Author: Tricia Tomlinson, Founder of SDN
I often receive calls from Stagers asking if we plan to franchise the Staging & Design Network business model, StagingandDesignNetwork.com; I thought I would share an update of our plans within the staging community, along with some general thoughts about where the industry is headed.
Staging is the most exciting industry I’ve ever been a part of. While it’s mostly comprised of women, there a few talented men also leading the charge. I can think of two worth mentioning, Todd McAllister and Jon Rosichelli. Both have impressed me with years of dedication backed by a kind heart and phenomenal values, neither of which need to do much advertising to keep their calendars full. Several others made a significant impact on the industry as well. Andrea Braund, with her beautiful, inspiring designs, Shell Brodnax, the Founder of the Real Estate Staging Association, created in April 2007, and Jennifer Norris, CEO of the International Home Staging Association of Professional Stager, created in March 2009. There are so many others I could mention, perhaps for another article.
When I think of this industry’s future, I can’t help but think about how closely it’s tied to the ever-changing real estate community. We had the opportunity to participate in the REACH program facilitated by Second Century Ventures, owned by the National Association of Realtors. Their purpose is to discover and promote innovative startups that can disrupt and change the real estate industry for the better. Staging & Design Network was one of 8 companies chosen from over 1000 submissions. While all eight companies were interesting, there are 2 that are easy to describe. First is “Rate My Agent,” which describes what it does in its name, and the other “KLEARD,” a company working on new lockboxes that provide the ability for homebuyers to tour homes on the spot without an agent.
While many companies are changing the real estate industry’s future, such as Rate My Agent and KLEARD, there is no doubt that staging is affecting the home furnishings industry. As homebuyers tour staged homes for sale, they can’t help but think this is how every home should look. Most of us love the experience we feel when we walk into a room that’s been beautifully decorated; it’s like appreciating a piece of art with the ability to jump inside the painting and be a physical part of it.
I find it interesting that it’s taken so long for this industry to evolve if you consider that builders figured out many moons ago, they could sell homes faster and for more money if they staged a model unit in their development. Not only that, they could sell upgrades. So why has it taken so long?
One thing for sure is that this industry is made up of people who’ve found their passion, many later in life. Most of them never intended to own their own businesses. Instead, they are artists who want to express their talent. It’s not unrealistic to compare home stagers to the artist community. There are so many talented but starving artists. There are very few that are both talented and good at promoting themselves. A reason why you may not find many stagers that show up in advertising and those who do advertise may not always be the top stagers when it comes to talent.
The staging industry is capital intensive, stressful, and logistically challenging. At Staging & Design Network, we try to help those who have the talent and know where they want to focus. Our hope is that we create an opportunity for talent to shine instead of being drained. We want to leave a legacy where the playing field is leveled, and those with the most talent can focus on doing what they love and hire professionals to handle the rest. It’s kind of like, paying someone to do your taxes so you can spend your energy more wisely. We only have a limited amount of time, and it’s so valuable.
Our members are not limited by resources. They are focused on unique designs for every home. We are continually amazed by the evolution of the industry and how styles are always evolving. We know it can be challenging to find out who the best stagers are, and to continue our support, we showcase those stagers on our website, http://www.staginganddesignnetwork.com, and within our weekly newsletter. You can subscribe to our newsletter by clicking this link Staging & Design Newsletter
To answer the question about franchising, I’ll say this; Our mission is to PARTNER with members, SHARE resources, GROW their businesses, and INSPIRE design. We do plan to offer our inventory management to the staging community in the near future. If you are interested in participating in the beta, you can send an email to Beta@SDNINC.Net. At some point, we’ll decide if it makes sense to share the marketplace we’ve created with those who are using our technology.