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Issue 81: June 2013
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On stage this month

To Set the Stage

Backstage with Debra

Staging an Empty Room: Do You Need Your Own Furniture?

Save These Dates & Talk To Me

High Cost of Bad Advice

Hats Off to 6 Home Stagers
Lori Fischer, Katrina Gibbons, Kate Rudd, Nataliya Mitt, Cari Calhoun, Laura Gariepy

So You Need a Website, Now What?

Getting Your Staging Diva Certificate

staging diva store

Did You Get Your Gift?

Birthday gift from Staging Diva

If you didn't get a birthday gift from me, click here to join my birthday list for free. I promise to send you a surprise on your day!

To Set the Stage

"Most will say you're crazy to try. Find those who say you'd be crazy not to."

- Jenny Blake


Backstage with Debra

Do the people around you stomp on your dreams or project all their own fears and insecurities onto you? I've been there and I know it's really hard to push back and stand firm in your own vision of how your life could be.

It's hard, but it's worth it! Who wants to live someone else's life instead of their own?

I've found two strategies that help me keep my own dreams alive in the face of naysayers and my own self-doubt. One is to write in my journal. This keeps me in touch with what I want and helps me see others' opinions and projections for what they are.

The other strategy is to surround myself with others who share similar dreams, or who have already succeeded at what I'm trying to do.

I want you to experience first-hand how well a support system works!

To quote Staging Diva Grad Leah Fritz (WI) who is in her 8th (!) year as a home stager: "I don't understand how anyone could forge through the un-chartered waters of the staging business without a seasoned support system to draw from. Thanks again Debra for providing it."

This month you'll have two opporunities to connect with me and your fellow home stagers (or aspiring stagers) in person by phone. One is free and the other is a mere $47 — with a guarantee that you'll make 10 times that amount back.

In this month's newsletter you'll also meet 7 home stagers, see a stunning family room transformation, learn why you don't need your own furniture to stage empty rooms and how you can talk about the hidden cost of not staging.

You'll read about the high cost of bad business advice and discover that having a home staging website doesn't have to be a big deal.

Happy Summer and here's to your continued success,


Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Voice of Possibility™ Group Inc.

Staging an Empty Room:

Do You Need Your Own Funiture?

I've been writing for years about the folly of putting an empty home on the real estate market. When you don't give potential buyers every opportunity to fall in love with a home, you are leaving money on the table.

This room staged by Staging Diva student Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging (NJ) demonstrates how much warmer and more inviting a furnished room looks than an empty one.

family room before staging family room after staging

You can really appreciate the size and scale of this room when you see it furnished!
Photos: Amy Bly, Great Impressions Home Staging (NJ)

This home is a great example of proof home staging works. Amy staged this property for an investor who had it on the real estate market for 5 months before hiring her to stage it for him. Once she finished furnishing the empty home, it sold within a month, despite the slow Christmas season.

The Hidden Cost of Not Staging

One of the things to point out to home sellers, investors and builders who balk at investing in home staging, is the cost of carrying the home while it sits unsold on the real estate market.

There's an obvious financial cost to being stuck with a non-selling property, plus there's also an emotional one.

No one likes to have their funds tied up when they need access to them, and no one likes feeling like their life is on hold while waiting for their property to sell.

I appreciate Amy sending these before and after photos to share with you. She writes, "Thank you for giving me the confidence to go out and get my very first paying job over 3 years ago!"

> If you'd like to see one of your projects featured and get some free publicity for your home staging business, don't forget to Share Your Staging Story with me so I can write about you!

Is Having Your Own Furniture Inventory Necessary?

Many home stagers mistakenly believe they need to carry an inventory of furniture to rent to their home staging clients who have vacant properties, or need new pieces to supplement existing furniture for a resale home on the real estate market.

You don't need your own inventory. I've run a highly successful home staging business without any of my own stuff for 10 years and I teach you how to do that in detail in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.

You can also read more about this topic in:

Home Stager Racks up $100,000 in Debt

Staging Diva Weighs In on Furniture Rental Debate

Inventory Problems Make Stagers Think Twice

Looking for Home Staging Design Tips?

In the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide, I share all my design tips and tricks, illustrated with detailed photos and floor plans. You'll easily visualize what to do in any home staging situation. You'll learn everything I've picked up through trial and error over 10 years of staging hundreds of clients' homes.

Home Staging Design Guide

Save These June Dates and Talk to Me Live

Times indicated are eastern (NY time). Please adjust for your time zone.

5 simple secretes to making money in home staging

June 12 (8 PM)
5 Simple Secrets to a Home Staging Business: How to Make Money Doing What You Love

(Free Live Teleseminar + Recording)

You'll learn how to avoid following the faulty business formula that most home stagers fall into.

> Sign up here FREE if you've never taken Staging Diva courses (otherwise you already know these 5 secrets!)

Staging Diva Dialog

June 20 (7pm)
Staging Diva Dialog Coaching Call

For beginner and established home stagers. You don't need to be our student.

Ask me questions and get semi-private coaching in a small group for only $47.

Cindy Ryan (TN) said after our last call: "Thank you for a great session tonight. Your voice has a magical spark of encouragement and calm that I needed. You're such an inspiration!"

> Join us this month + get the recording too

You're guaranteed to make $500 when you implement the ideas from a single session.

The High Cost of Bad Advice

With a whole world of free information online, it's tempting to think you can learn whatever you need without investing in courses, books, or anything else.

If you're serious about learning to operate a profitable home staging business, I challenge that assumption.

Yes, you can read lots of information on blogs, newsletters, and in groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. However, if you don't know enough to sort out the bad advice from the good, you could fall into all kinds of traps that will cost you a bundle.

Lots of people with no experience share opinions that sound like they know what they're talking about.

In a recent article I shared several examples of the worst staging business advice I've seen in discussion groups and why following it could waste thousands or even put you out of business altogether. I explain why it's wrong to help put you back on the right track.

> What's the worst advice you've seen online? Please share your comments here.

The high cost of bad advice

Hats Off To These 6 Home Stagers

Join me this month in welcoming these 6 new and returning Staging Diva Grads to the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers. Check out their profiles and get inspired.

home stager
Lori Fischer
Year 3!
Rethink Home Interiors

Australia home stager
Katrina Gibbons
Year 2!
Brisbane, Australia
Stylus Home Staging

Alabama home stager
Kate Rudd
Year 2!
Alabama and Georgia
Studio 180

Ontario home staging
Nataliya Mitt
Pro Staging and Design

Minnesota home staging
Cari Calhoun
Destiny by Design

Michigan home staging
Laura Gariepy
Showstopper Staging LLC

So You Need a Home Staging Website:

Now What?

Most home stagers are totally intimidated by the thought of having to build their own website. That's understandable because there's a steep learning curve to doing it right. Plus it can easily cost several thousands and take 3 to 6 months to complete, even when you hire a professional.

One of the many benefits of becoming a Staging Diva Graduate is that you can join the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers. Once you're a member it's easy for agents and home sellers to hire you — and it saves you the time, cost and trouble of building your own website.

Within 7 days of submitting your information, your professional listing is complete and ready for you to proudly show your potential clients, friends and relatives.

PLUS, Staging Diva Directory members enjoy FREE project referrals, notification of guest speaking opportunities, media interviews, and quarterly coaching where I work on their business with them.

Which Listing is Right For You?

There are two types of listings to choose from:

Profile Listing - A complete webpage with all your contact information, logo, headshot, description of your services and your home staging portfolio photos and captions, plus links to your website (if you have one), your social media profiles and a link to download your company brochure. Many of our graduates have relied on this type of listing for years before building their own websites.

Mini Listing - Your contact information, logo and headshot with links to your stand alone website. This option is not available if you don't have your own website because it's not enough to get you hired without your own site to provide the missing info.

Potential customers will find you in the directory with both types of listings when they are doing a search for your area.

Whether you have your own website or not there are many advantages to going with a Profile Listing. Here are 3 things to consider:

1. With a Profile Listing, everyone will read about why they should hire you and see your portfolio without requiring them to click through to your separate web site to get that information.

This is important because each time you ask someone to click a link to get more information, you lose a percentage of those people.

So while your website will be linked regardless of which type of directory listing you choose, a Profile Listing will always generating more leads and sales for you than a Mini Listing.

2. With a Profile Listing you stand more chance of being ranked in Google for your area (assuming you follow my advice for text on your page) because there will be more content on the page specific to your area and the fact that you're a home stager.

With a Mini Listing there is simply less opportunity to include keyword text.

3. With a Profile Listing (assuming you go with the annual hosting option), you get $375 in bonuses that you won't get with the Mini Listing.

In other words, although it costs $300 more to create a Profile Listing, you get an extra $375 in bonuses back. These include: a personalized brochure for your company which I personally design from the content in your listing, plus links to any or all your social media profiles.

> Learn more about a Profile Listing

> Learn more about a Mini Listing

Extra Benefits for
Profile Listings!

You can have a free brochure produced by Staging Diva for your company when you have a full year Profile Listing.

brochure sample front brochure sample back

Sample front & back of custom brochure

Plus, you'll get a download link on your Directory Profile Page so your customers can access your company brochure instantly!

Download Brochure link

Sample download button

Social Media Links!

You can add these Social Media icons to your Directory Profile and link them to your accounts on these sites:

Social Icons for Directory

Sample icons

Social Media links are a FREE perk with an annual commitment, or $75 on quarterly billing.

Certificates and Marketing for Staging Diva Grads

All Staging Diva Graduates receive personalized certificates plus free Grad Badge artwork for their marketing materials and websites.

Unlike other staging programs, Staging Diva Graduates DO NOT PAY AN ONGOING FEE to be "certified" or "accredited" after completing this program.

Once you've completed the 5-course training program, you'll be able to say "{fname} is a Graduate of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program" for as long as you like. We don't put a time limit on this like other companies!

Staging Diva Graduation Certificate

It's important to do some research before enrolling in home staging training so you know what you're buying (and from whom).

> How to know what you're getting.

Staging Diva Graduate Badge
> How to save up to $830 with a 5-course staging training package.

If you've been reading my blog or this newsletter for any length of time, you know I love writing articles about Staging Diva Students and Grads. This gives you much needed publicity and I don't charge you for it. All you have to do is share some details with me so I can write your story.

No other home staging training program consistently does this for its students. We have about 100 articles written and promoted so far, and it keeps growing.

> Share your staging or business story here so I can write about you.

About Staging Diva

Debra Gould has been a serial entrepreneur since 1989. She is president of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. with a mission of helping entrepreneurs create their ideal businesses and lifestyles.

An internationally recognized home staging expert, Debra created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with 7,000 students in the U.S., Canada and 20 other countries. She is the author of 5 guides, offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and agents locate stagers in their area and is frequently profiled in the media.

Direct inquiries to:

© 2013 Voice of Possibility Inc. All rights reserved. Content may not be duplicated without written permission.
® Staging Diva, Voice of Possibility and the Staging Diva logo are trademarks of Voice of Possibility Group Inc.