A Day in the Life of a Stager

by Shauna Lynn Simon, CEO SLS Academy

How My Week Went “Kaboom” in a Matter of Hours, and I LOVED it!

Today I thought that I would tell you about my week (or at least my week so far, as it’s only Tuesday as I write this). Monday started like a typical day. In my morning meeting with my assistant we discussed our expectations of the week. The books were looking pretty light over the next few days (for home staging clients), with only a couple of bookings that day, and pretty much nothing the rest of the week. This is not surprising, since kids return to school in just a few weeks. This is something to keep in mind when you’re starting your home staging business – the real estate industry has peaks and valleys, and most regions are affected by these real estate “seasons”. In our home staging company, we always bump up our design availability for this time of year to help to compensate for the slower selling season and maintain a steady cash flow through to the fall market boom.

So here I am Tuesday (early) afternoon now, and reviewing our fully booked calendar, and wondering how we’re going to make it all work! In addition, there are likely still changes to be made before the week is done. So I have cancelled the plans that I had with a friend for Thursday night, and we’re all pulling up our boots and getting to work.

So what happened?

Well, one of my home stagers met with a client yesterday for a vacant home staging consultation. Though we don’t usually “hold” home staging dates until we have received proper confirmation (signed contract; down-payment; credit card authorization) from the client, we understood the urgency of this particular project, and their insistence that they would be moving forward with the home staging (even though they had no idea yet what it would cost), so we tentatively booked them in for Thursday when we booked their consultation appointment, with hope and a prayer that they would hold true to their word.

In the meantime, we received notice that another staged property had sold (yay) so we needed to arrange for destaging that now. Both projects require movers, and the destage is in a condo, which requires the scheduling of the elevator as well. While all of this is happening, my assistant speaks to a new agent that has heard wonderful things about our company (naturally), and needs a consultation, then staging for a client of his in one of the rural areas that we service.

So we think that we can prep the staging on wed, destage the condo on Thursday, finish the prep on Friday, and stage the large house on Monday (and Tuesday morning since it’s a large house). After a little arm-twisting, we secure the movers for this, but the condo management can’t get us the elevator until Tuesday. Ok, so prep the staging on Wednesday now, stage Thursday and Friday morning, and pack our destage on Monday for the movers to arrive on Tuesday morning at 8am, the only time we were able to secure the elevator for! While my other stager is managing the large vacant home staging on Thursday, I will meet with the new client so that he can get started with prepping his house for staging.

Now remember the part where I said that we bump up our design availability? I have 3 other appointments already booked for design clients this week, on top of everything you’re seeing here. Needless to say, we’re rolling with the punches!

The moral of this story is that this industry is unpredictable, and you need to be willing to have some flexibility, shuffle things on occasion, and make compromises to be successful. Yes, our policy states that we need 5 days notice for destaging, and 5 days notice for staging, but if we can work a miracle or two when we need to, it keeps everyone (including my accountant) very happy. The home staging industry is fast-paced and ever-changing – be up to the challenge and roll with it. I love that my day seldom goes as expected – it keeps life interesting!

Want to see more stories like this? Have questions about becoming a Home Stager, or just starting out and need an extra boost in your business? Join our Facebook group, To Be a Home Stager – our very own Shauna Lynn Simon is live online every Thursday afternoon, answering your most pressing questions!

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