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?
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.
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.
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
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.