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.

A young businesswoman is looking stressed as she works at her computer

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?

Wintery Mood Board

 

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)

 

How to Make Your Resolutions – Reality in 2020

woman working with color samples for selection

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.

Unblock Designer's Block

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.

 

 

 

What to Do When You Get Designer’s Block

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With any creative venture, sometimes you just get stuck. You know the answer is within reach, but you seem blocked and can’t seem to figure out exactly how to resolve a problem area or what to do next. Writers call it “writer’s block” when the words and story just don’t flow. Everything seems off. It can be the same with designing. Luckily, there are some things you can try to break through and make that room design come together like you know it can!

#1 Go Back to Your Inspiration

Your design was inspired by something, whether it was ideas on a Pinterest board, a magazine photo spread, or even something simple you came across in nature. When you can’t figure out how to move forward, it can help to move back and revisit what inspired you in the first place. Look at what inspired you and then look to see what is lacking in the room. Is there anything in the room that fights against the inspiration – like a sleek and shiny vase in a rustic country living room? If so, remove it. Edit your work. Find the right balance and harmony between all elements to complete the desired look.

#2 Remove a Big Element

Yes, a big element, like the curtains or a piece of furniture. A significant element in the room may be blocking the full realization of the design; removing it and stepping back to take a second to look at the room’s potential can add a whole new perspective on how the room needs to come together.

#3 Expand What You Love

Pick a part of the room you are designing, such as a corner or an arrangement on a wall that you really love and use that part to transform the rest of the design. Note what works and what makes you love it and try to spread that idea throughout the rest of the room. Expanding upon this idea may help you add the cohesive look the room needs.

#4 Throw a Curveball

Add something that obviously doesn’t go with the room and see what happens. You may end up with several realizations, and all of them can inform you as to which direction you need to take. For example, either it will be so wrong for the room that it shows you how to make it right, or it will surprise you and be exactly what the space needed! Just take a chance.

#5 Take Pictures and Walk Away

Staring at the walls, while struggling to break through a designer’s block is not only frustrating, but it probably won’t stop you from feeling stuck. Instead, take a few pictures of the room and leave. Go do something else for a little while to clear your mind and then go to a neutral environment like a coffee shop and look at the pictures in thumbnail size, like you would see them if they were on Pinterest or some other website. Getting that distance and a different perspective may give you the ability to see the whole picture (literally), and inform you about what’s missing or not working.

#6 Doodle (Yes, Doodle)

Those pictures you took? Print them out and bust out the Sharpie. Doing something tactile, like drawing, can unlock that creative part of your brain. Drawing allows you to try out ideas that aren’t feasible or financially possible when it comes to working with real items. Doodle fun patterns, furniture pieces, places for artwork, etc. You may get a spark.

Don’t let Designer’s Block get in the way of achieving a perfectly designed room. Just try something new and you’ll break through the block!

Have you been thinking about a career in Home Staging?

Have you been thinking about making a career change lately?

Maybe you would like to be in charge of your own schedule doing something you love and being paid good money in exchange for your talents?

That’s how I felt a few years when two of my biggest clients announced they were moving on and I was to lose over 70% of my current income! Yikes - I needed to do something quick and whatever that was going to be, I knew it had to meet certain criteria:

1. It needed to be a business that took very little time and money to get up and running

2. In order to replace 70% of my income, it needed to be a lucrative choice

3. As long as I was starting over, I was hoping to find something I could be passionate about.

Pretty tough criteria to meet on all levels. I had always thought that the easy to train for, fun and desirable high paying fields were already saturated. Then I was introduced to home staging.

I must admit, when I was first considering home staging, there were some things that had me worried. I knew from watching all the televisions shows that I would love directing a design project from start to finish and watching the incredible difference in the before and afters. But I still wondered how much work would be out there and if I could really make a go of it. What if I put myself out there and no one ever called?

To my great relief – I had my first staging client within a couple weeks. Turns out, home staging has been around for over 30 years and is the #1 career poised for growth according to CNN and Career Builder.

Now I look forward to my work. Gone are the days that I yearned for something different or better. For me, the best part about being a home stager is solving a creative challenge that results in a complete visual transformation. It was easy to master this design skill set but I am always excited to realize that every project is different and I never get bored! As a side benefit,  I have helped hundreds of people sell their home faster and for more money and they are truly grateful for my services. (I also happen to be very fond of my boss for the first time in my life!)

If you have any questions about becoming a home stager, or certified training, I would like to invite you to mortgage brokers MN team!

Using Color and the Different Types of Color

Color creates the mood and emotion. Color guides the eye we are in charge of controlling the buyer’s eye on what they look at. Color and accessories create style and provides energy to a room. Color creates architectural interest, showcases features and brings them to life, and draws attention to the most important parts of a room. Color can also distract from the negative. A negative space or feature in a room that you want less emphasis on.

Hue is just a fancy way to say color and tints add white to a pure hue. Shades add black and tones adds gray.

Warm colors advance and bring attention when we want to advance a wall of excitement exhilaration, and energy. Cool colors mellow out and make a room feel quiet and larger. Complementary high powered energy schemes can be reds greens, and blue greens. Analogous color mean colors next to each other and harmonious colors are colors that flow well together like green/blue subtle color schemes.

A good way to know when to use a monochromic color scheme is when you see traditional style, classically inspired, or antiques.

Use receding colors to make a room feel larger, like a monotone color scheme – using non colors and variations of it. True neutrals are blacks, whites, and grays. You would use color to warm up a cold room because color can help unify a space as well as help break up a space.

Red is exhausting to the eye and all color triggers some kind of an emotional response. Have fun with color when using it in a room though. You can make a room feel warm while still being creative with your color schemes.

Fast 5 Tips for the Spring Season

Spring is definitely in the air. Need some quick and easy spring staging tips?  Keep this checklist in hand for your staged properties and utilize it to the fullest potential of this season to show and sell houses.

One of the most important things you’ll need to do when ythe weather changes a lot is calling an AC repair service to help you install some air conditioning at home to keep cool and comfy.


1. Refresh your flower pots.  Do you have left over flowers from winter?  Do you have empty flower pots lying around?  Fill these empty pots with potting soil and blooming flowers from your local gardening store.  Also, utilize some mobile pots, so you can fill empty spots around the front door, back decks, or yard to brighten up your spaces.


2. Tidy up your yard, the weather is nice so why not. Consider it morning exercise to tackle your yard with a rake and do a once-over walk through to make sure there is no clutter.  Having clean lines can make a yard seem larger.  Update your mulch and fill in spots where winter has not been kind.

3. Purchase a new “WELCOME’ mat for the front door.  This is so simple and welcoming, you would be surprised how this one message changes a buyers feel as they enter the homes.

4)  Fake it.  You do not want to put fresh flowers out, especially this time of year. Specialty stores are brimming with beautiful silk greenery and spring flowers.  Having these adds a lively touch to dark or empty corners throughout the home.

5. Utilize colors around the front door, entrance way, and any other places where a splash of color can brighten the room. Use different bright colors to liven up the space.

Ancient Furniture History

History

After the retreat of the last ice age, the hunter-gatherer communities of the Stone Age gradually began to acquire the skills of agriculture, and civilizations were born. No longer perpetually on the move in an endless search for food, families were able to build homes and acquire possessions. Division of labor was possible, and skilled craftsmen began to develop their trades in producing articles such as jewelry, pottery and furniture.

Ancient Furniture

Although much ancient art such as pottery and jewelry survives from the earliest civilizations, ancient furniture was mostly wooden, and has long since rotted away. Our knowledge of ancient furniture is mainly derived from scenes depicted in early art forms, such as pottery decorations and frescos. Perhaps the earliest furniture in existence is that found at Catal Huyuk in Turkey that dates from around 3000 BC.


Evidence

A valuable contribution to our knowledge of ancient furniture came from the excavation site at Akrotiri, where the Minoan city of Thera was preserved by lava from a volcanic eruption. Although the actual furniture has long since perished, it has left cavities in the larval rock. By using these cavities as moulds, archaeologists have been able to reproduce the furniture that stood in these ancient Minoan homes.

Examples

The best examples of ancient furniture still in existence are those found in the tombs of Egyptian noblemen. Egyptian furniture was placed in tombs for the use of the deceased in the afterlife, and many items are still in good condition due to the hot, dry climate and the fact that they were sealed inside the burial chambers.

Chinese

Many items of ancient Chinese furniture have also been preserved, since Chinese civilization has continued uninterrupted for thousands of years, and works of art have been treasured through the centuries.

Egyptian & Graeco Roman

Although surviving Egyptian furniture, Greek furniture and Roman furniture is rare, a lot of information is available regarding the ancient design of homes and furniture in these cultures. This is because ancient Egyptian art, Greek art, and ancient Roman art, artifacts and literature are plentiful, giving us a good idea of how these ancient people lived.

Classical Revival

Greek, Roman and Egyptian decor was the inspiration for the neoclassical furniture styles popular in Europe and America in the 18th and 19th centuries particularly the neoclassical furniture of the late Georgian era in England and also Regency Furniture.

How much do home stagers make?

How much do Home Stagers make?

Have you ever wondered about entering a design field but thought it would take too long or cost too much money? Typical design schools take 2-4 years and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Many people who dreamed of doing something creative for a living have discovered a lucrative and rewarding career in the field home staging. Home Staging is a design marketing tool that has been utilized by home owners and real estate professionals for over 30 years. With multiple t.v. shows featuring home staging these days, it is now becoming the fastest growing real estate marketing tool.

Home Stagers around the country average anywhere from $50 – $150 per hour for their talents which include redesigning interiors to facilitate a faster sale, design consultations for staging, redesign or new design, and staging of vacant and model homes including furniture and accessory selection and design installation.

How can I become a Home Stager?

Home Staging is best learned from experience in the field. Because Home Staging is so specific in nature, there is little training available that teaches all the aspects necessary to excel in this exclusive industry. When comparing, you will want to find a certification program that covers the following areas that affect your success:

  • Design skills such as space planning, color theory and accessorizing
  • Home Staging tips, secrets and how to’s
  • Marketing and advertising your staging business
  • Insurance, contracts and forms
  • Pricing your business and how to make additional streams of income utilizing your new Home Staging design knowledge.

For more information on becoming a home stager, visit http://www.homestagingcourses.net

Staging Tips- Getting the sellers on board

From Everyday to Showcase –

How to Motivate your Clients to make changes

It’s no surprise that many people are feeling a bit overwhelmed by today’s Real Estate market. It’s up; it’s down, with foreclosures all around.  This is a confusing time for home sellers because a couple years ago, a good percentage of homes were selling in as little as a few weeks, some with multiple offers. In today’s market we have more inventory and ever changing interest rates.  On one hand, buyers have more choices when seeking to purchase.  On the other hand, home sellers have more competition in attracting a buyer for their home.

In both circumstances, it comes down to the home owner delivering a product that buyers are seeking. Clean, well balanced, neutral and inviting spaces that showcase all the features the home has to offer.

With so many homes having the same floor plan as the next, it is imperative that homes be designed in a manner that differentiates them from their competition. Hiring a Professional Stager works because many homeowners are not able to look at their home objectively with “buyer’s eyes”. People live in their home the way that works best for them but this is typically not the “look” buyers get excited about or make higher offers for. Staged homes statistically receive 3-10% higher offers than homes that are not staged.

So, what do I say to motivate my clients to make the needed changes?

When I am preparing a customized staging plan for home owners, I typically refer to the trends of buyers when trying to motivate a home seller that is unsure about committing to my suggestions. I am not the reason they need to make changes – the consumer who is demanding a certain level of standards is.

So here are a couple of statements that help sellers understand why they might benefit from improving the showing condition of their home:

-         Buyers are seeking move-in condition homes and willing to pay more money for them. By addressing these things now, you will appeal to a broader audience of buyers.

-         Neutralizing so buyers can envision their belongings in the space will help them form emotional attachments to your home. Emotional connections procure offers.

-         Buyers find the space easier to relate to and more valuable and relevant to their wants and needs when rooms are staged in the manner in which they are meant to be used. For example a dining room should be staged as a dining room rather than an office or play room.

-         I am here to help you sell your home faster and for more money. All of the advice I am giving you is based on increasing your bottom line.

-         By following through on these suggestions, you improve your chances for a quicker sale. If by selling faster you save at least one price reduction, you will retain several more thousand dollars of equity in this home.

-         Staging every room in your home creates a consistent look and feel. The more attractive your home is, the higher the offers people will make. Why? Because in our society, people expect that highly attractive things usually cost more and we tend to “bargain” less when something is just what we have been looking for.

For more information on staging, please visit our website at www.preparedtosellstaging.com.

Former real estate agent Kim Kapellusch has over 10 years experience staging interiors for commercial advertising, vacant and lived-in homes, model homes and personal residences.

Call Kim today with your project details and get an over-the-phone estimate.

Serving Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas - 800.574.5576
Specializing in staging lived-in and vacant homes.
A Staged Home is a Sold Home!