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S24E17 – Home Staging for Investors: Amy Powers on Why Interior Design Matters Extra When It’s Time to Sell or Rent

Getting a home ready for market isn’t magic—it’s merchandising, and looks matter. 

Take it from Amy Powers C.S.P. (that stands for Certified Staging Professional), who has successfully prepared almost 100 million dollars in property listings for market since she took to “the stage” in 2007.

Intriugued by this growing interior design niche, iMay Media founder Nick May traveled to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals Conference and Expo in Nashville, Tennessee, last fall, where he met up with staging pros like Amy and talked about the art/science/and math of preparing homes for sale or rent.

In this episode, Nick welcomes Amy into The Chaise Lounge, to continue the conversation.

How she got her start: Amy turned to staging when the last recession hit her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, hard, flooding the market with foreclosed properties and precious few buyers. In a buyer’s market, says Amy, putting a property’s best face forward is essential to a faster sale or, in the case of short-term rentals (like Airbnb, Vrbo, or HomeAway), a higher rate of occupancy than the local competition.

Using staging to tell a story: Statistics say that 95% of today’s home buyers and short-term renters see properties for the first time in photographs on line. Sure, they pay close attention to price. But they also expect to be wooed with picture-perfect spaces filled with beauty, luxury, comfort, Roku, and a top-notch coffeemaker. That’s why, says Amy, owners need to hire designers who specialize in creating environments that appeal visually and emotionally to the property’s target demographic.

A fast-paced niche: Amy’s business, askforstaging.com, differs from traditional interior design in two significant ways. The first is the lightning-quick pace.  And the second is the target audience: As a home stager, you are decorating with the potential buyer or renter in mind—not the particular long-term preferences of the seller (your client). “I decorate for the buyer, the house sells, and I’m done,” says Amy.

Of course, as a professional painting contractor, host Nick May already knows a thing or two about the power of fresh paint to boost perceived property value—and he has some smart tips of his own to share in a conversation that covers:

  • the emotional and financial aspects of home staging for resale vs. short-term hospitality (there’s a big difference)
  • Amy’s handy “heads and beds” formulas for maximum short-term rental revenue
  • and Amy’s proven strategies for coming out on the profit side of the classic supply and demand equation 

This final episode of Season 24 on the Lounge is focused firmly on the financials. So grab your calculator, your color charts, join us for a cocktail—you can never go wrong with a good margarita or anything with rum, says Amy—and let’s get down to the business of design. 

Cheers to you! We’ll see you again soon, as we launch Season 25 on the Chaise Lounge podcast.

I decorate for the buyer or the potential renter—not the owner or investor.

- Atlanta, Georgia-based home stager Amy Powers Tweet

Chaise Lounge Updates

Our new podcast Coast to Coast Design is live! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.

That’s it for our 24th season, we hope you’ve enjoyed it. Stay tuned for season 25, where we’re excited to roll out interviews with new guests, more interviews with guest hosts, and other exciting changes and additions!



Upcoming Markets


Design Influencers Conference | Mar. 1-3, 2020

HDExpo | May 5-7, 2020

ICFF | May 17-20, 2020

High Point Market | Apr. 25-29, 2020

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!