St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Only 2 more days.... are you ready for 2009?

I've been away from AR for a while now, with so much on my plate that I simply haven't had time.  In the summer I was better able to balance everything, lately I've come to the conclusion that I just need to stop and slow down a little.  2009 is rapidly approaching and I've been working on my business plans, with a lot of preparation and computer time needed to get everything done and ready to go.  That left me wondering how many of my AR friends are really ready for 2009! 

  • Do you have a written goal list?  Are you using visual cues (photos, etc) to help inspire you?
  • Do you have a plan of attack?  It's not enough just to know what you want, you have to figure out how you are going to get there!  Knowing you want to go to New York is great, but if you live in Omaha, do you know how to get there before you get in the car?  If not, you may end up in Dallas!
  • Have you compartmentalized your goals into smaller chunks?  Looking at them as a whole can be overwhelming.  If you've got a plan of attack you can break them into smaller goals which makes it far more doable.  "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!"
  • Have you created exciting rewards for yourself?  For the women reading this, chances are if that is $$ then you better figure out a new reward.  We rarely actualy work for the money, regardless of how much we need/want it.  We will work for purses, shoes, perfume, vacations, jewelry, etc however. 
  • Have you figured out what you'll have to give up to get there?  Oh come on, you don't think you can get there without giving up something do you?  We will all have to give up something - time, chocolate, shopping, dinners out, yoga - something.... are you willing to give up what you have to give up to get what you want?  If not, then figure out a new goal because you probably won't achieve it!
  • Do you have a support system?  For some this means that you need people around you who will help pick you up when you fall.  For others that may mean someone you can run around yelling, "na na na na... Ha!  I told you I could do it!" and proving them wrong.  Depending on your personality type, one works better than the other for you.  Having both is really great! (but maybe just do the dance in your head... My best motivation in this business has been my ex-boss - everytime I succeed I know she sees it and it annoys her to no end.... that pushes me harder and harder! sad, but true)

Ok, so now are you still ready?  Are your bases covered?  Me, I still have work to do..... which is why I'm on this computer now actually. 





For information on home staging in the Greater Charleston Area or for information on staging training programs, please contact Melissa Marro at 843.822.2622 or email me at



 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 15 commentsMelissa Marro • December 29 2008 03:36PM


nice post Melissa and congrats on the nominations!

Here's to lots of business for 2009

Randall, 843-209-9667

Posted by Randall Sandin, 843-209-9667 - Search for Charleston SC Real Estate (Carolina One Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Thanks Randall!  I'm really excited about the nominations!  Now I have to add creating the two big marketing pieces to my to do list too.. lol

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

It just doesn't stop, does it?  I was setting back at my desk the other day, looking at my to do list and thinking, "Here it is the end of December, there have been no breaks in the action and this damned list looks as long as it did back in June. 

On another note... Funny, it was a very short time ago that Linda and I were setting in a parking lot in South Carolina late one night discussing many of the things on your list...... 

Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 10 years ago

Good list Melissa. I usually use the month of December to tidy up the past year and prepare for the new year. Since we worked right up until Christmas Eve this year (and I have a consultation to do tomorrow), it looks like I have to compress these tidying up tasks into a smaller chunk of time. I have been purging stuff from all areas of my home and office the past few days. It is a never ending cycle.

Congratulations on your nominations.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 10 years ago

You betcha Girlie!!!  I have always been one to take the horse by the reins. My goals are very defined. I plan on really taking this industry forward here in CA (which is a huge endeavor to those that don't know) to the highest level. New innovative, professional services, shortsale/REO support, as well as helping other stagers coming into the industry. Now is the time for honest endeavors. Thank you for a great post!

Posted by Lori Kim Polk, Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento ( Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services) over 10 years ago

Important reminder for every successful business Melissa.  Setting measurable goals will keep you on track, be cause for celebration, or indicate weaknesses.  I often find when fine tuning or evaluating my business plan it energizes me, keeps me focused, and encourages me to think outside of the box. 

Love your point about working for purses, shoes, vacations, etc. - LOL

Thanks for the reminder/encouragement to put the final touches on my 2009 plan.  When you are in the day-to-day it is easy to put off.  Here's to an outstanding year!!

Congratulations on your recent nominations!!

Posted by Michele Hess, Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc (Simply Staged Inc.) over 10 years ago

Great post Melissa - Once again you are right on!  I have so much I want to do before the 1st but time is running out.  I am really going to crank up my marketing in 2009.  My goal is to really concentrate on educating the public about the benefits of staging with workshops and events.  Congratulations on the nominations.  In my book you are already a winner.  I am honored to even be considered with some of the super stars of staging.     

Posted by Wanda Richards, Shows Great Home Staging (Shows Great Home Staging and Web Solutions ) over 10 years ago

Great post Melissa! I agree that making goals and writing them down with a specific plan on how to achieve them is the best way--it makes them real and keeps you focused on them. If they are just in your head, you're likely to forget them.

Thanks for sharing!

--Anne Rains

Posted by The Rains Team, A higher standard in real estate (Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners) over 10 years ago

Hi Melissa, this is a great post to get everyone thinking about where they are going. Plan your work and work your plan. 

I know you have spent considerable time this year on your business plan and it is wonderful that your peers have nominated you for the RESA awards this year. I wish you the very best. I know you will succeed in 2009 as you live, eat and breathe your company. Plus, you have a giant heart that lets you share what you know to be true with everyone here on AR.

I spent today getting everything organized for my accountant. This year I am prepared waaaay ahead of time. I also spent the last few weeks updating the look of my website for the new year. I made the decision earlier this year to Stage houses in a green way to give my clients a competitive edge in the market.This year I will spend time conducting seminars teaching Stagers, Realtors and suppliers how to green their companies and market their services to appeal to the public who wants to make an individual choice to make a difference in the world.

It will be interesting to see what others here on AR are planning for the new year. They are all amazing personalities with their own special twist on what they do.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 10 years ago

Willing and ready to go, we are looking forward to GREAT things in 2009! We are staging our first spec home for KHovnanian and we very excited about that. Happy New Year and hopefully our paths will cross again when we can sit and chat over lunch, quietly...sounds nice, right?

Phyllis Pafumi 

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 10 years ago

Melissa on top of it --- we expect no less.  You are a terrific mentor and example of what a business should do to be successful. 

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - over 10 years ago

Gary - lol... whew, since you were discussing you and I in a parked car it's a good thing you mentioned Linda was there! lol..... Yes, it was a great discussion about great things coming in 2009!

Michelle M - Good for you!  It's really hard sometimes to work on that purging process, at least for me.  I find as I get busier though it seems to get a bit easier to let things go!

Lori Kym - sounds exciting!  I can't wait to hear more!

Michele H - definately easy to put things off, but then we find we never get around to it.  One of my favorite sayings is "the road of Some Day leads to the town of No Where"


Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

Wanda - Thank you for the kind remarks.  Education is definately where you want to be to get the most out of your business.  Letting agents and homeowners what you offer and its importance is the key to this business!

Anne - absolutely, there is so much running around in my head, without putting stuff on paper, in my phone, or somewhere actually written, there is little chance of me accomplishing much of anything!

Michelle F - I think I'm blushing.  Thanks for such kind words!  It sounds like you are ahead of the game and will have an outstanding 2009!  I'll be excited to watch you grow!

Phyllis - I would like that. We'll have to find a way to make that work!

Terrylynn - boy do I know you are on top of things.  You and Kym have some amazing things coming for 2009!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

OK,,, Linda was there too!  It would have been a lot more fun letting everyone guess... 

Hey by the way, my plan is very simple...  I plan to Have Linda double the homes she stages in 2009 over 2008, to 210 and to have her train a bunch of stagers and agents.  Boy, I'm tired just thinking about how hard she will have to work..  LOL

Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 10 years ago

lol... you and John (my husband for readers who don't know) seem to have a similar plan.... lol!  Funny how my business plan differs so far from his. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

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