Hello, guys. Welcome. Naomi Findlay here, Principal and Founder of IIHS.
I got asked a really interesting question today. It was around leaving business cards and promotional material at open homes. That is what I want to talk to you guys about today.
I have a few different opinions on this, but I think my resulting opinion is quite, quite strong.
There have been times when I’ve left business cards or promotional material on the kitchen benches or on the dining tables of properties I have staged.
However, in these cases, these have always been spec homes. Never a property that anyone expects to have been lived in. We’re working with the property to make it feel like a home as such.
There are some varying opinions on this.
Some say it’s an amazing opportunity to market your business and showcase your work firsthand to all of the people that are actually going to be needing your service. More than likely, if they buy the property that they’re inspecting, they’re going to need to be selling theirs.
If they like the way they’ve styled that property, they may need property styling at their home.
However, the flip side to that is one of our jobs, as a professional home stager, is to sell the highlights of a property, enhance the highlights of the property, minimize the distractions and make sure that people can create a really strong emotional and functional connection to that property.
What do you think happens when someone’s inspecting this amazing property and they walk passed the kitchen bench and they see a pile of promotional information about how the property has been styled or staged?
Home staging is certainly not about hiding or deceiving or covering up. However, it could be interpreted that leaving promotional material on the kitchen bench is a distraction to the buyer.
There is the thought process that by leaving that information on the bench, thoughts similar to, “Oh, so this isn’t how they really lived in in. This has been staged to make it look better.”
It starts to plant seeds of doubt about whether the amazing ambiance, connection and placement that you’ve done in that property… really, it starts to take away from it.
I’m not saying don’t leave your promotional material in properties that you have staged, but what I am saying is, if you’re considering doing that you absolutely need the permission of the agent and, more importantly, the homeowner.
We have even done jobs over the past years where the homeowners have asked that we bring unbranded trucks or unbranded cars to the consultations because they really don’t want people to know they’re selling or they don’t want people to know that the property is being staged because they fear that that will detract from it.
It’s a bit of a controversial topic of conversation.
I’m by no means going to hand out a mandate of what I think you guys should be doing in your businesses, but I do want to open the conversation and open your thought processes to the different ways people could perceive it.
I think there is a small place for putting things in properties to market your services, but I do think it’s small and I think you need to think about the property, the buyers, the agent, the client and the impact your self-promotion will have on selling that home.
In the end, if the result isn’t amazing, then that is your best form of marketing down the drain.
Have a think about it. Have a talk about it. Please feel free to put comments on our Facebook page or on this blog about it. I would love to hear everyone’s perspective.
As I said, I’m not going to tell you to do it or not to do it, but what I do want to do is open your mind and a dialogue in our industry as to whether we think this is best practice or not.
I’ll see you all again soon. I hope you have a cracking week.