Sheron Cardin's Input...: Only so many pieces of the pie; reality or illusion?

I have been an interior designer for over 27 years and I have always taught my clients the principles I used while decorating their home so they may enjoy decorating too. The home staging trend in residential real estate is a great way to reach more people every day and what I enjoy the most is they are learning the basics of good design through staging. It is my dream for every person to know the joy and pride of living in a decorated home.

Only so many pieces of the pie; reality or illusion?

I have often wondered why banks and restaurants put their businesses right next to each other and I always ask "Why build your business right next to your competitor? Then someone answered my question with this; "If you want to do your banking you go where the banks are. If you don't like something your bank did, you go next door. If you go to your favorite restaurant all the time and want a change, you know where to go because you have been looking at their sign for months". Ah, that is it!

So what are we going to do when the competition comes to town? What we need to do is invite them in. People are not going to be looking for property merchandisers next to the dress shop or the grocery store; they are going to be looking for Home Stagers next to the other Stagers, Decorator's, Real Estate Agencies and even furniture stores.

Do we naturally feel like we are in direct competition with our peers? Of course! Until we realize that there is a huge, gigantic, enormous, delicious pie bigger that we can imagine waiting to smother us with its' delights. I recently commented on one of Craig Schiller's posts and Jessica Hughes suggested that I make a post out of it so here it is. Thank you Jessica because we need to embody the vastness of our opportunities.

"5% of the country can afford a decorator and 1% of that elite group hires them. That leaves 95% of the country pining for the good life. They scramble through magazines and showrooms hoping that someday they will be able to afford the nicer things in life. I don't know what percentage of the 95% that is so poor they are just hoping for their next meal and some shelter, but for the sake of getting to my point...

The home stager has 95% of the country to decorate for., not just home sellers. Opening up to this opportunity is the challenge. The fast track for the fast decorator is yet just a spark".

Active Rain is going to experience an influx of competators that have set up shop right next door to you. That is the time to step up your game, offer your very best, give more than you take, and get your piece of the unlimited pie.  

Stage It Forward! 

Namaste

Comment balloon 35 commentsSheron Cardin • January 21 2007 12:15PM

Comments

McDonalds does the market research - and builds based on demographics.  Burger King builds based on where McDonalds builds!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 12 years ago
Well Said! I knew I was onto something  :)
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
Like the saying, "keeps your friends close but your enemies (competitors) closer" You'll always know what they are doing so you can compete or beat.  I think staging is different though.  I can't stage a home by myself but I don't want to hold hands if I hire an unexperienced person so I would rather bring in a fellow stager.  We don't share too much about our businesses but do share ideas, places for great deals, experiences and such.  Great topic. 
Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Keller Williams Select Realty) over 12 years ago

Sheron, you are very right.  There is more work than any one of us can handle alone.  One person can't get or even do all of the jobs anyway.  Doing excellent work is what will grow each of our businesses.  It is better to have a network to share with than to isolate ourselves in fear of the competition. 

Neither McDonalds nor Burger King are going out of business... 

Posted by Gina Dougherty, Home Staging Redondo Beach, CA- FusionDesignConsulting.com (Fusion Design Consulting) over 12 years ago
And neither are you Gina. What are you doing up so late?
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
As I start my new business I do want to stage it forward and get to know the other stagers in my area and have a network of people I can work with. 
Posted by Sandra Hughes, Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia (Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia) over 12 years ago
That is the right spirit! Stage it forward!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

I like how you worded "the fast decorator" good terminology for what we do. When I stage a home, the homeowners always ask if I would come and help them place their items in their new home. And you are absolutely right that this field is wide open and very affordable to those that cannot afford a decorator.

Love it!! Phyllis Pafumi

 

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 12 years ago
Well Phyllis...that is becuase you are talented!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

I'm the president of the Aurora IAHSP. I love meeting up the members for networking and brainstorming. One person can only stage so many homes!

Posted by Susie Saunders, ASP,PPS (Staged N Sold Properties Inc.) over 12 years ago

Sheron,

Love this post!  Great job!

It has been my contention for some time now, that if most of the realtors in our areas use stagers, there will be more than enough business for all of us!  The real challenge lies in getting everyone on board - realtors and sellers alike!

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 12 years ago
It is going to happen Val. In 2 years people and agents alike will be seeking out the good ones!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

You should have told me you blogged about this Sheron!  I only just noticed it! 

I like the spin you put on it.  So true!

Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) over 12 years ago
Jessica - Thank you. Blog can disappear fast these days. I, BTW, love your web site!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

I'm hungry for some pie so...  gotta run!

Keep them coming 

Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 12 years ago
I have no doubt you make your own pies!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

You make an excellent point Sheron... I've known this about other businesses, but of course having so many stagers in my backyard makes me a little nervous!  There seems to be about 3 of us marketing ourselves full just in the last year... the good thing about that though is that the more houses that are staged, the more the others will need to be staged.  The house that looks good this month, is going to be the house that needs staging next month.

If you do good work, and have integrity - you can make a name for yourself, regardless of the "competition"

Posted by Alyse Bromberg (Dressed for Success) over 12 years ago

Hello gang,

You are so right. Looking at our Friday Real Estate weekly. I would say there are 400 homes for sale. and at least 60 Realtors  and only two Realtors advertise home staging One is mine and the other are two Realtors  who are ASP's I am sure  there are wanna be's out there --- I have heard of a couple. but the opportunity is there. Just gotta get out there and sell STAGING . Open house here I come.

Good place to shop Super Store the quality is okay--- price is fantastic now that they are blowing out their stock. $79.00 for a table---- would be great in a condo. Dark woood etc and clear glass vases and all the goodies to go in them    and denim and leather (faux of course) 8/1/2 by 11  boxes with lids for $7.95  Was in Zellers's got Alfred Sung towels and bedding half off--- ONLY IN CANADA YOU SAY-----

Anyhooo grreat shopping time.

Marilynn Currie CSP Abbotsford/Chilliwack B.C.

Posted by Marilynn Currie over 12 years ago
I believe very soon, homeowners will be calling stagers directly and having their homes staged before they ever call an agent. How many homes sold last year? Almost every family in America and Canada will eventually need a stager. I have sold my home staging instructions to people in Australia, Germany, and Sweden. It is a long time before there are as many stagers on every corner as there are doctors. There are a gazillion decorators and designers and we never seem to run into each other and generally, our clients stick with us unless we really botch things up or cannot please them so I know there is unlimited work for everyone.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

Too much pie makes one fat - bring on the pie! I love pie and don't mind sharing either!

 

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) over 12 years ago

Sheron,

That was REALLY a terrific Post!

When I find myself getting intimidated by competition, I just have to remind myself a few things:

  1. I Love what I do.
  2. Give each and every one of my client's the Best Service & Support that I can
  3. "there is a huge, gigantic, enormous, delicious pie bigger that we can imagine waiting to smother us with its' delights."

Thanks!

All the Best,

Sean Alvarez

Watch My Listings 

Posted by Watch My Listings (Watch My Listings) over 12 years ago

Sounds like you've got it all under control Sean.

Here's a some pie for you Ms. Karen! Have as many pieces as you like and there is more where that came from.

pies

 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
sorry about the signature it is past midnight and I guess that is a sign that I should log off already. This active rain is so addicting ;)
Posted by Connie over 12 years ago
Go for it and get more pie... no one is going to hand it to you.
Posted by John McKenna (InfraredClass.com) over 12 years ago

If you eat the whole pie, you would be a glutton!!! There is definitely plenty to go around.  People should welcome competition.  Without competition we get lazy and complacent.  A competitior on our heels, brings out the best in us and makes us strive to do better!!!!

I'm more than willing to share that big pie!!!!

Posted by Maureen Graziano (Third Eye Home Staging) over 12 years ago

Connie - thank you for commenting and sharing how you network. You are a really good role model and you should post about how you network. 

John - no one is going to bring me my pie? Now you tell me! Boohoo :...( 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
This is an awesome post! Think of your fellow stagers as allies and resources and you get alot further together!
Posted by Shell Brodnax, CEO- RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) about 12 years ago
Well hi Shell, I was looking at Stage It Forward and there is a phantom commenter who is not signed in but I see your name above. Thanks for stopping by. Need to run and find the phantom commenter.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

I'm the new President of the Raleigh IAHSP (Michelle Kuerlich is also on the board - yay Michelle) and I promote a friendly, sharing atmosphere, not one of competition.  My theory is that I just want whoever does a Staging to do it well, not shortchange themselves & get paid peanuts, and grow their business.  I figure if the Stagers here can't "ger`er dun" (thanks Larry the Cable Guy) then they need help to learn and expand.  When Stagers, no matter how they learn do a great job, it benefits ALL Stagers.  When I first started my biz, I learned from fellow Stagers.  And in turn when I need a hand, I find new Stagers to work with so I in turn can pass it forward :)  There is PLENTYYYYYYYYYYYYYY of biz to go around!

Great post Sheron!  How is life in the Central Valley of lovley CA?

Posted by Karen Reynolds (Champagne Staging. LLC) about 12 years ago
As far as the staging pie, the sky is the limit.  I personally think that there are too many agents sharing the real estate pie.  I heard a statistic, not sure if it's true or not, but one our of every ten people in California is a real estate agent.  Oh well, I just go after a bigger slice.
Posted by Ray Perry, Realtor, CRS, GRI, e-PRO (CENTURY 21 The Neil Company Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Karen - congratulations on your new designation, I am the National Vice President for RESA. Here is to the big pie in the sky and I am sure we will be crossing each others paths outside of AR. And it is HOT here...yuk!

Ray - sounds like the real estate schools have made a killing. Don't forget to put a little ice cream on that pie! 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
glad this post resurfaced -- very uplifting and full of encouragement and sound advice.  Nice blog, Sheron!
Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) about 12 years ago
Sheron: I have always been of the belief if one stager does a great job, then it makes us all look a little bit better. There is a huge amount of potential untapped business out there. There is plenty for everyone - everyone who does a good job and practices good business principles. The rest may snatch a job or two away from us Professionals from time to time, but they won't be in business very long. In this business, a good reputation means a lot, and a bad reputation - well, it will kill your business. Work hard on building a good reputation and the success will follow.
Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) about 12 years ago

Keep you friends close, keep your competitor's closer!

I am  in the practice of holding "Staging meetings" with fellow stagers. It helps everyone.

I use a few of them to give me a hand when I need it. We learn from each other; as well, it's lonely and boring when you're doing it on your own.

Julia

Posted by Julia Fedak (Royal LePage State Realty) about 12 years ago

Karen - thank you for your kind words...just passing it on.

Michelle - also some very good advice for all.

Julia - maybe you would like to form a RESA chapter for your area. 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Participate