The process of selling a home is ever-changing.

As technology has developed and the population grown, the real estate market has become progressively more competitive. This has led to the pursuit of discovering new & innovative marketing strategies for selling properties.

These days, one of the most effective techniques to sell your home faster and for a higher price is having your house styled professionally by a Home Staging company.

In Melbourne and Sydney, the concept of staging has now become an ingrained, non-negotiable part of the selling process, and Brisbane is also heading in that same direction.

living room with a grey sofa on the right and a console table on the left handside, beautifully styled in a coastal style

The Beginnings of the Home-Staging Industry in Australia

When we first started our business Foxy Home Staging back in 2017, the staging industry was still in its infancy (at least here in Brisbane).

Property Styling was still a new concept to people – to both sellers and agents. Its value hadn’t yet been recognised and so we spent a lot of time in the beginning we spent a lot of time educating agents & homeowners about what staging actually is and the value it has in the selling process.

At the start, we had no specific numbers or case studies specific to Brisbane to use as evidence of the value of home staging, so we decided to place emphasis on a different benefit – the importance of great presentation.

As agents started witnessing the impacts of staging and the difference between styled vs unstyled properties in terms of time on the market & sales price, the industry started to gain traction.

From the entrepreneurial point of view, this was the perfect time for starting a business, ‘catching the wave’ of a rising industry.

living room showing a couch with a beautifully styled coffee table and two green chairs at the front

What Contributed to the Growth of the Industry

In hindsight, we were able to identify three main factors which contributed to the increased acceptance of the industry.

  1. Real examples & case studies
  2. Influence of Australian TV
  3. Word of mouth

1. Real examples & case studies

The impact of Home Staging is not always easy to quantify. If a home is valued before hitting the market, we would be able to determine an ‘unstaged value’ and compare it to the final selling price (‘staged value’). Unfortunately for us, this isn’t standard practice (in fact we haven’t seen it happen in 4 years). Some results, however, speak for themselves and over time we were able to accumulate enough case studies to demonstrate the value of staging. Things like:

  • Houses selling on the first open home day.
  • Higher sales price compared to other similar, but unstyled houses on the same street.
  • The difference between Before & After pictures.
  • Real Estate listings – higher number of views, clicks & enquiries.
  • Significantly less time on the market.
  • Increased competition of home buyers.

More on this topic here – ‘Does home staging actually work?’

before and after pictures of a property we styled

2. Influence of Australian TV

The rising popularity of TV shows like Selling Houses Australia, The Block, House Rules and many others hugely contributed to the growth of this industry, as they normalised the idea of styling properties for sale to the Australian public.

Everyday people started recognising the value of staging, which led to a high number of homeowners reaching out to us before they’d even engaged a real estate agent. At the moment, approximately 1/3 of our jobs comes directly from these clients.

3. Word of Mouth

When it comes to a big, life-altering decision like selling a house – it’s only natural that people talk about it with their friends & family. With time and increasing number of great sales results, the rumors about this ‘new home selling hack’ spread like wildfire.

Worth mentioning:

What kick-started the growth of our own business was consistent marketing. We decided to take Gary Vee’s approach and document our entire journey, taking the viewers behind the scenes of what it takes to run a home staging business. People seemed to really connect with the authenticity, as it made us more relatable and genuine. To date, social media is our largest lead-converting marketing channel. Click here to read our Marketing Campaign Ideas for Home Stagers.

What Are Some of the Things That Bring the Industry Down

During our four years in business, we have noticed a few things that are inadvertently tarnishing the reputation of home staging in general (in our opinion).

  • Agents who don’t discuss styling with their vendors – These are generally real estate agents who aren’t confident enough to have a discussion with their clients about home presentation. They don’t know how to approach the conversation or they are worried that the suggestion of spending an additional money could potentially lose them the listing. The positive side is that this can be changed with more information and education.
  • Misunderstanding the Business Model – We all have to start somewhere. For business owners, that usually means being a one-man band for a while. Doing this for a long period of time tends to unfortunately bring on more issues than benefits. Lack of communication, inconsistency or missing important things, to name a few. More sustainable, efficient business models need to be implemented to ensure a level of consistency and professionalism across the board. Click here to find out how we overcame this common start-up pit.
  • Pricing Structures – We are all for healthy competition and different pricing and service levels, but sometimes we shake our heads in disbelief about some awfully overpriced quotes our clients share with us. We believe that as Home Stagers, we have a professional responsibility to ensure the Return On Investment (ROI) remains positive for the client (meaning the profit from the sale outweighs the cost of staging). Numerous times we have come across other Stylists charging triple what we quote for properties that would never return a positive ROI, in which case styling becomes counterproductive.
living room

What are Some of the Things That Help the Industry Grow

  • More Stagers! – Different companies will offer different things, which creates a variety of options to choose from for the real estate agents.
  • Better Story Telling – Posting pretty pictures doesn’t necessarily help the clients see the value of home staging. Let’s all tell more stories, share real-life examples and document our wins.
  • More Collaboration – In unity there is strength. We can all build on top of each other’s knowledge and create a stronger, more professional industry, without tearing each other down. You can find the full interview with Phoebe & Jake on this topic here.

What Is the Home Staging Industry Like Now?

Progressing and growing. We are also very happy to see that new Stylists joining the industry are less hesitant to reach out and ask for information. That’s a step in the right direction and we can’t wait to see where we’ll all be in the next few years!

Thank you for reading!

Follow us for more Home Staging tips & tricks – Facebook, Instagram or Youtube.

If you are considering starting a Staging business in 2021, don’t worry – you haven’t missed the train.  We summarised our beginnings into one article, including how we differentiated ourselves from other Stylists and what really helped us grow into the size we are in currently. Hope it helps!

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By |2021-03-04T13:02:04+10:00March 4th, 2021|Business of Staging|

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