Zoom Out to Zoom In

Like the click and drag of my mouse on a digital map, it was time to take wide view from above at the real estate industry and at the local geographic market to assess how my business was relevant. So, I did just that. I met with one of the nation’s top staging experts whom I’d gotten to know and naturally gelled with via video courses and social media. That coaching session marked the beginning of a great friendship, but also signified the focus that was essential to best serve the audience I had been targeting and had worked with previously.  


Recognizing that greater than 70% of homes are Occupied when they hit the market was key in my decision to phase out of the Vacancy Staging service part of my business and focus on this much underserved area. Vacant Staging services are also the most expensive as they require rental of furniture and accessories in order for the prospective buyer to envision themselves in the space.


I had an “ah ha” moment driving home from the coaching session I had with my new friend, Bobbie McGrath of Successful Staging. That day with her was so enlightening…my notebook is dog-eared, and coffee stained from the numerous times I’ve referred to her suggestions, phrases, illustrations, industry secrets and buzzwords. Sadly, I couldn’t take her up on her invite to reflect on our time together overlooking her back patio over a glass of wine. What a treasure Bobbie is to our industry. One of the kindest, most generous people I’ve met in a very long time.


Vacant Staging projects: the blank slate of empty homes, (often freshly painted and newly remodeled) had been a dream come true when entering the world of staging. However, it wasn’t the most fulfilling in terms of creative problem solving. I wasn’t challenged with working with what people already owned, making it look thousands of dollars better, bigger perhaps. Many have the ability to shop for goods to fill a space, but it takes a legitimate and experienced stager to know how to edit one’s furnishings to the style of the home, the lifestyle of the perspective demographic/buyer and suggest items to pre-pack for the best listing photos! 


Helping sellers and agents earn the highest return on the investment in a property is most important and serves our community in ways in which we all benefit. I love this city I grew up in and I want to see it thrive. Supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs and attracting newcomers to the area shouldn't be hard and can be fun, yes?


Consultations and Occupied Staging is where I’m zooming in, re-focusing my attention. If you should require Vacant Staging, please contact me because I know the best in the area!


I look forward to assisting you with your next project! Let's zoom in together!

The Power of Partnerships

We've all heard the cliche's and buzzwords promoting collaboration...."None of us is as smart as all of us." --Ken Blanchard, "It takes two flints to make a fire." --Louisa May Alcott. These types of quotes were tossed about in my former corporate setting as much as I utter the words "coffee, color and storage unit" these days. I loved and embraced the concept of collaboration at both paint companies I worked within. In both organizations I was assigned to the marketing arms of the business, which obviously supports sales but with my technical experience, I was pulled that direction often for development and creative input. I craved the diversity of the people and work/challenges. This collaborative interaction was where I thrived. We made mad progress. And when I met with my fellow color marketing colleagues for future forecasts....don't even get me started on what a high that was. Oh, the way the mind works when you know you are with your tribe....you begin innovating...solving world peace, curing cancer, well, at least figuring out that sock/dryer dilemma. You have to be in the room to experience it firsthand to believe it. Trust me on this. 

Fast forward to entrepreneurship where one is an island (seemingly). One. Single. Lonely little being. Don't judge just yet. This is a wonderful place at this juncture in my world. It's fresh, it's challenging. It's rewarding in the purist sense when its time to reflect on a project and realize A-Z - all you. BUT, there's Power in Partnerships that is beyond measure. Partners (by my definition) can be one's favorite second-hand furniture vendor, favorite moving company that you can count on with 2-days notice, perhaps a hair stylist that makes sure you look your best (you are your brand after all). As a residential home stager, the key partners are realtors, builders, investors/flippers, and mortgage bankers. There are many more, but this is usually one's first tier. It can be tough to nail down those partners and to learn who's really in for the long haul. 

This past week I wrapped up a staging project that almost wasn't if it weren't for the persistence and positive attitude of a realtor and friend. THIS is the partner you want with you. The one that understands the value you bring and goes the extra mile to make sure you are engaged even when it looks like budget will be all fixer up and none left for staging. This is the partner that while you are recovering from surgery sends you photos to approve, performs the heavy lifting (literally) and carpools you to and from the property for the final propping the day before photoshoot!  

Owning your own small business is not for the uninspired. If you don't have employees or only have contract or part time help, it can be maddening especially if you come from an environment of open workspaces and "teams". I find getting out of the home office and to a public / wi-fi friendly space like a coffee shop or cafe' is so refreshing. Make appointments with your clients, vendors, adjacencies at least 2-3 times a week if you can.  You know you need to anyway. Nurture those that "get it" (by the way, you can curate that list as an entrepreneur rather than it being dictated to you).

And definitely let your peeps, your partners in crime, your go-to's know how much you appreciate them.