Welcome our NEW Director of Ops – Joseph Haecker!

I’m joining the IAHSP Family!

I’ve joined IAHSP to lead operations, with the goal of growing the community and creating more opportunities for the global membership. But before we get too far into that, I simply wanted to re-introduce myself.

My name is Joseph Haecker. When I was a kid, my dream was to work for Disney as an animator. My parents poured a lot of resources into me and gave me all the tools to be as creative as possible. In high school, I convinced a bunch of friends and coworkers to help me with my portfolio, but ultimately just missed getting into the animation program I was aiming for by only two students.

I went on to hold several roles in a variety of companies and industries: utilities billing company, vending food market research, security officer, resident artist, and lighting designer. It was as a lighting designer that I paused for a moment and developed my first career. I worked inhouse for three companies and went on to consult for 28 other independent custom lighting manufacturers, specializing in hospitality, casino and high-end residential decorative light fixture design and manufacturing. If you’ve been to Vegas, there is a 99.999% chance you’ve seen or even posed with one of my designs.

In 2010, I had an “aha moment”, thinking that the future of design collaboration would be a social platform. A failed attempt later, and in 2014 I formed an amazing team and became CEO of Dezignwall. At Dezignwall, we created amazing features that to this day are still ahead of its time in the marketplace. But I also learned so many of the skills that I bring forward into my business approach, that I would never have explored had we not pursued Dezignwall.

There are many startup concepts that are amazing for all businesses, such as:

  • Failing fast
  • Learning to pivot
  • Trusting your team
  • Building to scale
  • Solving one problem, really well
  • Listening and learning from the data
  • Solving your customers problem first
  • Learning to take risks, and to learn from failure

Currently, I own 23 companies, hold license on a non-profit, host a podcast, and I’m very active in the startup, entrepreneur space in Denver and Las Vegas.

What I’ve learned through my journey is that community and ecosystems are so very important. If the ecosystem can teach, be inclusive, support new ideas, gather, and grow, then the entire community benefits.

This brings me to IAHSP.

In my new role as Operations for IAHSP, my job is to serve the community.

How will I do that?

Well, first off. I’m NOT a Home Stager. And I think that’s a good thing.

Not being a Home Stager, I don’t know what you know. Which means in order to do my job, I must be a good listener and get to know each of you better.

But I also think that “Home Staging” is just one of the many hats you wear. In the past handful of years that I’ve gotten to know the Home Staging industry, what I’ve found is that many of you run hybrid business models. Many of you are also Realtors, Decorators, Interior Designers, Color Specialists, Short-term Rental Owners, Retail Store Owners, General Contractors, and Instructors. Home Staging is in most cases, only part of your business model. But the common link is that you are all business owners. And most of you are also employers, with teams, vendors, and networks within each of your communities, globally.

So, my first initiative, in getting to know everyone, is to set up a podcast and invite you to share with me and the IAHSP community about you and your business. Let’s have a conversation about what makes you and your business unique, and what you specialize in. I want this invite to go out to everyone. I would like to meet the business owners in the IAHSP community that we rarely hear from. I want to feature you and your business. This is an open invite to be featured by IAHSP.

I think we will all learn that the IAHSP community is very diverse and wears a lot of hats that most people might not have realized.

Second, I believe in community. IAHSP has a unique opportunity through Chapters.

I would like to invite as many of our IAHSP community members to consider leading a Chapter. Leading a chapter is a unique way to both give back to your local community, supporting fellow business owners, providing educational opportunities, connecting your community with brands, solutions and fun events that inspire and elevate people in your own neighborhoods. But being a Chapter Leader is also a great learning experience for you. As a Chapter Leader, you grow as a business owner, through unique connections, thought leadership and a person that cares for your neighbors and fellow business owners, and through our local IAHSP Chapter activity that we can connect with and help our neighbors grow and succeed.

So, I invite you to learn about all the benefits and the ways that IAHSP can support you as you make an impact in your local communities.

I have a ton of ideas on how we can grow the IAHSP community. But one of the last things I wanted to mention in this article is that I would like to serve you in ALL the hats that you wear. That is why, I would like to open up IAHSP to a larger community. Many of you are also Realtors, Interior Designers, and operate hybrid businesses that offer many services. I would like to open IAHSP to serve all your business needs. Though our core will be Home Staging, our education and conferences will cover the spectrum of business models and network that makes up the way we actually run our businesses. I can see a future where IAHSP Con & Expo is full of Realtors, Interior Designers, Short-term Rental Experts and a multitude of business types and needs being served.

How?

I would like to invite you to lead online and in-person education through our Hyve program. Where you can earn money through IAHSP, by leading a in-person, online and on-demand educational courses on a wide range of topics, including Real Estate, Remodel, Interior Design, and even employee training lessons. Hyve will be a community led education platform. Led by, and addressing the ever changing and expanding needs of the IAHSP Community.

I’ll close with this…

IAHSP has grown to be known as an association that is more of a family, than a traditional “association.”

Let’s come together as a community, to open ourselves up to our networks, recognizing that we do wear multiple hats, and that our needs include many other sources of support and a variety of educational opportunities. But let’s open our doors to the people of our network, fellow business owners and local communities, to provide education, resources and that community that IAHSP has developed over the past 23 years.

Let’s expand our family, locally.

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Be Part of the Home Staging and Real Estate Industry Event of the Year!

IAHSP brings you the BEST Education, Speakers, Networking, Vendors, and Recognition – and you don’t want to miss out! Register NOW – only $590 for the ENTIRE EVENT including:

  • Education Sessions
  • Keynote Speaker Sessions
  • Awards Dinner & Gala

Prices go up incrementally, so secure the BEST PRICING NOW by registering sooner than later! We have special pricing for TEAMS as well so if you have 3 or more team members we can offer you special discounted pricing for the 3rd+ team member you register.

Advance your Business Growth and Success – whether you are a NEW, GROWING or SEASONED Home Staging Pro – we have topics and education that pertains to YOU and where you are in your business journey.

Our Conference starts off with an EXPO on Friday evening where our attendees get to see our amazing VENDOR PARTNER SPONSORS who have traveled to New Orleans to share their products or services with YOU! We have music, dancing, food, and shopping! It is a great way to KICK OFF our event with a party!

Saturday and Sunday are EDUCATION DAYS with EXPERT SPEAKERS on various topics related to:

  • Business Logistics
  • Sales Strategies
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Scaling Your Business
  • Adding to Your Team
  • Warehousing
  • Purchasing Wholesale
  • Staging & Design Trends

Our conference is a TRUE CELEBRATION of the Industry – with our Annual Awards Gala Dinner! We issue the IAHSP Staging Industry Awards and our theme this year is the MARDI GRAS MASQUERADE BALL – and we will have fun recognizing all the top stagers in certain categories, and wrap up our conference with a party!

Check out some pics from our last conference!

IAHSP® EU Conference and Awards 2022

By Sasha Barker

The IAHSP® EU proudly brings to you the 3rd European Conference and the 2nd European Awards.

This year, the conference will be held in Lisbon’s Pestana Palace Hotel on the 28th and 29th of May 2022. IAHSP® EU has lined up 7 top industry professionals to share their valuable insights over the course of the weekend. Attendees will have access to inspiring talks on success, time management, design principles and even warehouse logistics, just to name a few! This year’s speakers will be as follows:

  • Birgit Anich (Warehouse and Logistics: Tips and Tricks to Maximise Operational Efficacies)
  • June Carter (Time Management for Home Stagers)
  • Annie Doherty (Design Principles)
  • Barbara Heil-Sonneck (First Impressions Matter)
  • Marta Monteiro (Vision for Success)
  • Jennie Norris (Senior Staging Specialist Course and Certified IAHSP Course Trainer)
  • Mariah Wayhudi (How to Save Time, Increase Sales and Generate Leads Using LinkedIn)

The full schedule (subject to change), which will include lunches and coffee breaks, can be found here. Everything you need to know about what is best for your staging business will be at your fingertips, and you’ll also be surrounded by like-minded individuals with a passion for Home Staging – the perfect opportunity to network and build connections.

There will be opportunities to meet our sponsors and discuss their products and services throughout the conference. We’re proud to announce this year’s main sponsor as quality furniture brand Kave Home. Our Gold Sponsors are StagedHomes & 221, and our Bronze Sponsor is data insight company Stageflow, whose support is hugely appreciated.

We are also honored to have Stagedhomes.com, Home Philosophy and Staged4More, who share the same vision with us in giving importance to home staging education, as our Educational Supporters.

On the evening of the 28th, the 2nd European Home Staging Awards will take place. This is a wonderful occasion for everybody to come together and celebrate our successes as Home Stagers from all over Europe.

We are looking forward to seeing you all there and are confident it will be a fun, fulfilling weekend. You can find more information about the conference, including this year’s speakers, and buy your tickets here.

IAHSP EU Conference and Awards 2022

By Sasha Barker

The IAHSP®’s European Home Staging Conference and Expo is just around the corner, and we are here to fill you in on those all-important details! You really won’t want to miss out on what is set to be a brilliant weekend for the Home Staging industry.

Beautiful Lisbon, Portugal

This year, the conference will be held in Lisbon’s Pestana Palace Hotel on the 28th and 29th of May 2022.

THE FUTURE IS NOW


The IAHSP® Europe has lined up 7 top industry professionals to share their insights over the course of the weekend. Attendees will have access to inspiring talks on success, time management, design principles and even warehouse logistics, just to name a few! On the second day, there will be a specialist course on Senior Staging, reviewing Home Staging solutions for more mature adults.

Senior Staging Specialist Designation from IAHSP

The full schedule (subject to change), which will include lunches and coffee breaks, can be found here. Everything you need to know about what is best for your staging business will be at your fingertips, and you’ll also be surrounded by like minded individuals with a passion for Home Staging – the perfect opportunity to network and build connections. There will be opportunities to meet our sponsors and discuss their products and services throughout the conference.

On the evening of the 28th, the 2nd annual European Home Staging Awards will take place. This is a wonderful occasion for everybody to come together and celebrate our successes as Home Stagers from all over Europe. It is a black-tie event with a Gala Dinner, not to mention the afterparty where we can all let our hair down!

We are looking forward to seeing you all there and are confident it will be a fun, fulfilling weekend. You can find more information on our guest speakers and buy your tickets for the conference here.

Why Being The Low-Ball Leader Never Pays

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https://www.whatsellsbest.com/source/lowball.php
by Jennie Norris, President & CEO, Stagedhomes.com, CEO, Sensational Home Staging – We Stage Colorado, Chairwoman, IAHSP

PRICING.

We need to talk about it in order to understand it for our industry, and yet so many stagers are afraid to talk openly about pricing and what their market supports. As such we have an industry under valuing their time, product and service. You don’t want to be the Low Ball Leader.

In general, staging pricing is tied to the price of homes in a region.  If an area has higher priced properties, stagers can charge more, and if the pricing is more modest, they charge less.  Our industry is hard to explain as it is not based on hourly or salary or even experience per se.  If the region has grown and staging is established, there is a benchmark of pricing that is accepted by the clients, and stagers need to be taught what that is. 

Some established stagers believe that a newbie should not/can not price their services at the same rate as an experienced stager. What this has done is as new stagers enter the market and are told they cannot charge as much as an experienced stager, the market is devalued and undercutting happens.  I have always taught the opposite.  New people entering are benefitting from a seasoned stager who established the market.  The seasoned stagers should not want a new person to charge less and drive the market down.  The public honestly does not always care about experience or even education when it comes to staging – it is pricing and results.  We all strive to add value and use our credentials to get business.

FACTORS IMPACTING PRICING: Pricing is a factor of many things – and ultimately, turning a profit of 25% or more is the goal.  We have costs and overhead to run our business, not just a project. A stager who has more overhead, has to charge more to cover their costs for their overall company, versus one who does not have a larger operation. The larger operation must do more volume to cover costs and find ways to be very efficient with their staging.  However, all stagers need to analyze their operating costs and factor that information in when pricing their projects. It is never just about that one project – it is always about the overall bigger picture of what the revenue is covering.

EFFICIENCY IS A FACTOR: A new stager usually takes way too long to stage – and they do not always factor all those hours into their time, nor should they be paid for all their time because they are slow and learning. However, a stager who is charging less could still be more profitable than a seasoned pro – it all depends on the type of operation they run.

WERE YOU TAUGHT HOW TO PRICE FOR YOUR MARKET? I wish I had one “right” answer but the price vs cost vs value discussion is one we all have and it irks me when I see stagers who have not been taught how to price their services, think, “I got paid $2000 to stage! I made all that money.” Yes – but that is NOT all profit! They rarely take a look at the costs to secure the business let alone the costs to run the project. Did they actually make a profit?

I once had a student in our ASP Masters course and as we broke down business models and talked about pricing, she shared she was getting $4500 per staging project. We were all very impressed. She had a little warehouse that cost her $1700 per month. She owned all her own things. So I was thinking, “Wow – she is doing pretty well.” UNTIL I asked, “How many stagings do you do per month?”  Drum roll please. . . . she told me, “I stage about 6 houses – PER YEAR!” Yes – per YEAR!  I mean – WHAT?  As I looked at THAT fact, it was clear, she was losing money and not making any profit.  I shared, if she could add in just 6 more per year – she would at least make some money.  She was sort of in shock when we analyzed the reality of her biz – but it was a good eye opener. 

Personally, I would not survive on 6 stagings per year. We do that in one week in our staging biz that serves Denver.  Now her pricing per staging was good – she did every room (not necessarily needed) and only had one client.  In my opinion, she should never have invested in a warehouse at that amount when she did not have the business to support it.  We didn’t even get to cover all the other expenses she had:  marketing, events, education, insurance, maintenance of her things, etc. She ended up selling her items and moving to a different state to live with her daughter (that was already sort of in the works anyway) and wanted to focus on consultations were there is much lower overhead and good potential for profit.


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IAHSP actually has a pricing course that has 7 different webinars, handouts, planning forms, etc.  For those struggling with where to price their services, it is worth looking into it – one of the handouts is the hourly price range each major city in the US supports for staging. There are 4-5 ways to price a project and help with coming up with guidelines for your country/region and deciding which model works the best for a staging company is subjective. 

Stagers who want to crank out proposals and use a more predictable framework will opt for % of list, $ per sq foot or $ per room.  Using actual costs is the 4th method – figuring out what rooms need staging, pricing out what goes in each area – is one half of the equation.  The labor is the other part.  If the % of list, price per sq ftg or price per room do not cover the labor and create a profit or price the stager out of their market, the actual pricing model has to be used. We use a hybrid method of pricing – a combo between #3 and #4 to price our vacant staging projects.

KNOW YOUR BOTTOM LINE: I believe every stager needs to take a look at their actual costs – and then for expediency can use one of the other models for pricing as long as they know they are turning a profit.  We can all framework our own set of pricing that works for us – and it is hard not to compare to others.  We do not own their companies so we have no way of knowing if they are making money or not.  We do know if something is greatly undervalued such as $500 for staging a 3 room condo for 90 days. Because entities like NAR put out pricing averages for Staging that are not based in reality, the buying public believes our pricing should be that low and it is up to US to educate them.

TEACHING THE VALUE OF STAGING – what the hourly rate should be to calculate the lump sum pricing for the client – SHOULD be shared with ALL stagers so they don’t have to guess.  If stagers are using a consistent number, the decisions to use one or another won’t be about price and who is cheaper – but be about quality, availability, relatability, responsiveness, etc.  Price will always be a factor as people do not want to overpay, but stagers should be within acceptable range of one another in a market where they understand their value when it is an apples-to-apples comparison.

TIME IS MONEY: I know we run a tight ship and can get staging done quickly and efficiently. This means I am more profitable than a stager who takes all day to stage a property when we can get it done in 1-2 hours. Time is the great equalizer. And if I can make MORE than another stager because we are faster, that is a good thing.  If I can get it done in 2 hours and can charge as much as someone who takes 8 hours, and win, I just made 6 hours of profit that was not needed. It also provides me with a buffer to negotiate if a client comes back to me and asks for an adjustment. I want to win the business, not at any cost, however I am willing to negotiate within reason. Sometimes that might be doing a little less, taking out a room, or making a little less profit. I NEVER go in knowing I am going to lose money. I know what my walk away price is: The price where I am essentially paying the client for the privilege of Staging their property. I refuse to start off at a loss. There are times things go awry on a staging, and we do end up costing ourselves more than planned, however that cannot be the norm.

Stagers need to be focused on making as much as possible, not just enough to cover their expenses.  There are clients where I know I can pad the proposal, and then times where I know I have to be tighter. If you are reading this and are not sure what your rates should be, ask a colleague. If they are not forthcoming, take a look at sister industries and other affiliates who are part of the overall process of buying and selling a property. A stager can take a look at the hourly rate for interior designers in their region, and then fall in below that number as designers are usually seen as expensive.  They can also take a look at what other pros involved in the sales/buying process for a property charge: what does an appraiser charge, and what a real estate photographer charge, etc. In other words, look at the others involved in the sale of a property and make sure for the service we are providing in the real estate industry, we are on par.

PRICING PSYCHOLOGY: The psychological factor of pricing is also important.  $1950 sounds and looks a lot less than $2010 and they are only $60 apart.  If I am adding up our pricing and we bump up just over $2000 or $3000 – I will see if I can get it down to just under the next thousand level.  I stay away from round numbers – never add up to something with “00” as psychologically it sounds too perfect, like you didn’t really add up anything for their property quote.  Look at $1987 versus $2000. If you got a quote and saw one or the other, which one seems like a better price? Visually 1987 looks a lot less because it has a “19” in the front. Once you bump up over that next threshold, the client’s see it as a lot more.

THE ETHICS OF PRICING: Having open discussions about pricing and agreeing from an ethics standpoint that a stager will not knowingly come in and undercut a market is key.  Having recourse for stagers who deliberately do this is key.  There are stagers in every market – who stage “for fun,” who don’t actually care about making money – and they will charge less, drive a market down, and do not care they are leaving LOTS of money on the table. A Stager who is NOT money motivated will ruin it for the pros that are out there.  The good news is eventually, running at a loss year over year, will become a problem for that stager as the IRS does not like seeing a loss for more than 3-5 years.

Additionally, the adage, “You get what you pay for,” rings true and their quality will suffer, they will be forced to take a look at their poor business strategy and whoever is bankrolling their operation and allowing them to just do whatever they want and lose money, will wise up – after all that person does not want to lose thousands year after year.  If that cheap stager exists in your market, go after the higher-end listings as the cheapo cannot stage them to the standard of expectation of a client – and so they will not go after that biz.  The investors or agents who don’t care about quality, will hire the cheapo, and when the clients start seeing the lack of results and find themselves having to supplement stagings with their own things or not getting the results they expected, they will start to seek out a true pro.

  • Edify the industry.
  • Encourage others to price according to their value and their market.
  • Focus on how you can be most efficient to reduce overhead.
  • And be strategic with who you target for business.

When real estate prices are climbing and everyone involved in the sale is making more (Realtors, Lenders, Title companies, photographers, appraisers, etc.) why shouldn’t Stagers? If we truly are tied to the value we bring to the process of listing and selling a property, we should be making MORE as the markets grow stronger. Not less.


If you are an interior designer, decorator, professional organizer or feng shui practitioner looking to add Staging to your business, watch this 1 hour complimentary webinar that shares what it takes to add Staging to your business. Having an “eye” is not enough. The business goals are totally different, process is different and factors such as front-loading furnishings is a necessity not found in these sister industries.

IAHSP Chairwoman, Jennie Norris, featured in The Top 100 People in Real Estate

Jennie Norris is featured on the cover of The Top 100 Magazine – Top 100 People in Real Estate Issue

Decorated with honors such as Innovator of the Year, five consecutive Best of Home Staging Awards, multiple individual awards for her staging work, and the only two-time winner of the Staging Award of Excellence, to say that Jennie Norris lives and breathes the art and science of home staging would be an accurate statement about a woman who has had her hands in over 5,700 staged properties and dedicated 20 years of her life as a preeminent authority in field. She is a changemaker, a torchbearer, and a champion of the industry. Recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Home Staging Industry, Jennie is an international expert and speaker on the subject and the author of the go-to sourcebook for anyone working in the field: Marketing Made Simple – A Guide for the Home Staging Industry. She is an Accredited Staging Professional Master® (ASPM®) Stager trained by none other the Creator of Home Staging®, Barb Schwarz, and part of the elite group of professional home stagers to have earned the rare double certification of ASP® and ASP® Master.

As chairwoman of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®), Jennie is the energic, passionate force driving the largest home staging industry trade association in the world—and she’s determined to help its over 4,000 members of real estate professionals and stagers across the globe to thrive in ways they never imagined. For 22 years, the IAHSP has been dedicated to advancing the education and staging excellence of the home staging industry—and it’s the only association that requires quality education to join. It’s also the only organization led by home staging experts who currently own and operate their own successful businesses—Jennie among them. She is also the president and CEO of the world’s leader in home staging training and education—StagedHomes®. It goes without saying, if anyone knows the intricacies of the industry, it’s Jennie.

After serving in leadership roles in the organization since 2003, Jennie took the helm of the IAHSP in 2016 and, with her team, worked to double its size, expanding into 20 countries to answer the growing demand by industry members. She’s also the imaginative mind behind its wildly popular conferences, attended by thousands of members each year. These lively, star-studded events are replete with keynote celebrity speakers—Jonathan and Drew Scott, better known as “The Property Brothers,” Jeff Lewis of Flipping Out, and HGTV stars Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia, and Candice Olson, to name a few. From speakeasies to champagne diamonds, awards dinners to dancing till dawn, for guests who manage to grab a “golden ticket” to these galas, it’s a night to remember.

As Jennie prepares for this year’s blow-out SOAR Conference with the awards gala set in the Great Gatsby theme and welcomes the steady wave of new IAHSP members, she took a few minutes to sit down with Top 100 Magazine to share more about how the industry is evolving and how she and the IAHSP are helping to propel its members—and the industry—into the future.

With home staging videos across the Internet and TV reality shows, why has a formal education and credentialing in home staging become critical for staging and real estate professionals?

Successful home staging is much more involved than what is depicted in 30-minute video tutorials or TV shows. The staging industry has evolved, and real estate agents need to understand that staging is a key market differentiator for them to get business. Staging is no longer an option—it’s a critical necessity for both their success and that of their home sellers. The impact staging has on a property is proven with statistics that have been tracked since 2003.  There are an estimated 10,000 professional stagers worldwide and several million real estate agents, and staging makes a positive impact on 20% of the real estate sold each year just in the U.S. alone. This means properties sell faster and/or for more, making REALTORS® more successful, sellers happier, and buyers excited about the houses they purchase.

Real estate agents need to seek out education on how home staging can help them differentiate themselves and increase their business by using it as a key listing and marketing tool. I wrote The Real Estate Agent’s Guide to the Home Staging Industry, available on the IAHSP.com site, to help agents understand how and why to include home staging as part of listing a property, process, pricing, and where to find a Pro-Stager™.  Home stagers need a professional education in staging so that they know how to own and operate a successful staging business, including logistics, pricing, services, marketing, and growth. They need to understand how to communicate their value, and to understand the partnership they have with REALTORS®, builders, and investors. Credentials also give us credibility and clout with our clients and separate us from the masses of untrained hobbyists who watch HGTV or YouTube videos and market themselves as home stagers. A reputable staging course greatly shortens the learning curve and the struggle cycle so many business owners enter when they do not invest in a proper foundation for success.

We’ll get to the IAHSP and its mission to provide these critical credentials. But first, the burning question on the minds of many readers right now—how can real estate agents and stagers benefit from taking your accredited courses?

In addition to being a key listing and marketing tool, staging impacts the agent’s reputation. Many agents believe they do not have to stage a listing because we are in a strong seller’s market. Agents are tying their reputations to a product that should never be for sale and shown publicly, and it makes them look bad. Many are afraid to tell sellers the truth about their properties, opting to remain silent instead of partnering with a pro-stager who can be their liaison with the seller and help preserve the client relationship. A REALTOR® has a fiduciary responsibility to get the most in the sale of a property, and staging helps them achieve that. Our ASP®-RE course increase their confidence, teaches marketing strategies, provides scripting and role playing, and supports agent productivity and profit.

Our stager graduates rank in the top 2% of all home staging company owners in the world as far as success and revenue, and it has been one of our grads that launched staging in every major market in the U.S. and Canada. To run a successful business, stagers need to understand how they fit in the process and why a client would hire them.  Staging is not decorating or design, and people who enter the industry believing that based on what they see on TV need to adjust their perspective quickly in order to obtain business.  Our courses teach them how to market, manage and maintain a thriving and lucrative business.

The IAHSP is the only organization that requires education. Why is this important, and how are you helping home stagers and real estate professionals keep up with the evolving trends of the industry?

Home staging is our passion and helping our members succeed is our purpose. Since 1999, IAHSP has advocated for education, excellence, and ethics, and our members adhere to a higher standard in these three areas than any other staging association, alliance, or organization.   No one else requires education first, and that means our base level of membership is elevated and stronger.

I believe strongly as an industry we all must establish and strive for higher standards and professionalism to make sure the public can differentiate between untrained hobbyists and educated experts. By increasing our professional standards, we will increase the visibility of our industry and the impact we make in the real estate industry as a whole. We also increase the viability of the industry for future members.

We offer our members resources and education for business success and growth, the opportunity to network and engage with industry colleagues through our member chapters and online social media groups.  We host educational events that teach vital topics to help business owners thrive.

Since 2003, IAHSP has hosted educational conferences for our members that are truly a celebration of our industry.  From quality speakers teaching on topics vital to all business levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), to our Vendor EXPO, where we bring key companies directly to our members, to our Industry Awards Gala Dinner that honors members for their staging quality in various categories, to the relationships that form from meeting colleagues from all over the world—no other group hosts an event like IAHSP. And they’re a blast!

The IAHSP has experienced astounding growth under your leadership. To what do you attribute this?

When I took over as chairwoman in 2016, I opened up our association to the entire industry, where previously only graduates of one educational course could be a member. I felt that as the leaders of the home staging education industry, it was incumbent upon us to support all members across the growing home staging industry and the real estate agents they serve, plus mentor and groom the next generation of industry leaders. We expanded into Europe in 2018, and now have members from 20 countries as we continue to make a global impact.

I also believe that people are looking for a place where they can connect and are accepted, a place where the negativity often found in the world is gone, and members are supported, encouraged, and cheered for their growth and success. That can only be accomplished by leaders with a heart for helping others. All our IAHSP leaders have a spirit of giving back. We either volunteer time or are paid very little compared to the number of hours we invest. We give back because we are passionate about our profession and we want to ensure our industry—and the members we serve—thrive now and for decades to come.

Unlike other staging organizations, you and all the leaders of IAHSP currently run your own staging companies as well, is that right?

That’s right! My entire leadership team, our IAHSP Board members, and I all own and operate staging companies. Collectively, our leadership team has over 150 years of experience and over 20,000 properties staged, so we not only talk the talk; we walk the walk. No other industry association can say this. We have a personal stake in the longevity and viability of home staging.  I believe to understand what a stager experiences, a person has to live it themselves. We do not just teach theory or tell someone what they hope works—we teach what we know works.

In what other ways is IAHSP different from other staging organizations?  

Because we believe education is critical to the success of industry professionals, IAHSP reviews and accredits home staging courses for quality and content. We do not charge for this service, so the public knows we are truly objective, and it is not a “pay to play” scenario where the course provider has paid us to say they are a quality course. We also provide resources, such as industry statistics and informative guides to the public and clients we serve so they can see the data behind the dazzle. In early 2020, we were the first to respond to the issues surrounding diversity and inclusivity and formed the Staging Industry Diversity Coalition (SIDCglobal.com) to support our minority members now and into the future. Lastly, IAHSP has heart. Our members truly care about one another and our leaders care about our members.  We are a family and that is why one of our slogans is: “IAHSP® is Your Home in the Home Staging Industry®.”

You mentioned that you’re not paid much for your work as the leader of IAHSP or StagedHomes. What drives you?

That fact may surprise people, but it is true. I lead these organization because I feel that it’s my calling. I had worked in the field for 14 years before assuming the role here at IAHSP, so people look to me for guidance. My whole mission is to help people succeed, and I’m passionate about it. I am dedicated to an industry I love that has supported me and my family for years.  The reason I devote the hours I do to both the IAHSP association and StagedHomes is I feel a responsibility to carry the mission forward that was passed to me by the founder of our industry, Barb Schwarz, who was my personal mentor for years. This is why I’m in this industry, and this is what drives me every day.

The IAHSP conferences are the most unique and popular events in the industry.  I understand this year’s theme is SOAR—Seek Opportunities and Rise—with your gala awards dinner theme of Roaring 2021—The Great Gatsby, complete with a speakeasy, is that right?

We are all incredibly excited for this year’s conference in Denver, Colorado—The Mile High City! We added the words “Family Reunion” to our event as it is a time where our industry family comes together to learn, celebrate success, and forge strong friendships.  “The IAHSP Family Reunion Conference & EXPO” is the official title. Last year was a challenging year for all of us. We were unable to meet in person, many businesses were hampered with shutdowns, and for many it was a scary time not knowing what to expect. The anticipation of this event gives people hope and joy as they look forward to being together! 

In addition, we are the only group that hosts a big gala awards dinner with a fun theme.  This year our theme is “Roaring 2021–Great Gatsby Gala,” and attendees are encouraged to come in costume, enjoy a great dinner and hopefully win some awards! We have a VIP Speakeasy planned and dancing to wrap up our three-day event.  We have keynote business and motivational speaker Chris Widener, sharing on Making a Big Impact in Business and Life. He’s written 22 books, worked personally with Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn, and is ranked in the Top 50 Best Motivational Business Speakers in the world.  We also have one of the best social media experts I have ever heard, Jonny Fowler, as our keynote marketing speaker.  We have Ravi Hutheesing, cultural catalyst and former band member for Hansen, speaking on staying viable as an entrepreneur.  We’ll have over 25 speakers total and will cover a wide variety of topics with general sessions and breakout sessions by topic and business level. We also have our Advanced Stager Training (AST) workshop for six-plus figure business owners.  This training is held the two days following our annual conference and the conversations and discoveries that take place with the advanced business owners is incredibly valuable.

That sounds like a lot of fun! Tell us about some of your past conferences. I understand one of them involved a massive diamond giveaway of sorts?

It did! In 2019, we held our live conference in Nashville with the theme “ROCK Your Business in Music City.”  Our gala theme was “Denim and Diamonds.” I actually got a two-carat diamond and 99 cubic zirconias, put them all in individual glasses of champagne and sold them to attendees as part of a fundraiser for the IAHSP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that supports the World Wide Staging Service Week® initiative. Since 2005, our members around the globe have completed service projects to give back to their communities.

In 2018, we were in Charlotte with keynote celebrity speakers Jonathan and Drew Scott, better known as “The Property Brothers.” In 2017, we held our conference in Fort Lauderdale and welcomed Jeff Lewis from Flipping Out as our keynote celebrity speaker.  In 2020, our conference theme was “Vision for Success: Focus, Clarity, Future,” and we delivered the best virtual event given the remote limitations and everyone had a blast—and learned a lot!  So, each year, we bring quality industry pros sharing on educational topics, and then add a little fun or flair with a special guest speaker.

Tell us about StagedHomes and how you’re helping stagers and real estate agents thrive.  

StagedHomes is the world’s largest and longest-running home staging training company.  It was founded in 1999, and I took over as president and CEO in 2016. To date, tens of thousands of real estate agents and stagers around the world have taken our courses. Education is the key that unlocks the understanding of the importance of proper presentation of a house for sale.  Staging is no longer optional—it is critical. First impressions matter, and as the old adage states, “You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one.” We help all levels of stagers and real estate professionals gain the knowledge they need to capture these dollars and provide the best service possible to their clients.

Can you give us some details about the courses and credentials StagedHomes offers?

I’ll be happy to! We offer four core courses. The Accredited Staging Professional® Stager Business Course is for those who want to build a successful staging business. Our Accredited Staging Partner® Real Estate Agent Course is for agents who want to learn how to use staging as a key listing and marketing tool for their business.  It teaches the process, foundation, and communication skills agents need to get sellers to say yes to staging, and then they know who to partner with them for staging their listings.  We offer the Accredited Staging Assistant® Course for those who want to plug into an existing company and stage for them versus running the entire operation.  Lastly, we have the Accredited Staging Professional Master® Course, which is the advanced-level training for stagers who want to increase their success, profit, and knowledge. These courses are taught worldwide and anyone can attend from the convenience of their home and learn with a virtual live course with one of our Certified ASP® Course Trainers or a self-paced recorded webinar. All graduates receive a full-year membership in the IAHSP and get access to the private Staging University®, the only online resource for our industry with forms, templates, agreements, and the ability to obtain leads for business with our exclusive online directory. 

All graduates receive ongoing education resources that come along with their training, including over 100 hours of the Home Staging Talk Show Live segments, over 20 hours of FAST Track Sessions – Focused Accelerated Stager Training, and other niche-specific courses taught by industry professionals. We can never stop learning, as the industry is always evolving. If a person stops learning and advancing their skills, they fall behind and become stale.  It is never “one and done” with staging, and that is why we continue to update and develop new curriculum based on where our industry is headed, and not remain stuck in the past.

Let’s end with a somewhat personal question. What do you find most fulfilling about your work?  

I often ask my students and colleagues what their “why” is. It has to be more than money to keep a person committed long term to their business.  What you do in life has to be a passion—and that will drive a person to continue forward even when they’re facing challenges. I knew when I discovered home staging way back in 2002 that I had found my passion.  I have a degree from UCLA in Psychobiology and was pre-med. I realized that I didn’t have it in me to continue the long—and expensive—journey to med school and found my way into marketing and business development for environmental companies. I was using my science background, I loved marketing and working with people, but it was not my passion.  When I found home staging, I was excited as it combined my love of helping others with my passion for creativity. Plus, my marketing background made understanding how staging is used to help make properties more marketable. My “why” is that I truly am about helping others succeed. 

My whole mission is to empower business owners to success—whatever that means to them.  If a person wants to learn how to make seven or eight figures in staging, I can show them how. If they want to have a smaller business, I can show them how to accomplish that. No matter the size of their dream, I know I can help someone achieve it. My “reward” is the joy I get from seeing our industry advance, the satisfaction I get from helping launch and support new business owners, and the pride I have in our team and leaders who are my colleagues and my staging family.

(article written by Heather Andrews of The Top 100 Magazine – from an interview with Jennie Norris)

https://www.thetop100magazine.com/jennie-norris

Jennie Norris

Chairwoman — International Association of Home Staging Professionals®

President and CEO — StagedHomes®

Website: www.iahsp.com

Website: www.StagedHomes.com

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennie-norris/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennieNorr/

Instagram:  @iahspworldwide ǀ @stagedhomesworldwide

IAHSP® Family Reunion SOAR—Seek Opportunities And Rise—Conference: www.IAHSPConEXPO.com

Are YOU Ready to SOAR – Seek Opportunities and RISE? Join us in Denver Sept 24-26

THE Home Staging Industry Event of the YEAR is coming to you LIVE in Denver – Sept 24-26, 2021.

The IAHSP Family Reunion Conference & EXPO brings TOP Educators, Expert KEYNOTE Speakers, Topics that will INSPIRE, MOTIVATE, EDUCATE and CHALLENGE you to RISE above your competition and bring in MORE business!

SEEK OPPORTUNITIES AND RISE!

We chose our conference theme carefully based on what we all experienced last year with not being able to travel, to see our colleagues and friends in person, to shift to stay viable, and more.

SPACE IS LIMITED! Do not wait to register. We have to share numbers with the host hotel – and plan for food, space and hotel rooms. You can pay 50% now and 50% later – just get registered! Go to www.IAHSPConEXPO.com and get EXCITED about what you will LEARN and who you will MEET at this year’s conference!




HEADQUARTER HOTEL: The Gaylord Rockies

Make your reservation now – don’t wait as the hotel block with our special rate goes away August 23rd! You can reserve your room – and then if you need to change things, you can with no penalty (based on hotel terms) when canceled within the time permitted by the hotel.


THANK YOU TO OUR CONFERENCE SPONSORS! These wonderful companies will be at our conference to meet YOU – and you can learn about the products and services and SHOP while at the conference!

Home Stager’s Guide to the Home Staging Industry

Check out this GUIDE for people who want to be Home Stagers and have a successful business. It includes all the important information you need to know to make the right choices when considering establishing a staging business and working in the home staging industry.

IAHSP Magazine – May-June Double Issue

Our May-June DOUBLE ISSUE is our BIGGEST issue yet! With over 55 pages of content – this issue is all about FAMILY! From working with family, tax strategies with family, what defines a family, Occupied Home Staging and working with our Client Families, and Marketing Messaging to get business in a HOT market. All issues of our magazine are available to current members and can be found by logging into the http://www.IAHSP.com site and accessing the archives.


ENJOY!