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How to work with your staging consultant

I never understood why other agents wanted to have a massive “inventory.”

They would beam with pride as they showed me their giant whiteboards full of listings, and I’d think to myself: “What a nightmare.”

I’d have to resist blurting out, “Wow! That’s quite a list of failures!”

Even when I was selling over 100 properties a year (as an individual agent), I very rarely had more than five or six listings at a time. Here’s why: I did the work up-front to ensure every listing sold quickly, for the highest possible price, with the least amount of hassle.

Yes, I took advantage of the initial flurry of activity by pricing my listings correctly. But that’s not the only thing I did. Not by a long shot.

The most important service I offered to every listing client was a complimentary home staging consultation with my super-star staging consultant, Angela.

We’re not talking about complete home staging. That’s different. A staging consultation is about using the clients’ existing furniture and artwork.

But here’s the real “secret” of having a skilled home staging consultant on your team: About five per cent of the work is rearranging furniture and artwork, and 95 per cent is about cleaning, tidying and decluttering.

Angela was a star at tactfully getting sellers to view their home through the eyes of potential buyers. She would typically spend about an hour with them, walking through the house and giving them a list of tasks.

The sellers would dutifully take notes, and then they’d do all the work after she left. Sometimes this would take several days, but by the time they were done, their homes were completely transformed.

Perhaps you think that you can do this consultation work yourself to save a few bucks? Yeah, I could have done that, too. But I didn’t because I recognized two things:

  1. The added value of having another specialist expert on my team and
  2. The value of my time.

If you always try to do everything yourself, you’ll never be as successful as you could be. You hire professionals for other tasks, right?

Is it an added expense?

No. I prefer the word “investment” to “expense.” I’d rather invest a tiny bit more and sell twice as much as the giant whiteboard guy.

Your consultant needs to be a talented staging professional, but more importantly, they need to be extremely tactful about how they instruct people to tidy and declutter. A true professional can do this without offending anyone, and quite honestly, it shouldn’t be you.