St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Juliet, Beth & Maureen are smart cookies.... you'll want what they have - I did!

I showed a few photos from my newest portfolio.  It was inspired after reading Maureen's post I stole Juliet and Beth's portfolio.  You should to.  She advises her inspiration came from Juliet Johnson and Beth Panode. 

If you saw my comments at all you know I was smacking myself on the head with the power of the aha moment.  I use kodakgallery all the time to manage my portfolio photos, before and after slideshows, etc.  How did I not figure this out. 

Last night I posted a blog about how I've started looking at my work from a different perspective, What do your photos show?  A new look at a staging portfolio.  I posted a couple of photos from my new book, the one inspired by Maureen, Juliet & Beth... I've gotten a lot of quesitons, so I thought it might be helpful to show a few more pages and discuss my thought process and different ideas for the book....

In the set below I wanted to show off how simple changes with paint can create dramatic differences.  It seems that I often recommend painting cabinets or paneling and it is easier to convince sellers the difference it will make when I show them past work....

This next set shows a little before and after focusing on MLS.  What would this photo have meant to a potential buyer?  The full room after staging is on the left and the before and after view on the right...

This last set shows various rooms in the same home.  It talks about how we make the home feel larger by keeping continuous color and texture throughout the home. 

Notice that the photos show a variety of colors, textures, and furniture styles.  The homes radically vary in price point, but they all still look 'classy'.  This helps put clients at ease that you will acheive a cohesive look regardless of list price. 

My book was primarily about my work.  I did not add an about me section, etc.  I actually added very few before

and after sets.  I primarily focused on the finished look.  This works particularly well because I specialize in vacant properties, but even if you specialize in owner occupied consider that it doesn't necessarily matter what the before looked like, in the end you will be judged by the after....

I hope this helps answer some of those questions out there and inspires you to take your portfolio up a notch!  I certainly know I owe a HUGE thank you to those 3 wonderful ladies who inspired me!


 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

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 8 commentsMelissa Marro • December 28 2007 01:12PM


Melissa - Your portfolio looks fantastic.  I think it is important to think of how you plan to use the portfolio before you create it.  Some of the photos I chose to include don't necessarily illustrate my best staging work, they illustrate a point I'd like to discuss, like painting cabinets or religious artwork.  It helps me discuss things that apply to many homes in my target market.  I think you're right, these portfolios will take us up a notch.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen almost 11 years ago

You hit the nail right on the head Maureen!  My target market is vacant homes, therefor my book consists mostly of showing furniture, props, rooms and overall feeling in various pricepoints.  I also do a lot of wallpaper removal, painting, etc.... my portfolio reflects that. 

It is important to understand your own market and target audience!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago
Melissa- As I've said before, the angles make for MUCH more interesting shots, and WHY NOT focus more on your work, and not trying to get as many of the walls as you can in the shot! One more note: the same can be said for the photo of you. It's not the standard headshot, and I find it WAY more interesting! You have a real eye for photography! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, Linda and I put our portfolio book together several weeks ago.  We found out about them through a post that Maureen had done.  Thanks Maureen!  We spent several days discussing what we wanted the focus to be and just like you, because we do so many Vacants, that became the focus.  We also chose homes spread from $150K to $2.5M.  The look is just fantastic.  Linda was so impressed that she had one printed for all of her consultants.
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) almost 11 years ago


Thank you thank  you thank you....from  your post I have spent almost an hour linking around and am so impressed that I am ready to steal your portfolio too! 


Posted by Paula Springer, A.S.P. (Key Elements Inc. Home Staging & Interiors) almost 11 years ago
Great job and impressive work.  Inspiring more for the "to do" list.
Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 11 years ago

Elaine - Thank you!  What a nice compliment!

Gary - You have some great shots too!  I bet they look great in the books....

Paula - lol... just remember, you can only steal the idea, not the actual portfolio.  That is actually frowned upon.... lol.  I know you know that already though!

Terrrylynn - I know my 'to do' list is getting really long.  I spent a lot of time today sending photos to my webdesigner to change all of my stock photos off my sites.... that in and of itself is a heck of a job!  It may take weeks to get it all done!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago


Hey this makes me think of all those fresh new stagers wishing for a gorgeous 'Original' portfolio. I remember the days when I was first a stager and disliked very much the predicament not having my own work to show in portfolios and presentations. Though it was encouraged by my accrediting group to use their stock photos, I was probably visibly uncomfortable with images that were not mine on display. But use them I did, for the rights to use them was part of what my accreditation got me. Never actually claiming the work was mine, I kept on talking about staging and meeting and moving ahead, inserting my own work as it came along. At first it was small furniture and accessories I could afford, and I showed a lot of photos that were shot close-up to fill the frame and keep out the empty space around them. So I think what you are suggesting is a great idea for those who may have started with smaller collections.  My downfall these days is not having time to take the photos! I am thinking about hiring a professional photographer.


Posted by Paula Springer, A.S.P. (Key Elements Inc. Home Staging & Interiors) almost 11 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments