Riding the Waves of Uncertain Times in Your Business

It’s such an uncertain time, this all has been unprecedented in our lifetimes. We are worried about our families, our businesses and our world. We are all under extreme amounts of stress.

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As business owners, it is easy to get pulled down by all this, to not know what the right way is to turn, to get stuck in a feeling of inertia.  We have found that it helps to take a step back, pause and look at the market, future trends and reinvent your business for the future. It is what has kept us in business all these years.

 

As a home stager and interior designer, who has had a successful business for almost two decades, I have learned how to navigate the ups and downs of the economy, to keep my business going strong. I have found that the combination of Home Staging and Interior Design can balance each other out, depending on what the economy is doing. In slow economies I have found that people have to get as much money as they can, in a highly competitive buyer’s market, so Home Staging is mandatory. In a booming economy, both Home Staging and Interior Design flourish, as people buy new homes and put money into redecorating their current homes.   Now we are faced with lockdowns, an election year and an uncertain economy, so how do we prepare for what might be coming next?

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During uncertain times people become more unpredictable and less decisive​, they seek leadership. Do whatever you can to provide them with certainty. ​To create more certainty, take your presentation and materials to the next level. Organize your photos for quick sending​. Create a document that details your process and fees, why choose you in a beautiful document with photos of your work.  Customers want more proof you are the right person for the job, give them the proof. If you are new to the business and don’t have a portfolio, create one with photos of your own space. Go to a friend’s house and redesign their space and take before and after photos. You don’t have to disclose it’s from your own home or your friend’s, you just say here is a living room I did.  If you have been in the business, get testimonials, from past clients, put them in your marketing pieces.

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How can you meet your market where it’s at?

The fastest way to close a client is to know their budget and needs and develop a plan of what can be included to meet it if possible.

How can you meet your client where they’re at if you can’t go out? Think how you can turn your business virtual. Virtual consultations are easy to do on Zoom or Facetime. Vacant staging can still be done if handled in a safe way, following restrictions.

 

Hand Drawing Creative Kitchen Interior. Architecture And Design

Who will be your likely Clients and what types of projects will they need. (Here are our predictions on what might be ahead.)

 

  • Investors who want design boards for their flip​  project management for their flips
  • Homeowners wanting to redo an area or two
  • Redesign/ New furniture purchases
  • Color consults including exterior
  •  Seasonal decorating
  • Virtual design boards based off photos
  • Will see a trend in Home offices and new, smaller commercial offices
  • Will see a trend in needing autonomous room design for family members (and roommates!) who need to move back in to get back on their feet. Live, work, sleep spaces.
  • Air Bnb’s will recover and return as people need more affordable housing and homeowners need more cash​​
  • agents (likely paying for consults)
  • Sellers wanting minimum rooms and less is more (over the last years design has shifted to adding layers. With people wanting more budget friendly, design will likely shift back to less is more)
  • Investors - flippers will have more opportunities and come back into the market space. They will want easy to work with designers and stagers, predictable costs they can work into their spreadsheets, perks, volume discounts, hands off
  • Developers will need a model staged for new residential communities and new apartment complexes
  • Mini flip partner for agents wanting an out of the box listing approach. Many agents do this already

 

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The most important thing is to stay calm and moving forward. Please, if you have been part of our program, reach out to your coach for a chat, to help you get the support you need. Think outside the box for new ideas to get your business out there and most importantly, don’t give up hope. In the most extreme circumstances, I have found, that hope can see you through.

The Academy of Home Staging & Design (1)

 

7 Amazing Accessorizing Tips

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Accessories bring a room together making it look polished, comfortable and well styled. Well-appointed accessories can make an ordinary room extraordinary. Taking care to arrange a home’s accessories is an essential part of interior design, giving a room an exclamation point, or finished look. 

Here are seven principles for arranging home accessories to add style, design elements, and a finishing touch to any room.

1. Color

Accessories can be any number of objects in a room. From accent pillows, a vase, or trio of vases, sculpture or architectural pieces, many items qualify as accessories, so there needs to be some unifying element to prevent the space from looking random or haphazard. A common color scheme can help group all the varying elements together. Choose up to three complementary colors and use them to tie in all of the accessories.

2. Asymmetrical Balance

Asymmetrical balance can create more interest, especially if there are only a few items or pairs of accessories, like candlesticks, to work with. Artwork is a common complement to a room’s focal point (think a painting over a fireplace mantle), but it doesn’t always have to be centered. Offsetting an appropriate sized piece of artwork to one side opens up the opposite side for other elements like tall candlesticks or tall vases of flowers to create an asymmetrical vignette. 

3. Accessorizing in Layers

Layering multiple groupings of the same element creates depth. Multiple vases of different heights in the same color scheme, multiple heights of decorative candlesticks, and multiple sizes of framed black and white photos are just some examples of layering elements. Once you’ve created a layered focal point or space, adding smaller complimentary elements among the layered pieces can achieve even more depth.

4. Vary Heights

When decorating a space, a great design will create a flow the eye will follow. If elements are too similar or symmetrical, the eye will gloss right over them, not seeing the added interest they bring to an area. Create movement by varying the heights and sizes as well as the arrangement and flow of all designer pieces in a vignette.

5. Group Accessories

Accessories that are similar in style can be grouped together to increase impact. An example of grouped accessories might include a vase of fall colored flowers, a bowl of pine cones, and a dark bronze wall sconce or a collection of vintage leather bound books.

6. Mix Textures and Materials

Using accessories that are too similar, or are made from the same materials, such as all wood, or all crystal, or all rustic metals, diminishes their impact. Mix and match metals, solid fabrics, patterns, textures, and finishes to keep a space interesting but cohesive. Pair opposites such as soft with hard, round with angles, color with neutrals and smooth with textured for more impact.

7. Spotlighting

Literally spotlighting an element enhances a room’s focal point. Adding directed overhead lighting over a painting would draw more attention to your carefully designed vignette.

Accessorizing a room is one of the most important aspects of a great interior design. If you implement these seven principles, you will design a beautiful and unique space and create a polished and finished space.

Have a flair for design? Wish you could be designing interiors for a living?

Click here to learn more about how you can be professionally designing interiors in a marketplace with an abundance of clients. Our course is fast, affordable and the most hands-on in the industry.

The Academy of Home Staging and Design

“In Less Than a Week,

We Can Change Your Life”

 

What’s Hot and What’s Not in 2020

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We are always excited to see predictions for the new design trends for the coming year.  Everyone from magazines, to paint companies, have an opinion as to what will be in vogue. Some trends from the preceding years, turn out to be impractical (white kitchens) and we are glad to see their demise. Here are some trends that seemed to be agreed on:

As we become more and more aware of preserving the world around us, many experts are predicting sustainability will becoming a focus with natural woods, bringing the outdoors in as design elements,  Recycled materials will be used everywhere from furniture, floor covering, even artwork. We will also see a design trend towards reuse as vintage pieces see a resurge in popularity.

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Homes will be going from hard edge lines to soft and welcoming with soft feminine colors such as pinks and soft cozy fabrics. Floral wall paper is also predicted to be popular as well as geometric designs. Sherwin Williams has announced their paint color of the year as Naval. Benjamin Moore announced their choice of color as First Light, a pale blush pink. Sherwin Williams also offered “Romance” , a dusty shade of pink as one of 2020 colors. 

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Architecthural Digest is predicting Japaneese Influences that speak to minimalism and eco friendly design.

Good Housekeeping is predicting high-contrast decor, black and white to add boldness in a space.  Many sites suggested black was going to be making a comeback in design

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While the design trends are always interesting and fun to follow, a good rule of thumb is to buy quality pieces that will stand the design test of time and to allow trends and fads to be implemented in paint colors and accessories, unless there’s a piece you fall in love with. Ask any real estate agent who has tried to sell a house with avocado green sinks and orange countertops and they will advise be cautious when making big changes with trends.

How to Make Your Resolutions – Reality in 2020

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Most of us start out the year with a list of resolutions, things we are determined to do to change our lives. For most people that determination starts to diminish as the months go on.   We come to this time of the year and start making resolutions again, the sad thing is that they are often the same resolutions.  Experts say there are things that you can do to change this cycle and actually make your resolutions a reality.

Visualize 

Picture what you want to achieve, but actually visualize how the change will effect your life.  You want to start a new career, picture yourself doing it. See yourself out there doing the job, depositing your check, taking your family out to eat with your profits.  Visualize your achievements. Want to loose weight, picture how great you will look in that little black dress you saw online. Coaches tell this to their athletes all the time, picture yourself crossing the finish line in first place or getting that knock out. You need to do this with your goals for your life.

Break up your goals into steps, It is easier to move forward on things, if there are steps to conquer. Many people make the mistake of trying to take on too much at once.  Any journey is easier when you have a map to guide you and it will be a lot less overwhelming.

Vision boards can help with visualizing and creating steps.  Whether or not you believe that what you put out to the universe is what happens in your life, the fact is, keeping your goals in front of you helps.  When you constantly see what you want to achieve you are more apt to work towards getting it.

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Make a Commitment 

Making a Commitment-especially a financial commitment is a high indicator of success. Many people say they want to lose weight or get in shape, you have a better chance of doing it if you sign up and pay for a gym membership.  We get calls all the time from people who say they have always wanted to be an Interior Designer or Home Stager, most of them will never do it . The ones who do are the ones who make a commitment and sign up. I have heard lots of students who tell me, let me put the deposit for the class down and I will make it happen. They always do. You have heard the old adage, “put your money where your mouth is”, it’s true. Stop talking about what you are going to do and actually take steps to do it.  People spend money on frivolous things all the time, (check out my Starbucks App) but often they hesitate on spending money on things that will really change their lives. Invest in Yourself, it will be the best investment, you ever make.

 

Accountability 

Putting money down does not guarantee success. This time of year, gyms and weight loss centers make a ton of money off of people who will not actually follow through with their commitment. Accountability helps keep you on track. Share your goals with family and friends, we tell this to our incoming students, all the time.  You have more impetus to succeed when you have shared what you are doing publicly. They can also be a good source of encouragement when you are working toward your goals.

An Accountability partner can be helpful. We often have students  who register for classes together, this helps them have someone to go through the process with.  When you have a partner it’s easier to keep going and you are more motivated to succeed.

Coaching also works on this principal.  When you know you have to speak with your coach every week, you keep the commitments you make and you move forward towards your goals. Accountability works, this is why we include coaching, after graduation to help our students get their businesses up and running.

Interior Designer And Client-adult Woman Matching Color Samples

Celebrate Your Successes

No matter how small your successes might seem, Celebrate them.  It’s those small successes that will  eventually lead you to where you want to be. There will always be setbacks and a learning curve on anything you do, don’t beat yourself up about it. Setbacks are part of the learning process, dust yourself up and keep moving forward. If you move over the setbacks and celebrate your successes you will have a more positive outlook. A positive outlook will help you keep going toward your goals.

Set New Goals and Resolutions

It’s important to always be growing and moving forward. When you reach one goal, put another one in its place. If you break up what you want to achieve, you can move forward faster. Who doesn’t like to cross things off their to-do lists.

Sometimes changing your environment can be very healing for you and your family. If you are considering getting a new house, you’ll need to visit this Website and contact professionals to hire for help.

Take Time for You

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It’s always important to recharge. Don’t be so focused on achieving your goal that you forget to enjoy your life, after all you are setting these goals to make your life better. Rest, Laugh and be with the people you love. Being with the people you love is your reason Why you do what you do , so it’s good to remind yourself of your motivations.

 

Cheers to 2020 and to making your Dreams a Reality!

The Academy of Home Staging & Design (1)

 

 

 

Marketing Your Design Business: What are You Really Selling?

sellingWhen we ask our soon-to-be Designers and Home Stagers, to tell us what they are Selling, ( one of the most important questions when you are starting a new business), we always get the same answer… “why I am doing home staging” or “offering interior design services.”  That answer only encompasses one aspect of why people will hire you, the practical and functional aspect. The functional aspect is also not the reason most people will choose a home stager or designer.  If you do a google search you could find many, many designers or home stagers who can fill that functional aspect (to stage a home or design a room), so what will make someone choose YOU?

It’s important to understand that there are other aspects, more important ones, that propel people to buy. You have to appeal to these aspects and realize that these are what you should be selling to. Human beings are emotional, we react based on our emotions and this especially shows up, when you study the psychology of sales. Hire adtmoving.com services if you need extra help moving houses. People are drawn to the business marketing, that understands their emotions. So you aren’t selling home staging, you are selling the newly divorced dad’s chance to sell his martial home and start somewhere fresh with his children. Maybe you’re selling, the newly retired couple’s chance to move closer to their kids and grandkids or the young couple’s opportunity to sell their condo to purchase a home where they can start a family. This is emotional selling, closely tied with this is life changing, you want to sell the lifestyle they wish to have. If you can show how owning a product or purchasing this service can make someone’s life better, that buyer will be interested in what you’re offering. When you’re staging a home you’re offering someone a fresh start. Doing a redesign of someone’s house can offer a welcoming place that represents their family, a place that becomes the home they always wanted.

Make sure that you also get a top local estate agent like this one in Bristol if you are selling your home as it makes a massive difference to how the sale goes and the fee that you pay.

Tips for Emotional Selling… Show happy people accomplishing their goal (selling their house, entertaining in their beautiful home). Use emotional language and language that is life changing… ex. helping you along the path to the home of your dreams.

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The other aspect of selling is Social, how other people will think about us. Will this product or service somehow, improve our “status’ with others? Interior Design is easy to think of the social aspects, “when everyone comes to the wedding and sees our newly designed rooms, they will know we are successful. ” When my sister comes for the holidays and sees our new living/dining room, she’s going to die of jealousy.” It’s also a motivation in home staging, “my neighbor is so nosey, she will be the first inline at our open house, won’t she be surprised to see how great the house looks. “I need to get top dollar for my home, to move my family into a more upscale neighborhood.”

Tips for Social Selling: Tips for Social Selling: Use Competitive Language, “Don’t let the pictures of your  home be the reason a buyer buys someone else’s! Or something like this: Redesign your home for the holidays and make your friend’s green with envy… (after all green is the color of the season).

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All this, the functional, emotional, life changing and social aspects are what you are truly selling. For your marketing to be successful, it needs to reflect this, from everything to your name, tagline, posts and ads. Look at some of the ads for major companies, Nike’s Tagline “Just Do it”, and their advertising is about changing your life. It plays on all of theses aspects, “if I buy Nike sportswear, I can do it. I will be more energized, more successful, skinnier, prettier, I will have the life I want.”  Victoria’s Secret, had their perfect body campaign, because we all want to have a perfect body and all the perks that come with that.

Think carefully about all this when marketing for your business, it is a crucial step that will help you outshine your competition.