Every Home-Staging business owner has their own unique internal process when it comes to organising their workflow. For most of us, a consultation with the vendor is usually the very first step.

There are many different ways you can approach a consultation from the business point of view, and we are not here to preach what is right or wrong. The method we have instilled in our business has worked really well for us, so we’ve decided to share our entire Consultation Process with the hope to help other Home Stagers.

We sincerely hope that you can get some value out of this or at least gain insight into why we do the consultations the way we do them, which may be perceived as ‘controversial’ by some.

Our consultations are completely FREE.

This causes some conversation among other Property Stylists who believe they should be reimbursed for sharing their IP, their time, and travel costs. There are a few reasons why we make consults a part of our complimentary service:

To establish a relationship with the vendor. A friendly, face-to-face conversation can build a good rapport and helps develop mutual trust and connection. If we can get in front of the vendor, 7 out of 10 go ahead with the staging (on average).

It’s just another part of the home-selling process. You don’t pay for a painter or a handyman to come in and give you a quote. You don’t pay for a real-estate appraisal. Why should that start with a home-staging quote?

We want to help. We have founded Foxy Home Staging on the principle to provide as much free value as we can, regardless of whether you’re a vendor, real estate agent or another stylist. We go into consults with the intention to genuinely help, regardless of whether the client decides to go ahead with our services or not. People appreciate this approach and reward it with reciprocity.

We don’t always have to go to the client’s home.

This has been particularly advantageous during lockdowns. Virtual consultations (via video calls) or quoting based off just a floorplan we downloaded from RP Data have become the new, quicker way to provide the vendors with an estimate. If they want to go ahead, we request more information (colour of the walls, current photos if needed, etc.). We would not style a home without confirming at least 75% of the information we need.

What actually happens during a consultation?

Step 1: Break the ice.

Start off with a small talk, ask them about why they’re selling and what’s to come in their near future. This is usually followed with a discussion about the agent. Do they have an agent already? If not, do they want a recommendation? If they do, can we mention any positive experience we’ve had with that particular agent?

(Note: We don’t hesitate to share good things about the agents we worked with in the past. It provides the vendor with reassurance that they’ve made the right decision and gives social proof that staging works.)

Step 2: Obtain information & take photos.

This is when we usually do a walk-through of the house, ticking off the items on the checklist and taking photos, all while asking the client for additional information (photography date, permission to hang artwork, etc.).

Click HERE to download our Consultation Checklist.

Step 3: Provide value.

Most people sell their home only a handful of times in their life, it’s understandable they don’t know the process. At this stage we give them a full run-down on how it all works, including important timeline information, like “we style the home on the day of the photography” or “you need to organise the cleaners to come in before us”, etc. We also share tips and tricks that will help present their home in the best light, including furniture placement, opening curtains, replacing lightbulbs, minor repair recommendations and similar.

Note: This amount of information can be overwhelming for some people, which is why we always reassure the client that we will write it out for them, room by room. This is especially relevant if we’re doing a partial or integrated staging (using some of clients’ furniture). In the email we break down which items need to stay, and which ones need to be stored away.

Step 4: Upload photos & send the quote.

The last step is to create a folder in Google Drive and upload all the photos, including the checklist. Phoebe then takes this information and sends the client a quote within the next 24 hours.

Why don’t we discuss colours and styles with the client?

There are a few reasons why we don’t enter into conversations about the styling aspect. The design we choose is always going to be in the best interest of the property. We need to take into account the architecture of the house, buyers demographic, as well as the availability of our furniture.

Read “How to choose the best style”.

People who don’t have any styling background may not understand that their 70’s brick home does not suit Hamptons, which is why we don’t usually introduce the opportunity for the client to have input. It would turn the conversation negative and might lead to disappointments.

If the client has any specific requests, we acknowledge them and if it makes sense from the styling perspective, we wouldn’t hesitate to accommodate what they asked for.

“We always say that the furniture we bring in is reflective of the price point that we are trying to achieve for their home. This is usually understood and received very well.” 

– Phoebe Shorter | Co-Owner & Chief Stylist

Thanks for reading, hope it helped! As always – if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out!

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