Tip 7: Avoid the “free estimate trap”

by debra on June 7, 2018

Many home stagers think that running around from property to property providing estimates is normal, but I see it as a huge waste of gas and time.

This practice (which is the most common pitfall that stagers fall into) leads to burnout and frustration as you’ll learn in this email.

These stagers don’t know any better because most courses are taught by people who have never been successful home stagers themselves, so they don’t know any better either.

They teach their students that when someone calls and says, “I’m thinking about having my home staged, how much does it cost?”, that the correct response is, “I’m happy to come over and give you an estimate, when is convenient?”

Here’s what happens in the real world when you do this . . .

Once you arrive at their home, you’re bombarded with questions like, “What color should we paint this room? Is my dining room table too big for the space? How can I make the kitchen look better without renovating?”

And on it goes.

You really can’t blame the home seller. After all, they called you because they were wondering all these things. Now that you’re there, of course they’ll ask these valid questions.

So what would you do? Would you say, “I’m sorry, I’m just here to do an estimate, I’ll answer all these questions after you hire me.”

I know I wouldn’t have the nerve to say that. I’d answer their questions.

And here’s the thing. As soon as you provide the answers they’re looking for, you’ve actually done an unpaid home staging consultation.

When you agree to go over to do an estimate, at least 90% of the time, you’ll actually end up doing a free home staging consultation, which is why I call this the “free estimate trap.”

Most of these home sellers will never hire you because you’ve already answered all their most burning questions. They’ll take your advice and simply do the work themselves.

That’s why I teach all Staging Diva students to take an entirely different approach. We never offer to go over and do a free estimate.

In Tip 2 I shared how much you can make from home staging consultations. As long as you’re getting paid whenever you’re at a client’s home, it doesn’t matter if they do the rest of the work themselves based on what you’ve said.

You’ve already been paid for the knowledge you have and your ability to answer their questions.

Friend, I don’t want you to give up on your home staging dreams because you get burned out running around doing estimates for people who will never hire you. That’s why I felt it was so important for you to be aware of this practice.

I’ve never given f’ree estimates, and I grew my staging business in a city where there have always been dozens of home stagers who do.

Once I figured out my business formula, I was making up to $10,000 a month within my 2nd year of business. All the while watching my “competitors” fall by the wayside and give up because people weren’t hiring them (in large part because of the reasons I’ve just described).

Wondering how I do it?

I turn a home seller into a paying customer in a single phone call, and you can too. This guide contains the exact words I use when speaking to home sellers for the first time.

If you want to learn all aspects of how to turn your decorating talent into a home staging and redesign business, I hope you’ll also consider my 5-course program. It will answer every question you have, and even the ones you haven’t thought of.

Plus my step-by-step business formula will save you the pain of wasted time and effort because you don’t know the right way to approach things.

Best regards,

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
President, Voice of Possibility Group Inc.

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