Stage to sell, Make first impressions count
By Marcia Blake -- Casual Living, 7/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
The principles of home staging are to design a style that prospective buyers can visualize themselves living in. This allure accentuates the best qualities of the home. The space must be pleasant and welcoming, while innocuous enough to appeal to individuals who may not share the similar distinctive style.
Let’s draw an analogy connecting home staging and a theatrical stage. When not in use a theatrical stage is void of props and scenery, the stage lacks appeal and seldom justifies a second glimpse. Once the set designers have performed their magic, the space comes alive and sets a scene for the observer. Whether luring, stimulating or calming, the primary intention is to trigger a responsive reaction and an association to that distinct space – much like home staging, which focuses on improving a property to make it appeal to the largest number of buyers by transforming it into a welcoming, appealing and attractive product for sale, according to Wikipedia. A home must stand out among the vast amount of homes on the market. Selling your home is in fact selling a product.
Just as your home never gets a second chance to make an extraordinary first impression, neither does your showroom floor. Properly executed staging leads the eye to the attractive features and focal points of the home in the same way that staging a space on your showroom floor will be inviting, memorable and stand out among the competition.
“While the competition continues to be fierce in today’s market, homeowners must take the necessary steps in order to make their home stand out from the others. Staging your home before listing it on the market is a crucial step that many homeowners overlook,” according to RISMedia, a real estate information systems source.
The same can be said for the casual furniture business. It is no surprise that competition is fierce today, therefore, store owners should take the necessary steps to make their showroom stand out from the others.
RISMedia reports the general public is enamored with reality television and home staging is part of the appeal. Currently home staging captivates mainstream media with eight shows on HGTV that are devoted to the process of preparing a house for sale. In a survey conducted by Staged Homes, once a home was staged it sold up to 20 times faster than its un-staged counterpart.
This is why it is so important not only to Stage to Sell but equally as important to Stage to Buy. You want to make a sensational first impression as soon as your customer steps through your front doors. For that reason the very best place to stage a setting is within steps of your entrance. You want to capture attention, create subliminal, physiological and emotional responses to encourage a customer to purchase your products.
Use current trends that bring charm and invite warmth to outdoor living and entertaining as you design this space. Color trends favor the strong, vibrant yellow with orange undertones as an optimistic color which is uplifting in view of the current state of the economy. You can utilize this color as an accent in accessories, such as artwork, throw pillows or a cushion on a piece of furniture. You can mix and match florals, paisleys, traditional stripes and ikat patterns to inspire a soothing, dazzling, vibrant or quintessential experience that expresses comfort and a casual style that is timeless yet today.
The first step is to start by defining the space, either by using an outdoor living pergola, a Bungalow by E-Z UP, a gazebo or a unique outdoor area rug.
The second step is to add a focal point to this space, a water feature, a fireplace or fire pit, an outdoor plasma television set or a chef’s kitchen.
The third step requires you choose a color that is a currently a leader in design trends. Splash the color around the setting for optimum effect.
The forth step is to select the casual furniture pieces you want to showcase, then place them inside the structure or on the rug to highlight its qualities. If you are displaying a dining set, make certain to set the table lavishly. Use placemats, dishes, glassware, silverware and a centerpiece to embellish the table. Flowers, candles, vases, pottery, plants and lanterns are wonderful accessories to add to the setting. Make it different from anything you see elsewhere.
This will attract the attention and interest of your customers. If you choose a deep seating collection under a pergola, start with an area rug and arrange the furniture in a pleasing manner the observer can envision in their own home, or use an untraditional arrangement to inspire new possibilities for the customer.
Accessorize the set with throw pillows, throw blankets, outdoor drapes and all of the finishing touches to make your store stand out from your competition.
The fifth step is to light up the vignette so it stands out from the rest of the collections on your showroom floor. Add music to touch another sensory cord.
Lastly, renew, refresh and redesign this “Staged to Buy” setting several times through the year to capitalize on all of the products you sell.
Remember home staging is an effective means to attract sales. Follow these steps in your casual furniture store to incorporate tried-and-true tactics to stimulate your customers to buy.
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