Do you ever wonder what your real estate stager does in between consulting on occupied and vacant properties, writing reports, proposals and contracts, shopping for and selecting just the right furniture and accessories for vacant properties, re-arranging furniture in listed homes that need help, managing inventory systems, packing, unpacking, scheduling deliveries and pickups? Well, I mean, in their SPARE time?
There’s not a lot of time left in a typical week for much else, but just as Realtors understand the value of belonging to associations, continuing their education annually, staying informed and constantly networking, stagers do exactly the same. They attend not only a national convention each year in Las Vegas but also state events and educational seminars on everything from paint colors to building trends. Kind of takes your breath away doesn’t it? These people are constantly busy, yet, like Realtors, they always make time for getting better at their profession.
As a stager for more than twenty years, I’ve spent a great deal of time working to raise the visibility of the staging industry. Volunteering with organizations like our Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), offering courses to bring awareness to Realtors through MetroTex and our Staging to Sell class, and writing for many publications including, of course, CandysDirt.com. It’s a new industry, there is a lot of information to disseminate, and as in every industry, things are always changing. So it’s crucial for professionals stay up to date.
Last week, more than sixty professional home stagers from the Real Estate Staging chapters in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas connected with the Austin chapter for a State Conference, The RESA Texas Roundup. The Austin Board of Realtors provided a beautiful setting for a day of education and networking.
A panel of seasoned stagers that included RESA National CEO Shell Brodnax, myself, (Region Ten Vice President), Texas State President, Amy George, Dallas Chapter President, Karen Otto, Houston Chapter President, Lakeitha Smith, Leslie Causey and Lee Ann Kramer of the RESA San Antonio Chapter answered questions on business, marketing and sales. Amy Von Andrian, RESA Central TX Program Chair facilitated the event.
Brodnax was the featured speaker offering advice on marketing for the industry as well as the importance of belonging to a trade organization.
“It is so amazing to see professional real estate stagers taking advantage of the opportunities that RESA provides to our members,” Brodnax said. “Realtors have been taking part in their trade association for 108 years and now real estate stagers have the same opportunities through RESA. By participating in RESA, stagers are elevating their profession to new levels.
Otto, shared her workshop on consultations, “Occupy Income Street: Work Smarter, Not Harder”. She pointed out census statistics reporting 65% of homes are owner occupied and only 11 % are vacant, with the remaining homes being rental properties. It’s clear that occupied consultations for home sellers are of paramount importance.
“There is power in association with your colleagues,” Otto said. “Where one voice alone often does not make a difference especially in areas of the country where staging is widely unknown, collectively we can and are making a difference, Otto said.
“Stagers coming together and learning from one another brings new opportunities and growth for the home staging industry, George said. “Events like this are crucial to attend to not only learn from our challenges, but to also become aware and motivated by opportunities.”
If you would like to learn more about staging, RESA holds monthly meetings in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Local information can be found on Meetup.com at Real Estate Staging Association Dallas Chapter.