Calling All Realtors! Exciting New Co-Branding Opportunity

Each month, I have the pleasure of meeting realtors from all over the Garden State to discuss their needs, challenges, and opportunities from season to season. While most of our returning clients often request stagings for vacant homes, we’ve been receiving more inquiries for furnished stagings. These situations occur when there’s a desire to incorporate the homeowner’s existing furnishings into the design. For those consultations, I typically meet both the realtor and the homeowner on-site and we walk through the entire property, room by room, to evaluate each area’s potential. I then share a detailed report of recommendations where everything that’s in good shape is clearly delineated from the suggestions on what to fix or improve before it goes on the market.

Report Recs (sample)

But as I was getting more feedback from realtors about this process, they were wondering how to address those properties where the homeowners know they need staging support, but don’t necessarily require a formal consultation beforehand. That’s when we decided to come up with our new “Home Selling Checklist” flyer which clearly lists how to spruce up each area of the home right before our staging crew arrives on the scene. But rather than only marketing our staging services, I thought it would be beneficial if we co-brand the flyer with realtors in every community.

Here’s a sample of the “Curb Appeal” section:

Curb Appeal (sample)

If you’re interested in learning more about co-branding with us to target your town’s market with this full-service home selling resource, please call us today so we can discuss further. Our goal is to have each corner of the state represented by partnering with realtors representing every region. Each time we get homeowner requests in those towns, we can directly refer them to the local realtor we’ve partnered with for this promotion. It’s truly a win-win situation to sell as many homes as quickly as possible for the highest return on investment!

Happy Staging,

JW e-sig (clear)

 

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All Stagers Are Not Created Equal

I get asked this a lot when I’m at networking events as well as from folks who are new to staging: “What sets you apart from other stagers?” Of course I could proudly show our portfolio and talk about the high quality of the furnishings, but there’s so much more to it than that:

on the house logo (with PHSD)

1. Most stagers charge a fee for the initial vacant home consultation. I choose not to as I understand that every dollar counts when factoring in renovation and carrying costs. You could say that my vacant tours of your properties are “on the house”! But that’s not where the extra fees end for other stagers. Many also charge several other fees that we don’t, such as accessory rental fees in addition to the main furniture itself, as well as numerous delivery surcharges. One upfront fee with everything included is our preference.


we do more

2. We take great care to ensure that each space we stage is warm and inviting. Some stagers believe that just one or two pieces of furniture is all that’s needed to help fill an empty space. You’ll sometimes see “stagings” where a living room only has a sofa and maybe an accent chair with literally nothing else in the room. It’s not surprising when those properties stay on the market longer than properties we worked on.


accent chairs

3. Did you know that we own all of our furnishings and accessories? Most stagers can’t say that. They typically rent from other companies and then charge their clients not only the rental fee they’re fronting, but design fees on top of that. With our stagings, there’s no fear of your property being staged with items in poor condition. You also don’t have to worry about the items being tagged for use at another property if you need a rental extension. We can be more flexible and provide a more diverse array of options without charging anything extra for the higher quality.


Our team also continues to research how to best streamline our procedures so that you spend less time worrying about paperwork and more time focused on selling your home. In the past year, we’ve converted to e-signing for contracts as well as providing more online payment options. We’re always testing out new features to make sure you’re getting the most professional service possible.

So as you can see, there are a lot of ways that choosing Professional Home Staging and Design truly maximizes your staging potential. Choosing us above the rest is a choice for higher quality at more affordable rates with service that’s second to none. I look forward to our next project together. Until then, Happy Staging!

Jacquie

Sharing the Love

Over the years, we’ve received so many thoughtful and heartfelt testimonials from our clients. In honor of “sharing the love” today, here are just a few that we treasure greatly:

They LOVE Our Look

“Jacquie’s sense of style and use of space are exceptional. When people see pics of how Jacquie designed each room, they are floored. My home looks like a fresh and modern home straight out of an HGTV home makeover. My family and I couldn’t be any happier.” –Mari

They LOVE Our Value

“The first buyer through the door made a full price offer. Awesome! The place looks great. Worth every penny.” –Larry

They LOVE Our Flexibility

“Jacquie and her team did a great job. She fit me into a tight schedule, on budget, and staged a difficult space very well. I will definitely call again for my next property.”  –Mike

They LOVE All the Offers

“I’ve been in real estate for 25 years and never staged anything before. Thanks to you, we got 5 offers in 3 days! The staging was AMAZING. So helpful. I’m totally sold on the concept of professional staging. It’s a pleasure doing business with you.” –Steven

 


We LOVE Staging! If you want to share some love with us, don’t forget to Like our Facebook page or Follow our Twitter feed. Better yet, send us your own testimonial.

Happy Staging,


Resolutions and Renovations

Happy 2017! While the new year brings with it the expectation to commit to new business goals and personal resolutions, this time of year doesn’t often make us think of renovation projects for our homes. With winter being a historically slow time for the real estate market, you might be faced with one or two properties that aren’t quite taking off as expected. Before you call us to stage those awkward spaces into elegant showrooms, consider these tips for starting the new year off on the right foot for all of the homes in your inventory:

kitchen-cabinets

Kitchen: A little paint goes a long way
Have you been getting comments that the kitchen’s floor plan is great but something just isn’t quite working? Consider upgrading your cabinets in the most cost-effective way by adding a fresh coat of paint. Don’t forget to add new knobs and hardware to modernize the entire look. If you’re unsure which color palette to start with, reach out to us for a paint consultation.

60224967 - man hands applying silicone sealant with caulking gun.

Bathroom: Clean it with caulking
Make sure the caulking around each bathtub and shower is smooth and even. If not, chip away at the old caulking and add a fresh lining. Not only does this help prevent future leaks, it will give each bathroom a polished new look.

contemporary-closet-organizers

Bedrooms: Sample some storage solutions
As spacious and inviting a master suite can be, we often hear how much closet space plays a factor when homeowners are weighing all of their options. Consider installing drawers and cabinet organizers inside the bedroom closets. Even adding some simple shelving into other spare corners throughout the home will do wonders for encouraging buyers they can easily fit all of their possessions in without cluttering up their new home.

When all is said and done, the best thing you can do to get your home sold quickly in any season is by staging it. We look forward to another prosperous year working with you to make each and every home look its best!

-Jacquie

Home (Staging) for the Holidays

In the past, we’ve staged holiday events around this time of year and it’s one of my favorite annual activities. There’s nothing like using the colors of the season in any environment to brighten even the grouchiest Scrooge. Whether decorating your office or your home this season, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

shinyKeep It Shiny
We love using metallic and glittery accessories in our stagings. They add just the right hint of contrast and texture that many rooms lack. Oftentimes, we only sprinkle them in as accents to complete a room, but why not let them be the main attraction for this time of year? Like in the picture above, they get the star treatment while natural materials switch to a supporting role for contrast.

personalKeep It Personal
While it is important to acknowledge that this time of year means different things to different neighbors, our homes should be a reflection of what we hold dear. Using lights and candles as a central design theme binds together all traditions, but it’s okay to mix & match if your family represents a blend of cultures. That’s the true celebration: everyone under the same roof, friends and family alike, surrounded by sentimental items that showcase their unique heritage.

festiveKeep It Festive
Our standard staging rule of thumb that “less is more” simply doesn’t apply for the month of December. If there’s one time of year when it’s okay to break the “rules” and be granted full permission to be a child again, this is the time! Sometimes having a theme like favorite Christmas movies or favorite holiday desserts keeps every area of the house feeling fun and included. So remember: it’s not “go big OR go home” but rather, “go big IN your home” for the holidays!

Thank you again for an incredible year of staging every corner of New Jersey! We look forward to helping sell your homes faster and for more money in 2017.

Happy Staging & Happy New Year!

Jacquie

What Are You Thankful For?

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since our first staging. During our first full year of operation, we staged 25 homes. Thanks to all of you and your continued faith in me, we doubled that number the next year and keep growing to the point where we’ve now staged over 300 homes throughout the state!

When we all sit down with our families (hopefully in a comfortable yet elegant dining area!) to enjoy our Thanksgiving meals, I won’t just be thankful for the friends & family around the table. I’m thankful for:

  • every realtor who persuaded the reticent homeowner to give staging a try
  • every investor who never staged before but heard it’s worth a shot
  • every client who doesn’t hesitate to stage and notifies us long before renovation is complete
  • every referral that’s generated from the incredible word-of-mouth on our behalf
  • every back-breaking lift of our steadfast crew members who tirelessly position each sectional, stool, and table setting into reality

thank-youYet I’m also reminded that the growth we’re experiencing is not universal, and as I gaze upon my increasing warehouse inventory, I’m reminded of those who don’t have a home to call their own, let alone a bed or accent chair.

I encourage you to find the nearest homeless shelter in your neighborhood and see what they need. On those stressful days when paperwork and delays keep mounting, it helps to remember that everyone in our community deserves a home, or at the very least, a warm place to sleep tonight.

Any of our lives could have turned out differently than what we hoped or planned. I’m looking forward to another year of success and living our dreams.

Happy Staging & Happy Thanksgiving!

-Jacquie

Don’t Be Afraid of These Rooms

Sometimes behind innocent looking front doors lurks a terrifyingly awkward space that keeps us up at night. These stagings could have been scary, but don’t fear! We turned each potential nightmare into a happy ending…

a
The windows would normally be welcome, but how do you make it work with the small wall and stairs so close nearby?
2
Wow! The perfect living room/entry area was hiding in plain sight.
b
Oh no! What to do with the traffic flow between these 2 rooms?
4
Incredible! Was really on the edge of the…chaise on that one.
c
What to do with this corner and the space in-between the windows? How can we turn this area into more than just a hallway?
6
Whew! Didn’t see that coming. What was once a challenging space is now the perfectly-staged area.

So the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid! No matter how awkward, difficult, or challenging a room might be, we’re here to make it shine and give your real estate story the happy ending it deserves.

Until next time, Happy Staging!

-Jacquie and Team

How Much Would You Pay for a Bottle of Water?

home-costsI’ve often heard from many realtors and investors over the years that their decision to talk to me about staging wasn’t their “first choice” but rather their “last resort.” We joke that I shouldn’t take it personally, but they admit to being amazed that they waited so long before considering the benefits of staging. One recent client told us their house has been on the market for an entire year and they just now considered staging.

Just imagine what the carrying costs are for just 2 months, let alone 12, for the average property. Think about your current inventory and how each one has its own mortgage, insurance, and utilities that add up quickly. On top of that, many properties reduce the selling price the longer they’re on the market, so an additional $5,000 to $10,000 eats into the final profit. Compare that to the average staging we do for high-traffic areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, master suite) of only .5% – 1% of the listing price , not to mention the discounted 20% rental rate in the rare instance you need an extra month to seal the deal.

This points to an interesting quirk of human nature that a long-time client explained to me this way: She recently got back from her dream vacation which cost thousands of dollars when you factor in airfare, hotels, transfers, meals, tips, and excursions. Halfway through the trip, she was starting to get low on her converted currency and found herself “nickel and diming” her way around town. Bottled water was suddenly an extravagance, as were souvenirs that she never thought she would pass up. At one point she realized that these items were minor when compared to the trip’s grand total, serving only to distract her from the whole intention of the money that was already spent to get her there in the first place.

Ultimately, she didn’t allow the inexpensive options to ironically outweigh the benefit of enjoying the expensive vacation itself and remarked how similar this can be in real estate. She’s invested so much before I show up at the front door that sometimes my staging quote seems like that bottle of water that looks great but might be considered an extravagance. When we successfully help sell the home in record time and for more than the listing price, she tries to remind herself that the short-term investment of staging always reaps extraordinary benefits in the long-term success of her business. So when you ask me if your staging price can be reduced because of all the other expenses you’re fronting, I’ll hand you a bottle of water, smile, and remind you that it will all come back to you, and then some.

Until next time, Happy Staging!

Jacquie and Team

What Does “Home” Mean to You?

NegaarHello! My name is Negaar and I’ve had the pleasure of helping Jacquie and her team on their stagings this summer as part of my internship. I will soon be a Junior at NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) majoring in Interior Design. Many people think staging is the easy, less challenging type of interior design. If you think that, then I have news for you! I know many experienced and talented interior designers that would not be able to do the kinds of stagings that Jacquie does. As I’ve learned, having to make big design choices in a very short amount time that ultimately results in a design that will appeal to everyone is an overwhelming feat and she does it every day.

As someone who left her home and family to move to the other side of the world, the thought of “home” and feeling “lost” is constantly on my mind. I was surprised that working on home staging & design has helped me to feel less lost and more comfortable here. I was amazed at how interior design can change people’s understanding and judgement about time, measurements, and even the season of year. Interior design is not only a decorative art – its emotional and physical impact on people cannot be underestimated.

The first time I went to tour a property, it was a disaster. It was a hot day (which never helps) and I couldn’t find the lockbox. Eventually I was able to find a key, but as soon as I walked in, the backyard door closed on me. Since the house was still under construction, the doorknob had not been installed yet, so essentially I was trapped. I was wandering all around the yard and almost called for help. But then I got creative and found some sturdy boxes that gave me just enough height to jump over the wall. Quite an adventure and one I’ll never forget!

Before I started the internship a few months ago, I was actually doubting my career choice, not to mention my design talent. While I have a good design eye, I didn’t necessarily have an eye for measurements. If you asked me what size bed or dining table will fit into a particular space, I would have to go through a mental catalog one by one before landing on a clear fit. As the summer progressed, I faced many design difficulties and creative challenges in helping execute the best stagings possible. But what I never could have anticipated was how many “impossible” situations were made possible because of the collective power of the team. It means the world to me in knowing that I’m never alone as long as I’ve got a great crew to lean on as I move forward in my career.

At the end of the day I’m an artist, and I love to help people feel healthier and happier through my art. When I first enter a vacant home, I make a floor plan in my mind as I start envisioning where all of those furnishings will go and how people will react to them. After each staging, I walk back through those same rooms and cannot believe the transformation because it’s better than I imagined. I’m proud to have been a part of this work and helping all of your properties stand out a little more above the rest. Each staging gave me the feeling that I have the power to make a change – not just in deciding which area rug or piece of artwork to incorporate – but the greater power of perspective in realizing that no matter where you are in the world, home is never far away. I love this feeling.

Regards,

Negaar

What Can Staging Do For Me?

wiifmI attended a workshop several years ago where the speaker asked all of us if we listened to WII-FM. We all looked around the room and shrugged our shoulders as that wasn’t a local radio station name. He joked that it stood for the acronym, “What’s In It For-Me?” Everyone, no matter the profession or the environment, is always asking that when considering to buy something new or get involved in an unfamiliar venture. From the investor looking to step into the real estate market, to the young couple about to find their first home, staging helps showcase a home’s possibilities to anyone wondering what the benefits of that space will be. In case you’re wondering “what has staging done for me lately?” we thought we’d share some stats that truly bring it home:
  • It only takes potential buyers between 6 and 7 seconds to decide if they will make an offer upon entering the home. First impressions really do matter!
  • On average, 94% of staged homes sell in 1 month or less and spend a total of 80% less time on the market than non-staged homes.
  • Nationally, staged homes result in 6% higher selling prices than vacant properties.

But don’t take our word for it. On average, local clients report back to us that they receive at least 2 offers within the first 2 weeks after staging! Your feedback continues to be so critical to our work and to highlight how much staging matters. Please take a few minutes to let us know how we’re doing here.

So, the next time a colleague or client asks if it’s worth the effort to have their next property staged, feel free to remind them that the house is more likely to sell faster and for more money than if we didn’t use our magic touch. To all of you who continue to refer us and share the importance of our work, thank you so much!

Stay cool and until next time, Happy Staging.

-Jacquie and Team