I have just read an inspiring business book, Small Giants – Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlington. A finalist for the Financial Times/Goldman
Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, this book rejects the mantra of
growth for growth’s sake in favor of a passionate dedication to
becoming the absolute best and demonstrates that big does not equal
great and great does not equal big.
As home staging entrepreneurs, we are not corporate giants – but we
can be great! Common attributes of these small giants were: close
connections to their communities and demonstrated and meaningful social
responsibility; outstanding customer service, close ties to employees,
suppliers and clients; and leaders who were passionate and had deep
emotional commitments to their businesses.
What are you doing in your business that makes you great? As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc.,
I have developed close relationships with my community of real estate
agents and vendors. I am committed to delivering excellent staging work
and incomparable customer service to every client – regardless of the
price of the job. I am absolutely passionate about the value of staging
and the work I do, including training new home stagers for Certified Staging Professionals.
I support Habitat for Humanity and local NYC non-profit organizations.
I am also dedicated to my professional communities and am always
supportive of my CSP alumni. Of course we all want to increase our
success and profitability, but it is critical to stay focused on being
the best we can be.
With this, small is the new big, thought on my mind, I made
another connection while reading the Sunday newspaper, Parade
Magazine (Oct. 11/09, p.6). “American Houses Are Getting Smaller”. In a reversal
of a decades long trend, houses are getting smaller and downsizing
continues. The McMansion era has come to an end.
“Demand has shifted from people looking to trade up to larger homes
to first-time buyers, who are typically younger, with less income,
looking for a place that is more modest. Smaller houses are also
attractive to empty-nesters looking for places that are more energy
efficient and less expensive to maintain.”
This presents several opportunities for home stagers:
STAGING SMALL SPACES: A few years ago, some agents
didn’t bother staging small spaces. Of course that was a mistake,
because all properties benefit from staging, and all sellers deserve to
achieve the maximum ROI on the sale of their homes. But now, agents are
paying attention to the marketing of these smaller properties because
they are in demand. And while more buyers are now interested in smaller
properties, they still desire the best value. Properties that are
staged to look bright, spacious and appealing to the targeted buyer
will have the competitive edge. I have recently staged two studios and
a one-bedroom apartment, that may not have been staged just a couple of
DOWNSIZING SERVICES: Another opportunity for home
stagers is to help home sellers transition into smaller spaces with
space planning, color choices and downsizing strategies, as part of
their staging for living services.
ECO-STAGING: And with revved up interest in
energy efficiencies and cost savings, there will be increased interest
in Eco-Staging and Green businesses.
I suggest we embrace the “small is the new big” in our business practices. Enrich your staging skills and become a Certified Staging Professional and pursue continuing-ed classes in staging for living and Green Build Science. Add these services to your business to capture niche opportunities. And as always, focus on being great.
Nairn Friemann, MBA, is a Certified Staging Professional & Trainer. As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., she has
collaborated with sellers and agents on the staging and marketing of
over $500 million in real estate. Her next CSP staging training class
will be held in NYC, October 17-19.