GUEST POST: How Staging Properties Helps Real Estate Agents!


How Staging Properties Helps Real Estate Agents!

By Christine Rae, CSPM

Staging properties is thought of as a service for sellers to secure the most equity possible. However, there is another aspect to consider, and that is how staging helps real estate agents career, reputation and income!

Eeek! I know it is tawdry to speak about increasing income, it will, but it’s really only one tiny factor for agents to pay attention to! I read an article recently by David Fleming, a broker with Bosley Real Estate David Fleming Group in Toronto. He writes about the Toronto market in the article, specifically how many agents did what during 2017, however the results, I think, are indicative of any major market place. 

In a market where there are many licensed agents (Toronto has 50,000) 34% completed zero transactions and 8300 closed only one! That means 51% of the licensed agents did one or fewer transactions. The average agent completed four transactions and spent $10,000 on marketing those listings and themselves.

Now, what would it take to get those agents who are underperforming, struggling or just can’t get it going, to sit down with a CSP® graduate, to have a serious conversation about how staging will improve their business? Staging helps secures and sell listings!

The National Association of Realtors® tells us 97% of potential buyers look at property online first (99% of Millennials).  Typically, buyers use a mobile device to search for properties online. They look at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the home buying process. Then they contact an agent and visit 10 homes over several weeks before purchasing; buying after they have seen six! Vacant or occupied staging before marketing is crucial to ensure the best photo opportunity possible!
Great photos will put your listing on the “must see” list!

The average buyer is much younger than the average seller, which often causes the mis-understanding of how important staging property before marketing is.
Seven out of every ten Millennials will willingly pay more money for move-in ready property! WHY? Main reasons are financial; they have scraped all the money together for the deposit, don’t have cash flow to support renovations after move-in, can readily access long term, low rate mortgages which makes it easier to afford a higher price point and ultimately, they don’t have the skills to do the work after they move in…. and they don’t want to learn and 66% of first time buyers are Millennials.
A great stager will not compromise the property recommendations based on agent fear, seller reluctance or budget restrictions. What the seller does with the recommendations is entirely up to them- it is their equity at stake, but they go to the negotiation table with eyes wide open, fully understanding the things they decided not to do may jeopardize the sale. CSP® stagers are coached how to deliver the recommendations and overcome objections to make the most sense to your client and not offend them. 

How Else Do Stagers Help Agents Business?

  1. More memorable, impactful showings and open houses:
    If your buyer is seeing ten properties today how will they remember what they saw?  First impressions happen in the blink of an eye and Neuro-scientists tell us every cell in a body has a memory.  To remember well, the emotions must be activated. Emotions enhance memory, improve recall of important experiences. Emotion acts like a highlighter pen, emphasizing certain aspects of experiences making then more memorable. Most stagers simply focus on addressing what the eyes see; CSP’s know all the senses need to be engaged and they know how to do that! 
  2. Maximize the results of your marketing:

Think about all the time, work and money you put into getting agents and buyers to see a listing. Their first impressions count too. People only know what they see in front of them; if you are showing them toilet lids up, unmade beds, loads of clutter, photographs and personal belongings they leave with impression they saw someone else’s house (not theirs) and there was no room for them. Staged properties create first great impressions for buyers and agents.

  1. Referrals:
    Happy clients tell others about their experience and are more likely to refer. Ok, but do you know there is a hidden market you will never tap into if you are not partnered with a stager? About 40% of a stager’s business comes to them directly from a seller. Someone who wants to sell at some point in the future but knows from research, experience or TV if they want to maximize their equity they need help before listing. They contact a stager first for advice. That stager works with the seller sometimes for months and when it is ready to list the seller asks for a referral from the stager, to an agent they trust.  
  2. Lower DOM:
    Research and statistics prove staged properties sell in less time than those that aren’t staged in any economy.

Improve your reputation by keeping your promise to list and sell your clients property while protecting their equity. Be known as the agent with the best listings! Contact a CSP in your area- you will be glad you did.

Photo credits to Lynda Schmidt,







National Association of Realtors, say 90% of people can’t visualize a house beyond what they see

Top Real Estate Staging Training Academy Solves the Problem!

Leading home staging training and certification expert Christine Rae adds more credibility to
CSP International’s outstanding certification program.

In response to growing concerns within the non-regulated industry of home staging, regarding the qualifications of stagers, Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, CSP International™ has just added a whole new level of credibility for their graduates to leverage.

CEO, Christine Rae, said “we have always believed in best business practices, professional standards and education as crucial components for a strong foundation in a business startup situation. In an emerging industry where there is no official measure of credibility, we thought it best to provide something tangible and measurable for real estate agents and property sellers to base their hiring decisions on.”  Rae said, “Many competitors claim that no one needs certification for this work, which is true when no one cares – anything goes. The point is the end user (property seller/real estate investor/builder/real estate agent) shouldn’t have to guess or worry about the quality of work they receive”.  Every year at the Real Estate Staging Association conference, CSP graduates rank highest in award recipients, across all categories. “Recently all finalists in the occupied category were CSP graduates; this affirmed to us our program is sound”, said Rae, “we want to provide acknowledgement of that to our students & the real estate community.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of people can’t visualize a house beyond what they see in front of them.  This is truly important when 97% of potential buyers start their search on the internet – browsing listing photos.  One true measure of a stager’s skill is working in an occupied property, with furnishings they didn’t choose, the size and scale of items not perfect, often with irrational color schemes.  Using a proprietary process graduates create magic – the results of which make for amazing photographs and visual presentation. During classroom training the students are taken to a property going on the market; for their final exam they must work with the items the seller owns to transform space, illustrate function, highlight focal point and amplify flow. Look at the transformation of one of the rooms in the February 2018 class project.

Graduates from the esteemed CSP International™ Academy have both intensive business training and practical hands-on work experience – in the field, when they graduate; Three examinations also qualify them to use the prestigious CSP® mark of excellent achievement, technical competency and a symbol of integrity in the marketing material, websites and business cards.  As of February 2018, in addition to the original certification, all CSP® graduates can achieve their “Occupied Staging Specialist™” designation by completing three projects after graduation, illustrating complete understanding of the process, submitting photos and testimonials for review to CSP International™. This will be one more level of security a Real Estate Agent and property seller can use to ensure the highest likelihood of securing the most equity from the sale of a property. True certification from a credible, internationally accredited program, is as important for a stager as a real estate license is for an Agent.

“Having their skills and abilities measured when it isn’t officially required, is a measure of a person’s integrity & technical competency.  A foundation for wanting to be the very best they can be, bringing amazing service to their client”, said Rae. You wouldn’t hire an unlicensed real estate agent so why trust your equity to a stager who isn’t certified?