Repetition of History: Staging Will Save and Make You Money
As time passes, it’s always good to look back, analyze what we learned from current accomplishments, past experiences and even history, to evaluate if it will help us move forward in our goals. With economists around the globe still spewing doom and gloom, real estate practioners are in a particularly difficult place with prices dropping, consumer belief wavering and the economy tottering, yet they play a pivotal role in economic recovery. Real estate is still the single largest investment most people make in their lives, estimated to be at least 65% of a person’s total wealth. Challenges abound today in selling to traditional buyers, so as a result real estate professionals are investing time in education, re tooling their business and marketing plans and looking for ways to increase their marketing edge. At CSP® International we believe staging is a powerful marketing tool which today is more viable than ever. Even though some people still think staging is an optional fad or trend for selling property, statistics show otherwise. RIS-Media conducted a survey asking “does staging make a difference to selling property?” 93% of respondents said yes! Perception counts! If you are not using this powerful tool to help your business grow, consider these facts and review this article.
Staging property is not a new idea… it evolved back in the 80’s when mortgage rates hit 21%. Surprised? Staging started in bad economic times? From 1970 – 1985 there wasn’t a staging industry. Some real estate practioners “helped” their client by gently suggesting decluttering, repairs and furniture arranging. From 1986 – 2000, influenced by Hollywood, movie prop assistants and other things which were happening in California, more real estate professionals started “helping” clients and the word staging started to be applied to the process. During this period of high interest rates buyers put their foot down and said “we are not interested in buying tired, worn out properties, trading our old carpet for someone else’s, we don’t want starter homes or ’fixer uppers’ in general”.
Between 2001 -2008 the true formation of the staging industry occurred. The economy was great, interest rates were low, lots of buyers, investors, entrepreneurs and onslaught reality TV shows all converged to create a paradigm shift of awareness and the birthing of an industry quietly happened. Property was merchandised just like any other commodity; buyers were happy to pay more money for move-in ready properties. The acceptance and expectation levels which staging brought to the process of selling during this time will never go away. Savvy stagers marketed to savvy real estate professionals. The symbiotic relationship resulted in great business, great income and an unparalleled growth in reputation and referrals. The challenge of those prosperous times was that many people started a business when the going was easy; now times are more challenging… and it’s really a time for the tough to get going. When bombarded with doom and gloom forecasts every moment, “chicken little syndrome” is easy to adopt for sure. It’s easy to give up…staying in business is the challenge, those who can adapt, adopt new trends and make things happen will be greatly rewarded when the turn- around happens – and history tells us it will – it always does!
What CSP International™ is doing!
The economy crash in late 2008 couldn’t stop our plans! In January 2009 we opened the 4000sf CSP International™ Business Training Academy in St. Catharines, Ontario; a continuing education centre for real estate professionals, staging consultants and business owners. We realize in tight times people still need service, but the service needs to be more specialized. We engaged subject matter experts in a variety of pertinent subjects, built an outstanding team of instructors across North America so business people can acquire the specialized skills necessary to do business in today’s economic climate. For example, the business of GREEN is projected to be a $500 billion industry by the end of 2012 so it is vitally important for realtors, stagers, investors and business owners to ensure a component of green marketing, knowledge and skills is part of their business and marketing plans. Also February 09 we opened a division of CSP in Australia… a country which wasn’t staging
Also in January 2011 CSP International™ Academy launched the International Masters program – open to ALL Stagers across the world. The simple message to consumer being education is important so I can bring you the latest knowledge and skills available. We also responded to a missing link in the industry – that of educating agents how to work with stagers. A real estate professional survey we conducted in 2007 08 and 09 when we learned 98% of real estate professionals believe staging is a crucial step in the process of selling property but less than 20% had done anything about it. Lack of knowledge and know-how of process were cited as the main reasons, so in May 2012 CSP Elite and CSP Elite affiliate status will again be available to CSP graduates and real estate professionals who want to take their business to the next level. See more here www.stagingtraining.com
We continue to teach stagers how vitally important it is to bring incomparable savings to the customer as well as build specialty skill sets to mirror those of the real estate people they work with, (vacant, seniors, diversity, color, luxury, commercial, staging for living and the crucially important green/energy awareness for instance).
Research tells us great photos matter because 93% of buyers start their search on the internet, and even though staging evolved from real estate not decorating, it is crucially important to apply the coveted CSP® proprietary design process for building a three dimensional room to provide great photos to real estate practioners. Knowing how to bring a competitive edge to your staging work as well as a process to work in collaboration with agents will help turn this economy around.