Today’s post is written by Shannon, who recently began working with us. After attending my staging training course last week (with very little prior knowledge of home staging or my business), she found herself quite surprised about a number of things. She’s going to share those with you, including the fact that she came into this job believing that home staging is easy, and anyone can do it!
Day 1 lunch, that’s me about halfway down on the right in black/white plaid
Speaking as someone who is new to the staging world – working for Kristie just shy of a month as her Social Media and Marketing Manager – I was happy that Kristie was teaching her Expert Psychological Stager™ class so early into my employment. I felt like it would give me a great chance to see what Kristie, The Decorologist®, and home staging was all about.
Coming into this experience, I think my expectation was that home staging is easy, and practically anyone can just do it themselves. Really, how hard could it be to de-clutter, move some furniture around, and maybe throw some paint up on the walls? If it were only that easy . . .
Here are some things that I learned:
There’s a Lot of Psychology in Home Staging
Before I sat through this course, I thought that staging is decorating, right?! And how does psychology fit into that equation? I learned that home staging is FAR more “psychological” then I ever would have thought. It’s all about perception, and it’s NOT decorating.
before EPS™ staging
after EPS™ staging
The good thing is that Kristie is great at setting up graduates for success in the psychology involved in home staging. In a way, a home stager also acts as a therapist to the seller, and Kristie works through common scenarios about dealing effectively with the complex emotions involved. She also teaches all this stuff about visual perception and how you can use her tricks to alter it! Like how specific furniture and art arrangement impacts the perception of the size of rooms and spaces, how certain paint colors can make a property look dated, and how color placement can either “chop up” your visual perception or actually make spaces appear larger.
Along with the specific instruction, Kristie providing each student with tools they can readily use – like her Psychological Staging™ Paint Color Toolkit, which makes choosing the perfect color scheme during a staging consultation a breeze.
Buyers have a really hard time looking past the design choices of the seller. Actually, most surprising to me, was that 90% of buyers cannot see past what’s in front of them – even those with easy fixes. You may be proud of your Precious Moments collection, zebra throw rug, or your prized deer heads, but a potential buyer may not be able to see past it. The point is to eliminate distractions from the architecture of the home, and provide a fresh canvas where a buyer can envision their own family living in veritable bliss. You are selling your home, not your stuff. So, do you want buyers to focus on your beautiful fireplace, or your grapevine wallpaper? (the answer is the fireplace)
Like here you notice the zebra art and the dark decor:
furniture arrangement before EPS™ staging
But here you notice the fireplace and the beautiful french doors:
furniture arrangement after EPS™ occupied staging
Home Staging Doesn’t Have to Be Your First Career (nor do you need a background in design)
Most of the attendees were embarking on a second or third career. They had previous careers in teaching, counseling, and marketing. Some had been stay-at-home moms and were stepping out after many years not working. Kristie really emphasized how their differing backgrounds and experience can help them stand out uniquely in this new business. I was shocked that out of the 14 graduates that took the course in Nashville, that most came from out of state! Only 2 were from the Nashville area. Usually there are about 20% from Tennessee that attend. It goes to show that Kristie’s influence transcends state lines. Many of the ladies followed The Decorologist blog and several had been inspired to take the course after reading Kristie’s book Psychological Staging: Home Staging Secrets of The Decorologist®.
The Supervised Hands-On Staging is a Vital Component to Staging Training
Sure, you can read books and take on-line classes that will help you learn about home staging, but Kristie’s supervised hands-on staging component is not something that can be duplicated. The EPS™ trained stagers had to put their new knowledge into action on the last day in a real staging challenge in this occupied property that went on the market with an open house the NEXT DAY. A lot of the feedback we got on the class was about how “it all came together” during that guided staging experience.
Home Staging Is Easy, But ONLY When You Have the Right Training
In case you were under the misconception (like I was) that home staging is easy or glamorous, becoming a successful stager takes passion, hard work, and perseverance. You need to know how NOT to offend sellers, you have to know how to be VERY resourceful when using a homeowner’s own furnishings, and you have to build a business model that works for you and your life.
Kristie genuinely loves what she does, and it is so apparent and comes across in every action and every word. She teaches a very specific system of staging a home, and she also prepares her students for running a successful staging business. She creates an environment of support and encourages each person to be supportive of each other – even those stagers in the same market. Her mentoring doesn’t end in the classroom, as she is always available to her grads to answer staging dilemmas and business related questions via our private FB page. She cares so much about helping her graduates build their business that she hired me to help them do just that!