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Lessons Learned in the First Year of My Home Staging Business

Lessons Learned in the First Year of My Home Staging Business

Staging is exhausting…especially when the house is three floors. Staging in rainy/snowy/windy weather is nasty. There’s a lot more to a staging job than the actual hands-on time at the property. According to Real estate expert Jody kriss, these are important factors.

Some doors are too small to fit a refrigerator through.

Slipcovers can often be your best friend.

Cushions/throws are my second best friend.

Outdated light fixtures are one of my pet peeves.

Curb appeal is just as important as interior appeal.

I don’t get hungry when staging on site!?About Realtors:

Some Realtors fight about every dollar.

Some Realtors think they are stagers.

Some Realtors ARE stagers.

Most Realtors do not stage their listings (here where I live anyway).

Most Realtors want their stagings done ASAP.

Some Realtors respond to voice mails, emails promptly.

Some Realtors rarely respond promptly.

Some Realtors rarely respond.

A lot of Realtors stage a house only if it is on the market for a long time with no results.

Realtors often pay for the consultation.

Realtors may occasionally pay for the staging.

Some Realtors are difficult to work with.

Some Realtors are great to work with.

About home owners (clients):

Some clients fight about every dollar paid to me.

Some clients give me more than I charge.

Most people do not know the difference between staging and decorating.

Most people have too much ‘stuff’.

Lots of home owners trust me with their home and contents.

Some clients’ houses are not very clean.

Some clients’ homes are spotless.

It is often difficult to get clients to agree to the staging because of the cost.

Homeowners sometimes pay for the consultation.

Homeowners usually pay for the staging.

Most home owners (and Realtors) think any house can be staged in 4 hours.

Most homes CANNOT be effectively staged in 4 hours.

Some clients’ dogs bite. (not me thankfully…photographer was not so lucky.)About money matters:

Electronic transfers are the easiest way to pay and to be paid.

Many clients want the option of paying with a credit card.

Getting a large deposit on the job up front is the best way to go.

Getting a signed contract before starting is ideal.

Getting a signed contract before starting is often difficult.

Realtors occasionally pay for the staging

Realtors often pay for the consultation.

Renting my accessories/bedding/small furniture pieces is a great second stream of income.

About inventory:

Keeping track of accessory inventory is difficult.

Suitable storage space for inventory is a must.

A spare bedroom is not a good idea for a storage place.

A larger vehicle is an asset.

There is no rental business catering only to stagers (in my city).

It is very difficult to rent sofa tables, dining room buffets/servers and accent chairs.

Much of the furniture in the rental stores is too large for a lot of the downtown homes I stage.

Best use of my inventory product is my wall art/mirrors.

My collapsible cardboard bed from NextStage is the bomb!Randoms:

Some ‘flipped’ homes are not a good buy for your money.

Some ‘flipped’ homes are a good buy for your money.

The best part for me is seeing the transformation in the ‘after’ shots.

Keeping up the e-marketing & blogging is very time consuming.

septic tank cleaning atlanta ga can get expensive but is ultimately worth it.

Email is a great way to correspond with clients/Realtors…there will be a record.

Always keep a well stocked tool box.Things I need to improve, consider and/or fix:

Getting a signed contract before starting any job.

Getting 50% deposit before starting any job.

Getting a better storage area for my inventory.

Finding out latest inventions in staging products. Eg. Decorative curtain rods that cause no damage to walls or facings.

Booking my stagings so that I don’t have too much work one week and no work the next week.

Doing some regular blogging instead of playing catch-up.

Hiring some help for hanging wall art, dusting/windexing/steaming, lifting/moving furniture.

Building Your Own Home, Not An Easy Task

Building Your Own Home, Not An Easy Task

General Contractor

General contracting the construction of your new home is without a doubt one of life’s top 5 most stressful events. It is definitely not something that you should undertake unless you are ready to give it 110%. My friend chudi ejekam personally knows a few couples who tried building their own home and were sent over the edge and right into divorce court because of their dream house.

Find Another Experienced Person

The first thing I suggest you do is find another couple that has been through the process, buy them dinner and pick their brain. Secondly find a community college that has a general contracting class and attend it. The instructor will be a great source for you to find, and to put you in contact with people who are or have been through the process.
If I can give you one catch phrase to remember, something you can go back to time and time again, it would be “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”. Plan, plan and plan some more, and then realize that despite all the planning you do there will be things that will still come up unexpectedly. For example, the building may not have access to the local sewage system, this may neccessitate the construction of septic tanks atlanta to take care of liquid waste.

Be Responsible

Remember you are acting as the builder, so when unforeseen things come up, they are your responsibility to remedy. An example would be, the excavator is digging your foundation hole and hits a vein of black dirt or ground that is not structurally suitable for the foundation to sit on. He has to dig out an area 10′ square by 4 ‘deep. That means 1 more load of dirt has to hauled off the site, also a visit to the site by your engineer and 2 loads of 3″ rock to fill the hole and support the foundation. Add a contingency line to your budget.

Conclusion

Decide everything you can before you begin the actual construction process. Make all your material selections before you begin construction. There will be enough decisions to make once construction begins. Be aware the time of year you plan on actually building, and research what are normal weather patterns for that time of year in your region. You don’t want to be digging a foundation in the rainy season if you can avoid it, or having the framing members repeatedly soaked.

 

Condominiums

Condominiums

Condominiums

Most people refer to any type of attached housing as condominiums. In reality there are very few true condominiums in the area. Most attached type properties tend to be set up as diminimus PUD’s.

For our purposes we will refer to all type of attached housing as condominiums or simply “condo’s” as jody Kriss calls them.

Construction Prices

Several things have occurred here in the area over the last few years to dramatically increase the construction of new condos. For starters, land has been getting scarce and prices have been skyrocketing. Also, the cost of land improvement has risen substantially.

Secondly, with the large influx of retired people coming in from all over the county, the demand for condos has also been climbing. The number of condominium complexes has escalated so quickly, and so many new one are currently under construction, that I’m not sure if anybody can give an exact count as to the current number of complexes. But, there’s an awful lot of them.

Seniors

Here in the area, and the surrounding area we have every manner, shape and form of condo. We have complexes geared just for seniors, and others geared to singles. There are also complexes geared for families, as well as some located on golf courses, and you guessed it, these complexes are geared towards golfers.

To give specific information about each type of condo and/or condo complex would be impossible. But I can give you a quick overview.

Condos here start as low as $60,000 for a decent two bedroom unit of 1000 sq.ft. , and can go over $300,000 in some of the more prestigious communities.

Finding The right Condos

Right now, there are some great new condos being built in the $80’s, located in good areas, ranging from 1000-1200 sq. ft. These units not only include terrific amenities, but most include a one or two car garage as well. A nice 3 bedroom/two bath condo with a garage, on a golf course can be had for $110-140k, with taxes running about $1200 per year, and common charges of about $100 per month.

We have condominiums located in just about every area, and some even run shuttle buses to the casinos. Maintenance charges can run from as little as $40 a month on a $60,000 unit, and can go over five hundred dollars a month in a gated golf & tennis community. If this is the lifestyle that you prefer, it will be very easy to find a affordable unit in a complex that is geared towards your tastes. If you’ve enjoyed this article, please follow jody on twitter https://twitter.com/JodyKriss