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Megan, Other/Just Looking in Terre Haute, IN

I am writing a business plan for a class at Indiana State University. I want to open a home staging business.

Asked by Megan, Terre Haute, IN Sun Sep 21, 2008

I was thinking of locating the business in Evansville, Indiana. I was wondering what the average number is of people who use home stagers, in an effort to estimate the demand for my business. Any advice?

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I am a real estate agent in the Milwaukee area. I have teamed up with a home stager. I offer to pay for a home stager for all my listings. She spends about 1 hour with each of my listings in helping to get it ready for sale. If they listen to her it really works. Some of them decided they don't need it. Some decided they don't want to listen to what she says. But I pay for it and it is a service that I offer. I had one home that they listened to everything she told them to do. Their home sold to the first person that walked in the door. It wasn't price because they had a newer home then what was in the area. Their home was priced higher then the rest. But they really wanted to sell and understood that they had to go over and above to make it right for the buyers. With so many homes on the market each home has to stand out. Repairs must be made. Homes need to look buyer ready. Find agents that will offer this as a value added service. She offers additional services to the home owners so she can make more money that way. But she offers the agents an hour service that helps get her in the door and provides us with a service we can offer our listings. Everybody working together to get the home sold.
Go to open house that the agents are having and talk with them. Tell them a few changes that might help sell this home. I feel a real estate agent should not put themself in the business of telling a home owner their is something wrong with their home. This can upset a homeowner that they don't like their home. Leave this job to a stager.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 22, 2008
Alright, every market is different and so I can't speak for Evansville but for Terre Haute I can help out a little. The number of MY CLIENTS that have actually hired a third party home stagger is zero. For the most part they will watch HGTV and ask me for some tips. They might even go find a book or DVD on home staging but that is about the extent of the investment into home staging that I have seen. I do get plenty of business cards from hopeful home staggers.

Now, you might have better luck if you focus your home staging marketing to the more expensive neighborhoods. Perhaps $150,000 and above. You'll want to walk those neighborhoods regularly and introduce your self to them. Hand out flyers, brochures, business cards, and anything else that might help them remember you when they decide to sell their house.

You should try to get on really good terms with all the local Real Estate Agents. Visit their brokerages, remember their names if you want them you remember yours, be willing to speak at their sales meetings, and leave them plenty of marketing material that they can give to clients.

You'll also want to be careful about your degree in college. Do I care if my home stagger has a business degree?...Not really. Would I be impressed by a degree in Interior Design...YES. A business degree will help you run the business when you have employees that your paying, payroll, taxes, management, etc.. But impressive work and developing a portfolio, will comes first and you will be in competition with other home stagers.

Starting a business is much like being in sales, your product is yourself. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 22, 2008
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