by L. A. 'Tony' Kovach
We all get spam, and we all get stuff that we didn't ask for, but I confess that some of those UN-requested messages that hit my inbox become useful to me, and hopefully to you too. Today, I was looking at such a message on a topic of interest to thousands of housing pros, 'Getting your house ready to sell.' It was sent by a realtor, Ellyn Vogin, who I want to acknowledge. Having started in retail in manufactured housing in 1981, and still working with retailers and communities on increasing their sales and profits to this day, one of the key things that is so often overlooked is 'staging' a home. Want to sell more homes? Of course. Let's dive right in, shall we?
The above was the 'guts' of the piece that Ms. Vogin sent. Let me emphasize a fact not stated above. 90% of your customers can't visualize a home the way 'it could be.' They have to SEE it as it should be! If you aren't selling enough homes, one of the reasons may be that you simply are not decorating and furnishing – staging the home – or you are doing it improperly.
If you want to attract better customers, and sell them, stage your home.
Let's run through Vogin's bullet's above.
De-clutter Check. This is really important in re-sales. If you do listings – and you should be if you are retailing! - then insist that your client de-clutter the home. Print and hand them this article! Tell them, “If you want to sell, get more, and do it faster, 'you don't have any other way but this.'”
Remove personal items – ah, we need to nuance this one a bit. If it were a listing, I certainly would not want intimate things that are just that clearly visible. But some personal items are good! You want to have the items there precisely so that they can imagine what THEIR personal items may look like. Seeing yours, helps them 'see their own' and if you get them imagining their belongings in that home, you are half way to the sale.
Curb appeal, completely agree. Mow the grass (if it is on a home site, community, development, etc.). If it is on a retail center, make sure there are no weeds about, have debris removed, keep the walk way and approach as neat as possible.
Another point not made by Vogin, that ought to be made. You may be thinking, 'staging a home is a hassle and it costs money too.' Having personally shopped for and purchased the items, moved the furniture, hung the décor, spent the money, let me tell you, it is worth it. You may eventually get to the point that you have someone do these things for you. But the dollars invested in this - if you do it as part of a complete marketing and sales system – it will come back with more retail sales of that model (or that home), at better margins and you will have happier customers.
There is more, but that's it for today. We've all heard the maxim, you only have one chance to make a good impression. Make that good impression personally, make it with your product, make it at every level you can from top to bottom in your organization. Do that, and you will sell more homes, can ask – and get – more for them, and your customers will be happy as you sing your way to the bank. ##
(Editor's Note: L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is a member of MHSpeakerTrainer.org)