Today’s episode of the Chaise Lounge is the conclusion of Nick’s adventures in Nashville at the International Association of Home Staging Professionals Conference. In this batch of interviews, Nick talks to Melissa Marro of Rave Home Staging and Redesign, a home staging business that teaches other people how to get into staging themselves and Blair Hamaty, owner of Massachusetts-based staging firm Setting the Space.
The Business of Home Staging
On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Jennie Norris of IAHSP, Tricia Tomlinson of Staging and Design Network, Lauren Matthews of White Orchid Interiors on a subset of Interior Design, the business of Home Staging.
Jumping into conversation with Jennie Norris (5:50)
Located near Denver, Jennie Norris has been staging since 2002. She has also been involved in the International Association of Home Staging Professionals in many different roles and is currently the chairwoman for the entire organization of thousands of members.
IAHSP is hosting an educational conference and expo coming up in February from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The theme of this event is “Raise the BAR” and will focus on business, applications, and resources. Not only will Nick of The Chaise Lounge be presenting on keeping your sales and marketing funnel full, but Jeff Lewis from Bravo’s Flipping Out will be sharing his expertise too.
Overall, Jennie said that home staging is physical and demanding. She mentioned that TV shows today show that staging is necessary and focus on furniture and décor, but what they don’t show is the actual business.
IAHSP’s Educational Conference and Expo is coming up on February 10-12. Please click here for more info!
Next in the lounge, Tricia Tomlinson (13:45)
Tricia Tomlinson is calling in from Kirkland, WA right now, but is hoping to expand to other locations soon! Tricia runs the Staging and Design Network, which is the only shared rental pool in the marketplace for home staging. By fulfilling this function, Tricia and her company can handle all payment and logistics, which allows home stagers to focus on the homes and design.
Tricia started in real estate with a company that provided staging, and she fell in love with it. She knew she needed more resources when her staging projects started to borrow furniture from her own home!
The Staging and Design Center allows stagers to receive income on rented furniture, art, bedding, rugs, etc as well as expand their inventory to be able to rent from other stagers. It’s like the Amazon for the home staging industry.
Tricia has seen great success and plans on expanding within the next six months. In the meantime, the company is providing webinars from educational providers on being successful in the industry. And, Nick will be presenting on marketing coming up in January!
When asked about the difference in interior design and home staging, Tricia mentioned that staging is the only industry where you can show your talent. Interior design caters to homeowners’ taste, while staging appeals to the broadest audience. You must do your homework on the market in that area.
Find out more about Tricia and Staging and Design Network on the company website or email her at email@example.com. If you are a professional in the industry, please check out Tricia’s LinkedIn Group.
Last, but not least, Lauren Matthews (39:00)
Lauren Matthews is calling from her home office in beautiful Newport Beach, California. She is originally from Colorado and spent time skiing and road cycling at a high level of competition. This allowed her to travel and see great design. When her sports career wrapped up, Lauren decided to focus on this interest.
Initially, she thought staging was just rearranging and decluttering, but soon landed her first job staging a $2 million vacant home. It was a huge success, and from them on she has been fulfilling the need for luxury vacant home staging in Denver.
Lauren started with no inventory and sent fliers out to real estate agents. In naming her company, she knew she wanted it to be bigger than her, so she landed on White Orchid Interiors. The business now employs 12 individuals who stage more than 300 $1+ million vacant homes each year from two permanent office locations (Colorado and southern California).
When thinking about the staging industry, Lauren commented on the quick turnaround time that happens more often than not. And often, you just have to work with what is in your inventory and get the job done to make it work, while also keeping high end luxury expectations in mind.
Lauren describes home staging as selling a story, but the story changes from the homeowner to the actual home itself, and interior design focuses on the characteristics and personality of the homeowner.
For more information on Lauren Matthews and White Orchid Interiors, please check out the company website, which includes a helpful quoting tool.
If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com. Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!