Staging Diva and home staging expert Debra Gould, wants stagers to claim their own power in real estate and to stop listening to nay-saying real estate agents.
Real estate power no longer belongs only to agents
Before the age of the Internet, most of a real estate agent’s power came from the control of information. You couldn’t get any details about a house for sale without going through a licensed real estate agent. There was a day in the not-so-distant past when listings were printed out in primitive black and white and carried around in binders by agents and that was the only way to see those details.
Eventually that changed with MLS being accessible by computer, but the public still couldn’t access it. There was no way to tell how fast homes sold or for how much, without a licensed real estate agent.
As the keepers of all that valuable real estate information, agents had a tremendous amount of power and with it they could establish asking prices, sway buyers and convince their sellers to accept certain offers.
Agents still have power and influence of course and they still have an important role to play, but the rest of us no longer exist in a black hole void of real estate information.
Staging Diva® Debra Gould wrote a blog post recently called, “Stagers, don’t let real estate agents discourage you.” According to Gould, she was motivated to write that article because of agents who:
- List a property as is, put a select few bad pictures on MLS and then talk their client into subsequent price reductions as the property remains on the market with no offers.
- Fail to understand why an empty, disorganized or ugly home is harder to sell.
- Fear they’ll have to pay for staging services if they recommend them, or feel threatened by what home stagers do instead of realizing it makes them look good while making their job easier
Sadly, it’s still difficult to find agents in many real estate markets who genuinely want to be proud of a listing with their name on it because they know it reflects on their reputation. It’s tough to find those real estate agents who know if they have great MLS photos they’ll attract more showings and quicker and higher offers.
The Staging Diva® says, “The good news is that the “unaware” or “fearful” real estate agents can be educated and many of them do come around to understanding the benefits of home staging to themselves as well as their clients. That’s why I emphasize the messages and selling points you should use with real estate agents when selling your home staging services in course 4 of the Staging Diva Program.”
Gould was also motivated to write that original post because she says, “For the 5 years I’ve been teaching home staging courses, I’ve watched too many really talented stagers feel they should give up on following their dreams because they let the discouragement of real estate agents stop them in their tracks.”
With 90% of buyers in Canada, and 70% in the US doing their own online search for properties before even calling a real estate agent, the competitive environment agents operate in is completely different today than it once was. Not all agents have woken up to the paradigm shift in their industry. That’s where much of the resistance home stagers run into comes from.
With change also comes fear. There are agents old enough to remember when they controlled all real estate information and it’s hard to let go of habits that came with that. For newer agents who flooded the industry when the market was booming, it’s difficult to recover from the reality check the last 12 to 18 months have brought, and look for ways to change how they sell properties.
At the end of the day, Gould has the following advice, “Home stagers and aspiring home stagers, don’t give up your power to real estate agents. Many of them will discourage you, but keep on going anyway. We offer a tremendous and valuable service to home sellers that makes a huge difference in their lives.”
About the author
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained thousands of home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Gould created the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and real estate agents locate staging services in their area