Are You a Tweaker?

Are you a Tweaker when it comes to your hands-on Staging projects?  Whether occupied or vacant home Staging projects, I have encountered Staging Tweakers – and the fact is Tweakers lose profit and drive themselves insane because they just don’t know when to stop! I have witnessed Tweakers in action during the many Staging projects I have supervised both as a Trainer and as a Company owner.  These are the people that adjust an item over and over – moving it slightly here, slightly there.  Taking it away. Bringing it back.  Agonizing over whether the items they are using are “right.”  Making changes to the finished product repeatedly.  Even driving back to the house once the Staging is done to adjust things one more time. When I have my Staging Crew – I make it clear up front that we need to execute the plan in each room and move on.  If I find I have brought a tweaker with me I have to do an intervention.  I need to step in and let them know what they’ve done looks great – and let’s move on to the next area.  As compelled as they are to go back and adjust, they are not allowed to do that. I say we need to lovingly help Tweakers to help them get away from tweaking.  The reason I feel strongly about this is I want my colleagues to earn the MOST from the Staging creativity and expertise.  When we start tweaking beyond what is truly needed, time does not stop and we may end up taking much longer in a room or house because of our need to make it “perfect” versus sticking to the plan. Here are the steps you need to take to get out of Tweaker mindset and in to a Stager business mind set. 1. Understand that Time is Money.  If you need more explanation on that just read my blog post on that principle and it will become clear. 2.  You have to make a plan and stick to that plan.  It’s not that things cannot change once you get into the Staging and another great idea pops into your head – the key is to settle on the final product and be happy – and move on.  When the Staging is done, it’s done.  Think about if you finish earlier than planned? That is a good thing – you have extra time for yourself and made more than you planned! 3.  You need to ask yourself, “Will my adjusting this item from where it is right now really make a difference in the Staging?”  If the honest answer is yes – then by all means do it.  If the answer is no and you are just over-analyzing the room and Staging – STEP AWAY FROM THE ROOM.  And Move on to the next area to be Staged. 4.  I think we all need to “tweak” our Staging just not to extremes – the final product to assess how it looks from the doorway – are tags showing on pillows, is the comforter straight, are the chairs placed in the right spot?  But taking it to extremes reveals a compulsion in some of us that we need to stop.  Because it is costing you money.  It is costing you sanity. The fact is whether the plant is 3 inches to the right or left really is not going to make a difference in the Staging.  Whether a picture is hung 3 inches to high or low or too far to the right or left WILL make a difference – so fix it. 5.  Be Confident in Your Staging.  Staging styles differ with some Stagers bringing in a lot of décor and others bringing in more minimal – and the key is whatever you decide to put in a room, on a surface, on the wall – you need the CONFIDENCE to know it looks great and give yourself permission to move on.  Just who do you think is coming in the room?  I will tell you – it’s not the Staging Police – who will slap the letter “L” on your forehead because you did something “wrong” in your Staging! If your challenge is about confidence in your work, then I recommend shadowing with an experienced Stager and study the before/after photos of Staging projects to really understand what it takes to be successful. 6.  Final Stamp of Approval.  At some point in all our Stagings we need to give the stamp of approval for the room and move on.  Never drive back to a house because you saw some small “flaw” (to you) in the photos.  Remember that Staging makes an overall impression on the Buyer and very few are really scrutinizing what was done close up – unless they want to go into the biz.  Some Stagers bring an iron to all their projects and take out all the wrinkles in fabric as they make the bed.  I say, get bedding that does not wrinkle!  I have a steamer and will use it as needed but when our budget it tight and we need to stick to the clock I am not whipping out an iron to get rid of wrinkles when I can avoid them from the start by bringing products that make me most efficient. In summary, Staging is subjective and we have guidelines for what we know works for both process and presentation.  Simply follow those guidelines and have confidence in YOU and your creative talent.  That is the cure for tweaking. Article written by Jennie Norris, ASP®Master, IAHSP®-Premier, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO® and Official ASP® Course Trainer,®

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