Since March 2020, the real estate industry has been forced to adapt and change how it conducts business, specifically around in-person interactions and showings.
This is also true for how REALTORS® engage with other businesses. For decades, real estate professionals have worked with home staging professionals to prepare their clients’ homes to appeal to the widest demographic of potential buyers.
This involved in-person staging consultations with homeowners and the physical staging of occupied and vacant homes.
Everything changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, like the proverb says, “necessity is the mother of invention.” These industries have pushed forward adopted innovative ways to continue serving their clients.
Nadia Cheff, a REALTOR® and salesperson with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty in Ottawa, has always relied on in-home staging consultations to help her clients showcase the full potential of their homes. Now her clients are using online consultations.
“I was amazed at how seamlessly online consultations worked to provide my clients with results that kept everyone safe,” said Cheff.
According to Cheff, her clients were not only comfortable with the approach, but happy to still receive professional advice during the pandemic.
“The professionals I work with are experts in their field and have knowledge and experience working with homeowners,” she said. “Online consultations are also the perfect solution for clients that work various shift schedules.”
How online consultations work:
- Homeowners take photos of each room and send via email or using a cloud service.
- Follow-up questions or clarification can be provided prior to final consultation report using email, instant messenger, phone calls or video.
- A final consultation report is provided via email or video.
- Homeowner follows advice, which can include moving or removing furniture, decluttering or changing décor.
For a little insight into what a home staging professional can offer your clients, here my top three home staging tips:
Showcase the home’s space: Since the goal for every seller is to show the full potential of their home, one major component of home staging is to show potential buyers how they can use the space. Too much furniture can suffocate a room and obstruct traffic flow.
Depersonalize: Everyone lives in their homes to suit their own practical needs and lifestyles; however, to appeal to the largest demographic of potential buyers, home sellers should concentrate on removing personal items during the time their homes are on the market. This includes removing extra toys, packing away off-season clothing and large collections, as well as other personal items, such as certificates, photos, calendars, and religious articles.
Complete minor renovations: Nearly every homeowner has at least one item, if not a few, on the “honey-do” list. Completing these tasks will show potential buyers they won’t have any work to do when they buy your home and move in!