Unfortunately, many individuals with a talent for decorating attempt to become home stagers without any kind of business training or marketing knowledge. With the best of intentions they stumble into some awful marketing tactics that will put them out of business faster than you can say, “What were they thinking?”
When you’ve made a career of being a home stager, like any business you might run, marketing must be a focus of your efforts to generate a steady stream of paying clients. Unfortunately, some home stagers aren’t portraying an image of professionalism, which not only hurts their own success, but casts a bad light on the home staging industry as a whole.
Before I entered the home staging industry, I owned a marketing consulting firm where I used my MBA and experience working for advertising agencies to help promote Fortune 500 companies. It pains me to see tacky marketing gimmicks being used by any company. But it’s worse when it’s a staging business because I sincerely want to see people succeed in this field and raise the standards in the industry. That’s why, when I train others to become home stagers, there’s a great deal of focus placed on smart marketing techniques.”
The following are some of the worst marketing tactics I’ve seen carried out by home stagers:
Using sexy as a selling point.
It’s true that sex sells, but it’s a terrible idea to use your sex appeal to sell home staging services for many reasons.
- It’s not safe. You’re going to a stranger’s home, most likely by yourself. If you don’t want to put yourself in a bad situation, don’t claim to be a sexy home stager.
- It’s irrelevant. As long as you can present a polished image and prove your ability to transform a property to appeal to buyers, it doesn’t matter what you look like.
- It’s inappropriate. Usually, the marketing I’ve seen by home stagers who are trying to attract customers based on their level of sexiness is just ridiculous and it’s impossible to take these stagers seriously.
I recently came across a “home staging” website featuring a strange animated character telling the world that she was her state’s sexiest stager. The whole thing was strange. After the animated head introduced herself as her state’s sexiest stager she said that if you want your home to sell fast and for top dollar you should stay tuned for weekly tips on sexy staging.
Then the animated head tells a joke: What is the difference between broccoli and boogers? Kids won’t eat broccoli. Which led her to sharing the day’s sexy staging tip which was (and months later still is), “Remember to clean the boogers off the walls before you put your house on the market.”
This is enough to make any reasonable adult cringe, and would lead even a teenager to ask, ‘Is this a real home staging business?”
Nobody is going to trust that person to prepare their largest asset to sell. There are ways to use video effectively to enhance your marketing message, but a “sexy” animated robot, especially one joking about “boogers”, is not one of them.
In part two of this series of articles, learn why offering a guaranteed sale based on home staging services is a terrible marketing idea.
by Debra Gould