In the midst of the sweltering August heat (90+degrees), on the third floor of a Midlothian home, a group a of local home stagers, realtors and designers from Richmond, VA painted, assembled, fluffed and hung to design a sanctuary for Lauren Cherry, a local 7-year-old pediatric cancer patient and her family.
When clients are looking to hire a home stager they will want to see professional photos of your work. We give you a place on your RESA profile to upload albums to showcase your work. Follow these step by step directions to start uploading albums today!
Bidding on a staging job. How do you know what to bid? I’ve seen ads on Thumbtack for a 2000 sq ft home Staging 5 rooms and then a 1000 sq foot home with 3 rooms. How do you know what to bid without seeing the property?
– Aimee Musgrave, NY
If you ask 10 successful stagers how to bid a job, you would get 10 distinctly different answers. We have each developed our own system to bid jobs in a manner that works for our company, in our market. Some stagers bid by the square foot (I’m one of those), some stagers bid by the room – they have figured out how much each room will cost them to stage, approximately, and then they add or subtract to get to their bid. Some charge a percentage of the list price, usually 1%-2%. Some assign a rental value to each item in their inventory and add all those costs up to get their inventory rental price, then they add their other costs, including staging fee, outside labor/movers, assistants, gas, truck rental, etc. No matter how you choose, you need to know what your costs are going to be. How much are you paying your assistants per hour? How many hours will they be working (don’t forget packing, loading, installing, loading up the leftovers, unloading at your warehouse or storage, and putting everything away. Then multiply x2 because you are going to have to destage, right? When figuring our your assistants’ cost, don’t forget to add in state and federal employment taxes, workers comp insurance, etc. Then you need to know how much your moving costs are going to be. Are you renting a Uhaul? Don’t forget to multiply x 2 for install and removal. Add in the mileage you will pay, the gas you will put in the truck, etc. Are you using movers? Are you paying hourly or a flat rate? Do you have to pay the mover mileage or a fuel surcharge? Are you going to tip the movers? Then you have to figure in the cost of your inventory.
A good rule of thumb starting out is to figure out what your cost of acquisition is for that item (don’t forget to add in the sales tax you paid if you didn’t buy wholesale, the time to go pick it up or delivery charges, etc.) then charge anywhere from 10%-20% for the rental fee. Add in your staging fee and your company profit. I can’t tell you what you should expect for a company profit, but I will tell you most McDonalds franchises make 6%-12% per year. If you are making 10%+ profit in your staging business, you are a superstar!
If you are renting furniture, I suggest you create a spreadsheet of the items you use most and their cost to rent. When you are bidding a job, figure out how much the furniture you would like to rent will cost. Add in 15% in case the cheap sofa you want to rent is out of stock and you need to go to a more expensive one. If you create this spreadsheet, you won’t have to wait on your sales rep at the furniture rental company to give you a bid. You will be able to create one yourself. Other than the furniture rental and the delivery, all of your other staging expenses will be the same as above.
As someone who has bid on thousands of jobs, I will tell you that you need to figure out a way to bid your jobs that is fast and efficient. If you are taking a lot of time to bid jobs that you may or may not get, you are losing time that you could be spending on marketing, writing blog posts, meeting real estate agents and growing your business. Refer to past jobs that you have done that are similar. Don’t agonize over every lamp or vase or whether or not to charge $10 or $12.50 for a lamp. You will make yourself crazy. Try to come up with packages of accessories that you can use for many situations.
Get to Know Kristy Better!
I am: The Executive Director of Dwell Home Staging in Tampa Bay, FL.
Dwell Home Staging is: A nationally award-winning staging company specializing in fresh, on-trend design. Our mission is to create wealth and happiness for our clients.
I love staging because: We pave the way for new journeys for buyers and sellers. To show a prospective buyer the life story they can create in a new space, and to help sellers mitigate price drops and double mortgages so they can start a new home endeavor with ease is an honor and something our team takes very seriously.
My style is: Welcoming, Rustic, Bohemian & Contemporary
Good staging should: Sell the home, not the decor
Right now I’m obsessed with: Black and white Spanish tile kitchens with raw wood cabinetry and Persian rugs
Staging is: Exciting, creative, crazy, a growing industry, fun…. and freaking exhausting!
It’s my goal to: Continue to grow our amazing Dwell Team, empowering each to be leaders and take ownership of their passion and purpose.
My motto is: “Take your work seriously, but not yourself seriously.”
Do you want the opportunity to share your expertise with thousands of RESA members and followers alike and also get recognized as a RESA expert in your area of expertise? Apply today to be considered a RESA Expert and contribute to answering industry related questions to be featured on RESA’s Home Staging Newswire blog, and Social Media Sites.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
Be the expert. Solidify yourself as an expert in your niche by sharing your unique methods, techniques and philosophies.
Build your business and your following. Expand your reach by publishing to our monthly audience of more than 20,000 unique visitors. Each article you submit will link back to your social media outlets and include one link to your website.
Help others and build your brand. Home stagers and real estate agents visit our blog and social media sites each month because they know they can rely on us for high quality, and relevant industry related information provided by industry experts like yourself.
Build your portfolio. You are free to link to your article in your professional portfolio or use as general bragging material.
Want to jump on board?
Email our Chief Buzz Creator a sample of your writing – Felicia@RESA-HQ.org letting her know what you would like to be an expert in – and ask to be placed on the monthly expert contributor email list. We email out topics on the 1st of every month and content will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis.
SOME EXPERT TOPICS:
- Social Media
- Branding Strategies
- Real life conflicts common to home stagers and how to resolve them
- Organizing the Administrative Side of Your Business
- Photo Styling: How to Take Better Photos of Your Staging Projects
- Day-To-Day Staging Tips and Tricks
- Marketing Strategies, Tactics, and Campaigns to help grow your business
- Working with a staff of home stagers
- Pricing strategies for your market: How to ensure your business remains profitable and competitive at the same time
Todd McAllister, a rockstar RESA home stager, and owner of Portlands very own home staging empire OnStage shares nuggets of wisdom on occasion in our members only RESA Facebook group. We rounded up our top 10 favorites to share with you!
- If you have hurricane candle holders and run out of triple wick candles, try this idea. Fill the deep hole that you put the candle in with some type of plastic… (I’m always trying to save on materials)
Then cover the bottom with small bags of polished stones (I find them at the local Dollar Tree for $1 per bag).. instead of using one candle, fill with a grouping of various sizes of candles.. (the candle grouping pictured came from IKEA for $5.99)
- Painting Trick! When painting and the ring of the paint can collects paint and builds up, simply get a nail and hammer and punch small holes in the ring of the can.. the paint will drip back into the can.
- Missing Lids! Have any of these hanging around? You know, the canister/ jar with the lid that is MIA or been dropped…. well, hot glue the lids on them.
- Money Saving Headboard. Steal this money saving idea.. we had a lot of these old dark brown slat headboards.. we got inexpensive painters canvas, got foam core to cover up the slots then cut the canvas to size.. we used a staple gun to attach the canvas to the frame….we are able to get about 3 headboards out of each canvas…then steam out the wrinkles…..
- Don’t ever be afraid to change how you do things. We often find that what we were doing was maybe not the most efficient… for example.. we used to use these Rubbermaid carts to pull accessories.. we came across these taller rolling racks with the ability to store more accessories… preventing multiple trips back and forth…
- Job Organization. We’re always improving how we do things.. we are now using these stanchions our warehouse manager found.. since we have multiple jobs going out daily, this is a very visible way to separate each job to reduce confusion about what goes with what project..
- Always have spring rods in your inventory.
Builder: ” since this house is next to a garbage enclosure, can you put up some sheers to block the view, and not put any holes in the walls?”Me: “Yes, not a problem… I have spring rods that will hold the sheers..”
- A QUICK FIX….Oops.. I forgot this is the side table with a drawer that falls out….? If you turn it upside down and simply insert a small screw into the bottom, it will act as a stop.
- Another learning opportunity…..Like everyone in staging land, I get caught up in the pretty… but stop to think about the abuse our inventory takes.. sometimes the pretty gets damaged easily… #NotASmartBuy
- A GREAT ANALOGY FROM TODD MCALLISTER, when you are asked why people need to stage. Not long ago I was asked by an agent what the point of staging is and why people do it? He was a non believer. I equated it to food styling.. when you go to a restaurant and look at the menu, you see all of the items that look amazing. Perfectly placed on a plate or in a bowl. Each item is dripping in sauce or gravy, and the chicken is buttery looking and juicy… it’s the magic of a food stylist and amazing photography.
We all know that the items we order never actually look like the photo. But it’s the power of suggestion and photography that makes us order the item.. it’s the same with staging. Our job is to make a home look it’s absolute best for the buyer. The images they see online will get them in the door.
After I explained it to him, he then understood why staging is so very important.
Feel free to use this at your next appointment