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Top 15 rules for staging a real estate listing, according to scientific study

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San Francisco bedroom staged by Cindy Lin of Staged4More.com.

Scientifically proving staging principles

In a recent study by Duke University, Andrea Angott, Ph.D. said, “As far as we know, staging principles haven’t yet received empirical testing. Rather, they most likely evolved over years of experience and practice, and very experienced practitioners develop an intuition about staging. But, it is probably the case that some staging “rules” are more effective than others than others [sic] in terms of changing buyer perception and behavior.”

Dr. Angott noted that “some rules likely give you more “bank for your buck” in terms of cost effectiveness. This is what we are trying to determine. As psychologists, we are also interested in the psychology behind effective staging principles, on both emotional and cognitive levels.”

“Staging is no rocket science but it is still a little bit complicated. There are a lot of factors in a home sale that can impact your outcome, and staging will help you minimize a lot of risk,” says Cindy Lin, founder of Staged4More.com.

Top 15 staging rules

According to the scientific study by Duke University, these are the top 15 staging rules listed with the most importantly ranked at the top of this list:

  1. Removal of personal items from bathrooms.
  2. Using rooms for their intended purpose.
  3. Removing evidence of pets.
  4. Turning on every light in the home during showings.
  5. Vacant homes should be furnished.
  6. Removal of garbage cans.
  7. Removal of personal photographs.
  8. Removal attention-grabbing or personal art or accessories.
  9. Neutral paint colors on all walls.
  10. Removal of appliances from kitchen counters.
  11. Never placing the back of furniture facing any room entrance.
  12. “Tell a story” with staging (breakfast tray with mugs on bed).
  13. Sheer or no coverings on all windows.
  14. Use of scented candles, plug-in air fresheners or potpourri.
  15. Chocolate chips baking in oven during showings.

Commonly reported additional rules that didn’t make the top 15 include an extremely clean, decluttered house with good curb appeal.

The artistry of staging

Dr. Angott reported that a few respondents felt the study was “too black-and-white” because “staging is an art that can’t be captured in a handful of rules.” Pertaining to the study, Dr. Angott said, “While we recognize the artistry of staging, scientific testing invariable requires simplification, and we feel that our findings will be useful despite this necessary simplification.”

Renowned real estate photographer Larry Lohrman said that from a real estate photographers perspective, “very few home sellers are good at getting their home in shape for a shoot. It takes a pushy listing agent to be on site while you shoot and help remove garbage cans, pet dishes and the like. If your client, the listing agent is not on site helping with this activity, you need to be pushy with the home owner to make the home looks good. Of course there are limits to what you can do.”

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50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Cindy*Staged4more

    August 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks Lani for the article, you rock! 🙂

  2. Laura

    August 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    As someone who studied psychology & art therapy & is currently a Home Stager I'm happy to see the connection of psychology & Real Estate. The only item I strongly disagree with is #14. This item continues to pop up on staging lists however staging is a marketing tool designed to increase foot traffic to a home. Artificial scents are a huge no-no because many people have allergies and or asthma. If you must use scents makes sure only all natural neutral scents are used. Most recently trays w/ items are now perceived as pretentious. Staging continues to evolve along with the RE industry.

  3. Kathy Strader

    August 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Great article, but I must disagree with #14. Artificial scents can be overpowering to some buyer and have a negative impact. Best to go for clean, fresh scents like grinding a lemon quarter in the disposal. Candles with clean fresh scents are great for open houses, but not safe for showings that occur when the seller is away for the day. No one should ever leave a candle unattended.

  4. hermanchan.com

    August 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    good post! but chocolate chips in oven? not in California! i dunno about u, when a buyer wants thru those doors, i want them to think crown moldings…not CARBS!!
    here's a old vlog i did about this habitatforhermanity.com/1/post/2011/05/an-oldie-but-goodie-i-smell-carbs.html
    enjoy!

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Business Marketing

Gloves that translate sign language in real time

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new wearable tech translates American Sign Language into audible English in real time.

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Advancements in technology never cease to amaze. The same is true right this moment as a new technology has been released that helps translate American Sign Language (ASL) signs into spoken English in real time.

This technology comes in the form of a hand glove – similar looking on the front side to what one would wear in the winter, but much more advanced when in view of the palm. The palm side of the glove contains sensors on the wearer to identify each word, phrase, or letter that they form via ASL, and is then translated into audible English via an app that coincides with the glove.

This is all done in real time and allows for instant communication without the need for a human translator. The signals are translated at a rate of one word per second.

The project was developed by scientists at UCLA. “Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.

The hope is to make communication easier for those who rely on ASL, and to help those unfamiliar with ASL adapt to the signs. It is thought that between 250,000 and 500,000 people in the United States use ASL. As of now, the glove does not translate British Sign Language – the other form a sign language that utilizes English.

According to CNN, the researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device — between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths — to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language. However, this facet of the technology is not loved by all.

“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly,” said Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf post-doctoral researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London. “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”

What are your thoughts on this advancement? Comment below!

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Business Marketing

Stand out with video as part of your resume (but be careful)

(MARKETING) This new tool helps you stand out in the job market, as video now dominates – so it’s possible to use this to your advantage (with caution).

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job market video

In the midst of a pandemic, people are finding themselves thrust back into the job market sooner than expected due to mass company layoffs or underemployment as a freelancer. Fields are oversaturated and jobs are sparse so it can be hard to stand out in today’s job market.

Although standing out in the job market is hardly a new problem, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some new and creative solutions. One company, VCV.ME has designed a tool to help you get creative and stand out from your competition.

VCV.ME turns your traditional resume into a video à la Instagram stories.

The process is simple. You answer a few questions and upload a video of yourself then the tool will provide you with a sharable link.

VCV Founder and CEO, Arik Akverdian, believes that video is the future saying, “Video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021 according to Cisco, and according to eMarketer 94.1% of millennial internet users were streaming digital video in 2019. With growing demand for video social media such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram stories, and others, we’re bringing the short video format to the job market.”

There are some obvious limitations to using this tool in your job hunt.

First, not all employers will take videos as part of an application both for technical and legal reasons.

On the technical side, many automated tracking systems are not designed to filter that kind of file, so there may not even be an opportunity to showcase it. That’s not to say there aren’t some work-arounds. Many job applications will have a place for applicants to link to their portfolio or websites. An alternate option for this tool could be to place the video introduction on your website.

Another problem with the tool is how it exposes candidates and hiring managers to bias.

As more companies work to remove bias from their hiring practices and hire more diverse candidates, a video intro just won’t fly. Some companies have removed names and even alma maters from their applicants in order to make more unbiased hiring decisions. A video introduction would expose many characteristics that people have conscious and subconscious biases towards such as race, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Although VCV.ME’s intentions are to help candidates stand out in the job market, it’s worth questioning whether they would be standing out for the right reasons, so tread carefully.

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Business Marketing

Why should you take Facebook’s ‘Summer of Support’ courses

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Every company can use a little marketing advice, well Facebook has partnered with big companies to give you some free digital marketing courses.

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marketing courses

Our world has turned into a place of upheaval and unrest and we are continuously surrounded by more and more evidence of it. One thing that the majority of us are constantly seeing is announcements from companies. Some of those are about closing hours, but others are more helpful. As they all attempt to get used to this new world that COVID-19 has created we begin to see some different tactics. Some are only politically motivated, but others are more focused on helping out their communities.

Earlier this week Facebook announced that they will be putting on a six-week digital marketing education series. This series will be an extensive collection of videos with a full in depth set of courses that will cover a large amount of topics. The company has put together a cast of renowned entrepreneurs for the presenters as well.

The topics will be done in themed weeks starting on June 24th, and running through the month of July. They include categories such “The Changing World” & “Resilience”. Focusing primarily on the world that is here and now, with recommendations on how to adapt to it. With this world in a constant state of flux the push for adapting to change and staying in front of the tide is crucial for a small business.

The next two courses will be going forward with discussing “Reinvention” & “Re-Emergence”. Encouraging struggling companies to take a serious look at their potential for moving forward, or changing the things that they can to stay more on top of their client base. They also plan on attacking the confusing world that we will have when things get closer to normal.

The last two weeks are focused on community and customer care, which is actually their names as well: “Customers & Commerce” & “Community”. These will help develop a sense of how your business affects your community and the impact you have on it. Keeping that in mind you can then develop a plan for how you want your community to see you and shape things within it.

These courses are all set up for free and open to anyone. With a completely online set up with their new “Summer of Support” mini-site they are prepped to reach millions of people. They’ve organized this with a range of partners as well: Dell, PayPal, American Express, & Small Business Roundtable. A helping hand for people who wouldn’t currently be able to source things like this.

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