Interview with a Interior Designer Turned HSR Staging Veteran...
First off, congratulations on the success of your business! Reaching and surpassing year one when the failure rate of small business is close to 70%, is an amazing feat! That being said, what do you think was the main contributor to your business success?
Joining HSR is still the main contributor to the success of my business. Before, my service was mainly Interior Designing but after getting the proper training on how to be a Home Stager with HSR this became part of my services. Being a Certified Home Stager and adding my own website increased the numbers of my clientele.
Did you meet your business goals for year one? If yes, what were they and how did you? If no, then why not?
I met my business goals toward the end of the year by networking with several Realtors, attending group meetings, through families and friends. I handed out my business cards as I met them and for some I showed them my website of before & after pictures. What also helped promote & sell my services is my Portfolio of before and after pictures. The book is compiled professionally with pictures I took (11x14 size photo) of each room. I used publisher.com to order the book. A little bit pricey but it's worth it.... you will get a "Wow" from your prospective clients and this is your chance sell them your services.
What about financial goals? What were your first year earnings and did you work full time or part time?
Interior Designing is my part time job and adding the Home Staging as part of my services increased the number of projects that I used to have. My total projects & earnings increased by 90% after joining HSR.
How is your business different today then when you first started?
In the beginning it was stressful because I was overwhelmed with all the materials that I have to put together before I can start the business. But now... I learned how to use those materials to smoothly run the business. I love Audra's e-mails because of all the information she gives us: home staging tips, successful stories of our fellow stagers, what the real estate market looks like, etc. These are information that helps me determine the strategies in getting new clients.
Looking back, what would you have done differently and what did you do well?
Before when I just had my Interior Design business I didn't have a website and the proper tools to successfully run the business: such as training, professional market materials and network of stagers to to learn from their experiences. Today, I have all these to make my business more successful. What I did well to get more clients was networking, brag about your before & after pictures using your website/ portfolio and sell what you can do for them.
Now that it's year two of your business, how much time do you spend marketing vs. staging?
Less of marketing because of more established relationship with clients. It's more of word of mouth referrals: my clients will refer me to their friends & families. I'm still generating calls from my website but not as much as before, probably it's time to make some changes such as information & maybe format of the website.
Any other words of wisdom you wished someone had shared with you?
I wish I knew about HSR years ago. It's truly a great tool to start or enhanced your business. I have received several e-mails from people who want to start up a Home Staging business and I have always referred them to HSR for the training.
Thank you Audra for your continues support.... keep your company going and more power to your wealth of knowledge and leadership!
About the interviewer:
Audra Slinkey is President of the Home Staging Resource (http://www.homestagingresource.com) a home staging training company designed to provide business solutions and training to people involved in the preparation of homes for sale. Her passion for decorating, home staging, and real estate investing expertise has led her to the Home Staging Resource where her mission is empowering Professional Home Stagers and Real Estate Agents to be successful in their field so that "every home may be staged to sell." She has had the privilege to personally mentor and train over 1,500 professionals in the field of staging to create successful staging and redesign businesses throughout the world.
Prior to establishing HSR, Audra was a recognized leader, international speaker, corporate trainer and published author on Internet research, sourcing and marketing. Passionate about training and small business mentoring, you can watch her Day One Review presentation which outlines the 21-Day Certification process and give you a sneak peak into the HSR Members Training Area at: http://www.homestagingresource.com/trainingreview.html
For a free presentation on the "12 Rules of Home Staging," at: http://www.homestagingresource.com/12stepslogin.asp
To watch her video training presentation on "An Anatomy of a Staging Day," go to: http://www.homestagingresource.com/staging_day.asp
The Mission of Home Staging Resource is to add integrity to the home staging industry by offering the most comprehensive 21 Day HSR Certification staging program available to Professional Home Stagers. By doing this, we ensure high quality, result oriented partnerships between our HSR Certified Stagers and their Realtor and Home Seller clients in the marketing and preparation of homes for sale otherwise known as "staging". We do this so that "every home may be staged" and marketed to it's fullest potential!
Audra, I want to commend you on putting together such a thorough and well planned training program. And its obvious that your mind is constantly ticking, thinking what else you can do to make it even better. I would recommend it to any and everyone that is considering learning this business. Thanks for helping to make me look good!
Your HSR course is absolutely FABULOUS! I have been a designer for 11 years and staging homes for 3 years. I wish I would have had this class 11 years ago! I am so glad and so thankful that I chose to take your course. You and the course have already been a blessing to me and many many others I'm sure. I just can't say enough good things about it. I encourage any other person interested in this business to take this course. I say so with 100% confidence. Thanks so much for all the time and effort that you have put into HSR and we students and professionals. Thanks for caring.
We chose Home Staging Resource as our training and certification company because we were able to conduct the training on-line from the comfort of our own home, but more importantly, because HSR offered a comprehensive program that provided not only "certification," but the backend marketing services and on-going support. In today's competitive market, any company just starting out has to be able to market their company, products and services via the internet. Home Staging Resources offered us the ability to get up and running on the internet quickly, provided the training and certification for credibility and provided the on-going marketing programs... all for a minimal investment. We're very happy that we chose HSR and would highly recommend their services to someone looking to start a Home Staging and Redesign Company!
"I am so glad I made the decision to go with the Home Staging Resource for my business training! It has been the missing link to my business. Thanks Audra for your fabulous business.