“ I’ve seen a few posts on social media about this thing called home staging and I get the general idea but I’m not entirely sure what it involves“.
If you are a developer or builder constructing one-off or small numbers of properties or developing existing properties then this might be a question you have.
To put it simply, staging a property is all about maximising the potential in a property with the aim of getting the best possible sale price and selling quickly.
In this blog I thought it might be helpful to set out some of the different stages involved for a new build or refurbishment. Depending on the scale of the project some of these stages may not be needed or may be combined with other stages.
It all starts with an initial meeting which will normally be at the property itself. The purpose behind the meeting is for us to discuss the project and what your aims are. I will outline the process and what you can expect. I’m important aspect of this meeting is for us to get to know each other and for you to decide if you would like to work with me.
After the initial meeting I will review my notes and assess the project. I will prepare a quotation for my fees based on what exactly is involved (no two projects will be identical). I also like to prepare a simple concept board designed to give an overall flavour of the scheme including colour palette and style. I send these to you along with an email summarising the details of the meeting that has taken place.
If you decide to proceed the next stage will be a further meeting at the property, the purpose of which is to discuss the project in more detail. I will take “before“photographs and mark up a floor plan to show the position of electrical sockets and any other features. This is crucial when planning the positioning of furniture especially in larger spaces and where windows and other features can affect furniture placement.
What is an inventory?
Inventory is basically the furniture, soft furnishings, artwork and other accessories that are required stage the property. As a developer or builder you may wish to build up your own inventory that you can use on future projects. I have my own inventory that can be rented from me or It may be appropriate to outsource to a rental company. Even if you are using rental inventory there will also be a certain amount of inventory to be purchased in order to suit the particular property. These various sorts of inventory will be costed for you. This element of staging can be one of the most challenging and time consuming if you try to do it yourself.
Each project will have a scheme.
Following on from the initial concept board which I have prepared, for larger projects I will prepare individual mood boards for the principal rooms. These will not necessarily include every detail but are a reference point for me to work from.
The reason for this is that it enables me to ensure not only that the elements of the individual rooms work together but that there is a consistency to the overall look of the property.
Whilst not every room needs to be identical there needs to be certain elements that are common to each. This could be colours used or the style.
It’s important to achieve cohesion.
You may imagine that this is easy, you just go into a store and choose. However, we all know that choice can be overwhelming. Planning the inventory and creating mood boards makes the process easier because it gives clarity. Some pieces can be sourced online but buying online has the disadvantage that you are unable to check the quality of the product and the colours of the product can be different when seen in real life as opposed to online images so it can be risky. Here is where using a professional really adds value.
Whether you are using rental inventory, purchased inventory or a combination of the two there will always be a stage where everything is being put in place. Although I will have decided on the placement of major items of furniture during the site visit, with larger spaces in particular, a final choice will be made when the furniture is brought in. With the major items of furniture in place this is also an opportunity to decide on the final position of mirrors and artwork.
In the previous section I talked about bringing in the furniture and touched on mirrors and artwork. The positioning of mirrors and artwork is an aspect that can often be overlooked if you are trying to do the staging yourself but it is an essential part of the process. They need to be at the right height and correctly positioned in relation to windows and other features. Adding soft furnishings and accessories comes at the end.
I am a firm believer in the power of professional photography. I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with professional photographer Raymond Jones of Raymond Jones Images on a series of videos on the different aspects of the topic of property marketing. (You can watch the first three by clicking HERE). Why is professional photography so important? A professional photographer will use top quality equipment ensuring that the quality of the images in your marketing is standout. They will know when is the best time for taking photographs for example on a recent photo shoot Raymond planned the sequence in which he was going to photograph the rooms so that the shots of the living room avoided glare from direct sunlight. A professional photographer will also know how to take “lifestyle” shots to highlight features and to emphasise how to use a room. I will bring in those elements needed to be fresh on the day such as flowers and perhaps food items for the purpose of those lifestyle images.
De – staging
What goes in must come out. At a suitable stage in the sale, which could be once an offer has been accepted or once contracts have been exchanged I will attend at the property to remove all the inventory that I have provided and to oversee the removal of any rental furniture. If the client is retaining purchased inventory for future projects I will, if necessary, assist with the packing up of this.
And Finally …
The purpose of this blog has been to give you, the developer, builder or property investor, an insight into my process and to demonstrate that there is more to staging a property than simply bringing in a few fluffy cushions. Any project I undertake will take into account the particular market the property is aimed at and could be an opportunity for you to demonstrate your companies values. If you would like to learn more or book a discovery call, call me on (07745) 876182. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, North Wales and the North West