SSWF – Staging By SquareOne
Introducing Deborah Flye with Staging By SquareOne serving Greater Sacramento Region, Lake Tahoe, Napa, Davis.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for two years.
Are you solo or have a team?
I work with a great team of part-time designers and warehouse staff.
Describe any specific challenges you are facing.
Our key challenge is supply and demand. We only purchase additional inventory (when low) if it is for any of our key client relationships. We hate to turn down business if we are low on inventory but it does happen! Another challenge is working with some of our investor clients who do home flipping. The actual “contract” date continues to slip due to construction issues. This creates a domino effect as we reschedule last minute which impacts everyone in our supply chain, including potential clients.
What got you into staging in the first place?
I started out 6 years ago as a real estate investor and began flipping 4-5 homes a year. As I was prepared to go to market, I interviewed and hired stagers as part of my strategic marketing. I realized I was never really happy with the business relationships, design aesthetic or their inventory. Once the flipping market slowed down, I launched my home staging business.
What was your previous career?
My professional background is in event design, marketing and finance so I was very comfortable launching a staging division of my real estate LLC. I spent 25 years working for a Wall Street firm in different marketing capacities. Primarily designing and marketing industry events.
What do you know now that you wished you knew on your first day of business?
Less is more! My earlier designs were a bit over-designed and maybe even “decorated”. Also, providing photography as part of the staging package is over-rated. Too much coordination between agents, sellers and photographer.
What has been your biggest business challenge and how did you overcome it?
Balancing inventory, warehousing and staff availability. I have learned that we can’t do everything and it is ok to say “NO” if timing doesn’t make sense.
What objection have you heard from a client and how did you overcome it?
I have to say my clients are all so wonderful and we rarely hear many objections. I do recall one objection… we had a key client not happy with the overall staging design. I listen to the concerns, walk through the house with a fresh eye and then decide if the input is reasonable. If I agree, we go back to redesign immediately hoping to exceed expectations. This rarely happens but when it does, we take it seriously and make the adjustments accordingly.
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