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.
There’s a tool in the home staging industry, and in some regions it has met with growing enthusiasm. However, the more conscientious business owners are asking questions about the application of imitation furniture in staging homes. Is it cheaper? Is it practical? How effective is it?
Stagers using these cardboard fittings find them valuable when preparing lower end properties. Yet there are reports of million dollar homes selling despite using the dull and boxy fillers.
The staging professionals using this lightweight pseudo-furniture attest the product is compact, portable, and easy to move. Fake sofas, chairs, and book cases, will effectively express, for the potential buyer, how the available space may be used. The practicality of these props is evident. Yet it’s use is short sighted. Luxe Property Staging urges our industry to use discretion in implementing such items.
When a house is staged, priced, marketed, and shown correctly you have a greater chance of selling with multiple offers, in a timely fashion, and at better than the asking price. With this approach and proven investment, we believe in offering the REAL DEAL. Even those owning stock furniture may supplement what they have by visiting the affordable rental companies. Usually presenting varied lines of quality goods, they allow the stager to work within any budget.
Buyers have high expectations, and your 1st impression could be your last if you fail to meet them. Using cardboard furniture may be perceived as trickery or cheap creating a negative feel early in the showing. And at the very least lessens the comfort of the prospect. “See how beautifully we can use this space! Oh no, please don’t sit there.” A home you can’t sit in isn’t likely to sell well.
“Your client’s home is real. Their dreams are real. And the furniture should be real.”
For more, visit Kelly’s blog at LUXE Property Staging.
Congratulations to RESA RVP, Karen Eubank owner of Eubank Staging & Design for being featured on KLIF AM – Real Estate Talk with Willie Lambright on 2/20/2016. Mike Bowman of Century 21 is the sponsor that asked Karen to be apart of this great show. It is a great interview so be sure to listen by clicking here!
Karen is not only a RESA RVP and a RESA Approved MCE Instructor but she recently won the State President of the Year and the RESA Instructor of the Year at the 2016 RESA Home Staging Industry Awards during RESACON2016. Karen continues to bring the staging industry to the forefront and we are thankful and proud of all of her accomplishments. “Keep up the greatness!!”
RESAMass has been very busy recently!… In January, we were named ‘Chapter of the Year‘ at RESACON, Las Vegas! We are proud to be the recipients of this prestigious award and look forward to all that this new year promises to bring!
February had us gathering at our monthly meeting where, in conjunction with their 150th Anniversary, we were joined by guest speaker, Heather Bourgeois of Sherwin Williams as they revealed 194 new colors, a whole new fan deck, a new tool system and exciting products for 2016. RESA Members get an exclusive 25% discount at Sherwin Williams stores. *Members must be logged in to the RESA website to access this exclusive discount savings card.
March has us hosting Agents On Stage! our 5th annual realtor panel for an opportunity to network with several local real estate industry professionals and to discuss how staging their listings will give them an advantage.
Update provided by: Barb Nazarro
Betsy Wilbur owner of Artisan Staged Home & Room Design, and a long time RESA Member located in Glendale, California, was recently showcased in the Los Angeles Times with her making the list of RESA’s “2016 Top Ten Redesigners of the Year“. All of the official winners were announced during the 2016 RESA Home Staging Industry Awards, held on day two of RESACON in Las Vegas, Nevada this past January 2016. In the article she tells the reporter that her background in theater arts is similar to her home staging. RESA would like to congratulate Betsy once again for making RESA’s 2016 Top Ten Resigner of the Year. To read the full article written by Arin Mikailian, click here!
Not only will you find Betsy Wilbur making news in the LA Times, she was also featured in Forbes.com. Written by Vanessa McGrady, the article is titled “7 Pro Tips To Help Your Home Sell Faster, For More Money“. Here are two of seven tips she provides to readers:
- Keep décor neutral: Neutral does not mean boring, but it does mean staying away from shocking colors, and even avoiding all-white and all-beige walls. “I’ve staged some fantastic rooms with deep purple or black walls – it’s all about knowing how to make it work.”
- Remove personal items: All personal pictures, family plaques, framed certificates, etc., should be packed. “I also suggest packing up anything smaller than a cantaloupe. We want the buyer to envision themselves living there right away, and a house full of someone else’s pictures doesn’t do that.”
To read the full article and get the other great tips, click here!
We are happy to report to you that the RESA Houston Local Chapter had it’s kick off meeting on 12/15/2015 sponsored by: CORT Furniture Rental with a great attendance. Shell Brodnax, CEO of RESA video conferenced in to the meeting to welcome them all give great advice and ideas to get their chapter up and running. Currently, the RESA Houston Chapter is working on finalizing their chapter board and will be official soon. Stay tuned for more great updates! Also, to learn more about future meeting, please contact Lakeitha Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo provided by: Lakeitha Smith
RESA Houston Local Chapter Kickoff Meeting w/ Special Guest: Shell Brodnax via Skype.
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm
Place: CORT Furniture
5757 Richmond Drive
Houston, TX 77057
Please RSVP no later than Sunday, December 13th by 5:00pm.
Contact LaKeitha Smith at email@example.com or by calling(832) 969-5719 to RSVP.
*Water and coffee will be provided.
For more information, CLICK HERE!
To listen to Stager Talk with Shell Brodnax and see a list of speakers, please click here.
Stager Talk is brought to you by: www.RealEstateStagingAssociation.com