Courtney Schomburg, co-owner of INhance IT! and RESA PRO, is recognized as the only Master Certified Staging Professional in the state of Missouri through the Certified Staging Professional (CSP) education organization. Over the past 9 years INhance IT! has received home merchandising awards from the Home Builders Association of Greater St. Louis and has been featured in publications such as St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles, Ladue News, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. We asked Courtney to take a moment out of her day to tell us a little more about herself!
Learn More About Courtney:
I am a: perfectionist… also, a coworker with my talented husband, a partner with my selfless Mom and a staging instructor to my creative daughter. I am a MCSP, an Expert Psychological Stager, a color specialist, and a Buyer Trends specialist. One of my favorite accomplishments is that of a CSP Staging Mentor. I really enjoy giving back to the industry. I was instrumental in implementing the St. Louis Chapter of RESA and currently serve as President-elect.
INhance IT! Home Staging is: a family affair! My mom, Liz, and I started the company over 10 years ago. We brought my husband, Jon, on board a few years ago to run the office and do all the stuff we don’t like to do. And our daughter, Olive, loves to spend time at the office staging and setting up “houses” for her princess “friends”. We also have an amazing team of stagers that are like family to us.
We pride ourselves on staying on top of the trends and putting together cohesive design plans for every property It is very important to us that every one of our stagings is something we are proud to put the INhance IT! name on.
I love staging because: it helps buyers envision themselves living in home. Our staging has helped sell over One-Billion dollars of residential real estate in the St. Louis area. And, best of all, I get to play house everyday…how cool is that!
My style is: cleaned lined rustic glam with a twist.
Good staging should: make a buyer say “WOW, this is my dream home and I want to live here”
Right now, I’m obsessed with: using blue as an accent color, big monstera leaves, white everything, bold vases, mixing metals and materials, oversized and accessorized trays, and pillows, pillows and more pillows.
Staging is: one of the most important things a homeowner can do before putting a property on the market.
It’s my goal to: achieve one staging designation a year!
When Liz and I started the business, we had no idea that staging was such a huge deal. We had no formal training, we just took the leap and the rest is history.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across RESA that I realized just how unbelievable this industry really is. I want to learn everything there is to know about staging so that I can continue to improve myself and our company.
My motto is: Just get it done!
I love what I do because: the staging industry is constantly growing and changing. I feel like there is so much to learn and I love there are so many opportunities for growth. I get to start every day with a blank (vacant) canvas and bring my vision to life! Then, I get to have amazing photos taken so that once the house sells (quickly and for more money) I have beautiful images to cherish…and make fun of in ten years😉
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.
5-time Emmy award winning television personality Cathy Hobbs (ASID) is the founder and creator of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes. Cathy was a finalist on Season 6 of HGTV’s Hit Reality Series “DESIGN STAR” and has been featured on programs like The Nate Berkus Show, HGTV’s Top Ten, Martha Stewart Living-Radio, and is currently a regular contributor to the prominent shelter sites Sheknows.com, Ehow, Shoptopia and Cotton Candy Magazine. Cathy is also the exclusive design columnist for The Epoch Times, an international newspaper.
The CSP Home Staging Certification Course is Training You Can Trust!
Delivered through a 3-day live intensive program that is unparalleled in the industry. Becoming a Certified Staging Professional requires more than an impersonal online “cookie-cutter quickie” program. It requires:
- The nuts and bolts of staging,
- Ongoing support and community,
- Hands on training experience,
- Entrepreneurial and marketing skills.
- Valuable start up resources,
- Apprenticeship program,
- Substantive content,
- Proven in-the-field instructors,
- Premier training from the industry leader.
Or call 1-888-STAGING.
We will see you October 21 in Boston!
Although talent cannot be taught, at CSP® we believe it can be nurtured, honed and with the right education, support, financial commitment and passionate drive, people can learn to turn their talent and skills into a successful, profitable business.
“Last year I enrolled in a staging program which was very widely advertised and cost a little less than the CSP® 3 Day Course. You know that saying ‘You get what you pay for’? Well I graduated from that program still feeling that I needed more information – in fact, a lot more, actually. So I enrolled in the 3 Day CSP® workshop in Toronto. It was so informative, so comprehensive and so much fun!!!! This is the program everyone should be considering, when thinking about becoming a Stager.”
– Rita Geraldine Pfaff, CCSP® Lefroy, ON
One episode was titled “Investor Quick Flip” which was a house in the Brookside area of Tulsa. The photos show our staging magic for this house on St. Louis Avenue. As you can see, we liked the family room shot so much we made it our “hero” shot on our Facebook page and our new business cards.
The second episode of the HGTV series, Flipping the Heartland was “Team Flip” featuring a house in the Woodland Hills area of Tulsa. Grace and I can be seen on camera doing some initial staging work. In addition, two Realtor friends, Liz Fugate and Barbara Senn, are shown during the open house. We hope that you can see this episode when it airs again as we are very proud of our staging.”
View photos on Houzz
View photos on Facebook
View the HGTV Episode Schedule
Article by: Cindy Gasior
Transitions Home Staging
Touch Ups and Tweaks – Big Improvements/Small Costs
Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market or in the market for a room update, there are many small and inexpensive ways you can update any living space. Sandy Levin, a member of RESA and Owner of Beautiful Interiors Design Group, was recently featured on NBC’s “House Smarts”.
Click here to see Sandy on NBC’s “House Smarts”
(Boston, MA) Transplants to Boston, MA will quickly find that living in the city is very expensive. But just over the city lines is a hidden treasure…Winthrop, MA.
Maureen Reddy, of DaVinci Designer Gallery, has been staging properties in the greater Boston area for 15+ years. “ I have worked in every community on the edge of the city and find that the value Winthrop affords is exceptional by comparison” says Reddy. Recently, Reddy staged a 4 bedroom home just over the city line, “It is bright and cheery, steps away from protected wetlands, a 2 minute walk to commuter line access, and accommodates 3 vehicle in the driveway. The price tag for this home is, for $357,670. You just can’t find that anywhere around. Newcomers to the Boston area are amazed by this town” Reddy comments. [Read more…]
Recently the latest HomeGain survey was released with more than confusing messages. While all of the points made in the survey for a return of investment are considered part of staging. HomeGain listed “staging” as 5th on their list of important factors when selling a home.
RESA is conducting our own survey to prove the benefits of home staging. We need all the support we can get to acquire enough data to release our findings. It is extreemly important for all of us to pull together to get this survey into the hands of anyone that has sold a home. The survey is only five questions, and less than five depending on your first answer. [Read more…]
Valley Springs, CA February 13, 2012 Shell Brodnax, President/CEO of the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®), the trade association for professional home stagers was honored by the Staging & Design Network as the 2011 Leader of the Year during the association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
RESA’s annual convention recognizes home staging professionals in local chapter, state and regional leadership positions, as well as professional home stagers and industry professional service providers. RESA has 5 regions throughout North America and honors professionals in both Rookie Stager of the Year and Professional Stager of the Year categories as well as REALTOR® of the year, innovator of the year, product of the year and several other categories. During the awards banquet the presentation was stopped to honor Shell Brodnax, the President/CEO of RESA as the Staging & Design Network’s Leader of the Year.
“We were very pleased to be a key sponsor of the 2012 RESA Convention. This was a fabulous event, packed with great information and resources for the staging industry. We are delighted to honor Shell Brodnax with the 2011 Staging & Design Network Leader of the Year Award. Staging & Design Network’s tagline “Share. Grow. Inspire.” Is all about growing our community and Shell most certainly embodies this mission! Shell has shared her time, talent and passion. She has fostered enormous growth in the staging industry through her development of RESA®, and she continues to inspire all of us with her positive outlook and persistence at breaking through any brick walls set in her way,” said Tricia Tomlinson, the organizations founder and CEO.
“I was more than shocked and completely honored when the awards ceremony I was hosting and presenting awards to industry professionals was brought to a complete stop in order for the Staging & Design Network to honor me. I absolutely love what I do and I am passionate about the goals and mission of RESA®. To receive recognition on this level is a privilege and honor I will never forget,” said Brodnax.
Staging & Design Network is a national online member-based community devoted to pooling resources together to grow the Staging & Design Industry. SDN hosts the only opportunity to store and rent inventory on daily terms, in convenient, organized and retail-focused warehouses.
About The Real Estate Staging Association®
The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is the trade association for professional real estate stagers and redesigners For more information on the real estate staging and the convention visit www.RESAConvention.com For more information about real estate staging, or to find a professional stager or redesigner call 800-201-8687 and speak with Shell Brodnax, or visit the RESA® Web site at www.RealEstateStagingAssociation.com ####