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Does staging help real estate listings sell faster or is it a waste?

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Home staging and getting listings sold

We often focus on marketing and photography as leading strategies for getting a home sold, but often overlook the obvious strategy of staging a home. Builders and Realtors rely on professional stagers to get a home sold faster, but is that strategy any more than just a wish?

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that were vacant and professionally staged sold 68% faster in 2007, 85% faster in 2008 and in 2009 they sold 78% faster (with 2010 results pending). For agents wondering if the added expense is worth the cost, and it appears that the stats support the investment.

Professional Home Stager and owner of Oregon based Creative Concepts, Margaret Oscilia said, “We understand that it is difficult to invest money in staging, and when a home is beautiful, it is really important? Real estate professionals will nearly all agree — properties that appeal to home buyer’s emotions sell quicker and for more money. While buyers shop with logic – it is the one they fall in love with that gets the offer.”

Buyers begin their search online

Oscilia reminds us all that almost all real estate buyers begin their search for homes online first. A good first impression of a listing online begins with quality photography but what if there is nothing quality to get a quality photo of? There is noting more boring than a picture of a blank white walled room with light carpet taken by a cell phone at a Realtor’s hand.

Staging and professional photography go hand in hand for making that first impression, but most importantly, when a buyer physically sees a staged home, they are given context for the home- they can tell the size of a room with scaled furniture, what a decorated home would look like and ultimately a staged home is putting its best foot forward.

Oscilia notes that “listings with more than 20 quality photos get 12 times as many clicks than their competing listings 90% of buyers cannot see the potential a room or home holds – making vacant homes difficult to sell.”

Staging is an important tool for real estate listings regardless of price point- it helps consumers connect with the emotion of a home, a key to selling a listing. Tell us in comments your experience with professional staging.

Image above is a before and after photo illustrating the impact of staging on a home, via Creative Concepts in Oregon.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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100 Comments

100 Comments

  1. Kathy Strader

    June 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I've seen it over and over. Vacant, empty houses sitting on the market. The listing expires, the seller engages a new agent that recommends staging. The house is listed again after staging and there is an option pending within days. The sellers I've worked for believe the investment in staging is worth every dime.

  2. sfvrealestate

    June 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I had my last listing professionally staged. It was a tiny, empty boxy home that I thought would go out at $435k (this is California). It went out at $464k in multiple offers in 7 days — the highest $/per square foot for the size/neighborhood. Staging? Oh yeah. See my website or blog for more pics.

  3. Ronald Lease / Mesa Real Estate

    June 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Totally agree that "staged" real estate sell faster, such as those in Mesa real estate. Ninety percent of home buyers now do their home search online, and MLS easily provide clues (as stated in every property description or MLS attributes) if the house has been "staged."

  4. Mouyyad Abdulhadi

    June 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    In my experience, home staging helps tremendously! It is important for the agent and seller to be on the same page and have a unified marketing strategy that includes the home stating process.

  5. Priya

    July 31, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Staging is an important tool for real estate listings regardless of price point – no doubt about that !

  6. Laura

    September 2, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Staging is so important to helping listings sell! We work with a stager on ALL our listings and average lower days on market than many of our competitors! It is the way to go!

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Business Marketing

No-reply emails don’t help customers, they’ve run their course

(MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.

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no-reply mail boxes

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using noreply@company.com you can use john@company.com and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Business Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…

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Influencer marketing people taking video on a smart phone to record dances.

Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.

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offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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