I’m Honored to Be a Nominee for RESA’s 2010 Industry Award for Professional Stager of the Year

It is such an honor to have been nominated for RESA’s 2010 Industry Award for Professional Stager of the Year. As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc. I have been a home stager for over six years, and it has been quite a journey for all of us who got started in “the beginning.” It has been exciting to witness the growth of the home staging industry and the continuing elevation of professional standards.

Christine Rae, president of Certified Staging Professionals, deserves much of the credit for continually raising the bar in the training of new stagers and in establishing a Code of Conduct for all CSPs – the gold standard of the highest professional ethics. The leading staging training company in North America, Certified Staging Professionals offers the best value hands-on training experience and incomparable curriculum, resources and after-training support. Our CSPs are truly staging professionals.

As a trainer for Certified Staging Professionals, I am able to share my diverse experience and expertise with all my trainees. I’m looking forward to my upcoming 2010 classes:

January 9 -11 : New York, NY
January 18-20 : Montreal, QC
February 1-3 : Teaneck, NJ
February 6-8 : Pittsburgh, PA
February 15-17 : Ottawa, ON
For more information, please visit: IngenuityPizzazz.com, and http://www.csptraining.com/

Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc.
is a full service staging company, specializing in staging to sell, staging to live and staging training. We have collaborated with agents and sellers on the staging and marketing of over $500 million in real estate and pride ourselves on the high quality of our showcasing expertise and our incomparable customer service. Our clients call us magicians and miracle workers. The magic and miracles happen because of our talent, professional training, extensive experience and high standards.

RESA Industry Awards 2010 Pro Stager Nominee

Nairn Friemann, MBA
Certified Staging Professional & Trainer

Why Accepting the Lowest Bid for Home Staging Can Prove Extremely Costly for Sellers

As a very experienced stager and president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc.,
(I have collaborated with home sellers and real estate agents in the
staging and marketing of over $500 million in real estate in the
Tri-state area), I feel the need to comment on the issue of hiring a
home stager, based on the lowest bid. Some home staging companies are
now marketing themselves by their willingness to accept sellers’ lowest
budgets. It is well known that in any business, you cannot achieve all
three of the following at the same time: high quality, low price, and
fastest delivery. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for.

For most sellers, their home is their number one financial asset.
The return on the sale of this asset will be key to their future
financial well-being. Statistics prove that professionally staged homes
sell faster and for more money than comparables that are not staged.
Furthermore, with a surplus of inventory, the competition for any home
seller today is greater than it has been in years. With more than 90%
of buyers shopping first on the internet, the website marketing is the
key to attracting traffic to a listing. Viewing the property, buyers
need to fall in love within minutes – the first impression is that
powerful to buyer decision making. Professional home staging is not
decorating – it is marketing, pure and simple.

Would any business launch a product into a competitive market in an
unattractive package or damaged condition? Of course not. Because the
only way that type of product will sell is at a significant discount!
Staging is not an expense – it is an INVESTMENT- in fact, the best
short-term investment a home seller will ever make. Just compare the
financial return from a profitable and quicker sale (which also reduces
monthly carrying costs), with the interest the banks are offering for
6-month CDs.

The choice of a professional home stager, is a critical decision
that should only be made in consideration of many criteria – and
certainly not just on price! In many cases, the savvy real estate agent
already has a professional stager working on their marketing team. If
the agent can’t recommend a stager, then the home seller needs to base
their decision on the stager’s expertise, experience, track-record,
professionalism and portfolio. Of course everyone has budgets and
professional stagers will do their best to get the biggest impact for
the client’s investment. However, it is wise to listen to the
professional stager’s comprehensive consultation and recommendations
before making any final decisions on what should be invested in the
staging project. Home sellers today have too much at stake to be “penny
wise and pound foolish.”

Certified Staging Professionals
understand the importance of explaining to sellers what needs to be
done to get their homes market ready. As consultants, we accept that
it is our responsibility, not only to showcase the strengths of a
property, but also to address the weaknesses – even when some of these
issues might be sensitive in nature. The bottom line is that this is a
marketing collaboration between the seller, the home stager and the
agent to achieve the highest possible return on the sale of the
property in the shortest amount of time.

The Certified Staging Professionals training
does not only teach staging techniques and tips but also sets the
highest standards of ethics and professional responsibility. It is the
most comprehensive home staging training program available. Unlike the
on-line training companies, CSP provides trainees with hands-on staging
experience and incomparable after-training support. I am confident that
the CSP home staging training program is the best investment budding home stagers can make in themselves and their businesses. I am extremely proud of being a trainer for this exemplary organization and am pleased to share my diverse experience and expertise with all my trainees.

I am looking forward to my upcoming home staging training classes in New York City (Oct. 17-19) and Ottawa (Nov. 2-4).

For more information, please visit www.csptraining.com and IngenuityPizzazz.com or contact Nairn Friemann at nairn@IngenuityPizzazz.com.

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Add the CSP Designation to Your Credentials

Train with the industry leaders and add professional staging services to your business. Certified Staging Professionals offers the most comprehensive, hands-on staging training program available and unparalleled after-training support. Founded in 2005, by internationally acclaimed staging expert, Christine Rae, CSP delivers the best value in staging training in the industry.

As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., one of New York City’s top staging companies, I have collaborated with agents and home sellers on the staging and marketing of over $500 million in real estate in the Tri-State area. As a trainer for CSP, I share my diverse experience and expertise with all my trainees.

And here are three very special offers from Certified Staging Professionals:

  1. Don’t see your city on our list of scheduled classes? We will come to you for a minimum of 6 trainees. You name your date and location. We’ll do the traveling!
  2. Register 30 days in advance and receive a DVD package from Ann Maurice, TV’s House Doctor and international staging expert. A special value of $200.
  3. Last but not least, is our extraordinary Second Chance Offer for the remainder of our 2009 classes. For anyone who has invested in another staging training program but who would like to upgrade to the CSP training and designation, we will include the CSP exclusive Fast Track Package with the basic investment level. To qualify, proof of former training will be required and registration must be made by the end of October 2009.

For more information, contact Nairn Friemann at 917-952-4669 or nairn@IngenuityPizzazz.com

Here’s what professionals are saying about the CSP three-day staging training program:

“When I originally entered the staging field, I took a staging course from a staging training company. My teacher at that school was Christine Rae. Subsequently, she started her own training company, Certified Staging Professionals, and I decided to add further credentials to my name – the CSP designation. Even though I have been staging for four years since the original indoctrination, there was so much more that I got out of the CSP course. I highly recommend anyone, who is entering the staging profession, to obtain credentials from this outstanding program.”

Barbara Brock, CSP, President, A Proper Place President, RESA NYC, Former President, NAPO NYC

“The CSP training is one of the best investments I have made in my business. The course really gave me everything I needed to hit the ground running in the field of Real Estate Staging. It has also been a terrific advantage to be more diversified in these hard economic times. Real Estate Staging is now about 20% of my overall business and has been the perfect supplement to my organizing business.”

Ron Shuma, CSP, President, A+ Organizing

“After much research and thought I decided on training with CSP. The decision did not come easy, as the initial cost seemed quite steep for my small business budget. CSP has been extremely supportive from the beginning. I am the type of person who asks many, many questions before, during and after a course such as this. In every case, the CSP representatives would respond within a 24-hour period, always happy to reply and help. The actual course went beyond my expectations. The instructor, Nairn Friemann, was excellent. She shared the multitude of information in a manner that kept us focused and attentive in the busy 10-hour days. The hands on experience of actually Staging a home was invaluable. There is just so much more to Home Staging than I possibly imagined. CSP representatives are there and willing to share their knowledge, experiences and expertise to help me be successful. I am so happy I invested in this program and look forward to being part of this organization.”

Gloria Volz, CSP, President, Adirondack Organized Solutions

“I had the pleasure of being a student in Nairn Friemann’s Certified Staging Professionals training classes, for an intensive 3-day seminar. Being an interior designer for 37 years, it is usually me who plays “teacher” rather than student. I must confess that I have more often than not been bored and disappointed in such events. But Nairn’s class was a very different experience. She was a serious, committed, engaging teacher, who clearly is at the top of her game in the staging industry. She exhibited interest in each of her students, and gave individual guidance. I took prolific notes, and soon realized how much I could learn from her. She has my full respect, appreciation, and admiration.”

Alice Silverman, CSP, President, Decorate in a Day

The Importance of Floral Design to Real Estate Staging

What is the one common feature in rooms showcased in decorating magazines, regardless of design style? Floral Accents!

Everyone would agree that flowers and plants are beautiful decorative accents to these stylish rooms. But please consider that flowers are so much more than decorative room jewelry. With more than 80% of home buyers shopping on the internet, shouldn’t we all be paying attention to what the decorating magazines already know? In the same way that I say that, “staging isn’t decorating, staging is marketing,

Attractive floral design isn’t optional – it should be a key component of staging. I believe flowers and plants help sell real estate!

Recent Research:

Did you know?

  • Scientific research conducted by Rutgers University, The Emotional Impact of Flowers Study, has proven that flowers improve emotional health, having a profound effect on mood and well-being.
  • At Texas A & M, research showed that a change as simple as adding flowers and plants can be important in the most meaningful way to businesses. Workers’ idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skill improve in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.
  • Research by The Color Institute showed that people start forming impressions in the first 90 seconds and that up to 60% of that impression can be based on color alone.

For more information on this groundbreaking research visit www.aboutflowers.com

Given the powerful impact of color and emotion, flowers in different color combinations can enhance or adjust feelings. When we stage a house to sell, our goal is to transform the home to a living space that will appeal to a broad base of potential buyers. As we set the stage in various rooms, we aim to create positive emotional responses from potential buyers. Flowers can help us accomplish our goals in a subtle yet highly effective way.

From the first, all-important, impact of curb appeal, a beautiful garden will tell buyers that this is a well-maintained, well-loved home. And when the front door is opened, flowers will instantly welcome visitors. Think of the grand hotels. What do they all have in their lobbies? Fabulous floral arrangements! Think of fine restaurants and special events – flower arrangements! These businesses invest in floral design as a key component of their marketing budget, because of the positive response from their clients. If they weren’t achieving a significant return, they wouldn’t waste their money.

Given that up to 60% of the first impression is based on color alone, pleasing color palettes are key in the first 90 seconds. A pretty flower arrangement on a foyer table will become an attractive focal point and have enormous impact on the potential buyer’s emotional response.

Throughout the rest of the rooms of a home, floral accents, plants and trees should be integrated to draw the buyer’s eye to key strengths and away from weaknesses. They also add instant vitality and color to any space. Color theory teaches us about the impact of color on emotions. Floral accents can enhance the desired color palette of any room and help evoke the desired emotional response from potential buyers. While white orchids can add a sense of calm and a spa-like feel to a bathroom, vibrant tropical flowers will instantly energize a loft space.

However, poor floral design can have a hugely negative impact on potential buyers, Dusty dried flower arrangements and wreaths should be removed. High quality silk floral accents look remarkably authentic and photograph extremely well, but cheap “fake” flowers will draw the buyer’s attention like a magnet. Also critical is attention to style, scale and mechanics.

I believe professional floral design should be a key component of real estate staging. Before becoming a real estate stager, I achieved my certification in floral design from the prestigious New York Botanical Garden. I interned and then freelanced with a top New York floral designer and gained invaluable experience in event staging. I bring this specialty and experience to all my staging projects and staging training.

Certified Staging Professionals – Helping Hands in Tough Economic Times

As a Certified Staging Professionals trainer, I am always truly impressed with the amazing transformations our trainees create on Day Three of our staging training program. Although we all pride ourselves in the incomparable learning experience CSP offers our trainees during our three-day, intensive staging training “boot camp”, we are also equally proud of the talent, creativity and work ethic of our class teams. After two days of classroom teaching, everyone feels tired and some are a little overwhelmed. But on Day Three when the class receives their staging challenge, the adrenaline and creative juices kick in, and within a few hours, with very limited resources, miracles occur.

Experiencing these staging transformations is always so gratifying for all of us. When the homeowners and agents return to assess our staging work, there is always apprehension. Will they like what we have done? Will they object to any changes we have made? Of course, we hope that everyone will be happy with what we have created. Stagers thrive on enthusiastic positive reinforcement. However, in some cases, the rewards are far more meaningful.

Recently, one of my classes staged a home for a family in unfortunate circumstances. The husband had been badly injured in a car accident and had been hospitalized for months. In spite of regular physiotherapy, he was still unable to resume work in his own small business. Sadly, this had caused financial hardship for the family and had led to the need for them to sell their home. After two months on the extremely tough real estate market, the house had not received any offers.

My class of five incredible CSP trainees rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Room by room, they edited excess items and carried them to the basement, re-arranged existing furnishings, searched closets and cabinets for optional linens and staging items, and then showcased each room. The result was transformational. After four and a half hours, the home felt more welcoming and spacious, and focal points and key strengths were highlighted.

The husband came home first and was extremely happy and complimented us all on our hard work. He called his wife to tell her about the changes and she came home to see for herself. They were truly overwhelmed. The wife said her home had never looked so beautiful. They were such a lovely couple and our class was truly touched by them and their situation. As we left, the husband took my hand and said, “God bless you.”

The market is extremely competitive these days and we cannot guarantee that this newly staged home will now sell quickly. Although we left them a list of additional recommendations, it is doubtful that they will be able to follow through on these due to their financial circumstances. Undoubtedly, the house is far more marketable than it was before we created our CSP staging magic. But what we do know for certain is that in a brief moment in time, CSP touched the lives of these wonderful people and brought them pure joy in the beauty of their home. It is so gratifying to me that not only are we providing the best staging training in the industry for our CSPs, but we are also helping so many deserving home sellers in the process.

In this tough real estate market, home sellers and real estate agents must integrate professional staging services in their marketing plan. Some agents are saying, if you don’t stage, you’re helping to sell the competition. In this buyers’ market, the key success factors are: realistic pricing, optimal presentation and savvy marketing. Certified Staging Professionals collaborate with home sellers and real estate agents to ensure that their properties can be marketed to full potential. Our goals are to maximize the return on the sale of our clients’ most valuable assets and to minimize time on the market. Our professional services are now more important than ever.

I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to work in a profession that has such an important role to play. As the president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., I have collaborated with home sellers and real estate agents on the staging and marketing of over $500 million in real estate, and as a CSP trainer, I can share this diverse experience and expertise. And I am very proud to be a member of the Certified Staging Professionals team because I sincerely believe that this is the best staging training program in the industry, with unparalleled after-training support. Christine Rae, CSP’s visionary founder, continues to set the bar higher for the entire professional staging community as her exemplary organization expands in North America and now Australia

For more information on our upcoming Certified Staging Professional classes, please visit www.stagingtraining.com.