Sheron Cardin's Input...: Does Asking for Business Feel Like Begging?

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.

Does Asking for Business Feel Like Begging?

Why is asking so difficult? Asking for business...does it feel like begging or a plea for help?

Letting the neighborhood know that you have just staged or listed a home without knocking on their doors is with a beautiful picture postcard. Oh, I know you have thought about that or have done that before. But what better way to get the neighbors over to see the house you just staged in their neighborhood. You know they are all curious and they often come by just to satisfy their curiosity.

postcard This is not an actual sample...just an idea. But the actual photo of the new listing or staged home on the front of the postcard will get their interest because they know the house. A locally designed postcard can turn their curiosity into a referral if done right. Costco can make them for you via the Internet.

Listing agents and home stagers can combine and create a postcard together serving both needs, splitting the costs.

Try something like this...

  • List with us...your neighbor did. (Agent) Picture of house.
  • Come see what a staged home looks like this Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Agent and Stager) Best shot of interior in a corner inset. (Stager)
  • On the back you can ask "Who do you know that would like to move into your neighborhood? Do you know someone that will me moving out of your neighborhood? Give them this postcard." Then add the address of the listing.
What a great way for real estate professionals to team up for the benefit of the consumer, putting to rest, the debate of optional staging. Merchandising one's product is not an option in is the method used by all successful retailers.


Comment balloon 22 commentsSheron Cardin • April 28 2007 12:40PM


I agree .... staging is a powerful tool.  I have always done it myself, but I am leaning more and more toward bringing in someone to perform this vital task as my attention is better focused on other things.
Posted by Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro (Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services) over 12 years ago

I have learned to ALWAYS send out a just listed postcard.   I capitalize on this by providing "Coffee and Cakes" Just Listed party for the first open house.  Kind of a Grand Opening Party.  I list it on the MLS but the goal is really to show the neighborhood the lovely home for sale and introduce myself.   I always have a sign in register and send Thank You cards afterwards.  At the party,   I call and personally invite the small home based businesses in the area - it is a good networking tool for them too, and encourage them to offer special discount coupons that they leave by the register. 

This is fun and effective networking and promotes neighborhood community.  I NEVER feel like I am begging for business.  I feel like I am offering a great way to meet and greet neighbors!

Posted by Pamela Hendriksz (Boulevard Financial Group) over 12 years ago
Thanks Sheron, this is a great idea. As a matter of fact I know someone in my neighborhood that is a stager I am definitely going to give her a call.
Posted by Mana Tulberg, Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA (805 County Real Estate) over 12 years ago
I like the joint marketing idea very much.  And your wording does not make it sound like you are BEGGING for business at all.  Nicely done!
Posted by Sandi Gerrard, It's all about colour over 12 years ago

Hi Sheron,  Great idea.  Going to give this a shot on our upcoming listing. 

Another tip is to hold a special showing for the neighbors and turn the Just Listed card into an invitation.

Posted by Andy Kaufman, East Bay Sales & Investments (Better Homes & Gardens Mason McDuffie Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Hi Robert - I love Morgan Hill and the whole valley there...part of my traffic pattern between SF and Fresno. I looked at your profile and I just cannot quite see you staging but then again...I do see you as someone who is willing to get the job done and done well. All the more reason for you to get some help. Let us know who you hook up with in your area.

Pam - I like the invitation to the local businesses. You never know who might want to move closer to their work!

Mana - I am told timing is everything and the older I get, the more I believe it. The last time I was in Camarillo, the waves were so high, no one was allowed to go near the water. They went straight up and crashed straight down and they made an unbelievably loud sound. What a beautiful place you live.

Sandi - glad you can find a use for it

Andy - again, I really like the invitation idea. Let us know the turnout for your upcoming listing 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
Sheron, this was nicely done - once afain!  When are we going to catch up with one another?Olive
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 12 years ago
Marci - can you imagine all of us on IM? We would never get anything done ;) It is going to be 97 degrees today and I am just beside my self wondering how I am going to survive another hot hot summer. Then next Friday it is going to be 68 degrees. Global warming anyone??? See where I get it! You can find me under the fan with a blanket nearby.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
To ask for their business is a must!  I certainly agree, it is the way one goes about it is the key.  A great way of asking is utilize the phrase: " I would like to earn your business".  So many people forget to ask for the business.  This is key to your success.    
Posted by Provadus Home Loans, Technology bringing you home. (Provadus Home Loans) over 12 years ago

I am going to teach a realtor class(can you believe it)!  It will be for one hour.  I wondered how I would fill an hour, (then I wondered how I would confine it to an hour) mostly I get 15 minutes, if I'm lucky!  I am going to instill in the realtors the absolute necessity of a stager for the trend forward realtor.  Beg??? Never!!!!  By the time I finish, they will be begging a stager(even if its not me )to help them sell faster and better.  Yep, thats it.  I have worked hard to learn what I have learned,like all of us on AR, and never in this life will I feel like I'm begging because   stagers are always trying to be better and offer more.  I know there are stagers who don't measure up ( for some reason people like to tell me about it), but when a stager becomes established they need never feel like they are begging.

The staging I put on AR today is one  in which I displayed my marketing materials, appeared at the house at the broker's open house ,and offered a drawing for a discount DIY.  I heard the realtors comments first hand and met them.  I love the idea of a sign.  Thank you for all you do, I have learned a lot from you! Carol

Posted by Carol Ellis (Luxury-Domain to Home Stage) over 12 years ago
 I'm anxious to give this a try - thanks.
Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 12 years ago
I know it is nothing new but the partnership with a stager is and will spike curiosity. I look forward to hearing some results.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
I like your partnering idea. You have to ask for business and do it in a professional manner.
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 12 years ago
Hi Sheron, I LOVE postcards and use them every once in a while as a mailout. I think people love them too as I get responses....I think they're a great idea (and so is the paper shredder---how IS he?). 
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 12 years ago
If a  picture says a thousand words,  a postcard can hold a few thousand.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago


I have been talking with a stager recently about a teaming arrangement.  this might be jus the way to kick it off.  Thanks for the idea.

Posted by Bob Force (REALTORĀ®), The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate (Weichert - McKenna & Vane) over 12 years ago

1. Nope, asking has no whine.

2. Great idea Sheron. I'll tuck it in my marketing file and put it on the planning calendar. Cool. Thanks for the good idea.

Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 12 years ago

Wayne - asking for business is a tough one for many people and if they can get around it then I say do it.

Carole - hey there, my paper shredder is adorable and efficient. Thanks for asking.

Randy - Aloha! I am a visual person so I always read post cards because they have just a few words on them.

Robert - Joint post card marketing in neighborhoods is a really good way to launch a new relationship. 

Yvonne - somehow I knew you were not shy about asking for business.  Is it getting hot in AZ yet? Almost 100 degrees yesterday.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
Sheron, I guess I'm a beggar! Because I ask everyone for business every chance I get!
Posted by Danny Smith (DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES) over 12 years ago
Yes, Sheron yesterday was pretty warm. We are about 10 degees lower (temperature wise) than Phoenix. I live between Phoenix and Flagstaff, with Prescott off to the side. I make my shopping decisions based on the weather forecast. HOT -- go to Flagstaff. COLD -- go to Phoenix. I love my choices. But I really am "shy" about asking for business. I just love talking to people. (Who would of thunk it?)
Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 12 years ago

Danny - I will bet you have charm and a twinkle in your eye when you are asking!

Yvonne - Danny sounds like a great role model...maybe he has some tips we can all use. Danny, have you posted on this subject? 

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

Yes Danny, fess up. Where is the blog?

Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 12 years ago