I love networking with successful people. I have a few nuggets of info for you from one of those meetings and also from stager Cathy Malone, who was our "roving reporter" at the RESA convention.
I met with stager Amy Maynor from Beauty for Homes last week for a brainstorming session. Amy produced 2 shows for HGTV in the early days of the network. She's also coordinated numerous high-end home renovations over the years so she brings a lot of experience to her client's projects. I reminded her of the value of tapping into a variety of social media outlets, other than just FaceBook. LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google + and HOUZZ are all free. You must have a profile on these sites!!
**She came up with a great idea for a different kind of portfolio presentation... a hardback photobook. I LOVE that idea. They are usually less than $20 and quite simple to create. We have been displaying photos in a simple album and more recently, an iPad. I can't wait to implement this idea.
**Another great idea that works for Amy is offering a savings if someone purchases a time block. She charges $100 an hour for under 5 hours but $75 an hour for a 5-hour time block. $375, a savings of $125. She said almost everyone purchases the 5-hour block. Great idea!!
Cathy Malone sent lots of notes and great tips from numerous speakers at the RESA convention. I'll be sharing some of them over a period of time. Here are 2...
**One tidbit of info from the convention which is easy to implement immediately: offer the option of paying with a credit card. A bank merchant account is complex to set up and the fees are costly. If you have a Pay Pal account, which is free, you can invoice your clients with your pretty logo by email in a matter of minutes. They can pay quickly and easily, even if they don't have an account. Pay Pal also has a swipe device for your iPhone similar to Square. No excuses stagers! Your clients will appreciate the convenience and you will not appear like a part-time decorator who can only take cash or a check.
**The last tip from RESA speaker, Carol Bass, is to "tell them a story." If you begin sharing the staging benefits with a true story, you have them more engaged and relaxed. Rattling off stats can be artificial and sound canned. I just finished the book, Lead with a Story by Paul Smith so I was already on board with this idea.
So, that all folks. till next time.
I am so grateful for those of you who take the time to read the blog. You are truly good friends. Have a beautiful day.