STAY IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN ASP® STAGING BUSINESS! DO NOT GIVE YOUR POWER AWAY! “Everyone needs to be in control of their Own Staging Business and stay in control for the best results!  In our ASP® Courses we teach this important fact.  There is NO one better to represent you than YOU!  Giving into a RE Agent who wants to present your Staging Proposal to the seller for you is totally giving away your own power.  I have seen this happen before and no wonder sellers do not like what the Stager did for them.  Why?  Because they never met the Stager, they never talked with the Stager and it was presented by a RE Agent to the Seller for the Stager.   Not a good idea at all.  Any of you that do this, please stop and please do not use the excuse that the Agent demanded it.  As I said you are either in control or you are not.  Fear is the only reason you would give in.  Stand tall and proud as an ASP® Stager and do what works by presenting your own proposals to the seller.  The Agent can be there with you, but you have to be the one presenting your own proposal.  See, either you have “Professional Polices” or you don’t.  And when you have them STICK to them… not back down.  In my entire career from inventing Home Staging to Staging literally thousands of homes to this very day I have never, ever, let an agent present my proposals for me.  That would be like you presenting the agents listing presentation for them…do you think that they would let you do that? Of course not, and the next time any agent asks you to let them present your proposal for you, you share that analogy with them.  You are a professional and do not let someone else take control from you.  Every time you give this analogy to an agent they ‘get it’!  Stay Strong, Stay the Course, and make more money too! Below Katy Fineman-Jones, ASPM®, IAHSP® shares a great article/blog with us all.  Read what she wrote below.  She is right and those of you who follow what our ASP® Course teaches are right too.  Get back on track if you have given into agents who try to be you by presenting it for you.” Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, AB, IAHSP®   I have just finished teaching two back to back ASP training classes in California where I had a great mix of Realtors® and Stagers. California is always great to travel to in the middle of winter from Ohio, but the students were not the only ones learning on this trip. As I presented the Staging Calculator to the class, the Realtors were quick to share with me that the Realtor® usually meets with the sellers and is the one to convince them to stage and they submit the stager’s proposal. They were adamant that this is the way things happen in northern California. The Stagers agreed and I was nothing short of surprised.  This is not the first time I have heard this mentioned in class and in my own Staging business I have encountered the same suggestion. I know that am the best person at presenting my services and you are too. So why should we allow someone else to do it for us? After class this played on my mind and I came to my conclusion…  In the Oakland and San Francisco area there are many Stagers. Many of whom have not attended any training and simply hung a shingle up to start their Staging business. As in any market, it can be a challenge to get a business started. However allowing Realtors to submit a proposal in our behalf is not acceptable. We are giving up the right to present our business, answer questions and defend our pricing structure for ourselves.  Would a Realtor allow us to give their listing presentation to our friend who is selling their house and decide if they wanted their services? I think not! In my time of the two CA classes I had the pleasure of teaching eight new ASP® Stagers and two CE ASP® Stagers.  However, 6 of the new ASP® Stagers already have a successful Staging business established. First of all I want to say kudos to those 6 that recognize the need for formal training and an accreditation to be proud of. It takes a strong person to admit they need help. The new Stagers shared that they needed most assistance with the business side of things and were surprised they learned so much other the 3 days in class.  This relates back to my conclusion of non-trained Stagers allowing the Realtors to take the lead and allowing them to tell stagers how we should be running our businesses.  I understand that Realtors believe they are doing us a favor in referring our services, but they fail to remember we are assisting them in getting properties sold quicker and/or for more. They also need to understand that this is a profession in the Real estate business just like title companies and mortgage lenders.  Remember what is taught in class… through my Staging talent “I create wealth for my Realtors and their clients…” To all Stagers, we need to understand that the education we provide to our Realtors, clients, Friends and partners on our Staging business is key.  Often we have to educate people on what we do and of course how we work.  “Let me tell you how I work” to each person Realtor and client we meet. Set, share and stick to your professional policies, be sure to include items that you are passionate about. If you are the only Stager in your area, you are the trail blazer. It is for you to set the standard and not cower to others. If you are the only ASP® Stagers in an area of a few non Accredited Staging Professionals® you have the training, you must stand out, be professional and re-educate Realtors® by establishing industry standards.  I truly believe that you or with a number of ASP® Stagers in your area can turn things around.  At some point the California Realtors will realize that they can trust you to meet with their clients and it frees up more time to do what they best, sell homes. Katy Fineman-Jones, ASPM®, ASP®, IAHSP®, Board of Directors, ASP® Certified Course Trainer

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