Ok, by now all of you should know I'm not a run in fear kind of girl so it is going to be the latter of the two choices. I would like to give you a heads up on something that is going on in my area. I think we'll start seeing more of this across the nation and I want to encourage those of you who are not a current stronghold in your community to keep up your efforts... don't look at this as a dark time. If it seems at all dark remember the old addage that it is always darkest before the dawn....
I was informed a couple of weeks ago that the largest real estate company in our area - Prudential Carolina Real Estate - has instituted a new staging program. For $49 they have an ASP meet the agent and provide a walkthrough and written consultation. This can even be paid for out of the agents accounts receivable (meaning it doesn't have to be paid for until there is a closing).
I happened to be training a new class the next week, one of my students heard this and has been very nervous if she picked the right time to be entering the market - my market, on my team. We've been gaining little pieces of information along the way when a collegue of mine sent me the following from the PCRE intranet...
$49.00 - MySellersAdvantage
An ASP Certified Home Staging Consultant will meet you at your listing for a walk through where they will make observations and take notes. Then you will receive an Email and Printed report. This report will include an evaluation of the listing as well as advice on how to improve the "First Impression" of the home.
This actually is the verbage for the sign up page. What we found particularly interesting is that they chose to capitalize and put in quotes the term "First Impression" given the fact that it is the name of my company. The ASP is NOT affiliated with my company. Several agents who work with me and my team members (who all received forwarded copies of this email) have commented that they actually seem to be trying to ride our success in this area perhaps even by leading their agents to believe that this is one of our Design Specialists.
What I would like to point out is that we have learned this ASP ONLY DOES CONSULTATIONS and does not provide any actual staging services owner occupied or vacant. They also don't make referrals as to anyone to do the work once the consultation is provided. This kind of leaves the agents & clients hanging in the wind, doesn't it?
As true to my never faultering belief that we provide the best service at reasonable rates we will keep educating our clients & agents - continue on with business as usual. I will say that part of me really wants to thank PCRE for reminding their agents that they need a stager and subliminally reminding them who the best in the area is. I only wish I thought it was on purpose.
When/If you find out that a large company in your area is providing these services - remember that this only means they are now endorsing and educating their agents to the value that we already provide. As long as you provide quality your business will be fine & probably better than ever!
Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging
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For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).