Home Staging Course Unit 10
Home Staging Business Marketing
In this section of the course, we’ll cover a lot of important ground that ties directly to your success, which is home staging business marketing.
If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.
This section will cover copywriting and basic SEO for your home staging website, as well as networking and marketing ideas that don’t require a big budget.
When you’re writing your website copy, it’ll be helpful for you to have an understanding of copywriting so that you can more easily connect with potential clients.
You can also opt for a writer if you have the budget.
Places like Upwork are full of great writers and they aren’t too expensive — it’s a competitive field, and if you post a job and have a reasonable budget available you will probably receive a dozen proposals from qualified writers within a few hours.
If you’re doing it yourself, here are some things to keep in mind.
People want an easy-to-read, conversational style when browsing websites.
Avoid long paragraphs.
Stick to 2-3 sentences per paragraph so there will be plenty of blank space for the eye to move around, which will make reading easier.
Keep it professional but conversational. Try to make it sound like you’re talking to someone in person.
Also, keep in mind that when people are visiting your site, they’re really looking for the answer to one main question — “What can you do for me?”
They want a problem solved.
So always keep your client’s needs and wants at the forefront when you write, and find ways to let them know what they will gain by working with you.
In addition to getting all of the benefits of home staging, let them know why they should choose you. Put some personality into the site. Keep it professional.
People will find ways to connect with you when you’ve made it look like a real person is behind the site. They’ll choose you over other stagers for all kinds of reasons.
It could be because you’re a native of the area and you’ve been decorating for two decades, because they like your smile (choose a great headshot), they think you seem nice, you remind them of their sister, you never know.
Make sure you explain your service and how it works. Make sure people know that it’s an easy process that’ll help them a lot once they make that initial contact with you.
Be sure that your contact info is easy to find on every page.
Here’s a classic copywriting book if you want to learn more:
Should You List Your Home Staging Fees on Your Website?
There are different schools of thought when it comes to listing your fees on the site. You’ll have to decide what you’re more comfortable with.
If you list your fees, you may be giving people sticker shock too early in the process, before they’ve talked to you and before you’ve had a chance to connect and win them over.
But you might prefer to weed out the people who aren’t comfortable with your fees.
If you don’t list your fees, you may be scaring off people who will assume it’s too expensive and won’t contact you to find out.
It’s harder to put the brakes on a potential transaction once a client has actually called you and initiated the process, and if they have no idea what your fees are, they may be reluctant to get into a potentially awkward spot if it ends up being too expensive.
You can try it both ways if you aren’t sure. Experiment. Why not? It’s the best way to see what works best for you.
You can also choose to give a quote only after an in person meeting at the home, not over the phone.
This is of course the safest way to go, since you won’t have any surprises to deal with, but you may end up going to client meetings without winning the job.
This is just part of the job in many business models and you’ll have to account for time spent this way when you determine your overall fee structure.
Another option is to post a fee for a service like consultation but not for your hands-on home staging services.
That way, clients can call you for a consultation and potentially end up hiring you for hands-on staging after you’ve met with them. Once you’ve built a rapport with them through the consultation, they will be more likely to hire you for a much more expensive service.
Search engine optimization is something you need to have a working knowledge of when you work on your website copy. There are lengthy courses, free and paid, if you’d like to get further into it, but for this course I’m going to give you the main points.
First, you need to be specific in your wording so that the search engines know what your site is about. That means you want to have keyword phrases like “Denver home staging” rather than just “home staging” which is too broad of a term.
You want people in your area to find you, so make sure you have specifically mentioned your city or town on the site, as well as other areas you serve.
Sticking with the Denver example, you can say “Home staging in Denver, Lakewood, Arvada, and Golden Colorado.”
If your service area covers various cities or suburbs, go ahead and list them.
Next, be sure to do so only in small doses. While you do want to give search engines the clues they need about who you are, what you do, and where you are, you also need to make it readable.
The days of “keyword stuffing” are long past, and a search engine like Google can spot it a mile away if you’re overusing keywords in the hopes of getting ranked higher.
Something like “Jones Home Staging is a home staging company in Denver offering home staging service to sell your home for more money” is definitely going to be frowned upon.
So, make it sound good for humans while giving the engines what they need.
A safe ratio would be to use your keyword once every 300 words.(The ideal ratio is often debated in the world of SEO but trust me, it’s much better to be on the safe side and avoid “keyword stuffing” — overusing your keyword — or else you could find that your site is penalized by Google. Use natural-sounding language and you should be fine.)
Use your keyword once in your site title and once in your site description.
Ideally, each page should have at least 400 words of copy. Once per page, put a keyword in bold or italics.
All of these are referred to as on-page SEO techniques. Make sure you have good on-page SEO when starting out.
There are other aspects of SEO that you won’t have much control over as you get started, such as having quality sites link to you and having hundreds of social media likes and shares. We’ll work on that in the social section coming up.
Here is a good free course if you’d like to know more about home staging business marketing by using SEO.
Social media is one of the best ways for you to find clients.
There are principles that apply to social media marketing no matter which platform you’re using. You need to post regularly.
Make interesting posts that your potential clients/followers will find engaging or helpful. Also, you need to engage with others. Comment on people’s posts, share things, like things.
Be yourself and be genuine. Think about it as mingling more than selling.
I would recommend using at least two of these platforms.
- Instagram (a course like this one can help you)
- Nextdoor (this one is a must)
Nextdoor is kind of like a neighborhood-specific Facebook. Basically what you do is set up a personal account and then start chatting with your neighbor about things going on where you live. Put your business name in your profile so people can find it if they want to know more about who you are.
You can easily position yourself as an area expert on staging-related topics like home selling tips, decorating, organizing, etc.
With Instagram, create a business account and put up your portfolio photos and other real estate and home staging-related photos.
Dog and cat photos are OK now and then! 🙂
Use hashtags to help people find you. For example #denverhomestaging
Pinterest is not one of the platforms I would use primarily, but it definitely won’t hurt to put an account together for your business. All social media account help add credibility and trust factor to your business, when used appropriately.
Always be professional in your social media posts and interactions.
In addition to your online networking, you can also start getting to know agents.
One way to do this is by going to open houses. When you walk in, introduce yourself to the agent and hand them a card.
Chat with them for a minute if they seem like they have a minute.
Don’t tie up the agent when there are potential buyers that they need to be tending to.
Another way you can network with agents is by joining your local Realtor’s association. Most associations have a level of membership designed for businesses that are related to real estate, such as home stagers, mortgage brokers, etc.
Here is an example of an affiliate membership sign-up page. As an affiliate member, you can participate in events and functions that can get you mingling with agents in your area.
If you’ve gotten some postcards made, go ahead and send some to every real estate office that’s within your desired service area. Just write a quick note on it and drop it in the mail.
Keep it up with these techniques and before you know it you’ll have a list of Realtor contacts that’ll steadily build over time.
Home Staging Business Marketing Ideas
- Social media
- Letters/postcards to Realtors
- Meeting Realtors at open houses
- Ads in neighborhood newspapers
- Magnetic sign for your vehicle
- Use a company like eReleases to put out a press release
- Yard sign placed temporarily where you’re working
- Neighborhood bulletin boards (find them at coffee shops etc.)
- Sponsorships with youth sports organizations like Little League (as a baseball mom I personally love this one)
- Sponsored posts on Facebook or Instagram
- Word of mouth — talk to people, let people know you’re a home stager