On the 4th Day Before Christmas, IAHSP Gave to me . . .

On the 4th Day Before Christmas IAHSP Gave to Me – The Best Seller – “Dream Home” by Jonathan & Drew Scott!   All attendees of the 2018 IAHSP Conference & EXPO will receive this book and be able to get it PERSONALLY SIGNED by the Scott Brothers during their Meet & Greet – Book Signing!

Dream Home book cover

The SCOTT BROTHERS – Jonathan & Drew – KEYNOTE Speakers for 2018 IAHSP Conference & Expo!

IAHSP has secured the hottest ticket in our industry to be our KEYNOTE SPEAKERS for the 2018 IAHSP Conference & EXPO – Oct 18-20, 2018 in Charlotte NC!   That’s right . . . Jonathan and Drew Scott are coming to speak to YOU on October 19th, 2018!

Register NOW to secure your VIP spot – only available to the first 120 registrants!  ALL attendees will receive one of their best-selling books for the Book Signing – Meet & Greet!  Go to www.iahspconexpo.com to purchase your ticket!    Super Early Bird pricing ends Soon!

We have amazing speakers lined up sharing topics that will help YOU continue your Journey to the Top of the Home Staging Industry!  All attendees will also earn their IAHSP-LHS – Luxury Home Staging Designation!

Are you ready for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT?

Make sure to watch your social media sites TOMORROW for an IAHSP BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!  You are not going to want to miss this news . . . and it is VERY exciting!  Can’t wait to share it with you all!!  – Jennie

IAHSP® welcomes the AUSTRIAN Home Staging Association – ÖGHR

IAHSP® continues to expand our affiliate partnerships with Home Staging Associations in Europe.  Our latest partner comes from AUSTRIA!

Please welcome ÖGHR – Österreichishe Gessellschaft für Home Staging und Redesign!  Our IAHSP® European Director, Sanja Radovanovic, has done an amazing job working with these sister associations to bring them on board as approved IAHSP® Associations!  Their members can join IAHSP® as well – and we hope to see many of them at our IAHSP® European Conference in April, as well as in Charlotte next October for our big international IAHSP® Conference & EXPO!!

Austrian Assn logo

What’s Your Story? Michelle Armstrong

We are pleased to feature Michelle Armstrong, owner of Armstrong Home Staging & Design!

400dpiLogoMichelle Armstrong

  1. Your name:  Michele Armstrong
  2. Business name:  Armstrong Home Staging & Design
  3. How long you have been in business?  Became an ASP and started my staging business this year!
  4. What you did before getting into the Staging Industry?  Retail Operations Director for Fashion Brands.
  5. What made you decide to start a Staging business?  It was all timing!  The retail industry has been on a steady decline and I have always loved interior design, as my grandparents were “flippers” in the 40’s & 50’s, restoring early California Spanish-style homes with excellent craftsmanship and beautiful finishes… it’s in the genes.  I wanted to get accredited and a Realtor friend spoke very highly about Barb and the ASP course.
  6. What has been one of the biggest challenges for your success?  The start-up process, trying to quickly learn from tenured staging professionals on the in’s & outs.
  7. What has been one of the best aspects of having your own business? For the first time in 25 years, my schedule is my own!
  8. What is your top tip or piece of advice for someone looking at getting into this industry? Find what makes you unique, whether it be a style-aspect such as “clean minimalist”, or excellent customer service and project management skills.  This will help to set you apart from the staging pro competition if you are in a saturated area.  Also, stay current with current decor trends colors… Less is always more!

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing with our members!  I appreciate that you recommend developing a unique differentiating factor for business as that is what sets us apart from others!  Great info – and we value having you as part of our IAHSP Association!

 

How IAHSP Membership Can Help You Succeed! Top Reasons to JOIN the longest running industry association!

 

If you are in the Home Staging Industry and plan to succeed long term, you need to be part of an industry association that uses the power of membership to provide resources and support that you would not be able to obtain on your own.  However being part of an industry association should not mean being charged for every resource you want, or having membership rates increase to the point where you question affordability.

The International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) is the longest running industry association that from the start in 1999 put emphasis on industry education as the main criteria for membership.  IAHSP members also adhere to strict Code of Ethics and standards of Excellence with their clients that are guided by IAHSP.

We have thousands of members worldwide, and ALL members have earned one of the IAHSP-Approved designations, credentials, or trainings listed on the www.iahsp.com site.  This sets our association apart as we believe education is a fundamental foundation for success in this industry.  We have foreign Home Staging Association partners throughout Europe and Asia that also recognize the value of aligning with IAHSP.

Furthermore, we honor the training organizations that support our association and recommend IAHSP membership to their graduates.  Any training organization that requests to be IAHSP-Approved will receive our seal of approval following a review of curriculum.  IAHSP will not develop courses that compete with our partner organizations core training offerings.

IAHSP has not raised our membership rates in over a decade.  We focus on adding value to our members and increasing the numbers in our association versus increasing membership rates to the point that it makes members question their participation. and affordability.  

If you are not a member of IAHSP – consider joining today for these reasons:

  1. IAHSP has regional chapters for ongoing networking and support.  Our chapters organize meetings with outside speakers, field trips, and open sharing about industry trends, marketing strategies and much more.  There is no reason for any IAHSP Member to be isolated or alone as any member can remote in to monthly meetings.  In fact, IAHSP launched the very first industry chapter back in 2003, and since that time has helped launch chapters throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
  2. IAHSP has ongoing education and designations offered to help you stay current in your knowledge and skills.  Some of these educational offerings come included with your membership.  Industry Designations are offered at a very reasonable rate compared with other industry trainings.  Our annual Conference & EXPO is the Getaway with a Takeaway – issuing a timely industry designation to all attendees.
  3. You can attend our monthly IAHSP Calls where we have a topic of interest to help your business, and also interview key vendors to allow them to share the latest and greatest information with our members.
  4. MARKETING and BUSINESS PLANNINGTap into the FAST Track Sessions to learn key information to help you with your business.  These power-hour sessions are webinar based so you can attend at your leisure.  FAST Track Sessions come along with your membership.   More FAST Track Sessions are in development.  If there is a topic you would like to learn more about, please let us know!
  5. Social Media – We have open and closed Facebook and LinkedIn Groups that allow you to gain valuable information from industry colleagues and post questions in a safe and supportive environment.  We also have a blog with interesting and valuable articles for our membership to read and share.
  6. IAHSP hosts Regional and International Conferences & EXPOs for our members. These events bring quality education, vendor partners, and valuable networking with industry colleagues from around the globe.  Our Conference draws the top industry business owners that come to learn and share.  Combined with top industry KEY NOTE Speakers, our Conference is an exciting event!
  7. IAHSP has KEY VENDOR PARTNERSHIPS with companies that provide services and products your company needs.  We have negotiated special terms and rates with these companies unavailable to non-IAHSP Members.
  8. The IAHSP Brand is recognized worldwide and using the logos on your business and marketing literature gives credibility for you with your prospective clients.
  9. IAHSP GIVES BACK our association has sponsored Worldwide Staging Service Week (WWSSW) since 2005.  Our chapters and members give back to their communities with projects they coordinate and conduct for worthy individuals, groups, or entities.  Since 2005, IAHSP collectively has donated or contributed over $5 Million in resources, time, and services  No other association has an annual event dedicated to helping those in need.  The IAHSP Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support WWSSW.
  10. IAHSP is operated by active owners of Staging Businesses – we not only talk the talk, we WALK the WALK.  This is important as we know FIRST HAND the issues and concerns of our colleagues, and what they need in an association.  IAHSP is continuing to provide added-value to our members with an updated website, member portal with access to educational resources and documents to help you grow your business.  

For information on joining IAHSP go to www.iahsp.com or call 800-392-7161.  For feedback and suggestions, please email Jennie Norris, IAHSP Chairwoman at Jennie@iahsp.com.

What’s Your Story?

The International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) is starting a new series where we would like to feature our valued members as we find out “What’s Your Story?”  Please submit the following information to us:

  1. Your name
  2. Business name
  3. Your photo and company logo
  4. How long you have been in business?
  5. What you did before getting into the Staging Industry?
  6. What made you decide to start a Staging business?
  7. What has been one of the biggest challenges for your success?
  8. What has been one of the best aspects of having your own business?
  9. What is your top tip or piece of advice for someone looking at getting into this industry?

Please send all submissions to Jennie@iahsp.com.

We are excited to hear all the wonderful stories from our members worldwide!

IAHSP Supports our Communities through Worldwide Staging Service Week

WWSSW 2017 promo

Through Worldwide Staging Service Week® (WWSSW®), members of The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®) have provided support for communities where our members live and serve since 2005.  Our IAHSP® Members and Chapters have contributed nearly $10M in time, energy, resources, money, and inventory for deserving entities and individuals.

Our 2017 Worldwide Staging Service Week® (WWSSW®) is Sept 12-18th, and once again allows IAHSP® Regional Chapters that want to participate organize a project in support those in need.  From throughout the US and Europe, our members give of their time, dollars and ideas to help others.  We are so thankful and proud of our members and Chapters that have done this for the past twelve years, and will continue to do so long into the future!

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, our San Antonio IAHSP® Chapter is going to provide support for Houston area groups in need and are accepting additional donations.

If you would like to help contribute to their donations, please consider a contribution through our IAHSP Foundation site at http://www.iahspfoundation.com/ 

All donations to the IAHSP® Foundation are tax deductible.  The IAHSP® Foundation is a 501(c)3 Charitable Foundation as determined by the IRS.

Virtual Staging – Selling a House is not the Time to Air Brush for Perfection

Virtual Staging – Selling a House is not the Time to Air Brush for Perfection

AirBrush

by Jennie Norris, ASP Master®, IAHSP-Premier, Chairwoman, International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®)

In the world of fashion, models, Hollywood, and the media – much of what we see is not real. Lighting, clever stylists, and make-up can drastically alter the appearance of the model or subject. Then add in the common practice used in print media of air-brushing out flaws, and the person that is featured in the photo spread often does not resemble that at all in real life. In recent years, we have all read or seen actresses criticizing magazines for doing everything from altering their size, elongating their legs, deleting scars or cellulite, and adding things like abs and muscles.

All this is done with the magic of the computer, software and clever person with the mouse.

We know when we look at a person in a magazine that 99% of the time they don’t really look like that in person. We love to see the tabloids actually catch these models or actors in real life with their messy hair, real bodies and flaws. It reminds us that there are many clever things that can be done with a computer and software specifically designed to alter photographic images.  With the advent of virtual reality goggles, people can now experience whole new worlds, outer space, and have experiences without having to leave their homes.

Although we accept this action in the world of fashion, Hollywood and techno gadgets, we should not accept this as an acceptable trend for Real Estate and Home Staging. 

The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® is formally against this service as it misrepresents the industry goals and diminishes the buyer experience, ultimately hurting the seller that will not have the same success as using a professional Home Stager to properly Stage their property.

 

Virtual Staging. This is where vacant rooms are “Staged” using images of furnishings and décor that are not real. The rooms are not truly Staged – as they are done by a person at a computer, not by a trained expert in the house. For some they may feel this is an alternative to having to invest in real Home Staging. However, the savings they get may actually end up costing them far more in legal fees or reputation than if they Staged it properly in the first place.
The REALITY is, buyers still go IN PERSON to view properties they are going to purchase.  It is an unchanging fact about buying real estate that people go in person to visit the properties they are going to invest a lot of dollars into purchasing.  This is where the use of virtual technology to “sell a house” is missing the point.  If properties were just sold using photos, then they would have a case.  But that is not the reality of buying a home. Buyers DO go IN PERSON and what they see when they walk in the door should match what they see online.  Otherwise they feel misled, duped, and cheated. 

 

Photos do help sell a house, but how do we know that the images and dimensions in a “virtually Staged room” are accurate? How can we be sure that certain flaws have not been removed? Since Buyers are not imaginative, can we trust that they can translate what is in a little photo to a large empty room? Most importantly, editing out flaws or altering the appearance of rooms in houses for the sole purpose of selling the house is bordering on deception. In the opinion of professional Stagers everywhere, the photos of the house should be of the real house – not a virtual representation of the house.

No Emotional Connection.  Another challenge is that Buyers will eventually go and see the house in person, and imagine their disappointment when the photo they saw online is not the representation of what they see in person.  Even if it is disclosed that the images online are “virtual” they are not taking into account the buyer experience when they walk through the door and realize they were a victim of false advertising.  Their energy will drop, and they will not be able to translate the excitement of nice furnishings found in a virtual photo to a droll, empty room that echoes. Buyers need to experience a real Staged house with real furnishings and décor to not only know if their own furnishings will fit, but they need it in order to have a real emotional connection. That connection is what sells the house and makes it a home.

 

Proper Staging and Demographics.  A professional Home Stager knows that Staging is not just about putting “any” furniture into a property.  The furnishings and décor need to be targeted to the buyer and appropriate for the list price of the property.  Virtual Staging companies have a limited array of furniture scanned into their database, so the same sofa is going to appear in every house, no matter if it requires a contemporary, transitional, modern or mix of styles. They are not dealing with the reality of the property or market to understand WHO the buyer is and what they need to do to target that person and lifestyle. Most virtual staging is done with very plain pieces and the layers of color and depths of textures evident in real Staging, is completely missing.

 

A photo is worth 1000 words.

Let’s take a look at a few “virtually staged” properties.  In the first photo, the barstools are floating on the cabinet like a pair of ghost chairs.  This is because the person working the mouse did not know how to place the images of the fake furniture “behind” the real counters.  The entire room looks flat and “off” because of the odd placement of the fake appliances and other digital elements.  It looks and feels “strange” because it is.

Virtual Staging 1

This second picture is one of the best examples of why a seller does NOT want to engage this type of service.  This photo brings up so many questions:  Who would hang a giant chandelier in the middle of a living room?  The chandelier looks like it is larger than the sofa  Why is there a nail salon cart by the sliding glass window?  Why is there an office desk next to the TV stand? From the artwork to the placement of this “fake furniture” there is nothing good about this attempt at staging. In REALITY this room could actually properly fit a sofa, loveseat grouping and perhaps a couple of accent chairs – not 4 sofas, a loveseat and chair, table and ottoman, TV credenza, desk, tree, and nail salon cart.

Virtual Staging 2.jpg

Lastly, agents that promote this mouse-trap staging are ultimately harming their own reputations.  Virtual staging is akin to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers who don’t believe they need to hire a professional, and the results are statistically FSBO sellers get 18% less than sellers that hire a professional REALTOR®.  When professional Stagers around the world can show statistic after statistic about how their Staged properties sold for thousands of dollars more or were listed at a better price than the un-staged competition and SOLD, the success of REAL Staging is quantifiable.  How much is a virtual staging client leaving on the table? Virtual staging tells a buyer that the Seller is not really interested in putting their best foot forward, and ultimately the strategy reflects poorly on agents and their reputation.  As the old saying goes, “Cheap is never a good marketing strategy.”
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) Magazine has printed articles admonishing agents and Sellers to not give credence to the idea of virtual Staging. It is a risky proposition that could find itself being worked out in a court of law with disgruntled Buyers who felt deceived by a clever computer tech with some slick software.

The link below contains the full article and there is an excerpt below.http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009073002?OpenDocument

“However, there are some potential pitfalls to virtual staging, including liability issues. There is the chance, for example, that a buyer will challenge whether the digitally altered photos provided an accurate rendering of the space. After moving in, the new owner could make a case for misrepresentation of the property against the real estate practitioner.

Another problem is the lack of control that sellers and practitioners experience in terms of color schemes and accessories. Virtually staged properties tend toward neutral tones and commonplace art and window treatments that could turn off some prospective buyers.”

(Virtual Staging: Brilliant but Maybe Dangerous? Daily Real Estate News)
http://realtormag.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/ethics/article/2010/06/virtual-staging-stay-true-disclosing

“Q: I’ve heard about using “virtual staging” to market unfurnished homes or rooms. There are a number of software tools that allow you upload a photograph of an empty room and then add computerized images of furnishings, fixtures, and even paint colors. But is this kind of marketing allowed under the Code of Ethics?

A: It all comes down to truth in advertising. Article 12 of the Code requires that REALTORS® “be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and . . . present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.”

In my mind, either way you’d be presenting a false picture of the home.  I think about virtual staging in much the same way. It could be done in a way that’s misleading, so you have to be careful.”

(Virtual Staging: Stay True by Disclosing – REALTOR® Magazine)
The moral of the story is virtually clear. With Home Staging, ensure an honest and accurate representation by entrusting your house or listing to a trained professional Home Stager, and not the clever skills of a computer jockey equipped with a mouse. That mousetrap could prove fatal to the purchase, the Seller, and even a Realtor’s career.

IAHSP Midwest Regional 1 Day Conference – Save the Date!

Join fellow Home Staging Industry colleagues for this 1 Day info packed Regional Conference hosted by The International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP).   Continuing with our 2017 International IAHSP Conference theme – we want all attendees to “RAISE THE BAR” in their businesses!  This event is open to all Industry professionals!

Midwest Regional Logo 1

  • Marketing Your Business
  • Business Development and Applications
  • Regional Industry & Staging Trends
  • Expert Speakers
  • Industry Company Partners
  • And more!

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For those that want to learn about Viberent Inventory Management, join them October 27th for a 2 hour seminar followed up by a complimentary 4 hour training session ($400 value) for those that sign up for the package.

Tickets will be on sale soon!
For more information, please email Christa@iahsp.com
or call 800-392-7161

www.iahsp.com