This week we met with a potential new customer. This Realtor confessed that he has worked with several other home stagers in the past and while they can create a beautiful room, they don’t have the interpersonal customer skills that Home Matters is known for. In the discussion he mentioned that he chose other stagers because our company is also known for being a little bit more expensive than some of our competition. In the end though, after exhausting several options, he confessed that the extra expense is worth the value that we provide.
What is the value of customer service?
Often Realtors think that home stagers just make rooms pretty. The truth is that making a visually attractive home is only part of our job. Even that can have it’s own obstacles though. While we may seem more expensive than some of our competitors, that’s only true when everything goes right. Much like Realtors, when something goes wrong, that’s when our value appears. Also, like our Realtor counterparts, the likelihood of something going wrong is increased when corners are cut.
The Realtor we met with gave us examples of some of the staging problems that he encountered over the years. We also have a history of fixing staging problems from other Realtors. Here is a recap of some of the problems we’ve encountered, or heard from other agents.
The home stager doesn’t use professional movers. It’s a clear indication that you may be dealing with a hobbyist when you see the stagers unloading their own furniture. While there are staging companies in some areas of the country that employ their own movers and have their own truck, if your stagers are carrying the furniture into the house off the back of a Uhaul then it’s a great time to ask what insurance they are carrying. Do they have liability insurance in case they accidentally break something, or hurt themselves? While these things can happen even with professional movers, the likelihood is less and their insurance, not the homeowner’s insurance will cover any problems that occur.
The home stager isn’t insured. Just like the movers situation, home stagers should carry their own insurance. Often with new construction, builders will ask to be listed as additionally insured. You can be assured that Home Matters can provide proof of insurance and the forms that your builder customers need.
The stager doesn’t understand the potential buyer. Realtors understand this right away when they see that the furnishings don’t match the likely buyer, the home, or the neighborhood. The wrong setting won’t set the mood for buyers. The right one will create an instant emotional connection. If the buyer doesn’t connect then the home could take longer to sell.
Under-staged properties or over-staged properties. Under-staging is the most common problem when we are hired to restage the home after another stager has come by. There is a fine line between keeping clean lines and emptying a home, making it cold and uninviting.
Inability to clearly quantify necessary changes. When the home is occupied the most important part of the home staging process is being able to talk to the seller in a way that helps them understand and agree to necessary changes. More than just creating a checklist, the professional home stager advises the seller and gets everyone on the same page for a successful sale.
The home stagers doesn’t have a list of qualified professionals to complete the job. Recommendations are no good without knowing how to get them done. Home Matters can help your customers find a professional that can complete any recommendation we make. Because we’ve been in the business of helping sellers sell, we know who to call.
Not all Realtors are Created Equal. Neither are Home Stagers.
Most of the successful Realtors I know have frustration over the idea that all agents are created equal. Some Realtors go the extra mile for their customers, making sure that the process is smooth, while others are order takers. Order takers are fine so long as their are no hiccups in the transaction. When you hiring your home staging company that you know whether you are dealing with a professional, or an order taker. This way when something goes wrong, and eventually something always does, that you know your stager can handle whatever it is, keeping your reputation as a professional intact.