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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!

 

Resources

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!

S24 E12 — 2020 Jumpstart with NYC Designer Neal Beckstedt

Welcome! This week on The Lounge, Nick spends some quality time with New York-based architect, interior designer, and vintage Rolex watch collector Neal Beckstedt, who boldly launched Neal Beckstedt Studio in 2010 in the depths of the recession, landed his first project two weeks later, appeared on Architectural Digest‘s “Ones to Watch” list in 2013, and has never looked back.

“Call me an architect, interior designer, a decorator—it’s all about problem solving, and I love it,” says Neal, whose portfolio of warm, modern interiors includes everything from intimate residences for two to a 40,000-square-foot office space for 500 employees and his own 1890s weekend house.  Nick and Neal talk about how the designer keeps the lightning-paced operations at his 12-person shop running smoothly, the ONE ESSENTIAL THING every designer must invest in, the marketing tool he can’t live without (“Instagram, Instagram, Instagram”), and much more on this inspiring episode of The Chaise Lounge.

So pour yourself a Casamigos on the rocks (Neal’s go-to cocktail…and George Clooney’s, too, of course) and find out how this Midwestern boy raised “on a farm in the middle of nowhere” found his way to the top of one of the country’s most competitive design markets while maintaining his reputation as a gentleman, his integrity, and his deep affinity for all things beautiful, pure, custom, and meticulously crafted.

You can learn more about Neal and his work at Neal Beckstedt Studio (and on Instagram, at @nealbeckstedt).

We need to be constantly talking to clients and vendors and be transparent about how much work goes into achieving something to the one-eighth inch and all the many people it takes to achieve that. For me, it's 'open book.'

Chaise Lounge Updates

Stay in the loop on our Instagram and Facebook pages and keep an eye our for our upcoming market events!

Join us on The Lounge every week and learn just how many ways there are to run a successful design business.

 

JOIN US on THE CHAISE LOUNGE

To hear more episodes, join us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! Find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Until we meet again, keep dreaming big—and keep designing YOUR great design business.

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