I was walking with a friend along the sea front the other day, admiring the ocean and the seagulls and also the apartments along the way.
She stopped suddenly and asked me:
“So how did you get into home staging?”
The million dollar question
Hmm, I thought. I have always loved beautiful things, home decor has been a passion, and I even collect a bit of local art. I love making spaces look beautiful.
My friend reminded me how I had helped her, maybe ten years ago, with the interior decor of her home. “I’d never thought of putting the table anywhere other than dead centre in the space,” she said. “You moved the table, threw a bunch of cushions on the couch, changed the height of my paintings and made it look like a whole new room.”
Empty properties don't sell
I'd never thought of becoming a home stager before I bought a property to flip. After a very trying time renovating it - flipping a property is not for sissies - I decided to sell. In fact, I couldn't wait to get rid of it. I wanted it sold quick, my investment returned and whatever profit I could make.
When the agent who was going to market my property saw it, the first thing she said was: "Empty properties don't sell. Furnish it!"
Luckily, I had some extra furniture in my cellar. But not enough. So I spent the next few days calling all kinds of businesses who could possibly rent me furniture. I got turned down a lot, but finally found one that had great stuff and was happy to work with me.
Staged properties do sell
The transformation after staging was incredible. Instead of cold wooden floors and large expanses of empty walls, here was a space that said: I am a happy home waiting to welcome you.
The photos went online and a show day was advertised. Thirty people came to view it, and of courses, it SOLD that very day.
And so my business Home Stagers Cape Town was born
A few weeks later, the same agent asked me to furnish another property for sale. I did, and it sold.
I started looking into staging as a business, and decided to put all my energy, time, skills and whatever else it took to become Cape Town's premier home stager.
The first year was hard. I didn't yet have the skills to know how to convince sellers and agents that staging was the way to go. I was working alone, with no partner or teacher to help.
My advice: learn with the best
I knew I had to get help. I needed an expert to teach me how to price and quote, and especially, how to convince clients. I contacted an international trainer who only works with home stagers. Working with her in $$ was pricey, but she helped me develop my business into the profitable company it is today.
I'm a firm believer in paying to learn. Experts exist in every field for a reason. That's why I started my online home staging courses.
So that's the story of how I became a stager
As I told my story to my friend, I thought about how much I love my job. Home staging is about dressing up a home, office or even a retirement home, to get it ready for sale, taking spaces and making them look appealing, fresh, new and desirable. It’s about working with the estate agent, or the seller, to ensure the home gets a good price. It's so rewarding.
That's MY story of how I became a home stager. What's YOURS? Or what's it going to be?
Write to me at email@example.com