This week was the first of our "new schedule" pilot run for Interiors And. As most of you know, our overall goal of 2019 was to create systems that are flawless because the first two years of my business were a free for all – saying yes to everything. My most famous line (you can ask Brandon) was “I’ll make it work.” I was exhausted of saying it. Exhausted of playing catch up all the time. Exhausted of not knowing what I was doing until the night before. And how did I cope? Stressed. All. The. Damn. Time. I shut down and shut off everything. When my body can’t take any more and my mental is done, I just literally check out and sleep. For days. Gone in the wind. I have found that being organized is the only way to not completely check out. So that is what catapulted 2019. I started my business to enjoy the flexibility of time as well as building something of my own instead of for someone else. When I am working 80+ hours a week, the only thing it is hurting is my health and my quality of work. Something had to change. Something had to give. And fast.
With the real estate market trending heavily toward the tech realm at fierce velocity, I thought that the path of least resistance was to grasp the concept and ride the wave or get ahead of it. Over the past several months we have been investing a lot of time and money into trying different staging strategies. Man did I fail forward. Like wowza. But, coming out on the other side 4 months later, I learned a ton. Mostly not what to do, but still learned none the less.
The biggest thing I learned is how to maximize time. Doing a time journal, I realized that half of my days were wasted driving. So I hired my photographer (@howard) full time to do all my site visits for me and all my after shots. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
The next thing I learned was that I was wasting so much time and money when I forgot items while on the job – my hammer, a curtain rod, no towels. It was driving me nuts. So I hired my brother (@josh) to come in for a few months to get me organized. From renovating my office on a dime to organizing my warehouse so that everything was in the right place to helping me create systems that would allow me to show up on site prepared. Holy cow. My business has been transformed.
Lastly, I learned that my work life balance was nonexistent. My life was my business. Although, I am okay with it because living my passion doesn’t feel like work, I was completely losing all my personal time. Literally, all my time was spent on the phone with clients, answering emails, sending quotes and chasing people to give me money they owed. I took a step back and was blown away with how much time I had spent on everything, but myself. In a few short years, I had gained 30 pounds from eating out all the time, consuming too much caffeine and only sleeping 2-3 hours a night. I had started finding myself irritated and stressed out over things I would have never even given a second thought to – that one person who said they didn’t like the couch I used or the pedestrian that didn’t wave when I let them go. Like, what? Who am I? I started being less self-absorbed and more self-aware. The first thing I did was go get a personal phone. A number that only my 10 closest people have. And at night I started turning off my phone after 3 pm. I stopped answering emails after 5 pm. And I just lived. The weekends? What weekends? I stopped traveling. I stopped learning. I stopped growing. I stopped exploring. I shifted my schedule, so I worked Monday – Thursdays from 5:30 am to 2 pm (because we are less efficient when traffic is bad). Fridays were paperwork half days and errands. Saturdays I was completely off. Sundays were by appointments only. This week was the first week I stuck to it. And I have not breathed this light in a very long time.
We had some kinks, but overall this was a much better approach and smoother process to what we do and how we are. Growing pains. A lot of changes. A lot of restructuring. A new key hire (@jordan) has positioned us for substantial growth in the very near future. We are moving to an all online request and booking scheduling system in order to service more customers more efficiently with more value to both the client and the referring party.
As we expanded and grew, I had to cut out the unnecessary distractions. Mostly phone calls. I started shifting all my clients to an email only structure unless they schedule a call with me. I was spending way too much time on the phone without billing clients for my time. And although I like to be that type of person and chat all the time, I cannot physically do it when I work with 100+ clients simultaneously. When I am in the field or on site at a project, I cannot physically take calls and texts because it will disrupt the creative flow. And when you interrupt a creative... it’s like starting all over again. Will I lose some clients? Yes, probably. But what I have realized, is that by shifting everything online and asking my clients to schedule their calls, I am much more productive, energized and prepared.
Our mission from day one has been to revolutionize the way that the staging industry does real estate. That we are.
As we strive to be a one stop shop for realtors and investors, we are excited to announce some new services here in the very near future. Stay tuned for more information and release dates!!
New Business Number: 443-832-9978
New Business Email: email@example.com
New Service Request Form: www.homestaging.realestate/servicerequest
Please use this to request a quote.
To Book Online: www.homestaging.today/booknow
Please use this to request once you have approved a quote or have a package deal with me already.
Home staging makes a significant difference in the success of an open house, listing photography session or showing. In fact, a whopping 95% of homes staged by professional stagers sell in 35 days or less, versus 140 days for non-staged homes. With the bustling spring market right around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about staging your home for the visitors that will be coming to your home.
Do: Start Outside
Curb appeal is essential to making a positive first impression, so you should never neglect the exterior of your home. Your lawn, shrubbery and trees should all be well-maintained and look like you take care of your property. Adding seasonal plantings around your mailbox and other points of visual interest can bring a touch of spring to your yard in addition to curb appeal.
Don’t: Use Scented Candles
Scent is tied directly to our memories, and some scents, like warm chocolate chip cookies, are almost always well-received. However, you should stray away from scented candles, as more distinct smells can be a turn-off or make buyers think that you are trying to mask another odor in the home. If you want to make your home smell wonderful without lighting a candle, bake some cookies in the kitchen before the showing starts.
Do: Replace Outdated Décor or Furniture
If someone walks into your home and it feels like the 1960s, there’s a good chance they’ll assume that was the last time major work was done on the house as well. If you keep up with décor and furnishings for your staging on the spring market, buyers will think you are taking the same care with your home. Get rid of any taste-specific fixtures, outdated elements, faux floral arrangements, old window coverings and anything else that feels closer to the past than the present.
Don’t: Overdo It
Staging is exciting, and it can be tempting to go overboard. However, you should show restraint when decorating and work with a professional stager. Don’t try to impress prospective buyers with your taste and style. Instead, focus on things that showcase the house and its features, not the furniture and décor.
Get Ready for the Spring Market with Interiors And
If you are ready to experience a more affordable staging option to prepare a home for the spring market, Interiors And is here to help. We are dedicated to helping local business owners increase sales and brand awareness, all while catering to the real estate industry. To learn more about our services and schedule a consultation, contact us at (443) 832-9125.