out of me sometimes.

But I really do feel we should leave it alone, and, you know, be the "better person"... um...walk away from this type of discrimination and not let it get to us. We are all Staging for the right reasons....and like yourself, I believe in ONENESS.

Julia Fedak, CSP----and likes many stagers of many designations



Posted by Julia Fedak, IRIS, CSP (Platinum Home Designs ) over 13 years ago

I have to admit that after about the tenth comment, I stopped reading them and just scrolled down to add my "two cents."  The woman you mention has greatly intimidated many very talented and ambitious people.  I am not afraid to speak my mind about the programs and affiliations the ASP community offers.  This woman has created a mega empire, but yet if you search the main site for individual stagers in various parts of the country you will see that if they actually have a web site 99% of them are templates and they are all using the same photos.  This is not what home staging is about.  I do offer training but to very few people and only in my area of the country.  I mentor them and actually help them with their first few projects.  I continually provide support to them and send any new versions of my manual to them for free!  I carefully screen each potential student.  Not everyone has what it takes.  The ASP company/site will accept anyone willing to shell out the money.  I know many upset people.  Have you ever read the release form you have to sign before taking the course?  It's almost unconstitutional!

I will not buy her new book.  Curiosity prompted me to read the first one but I gained no valuable information and it was similar to an infomercial for taking her training.  She also seemed excessively adament that she invented this concept.  Let's see what kind of backlash I get from this post!

Posted by Anne Francis (Tampa Bay Home Stagers) over 13 years ago
Anne, I would love to hear about your successes and your training.  Mentoring is a privilege when working with our students - we get so much from it, too.  As BNI says, Givers Gain.
Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago