SSWF – Intuitive Solutions Home Staging
Introducing Jennifer Paxson with Intuitive Solutions Home Staging serving Las Vegas, Nevada.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 4 years.
Are you solo or have a team?
I work with a great team.
Describe any specific challenges you are facing.
Over the past 4 years Intuitive Solutions Home Staging has grown exponentially and we continue to grow! We have acquired a warehouse, a truck, and a team of movers, assistants and stagers. Our main challenge is keeping up with this growth. We carry our own inventory for staging and with our growth it seems like the purchasing never stops! I have to say it is probably a good thing that we are so busy and we definitely feel blessed to be such an up and coming Staging company that our services are desired by all the Luxury Real Estate Companies here in Las Vegas. We have even been staging homes with asking prices up to 5 million dollars!
What got you into staging in the first place?
I have always had a passion for Interior Design. I was going to school for it for many years, but I like to say 500 years because that is how long it took me going to school part-time! I bought my first home, and I painted and decorated it with new furniture, art and accessories. After a failed relationship, I had to put the house on the market for sale. After a few weeks on the market I heard from my realtor how much the buyers were loving everything I did to the home. This was before I even knew what Home Staging was. Like many other’s, I was a fan of HGTV, and I couldn’t get enough of the design shows. I watched Property Brother’s and some others that were staging homes for sale. I think something clicked, and I realized “I can do this!” kind of like an “Oprah, AH-HA!! moment.” I was working on the strip here in Las Vegas at the time, and I was miserable! Like soul-crushing miserable, so I decided to quit my job, go back to school full-time for my degree and researched home staging training companies. By 2013, I had a staging certification, I got my business license, finished school with my degree in Interior Architecture with an emphasis on Interior Design and I was on my way to making my dreams come true!
I have to say my first stage, even though I was terrified, was like waking up on Christmas morning! It was the most exciting moment of my life that I could do this for people, as a career and make money! It really couldn’t get any better than that!
What was your previous career?
Food and Beverage Server at The Aria Casino.
What do you know now that you wished you knew on your first day of business?
I don’t think there is anything I could have done differently starting out. I think you have to just go for it! I took all the money I was making to purchase inventory. I know vacant staging is not for everyone, but it is what I truly love doing even when it is challenging, and I am buying and buying and buying. I think you have to just do your best and after that do better and better and keep striving to achieve those goals and carve out a niche for yourself. If you are passionate and doing what you love, the world is a better place and you can help so many people in the process, either by setting an example, by teaching others or by helping your home owners sell their house quickly.
What has been your biggest business challenge and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges is knowing your worth and charging for it. I still get asked to this day to lower my prices, to meet another stagers bid, to meet someone’s budget because they don’t want to spend x y or z. You know what I learned is that there is a target client for my company and those clients are the ones I want. I let the others go and I don’t lower my prices. I am worth those prices even though they might be higher than the competition because I provide a product and a service that is beyond what my competitors are doing. I learned to stick up for that. I think it is too easy to let clients push you around and to lower your rates, but they are only doing a disservice to themselves because the product you put out is not your best. When that happens you have to take away furniture or accessories, or do less rooms. What you have done is now 2nd best. I would rather them go to another staging company who will provide a service in their budget than to sacrifice or downgrade what I am capable of as a stager.
What objection have you heard from a client and how did you overcome it?
I guess the main objection is either price or they want to see what furniture I have and what I am going to use in their home. They are trusting you to do a beautiful job in their home and they may want a certain style, color, or piece of furniture in the home that they like or because “when we lived here” we had it this way. I try and be as professional as possible, let them know I care about the home and I am going to do the absolute best job I can do for them. I ask them to check my portfolio and my website for examples of my work so they can see the kind of furniture, art and accessories we use and to let me know if they have any questions beyond that that I can answer. I explain to them that home staging is not Interior Design and we use marketing and emotional connection points to appeal to 90% of buyers. We have to stage with certain styles to appeal to those buyers and also complement the architecture and color palette of the home to bring out its best features and downplay the negative ones, to sell their home quickly and for Top Dollar! Usually with that said, they change their tune and let us do the job without any further complaint. If we stage and the client has “feedback” about our staging, I am happy to change a few things out or I let them know to let the Real Estate agent do their job and show the home. If the feedback is negative from potential buyer’s, we are happy to come back and make any necessary changes to the home.
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