Nairn Friemann
Staging Consultant, Trainer, Mentor

Located In: New York, NY

Servicing: Manhattan, Long Island, The Hamptons, Brooklyn, Westchester, Scarsdale, Rye, Yonkers, White Plains

Additional Services: Staging Training, Staging to Live, Seniors in Transition, Downsizing, Professional Organizing, Consulting, Photo shoot styling

Phone: 212 308 4642
Cell: 917 952 4669

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CSP® Mentor CSP® Masters

As one of New York's top staging professionals and president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc. I have collaborated with real estate agents and homeowners on the sale of over $700 million in real estate. I have been honored to receive the RESA 2012 Professional Stager of the Year Award and the Certified Staging Professionals 2011 President's Award.

My work has been featured on the CBS Early Show, Business Week,CNN, Dow Jones Market Watch and NYC Open House and in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, New York Spaces,New York Home, Manhattan Living, The Real Deal,the Greenwich Time, the Stamford Advocate and Staging for Dummies.

Our specialty is transforming the ordinary to extraordinary, but our focus is always on results - achieving a quick and profitable sale for our clients! We offer a full menu of home staging services and customized action plans to support each client's budget and needs. Our clients call us magicians and miracle workers, but the magic and miracles happen because of our talent, professional training, extensive experience and high standards.

One of my showcasing specialties is floral design, which I believe should be an essential component of staging. I integrate my floral design training and event staging experience in my staging to create wow effects and fabulous photo shoot styling.

While living in Montreal, I earned an MBA and was an award-winning university lecturer in Business Management at Concordia University. As a CSP trainer, I am now able to combine my love for staging and teaching.

I am proud to be a member of Christine Rae's team of exceptional trainers and strongly believe that CSP offers the best value home staging training in the industry.

Home Sellers Beware! What your Agent Isn’t Telling You about Home Staging Can Cost You Tens of Thousands of Dollars and Even More!

As one of New York City’s top stagers and president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., I have collaborated with sellers and agents on the staging and marketing of over $700 million in real estate. I believe passionately that every property, regardless of location, size or price point, benefits from some degree of staging. After all, staging, simply stated, is the process of preparing a property for sale. Depending on the condition of the property, this can include editing, cleaning and window washing, painting, removal of carpeting, floor work, repairs, staging and showcasing with the homeowners’ furnishings and/or rental or newly purchased items.

It continues to amaze me that some agents still don’t fully understand the importance of staging all their properties – surely it’s their responsibility to their clients to represent their best financial interests. And yet many still don’t even bring up the topic of staging because:

– they are fearful of upsetting their clients,
– they don’t know how or when to introduce the topic of staging
– they truly don’t understand the benefits of staging and the costs of not staging

Sorry, but no more excuses! Fear or a lack of understanding is just not an acceptable reason for not addressing important staging issues with home sellers. Agents need to stop thinking about staging as a “negative” topic. Of course if agents present staging in a negative way,sellers are going to react accordingly. Instead, we recommend that staging is introduced as an integral part of a winning marketing strategy. Agents can offer their clients a professional staging consultation with their Certified Staging Professional as a value added service. This is the best way for an agent to introduce staging to their clients. We are the experts and we understand that staging is not an expense but the best short-term investment a home seller can make.

We know that staging works, but the best indicators are proven when an unstaged listing has lingered for months without selling. The agent loses the listing for lack of success, which is unfortunate for the agent, of course. But what is even more unfortunate is the significant financial loss suffered by the home seller. Monthly carrying costs for mortgages, taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc. are a burden for most homeowners. When a property doesn’t sell these are truly expenses and represent significant losses in the tens of thousands of dollars. And this does not even include the ramifications of the emotional distress!

Next the seller signs with a new agent, who insists that the only way they can sell quickly and for top dollar is to “stage.” Just think about the process in terms of Economic Theory 101. An entrepreneur is about to launch a new product into a highly competitive market, but the product is damaged and the packaging is dated and unattractive. What is the only way that product will sell (if at all)?….at a DISCOUNT of course. And for home owners selling their most valuable asset, this discount, compounded with increased carrying costs, represents significant financial loss that they will never be able to earn back. Savvy agents won’t risk this because they know they should do what is best for all their clients. And this includes small and large properties,owner occupied and vacant, high-end and less expensive ones too, because every seller deserves the opportunity to sell for top dollar as quickly as possible.

Here are just three examples of our recent success stories:

Upper West side $4 Million, owner-occupied 3-bedroom Condo. The property wasn’t getting a positive response from buyers in spite of great location and move-in condition, because the furnishings were “tired” and the furniture layout was not optimal. The Brown Harris agent advised the sellers to invest in staging to upgrade the furnishings and appeal of the apt. We recommended editing some of the current furnishings and staged with a combination of some rental furnishings and some additional new, contemporary higher-end purchases. When the apartment went back on the market, the first people who saw it, bought it!

Upper West side $1.340 Million, 2-bedroom, owner-occupied co-op had not sold. When Deanna Kory of Corcoran took over the listing, she advised the sellers to invest in staging. We worked with the family to purchase some new living room and dining room furnishings and showcased their apartment on a small budget. At the first open house, just four days after going to market, the co-op sold!

Sutton Place $1.1 Million, 2-bedroom, vacant co-op had lingered for 6 months without a sale. Mary Ann Fusco of Douglas Elliman took over the listing and brought us in to stage. We recommended painting, removal of some of the existing furnishings and a short-term investment in rental furnishings. The sellers agreed and we staged and showcased the freshly painted apartment, which sold in 2 weeks with multiple offers.

Staging works. Never before have presentation and condition been as important to the sale of real estate as they are today. Every home seller deserves to get the best marketing advice for the sale of their most valuable asset and the marketing process needs to begin with a comprehensive and thorough home staging consultation.

If your agent is not advising you to home stage your apartment to achieve a profitable and quick sale (and in some cases to sell at all) they are not saving you money. They are costing you tens of thousands of dollars, and maybe even more!

For more information about my services, please visit or contact me at If you are interested in becoming a professional home stager, I am a senior instructor for the Certified Staging Professionals 3-day program in the U.S, and Canada. I also share my 10-step signature system for “Mastering the Art of Difficult Conversations with Home Sellers” in monthly CSP webinars. For more information call 1-888-Staging or request a free INFO package.

Five Common Costly Mistakes Made by Untrained Home Staging Consultants

Selling a home is never easy.However, the challenges today seem overwhelming to most sellers.The main criteria for selling real estate have always been location, size, and price but never before have presentation and condition been as important as they are today. 95% of buyers are shopping first on the Internet and “driving-by” properties in a “click.” Without a doubt, appealing website photos are the key to attracting buyer traffic. Visiting the property, buyers form first and lasting impressions within seconds. 90% of the population cannot visualize and base their judgments solely on what they see and how they feel, and research is proving that emotions play a much larger part of the decision making process than previously assumed.

In this tough market, buyers are also demanding and getting best value, so properties that are in good condition sell faster and for money. According to Barbara Corcoran, for every $1 a home seller does not invest in condition work, a buyer will deduct at least $3. Most buyers today are putting their full investment into the purchase price of the home and don’t have extra money for any major work. In addition, the majority of buyers do not have the time or the desire for renovation.

As professional home stagers, we cannot influence location, size and price factors. Our role is to collaborate with agents and home sellers to prepare properties for the marketplace to sell for top dollar as quickly as possible. This is impossible without thorough attention to condition issues and enhanced presentation. A successful staging process begins with a professional analytical consultation that includes specific recommendations for the homeowner. It is our responsibility not only to tell the seller what they need to do but also to make sure they understand the importance of staging and to motivate them to follow through with the recommendations. Otherwise, they will not achieve their objectives of selling quickly and for top dollar. In fact they may not be able to sell at all.

With so much at stake for home sellers, the staging consultation is critical to the preparation and marketing of the property. The expert advice trained staging consultants provide has significant financial importance. That is why real estate agents and home sellers should invest in trained professional home staging consultants. Unfortunately, many “stagers” are not trained and make serious mistakes that can be extremely costly to the home sellers. When the staging process is ineffective this can lead to longer time on the market, increased carrying costs for the seller, reduced selling price and increased stress. These are all extremely costly consequences for a home seller.

Here are five common costly mistakes made by untrained staging consultants:

1) They give away free consultations:
My view of this is “you get what you pay for.” Trained professional stagers understand the critical importance of the consultation as the first step in the staging process. They provide comprehensive room-by-room assessments and thorough, prioritized recommendations. They counsel, explain and motivate homeowners to invest in what needs to be done. The consultation should be value-rich.

Free consultations are generally “meet and greet” with some general information about the benefits of staging. They are superficial and fail to capitalize on this opportunity to address all the important staging issues of the property. In many cases the lack of attention to detail and other omissions can lead to ineffective staging, longer time on the market and reduced selling prices.

2) They provide decorating advice versus marketing strategy:
Trained professional stagers know that staging is not decorating – it’s marketing. A room can be beautifully decorated, but fail from a staging perspective. Our focus is on showcasing the best features of the property, making rooms look as bright and spacious as possible and creating buyer appeal and wow impact. Our work is strategic, always considering the buyers’ preferences and the camera’s eye. Even if someone is a talented decorator, they may not be qualified to give you professional staging advice.

3) They perform check-list style assessments but don’t analyze and prioritize recommendations.
This really demonstrates the level of expertise of your consultant. The room- by-room assessment is just the beginning – it is simply information gathering. Identifying the key strengths of the property, and analyzing and prioritizing recommendations in respect to market trends, buyers’ wish lists, and budget issues provides the homeowner with a clear understanding of not only what has to be done but why these actions are so important. This expert consulting advice helps sellers make the best financial decisions.

4) They don’t know how to handle sensitive issues so avoid them.
Mastering the art of difficult conversations with home sellers is a key skill for professional home stagers. We are trained to address sensitive issues with home sellers and understand that it is imperative for us to do so. One strong negative impression can override a list of positive factors and prevent a sale. These sensitive issues can include odors, cleanliness problems, unattractive and dated décor, clutter, an abundance of religious items, provocative art, etc. A lack of understanding and or skill in handling these issues is not an excuse and avoiding them can be a very costly mistake.

5) They fail to motivate the client with an action plan.
Professional home stagers know that it is not enough just to tell home sellers what they need to do. The true test of an effective consultation is that the consultant has been able to motivate the sellers to follow through with the recommendations. Trained staging consultants understand that the staging recommendations may seem overwhelming to their clients, but by outlining a feasible action plan, they will inspire confidence and demonstrate their ability to help with some or all of the process. Trained professional home stagers are serious business owners who are experts at consulting, design planning, problem solving, project management and showcasing. A home seller is far more likely to get the best advice, follow through with the necessary staging process and succeed at selling faster for top dollar if they invest in a consultation with a trained staging professional.

Networking Opportunities for CSP Alumni

When considering a new career in home staging, a comparison of numerous professional training options can seem overwhelming. To make the choice far simpler, I highly recommend comparing value vs price. No other home staging training in the industry provides the quality of trainers, classroom experience, resources, continuing ed learning and after training support as Certified Staging Professionals. Just one reason to invest in a program with classroom and hands-on staging training is the benefit of meeting and learning from and with other people vs studying alone at home. The learning experience is heightened and so is the enjoyment. In our CSP classes, trainees become instant colleagues and camaraderie abounds. Many become friends and collaborate on staging projects. CSP is renowned for its staging mentorship program and many of our CSPs receive invaluable experience working and staying connected with other CSP stagers.

I recently hosted a mentoring day in New York City for alumni from my Brookdale College, Purchase College and NYC classes. We spent time at Churchill Furniture Rental, meeting the reps, reviewing the inventory and discussing vacant staging issues. Then we did a tour of the NYC flower market and I introduced them to my wholesalers. We finished up with a late lunch and lots of Q + A about staging.

As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc.,I have collaborated with agents and homeowners on the staging and sale of over $700 million in real estate. I was honored to win the Real Estate Staging Association’s 2012 Pro Stager of the Year Award for North America. I am so pleased to share my diverse experience with all my trainees. In addition to the valuable learning experience, the CSPs all told me how much they enjoyed meeting these other stagers from Connecticut, New Jersey and NYC and how they planned to stay connected.

CSP Alumni Enjoy Mentoring Day and NYC Flower Market

“Yesterday was fabulous. The information and the camaraderie were flowing like a spring. Thank you for your generosity and good will. You continue to be an inspiration to me and others. I loved being with other stagers. They were inspiring and fun people. Thank you again. I loved every moment of the day.”

Dolores Curley

“I wanted to again thank you for hosting and coordinating your mentoring day last week. It is a sign of a true professional when you take the time out of your busy day to mentor folks just starting in the business. I appreciate the local insights you provided as well as the chance to make new acquaintances and network.”

Lori Ann Cerullo

“Thank you for setting up the wonderful Staging and networking day! Very fulfilling- In addition, great to meet so many talented people.”

Marie-Elena Waldrip

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