By Klaudia Leszczyńska for Instastaging
I invite you for the first interview Barb Schwarz – the creator of Home Staging gave to the Polish audience. Especially for Polish Home Stagers! Barb talked about the history of Home Staging – how it all began. You will also learn why she did not want to design interiors, even though she had a design company.
What did Barb Schwarz talk about?
– About the difficulties she had to face, especially in the beginning.
– What are the 3 most important words for a Home Stager.
– How she defines Home Staging now.
– What she advises people who want to work in Home Staging. Is everyone suitable for this?
– The future of Home Staging from the perspective of the creator of this industry.
– Tips for Polish Home Stagers.
Klaudia Leszczyńska: Hello Barb! I’m really happy that we are here and thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed by a Polish home stager. It is a great honor for us and I’m really, really grateful for that. In this interview we are going to talk about how you came up with the idea of home staging but also about some tips from you and advice for home stagers. Also, a little bit about the development of this industry.
Barb Schwarz: My pleasure! So great to be with you! Thank you for asking me.
K:It’s really an honor for me, so I’m really happy that you are here and have the possibility to make this interview. OK, so let’s move on to the questions. At the beginning, I would like to ask you about history. I think many people wonder how it all started? How did you come up with home staging and what were the beginnings?
B: I so appreciate being with you. I want to say first of all, how proud I am of you.
K: Thank you so much!
B: It’s really true. Because you are really such an asset to the industry I invented and I’m just really proud of the wonderful people that have joined you and have become members with you. Keep up the great work.
K: Thank you so much.
THE HISTORY OF HOME STAGING
B: You are so welcome. You’re doing a great thing, you really are. Well, I look back now and I can see in my life I was really meant to do what I have been working on and doing. That could sound funny to someone, however as I look back the things that happened in my life and led me to inventing home staging, for example: when I was a little child even 4 years old/5 in my grandma’s house because I was with my grandparents a lot, on a farm, and I loved being raised on a farm – a great environment and I learned a lot, I would move her furniture when I was 4 years old, even 3. Then I started making scrapbooks with pictures of homes and rooms I liked. My grandma had all these magazines from Women’s Day, way back then, and Better Homes and Gardens – the magazine, and all these magazines that had hoses in them. I started cutting them out and making scrapbooks and she said “I don’t know what your destiny is but… you’re rearranging my furniture and you’re cutting these out…
So, then in high school I took a lot of home economics classes and some of those, even then, had to do with arranging a room and that kind of thing and I was asked by some builders and the word “stage” hadn’t happened yet for real estate ‘cause I hadn’t come up with it yet, and they asked me to come to their new construction to just make it look nice. My friends thought it was crazy but I loaded some furniture in the car and nobody told me what to do, it just came to me. The towel, things to put on the kitchen counters, you know I was like a freshman in high school. So, I would unload them and put them around. Little did I know that later I would come up with the concept “staging”, however the house was sold and they had me do another one, and another one. In my college years I also majored in home economics and design, as well as music and education. ‘Cause see, I thought I was going to become Barbra Streisand. You know who she is, right?
K: Yes, I know, I know.
B: But I didn’t ‘cause she’s already taken. You know, I just wanted to go to Los Angeles and start to sing and all this and my parents wouldn’t allow me. I was raised in a very strict environment and so I didn’t disobey them. I started teaching school and I also was singing then with chorals – musical groups. I had done that all he way through college. I was fortunate enough to solo in all of that touring. Then I decided that I would like to sing in off-Broadway plays in Seattle which is where I live. That really fulfilled my heart with wanting to perform. So as I look back, performing has now evolved through the years, for me for teaching and speaking, and in education I learned how to teach and so that has really impacted my speaking and teaching and the design – I had a design business. When I got married I opened a design business and I had that for 5 years and I really didn’t enjoy it very much.
HOME STAGING OR DESIGN?
B: I really didn’t because I worked with customers in the public and they would hear about me and then call me, I would take them shopping and we would go to the design center and the furniture store and all this and they would pick things. I had a plan for them and I wanted them to help. Sometimes I just brought what I thought but mostly I took them with me. So then they would order custom furniture and it was all right but then the lady would say “I hate that! I don’t want that sofa, take it back!”. Well, it was custom. How are you going to take back what it custom? So I remember.. my goodness “oh, those lamps are horrible” and that kind of thing and they pick that themselves.
So I decided to go into real estate. I became a realtor. I started listing houses in the Seattle area, mainly in a town called Bellevue which is a big city now. And I was shocked at how do the houses look. I mean they were just awful! You know, dirty and full of clutter and the wrong colors and all of this. So one day I said to a lady “well, we should work on setting up the right design” and she said “oh no, I’m not gonna do that, we’re moving. Why would I have you design my house?” and so I thought that word doesn’t work. The same thing happened with “decorate” – that didn’t work either. So I thought because they’re thinking “We’re moving! Why would I do that?” that I need to come up with a different concept to share with them. So as I worked with the sellers and met new people and listed houses… It was amazing! To me it’s like a “God” thing – because I believe this is what my destiny was and my purpose of being here on the planet.
FROM THEATER TO HOME STAGING
As I was working with this lady I knew that the words “design” didn’t work and “decorate” didn’t work out of my mouth came this – I said to her “Do you like the theater?” “Oh, I love the theater!” she said, and she did. She told me all about the plays she would go to, the musicals and as this is happening I told to her, well I’ve been in the off-Broadway plays and musicals because I love to sing and what I noticed is that we always set the scene for every act, you know, and then the curtains close and then we change it for the next scene. So I’m thinking we need to set the scene for you to sell in every room so that it appeals to most buyers, in other words – and it just came out of my mouth – we need to set the stage. “Set the stage, really?” and it just kept coming and I said “Well, you see, you’re the star ‘cause you live here. The house is the platform, it’s a stage. The people that give critical reviews on Broadway and that kind of thing, or in the real estate there are other agents. They’re going to talk about how does that house smell or “that hose was so messy” and they’re going to call it the smelly house or the dog house because there are so many dogs. So I already said about the star, the stage, and the critics, and the audience – they are the buyers and they are the ones that decide whether it’s a hit or not. And I want to be your director and I want to show you in one of your rooms what I feel we could do to have your home come on the market and sell.
HOW TO CONVINCE THE CUSTOMER TO HOME STAGING
It’s been in the market for like a year and a half and she hadn’t sold. She changed for three different real estate companies because she hoped one of them would get it sold. Ans she got excited because she was a star and she got excited because of the theater because she loved the theater, which was meant to be. I took her to whatever room, she showed me everywhere and I had her stand in the doorway to pretend with her a little bit, only it was real, I had her turn around and I talked with her about different things that I saw, always giving compliments, never saying “that sucks”. Then I had her turn around and I said “You are going to hear some noises ‘cause I’m going to move a few things and then I’ll come back to you. So turn around and stay with your back to the room.” I moved a chair, I moved the nightstand, a lamp, switched it with another one in the room. I flipped the bedspread over because there was another side to it. Many times it’s just padding but this one, it worked. I rolled the bedspread, laid it back and I took some pillows from the bedroom next door – decorative pillows (staging pillows?). I didn’t do everything but I did enough.
She smiled at me when I went beside her to pick up some other things from other rooms and she sees that but she doesn’t know what I’m doing. Then I came back to the doorway and I said “I want you to shut your eyes now and I’ll help you turn around” I could feel that she trusted me. I took her by her shoulders and she walked the room and I said “OK, open your eyes” and she just about fainted. There wasn’t even all the things I could have done. There wasn’t enough time and I needed to get more things from other rooms. She just squealed “Oh my Gosh! That looks wonderful! How come I didn’t think of that?” she says about herself “we could have done that, we could have lived nice like this!”. She was shocked. And I said “what we did was just stage your room” – that was the very first time. It happened just like that. I knew that it worked and it worked there and I thought “OK, now the next listing I’m going to see what’s there that I could use as an analogy.
HOME STAGING IN DISNEYLAND
They had Disneyland posters all over the refrigerator and in the children’s rooms – they were planning a trip to Disneyland. So with them I used the analogy of… told them about staging and I told them what happened before. I said “Disneyland is staged, wouldn’t you say?” “Well, yeah, spotless” – there was the analogy.
In another home there were these huge posters in this teenager’s room about Hollywood, you know heroes and Batman and whatever. So I talked to the parents and the son that had been there too and shared that Hollywood stages for what you see and they can stage it messy for when they want it messy in a room, however they’re still staging the whole thing because they really want to stage it nice so that it appeals to the people watching the movie. Three times in a row the word “stage” worked.
So I started using it all the time and other people had no idea what I was doing. I attempted to explain it to a couple of people in the office and they were like “how do you get them to do this. It’s nuts” they didn’t think it would work at all. I ultimately became one of the top producers in the Seattle area and it was during the time when the interest rates were really high to get a loan – even as high as 22%. Sound insane. My listings for the houses I staged were the ones that sold because for a buyer to buy in that market it better be great. Most houses just didn’t sell. That’s how it all began Klaudia.
THE DIFFICULT BEGINNINGS OF HOME STAGING
K: That’s a beautiful story and I’m really impressed because it’s a sign of your big creativity and how you use your natural talents in real estate. That’s amazing. I think that any home stager should know this because it’s the source of our profession so it’s really nice to know that from you. What was the biggest difficulty for you at the beginning? Now it’s really popular but in the beginning you were the only person who knew about home staging.
B: B: I was the only one in the world. I was a stager all by myself, in the whole world. So what I like to say to people is “If I could do that, you can do anything” because now there are magazines, there’s the internet and back then none of this existed. I was raised by my grandfather and my grandmother as I shared and they taught me to be persistent in whatever my dreams were. I’m like a laser beam. God knows my heart. I never take my eyes off the ball.
The people who didn’t want to hear it were the other agents – sellers that really wanted to sell. I started appealing to them because they hadn’t sold like that lady’s house. I took a lot of pictures of before and after you had to take them to get printed but I was even doing that in a cellar or take them wherever they printed – they had a shop then. What would happen then is that one seller as I staged one-by-one it would sell. And then their friends say “well, you were on the market a long time before, how come you didn’t sell then?” and then they would tell them about myself, which I appreciate so much and they would tell them about staging – “what’s that?”, that’s what the friends would say. Then they would explain and I gave each couple some before and after pictures that I have printed and they became the people that helped market me because one seller would tell another seller who hadn’t sold and they would show them the pictures. I don’t even know that person yet. They would show them the pictures – smart, huh? Pictures I gave them to their friends and other neighbors and when they saw we’re gonna sell, to make sure they will get their hose sold they would call me.
Meanwhile the entire real estate industry in the United States and Canada, all of North America and the South America – no agents were interested. It was the same, into a large degree in Europe. So I have walked the walk that you are all walking. When someone says “no” to you I want you to think of me. I heard more no’s then all the stagers put together.
12 YEARS OF PERSISTENCE
B: It was amazing. It took a lot of time because I was by myself. So from 1972 till 1984, that’s 12 years, I kept fine tuning what I was doing with the next seller and the mistakes I made before I learned from them and changed them with the next seller. I do not believe in failure so those of you listening, it’s so sweet and kind and also I’m very grateful to Klaudia because I want to help you all in the industry I invented. She’s very smart. Just know that it’s one at a time and the very people you help – when you teach them and you ask them about their friends and neighbors like when I gave them the pictures and asked if they mind showing them – “of course!” – they were really proud. They were proud ‘cause they paid me a fee. They paid for it. And then one by one I kept improving what I was doing and what I said and how I said it. It took years to fine tune everything that I did. It is a God thing because in those 12 years I was not sitting and going “oh, no it’s taking too long” – why would I do that?
I looked for other people I can help that would spread the word. The agents, they didn’t know the thing to do with it. They would come to see the house that was a listing and say “how you get all the good listings and I said “you should have seen it before. It wasn’t a dream, cluttered and all that. Then I would show some agents some pictures and they would just say “no, I couldn’t do that. You must upset people” but I wasn’t upsetting anybody. The sellers loooved it! They just didn’t want to listen. Being persistent is really important.
B: I’m at my real desk in my real office and this office isn’t my home so. I love some of the things that are here. Can I turn the camera a little, do you mind?
K: Yeah! Of course, it would be really nice.
B: Do you like it?
K: It’s beautiful, staged.
B: Thank you. I like to have a sofa and chairs in an office ‘cause I can interview people in here or have meetings and I’m always restaging it, all the time. So for those 12 years that’s what I did – refine, refine, refine. The industry uses the model that I developed and it’s so fine tuned that it works. I feel that a number of stagers are doing great work, great work! And a number of stagers are not doing things the way that I would want them to, to have more business but those are classes that I will be teaching in the future. I wait around because of COVID but there is a lot to fill in the blanks because we can all move a chair.
COMMUNICATION IN HOME STAGING
It’s how do you get the business, how do you talk with people – communication is vital because even if they are not even going to like it if they don’t because what you say and how you say it is going to determine whether they liked it or not. Yeah, you know Kaludia, you know
K: OK Barb, thank you for this story. I think the best lesson for home stagers is persistence. It’s like the most important word from this story, right?
B: Well, bless your heart, it’s really important. May I add another word to that.
K: Yes, of course.
B: Two more words to that. First of all, what is your purpose? And I’m not saying that to you but I’m saying that to everyone listening. You want to know what your purpose is. Some say “well, I don’t know my purpose”. Well you need to, ideally, as you do things observe your self, observe you and begin to practice feeling what makes you the most happy and what you feel you’re really talented at ‘cause everyone has talent. Some people even say “I’m not creative” – oh, that’s ridiculous! Everybody is creative. You were given the power of creativity by God Almighty and it’s really true. What do you think you’re body’s doing? What is it doing with me while I sit here? My heart is beating, my tummy is digesting – we’re at different time frames. I eat breakfast at 8:00. You’re mind is working, it’s creating all kinds of things. It can create not good things as much as it can create great things. Really feeling in your heart your purpose. Most people that I know who become home stagers, they love it! I’ve done teaching and through teaching I always bring them up. I want to share this with you, Klaudia. This is what we all do. Anyone that believes in what I’m sharing, this is Barb’s call. It goes like this I love this business! That’s what we say. I love this business! And we do. Should you not love it, you’re in the wrong business.
K: That’s right.
PERSISTENCE, PURPOSE, AND FAITH
B: It’s really true. You feel it in your heart. So, purpose is really important and this is equally important, in fact it can even be… well, it’s right up there with purpose – believe. You must believe in you. If you don’t believe in you, why in heaven’s name would anyone else believe in you? A great question, isn’t it Klaudia?
K: Yes, of course, I agree. I say the same.
B: It’s true. So my dears we have purpose, belief, and persistence.
K: Three most important words.
B: Those words are crucial and think them all day long – “I believe, I believe, I believe in what I’m doing” and put our positive energy into the universe. The universe is so amazing. Here’s what I like to share from my heart – you get what you expect. What you expect is what you get because the universe listens. So what you want to do is look for the good, not the bad. I’ve met a ton, over a 1.300.000 people and I’ve taught 29 752 hours. Nobody in the planet has done that and it should be me with that number because I built this industry. I meet different stagers that write me or sometimes call and they’ve been in one of my programs.
I haven’t taught a class in Europe yet. The time will come hopefully. There was this girl that comes to me and says “I just get the worst sellers and they just seem to come one right after the other” “So, what do you think about the next one that’s going to come? What are you concerned about?” “Well, they’ll probably be real gruffy too” – she’s getting what she expects. She’s looking at what doesn’t work instead of really believing in what she wants and expecting great sellers to come to her. Seriously! You change your life when you change your expectations. Look for what you want, don’t look for what you don’t want. Because when you look for what you don’t want, you’re going to get it. When we do that we get the universe all mixed up. It’s going “what does this woman really want?”. You want to fel the joy, the pleasure and yes – making money, serving people and only looking for those that really want to work with you and that have the same goals – selling their house and staging it so it sells.
WHAT IS HOME STAGING
K: That’s a great sentence and not only one, a few of them. I’m really happy that we will have that in written form because it’s worth it. I was thinking about how you define home staging now – what it is and what it’s not?
B: Decorating is not home staging, design is not home staging. When you decorate or you design someone’s house you are personalizing it.
K: That’s true.
B: “We love green” or “we love yellow” – she or he says that and you take that into consideration and you bring in beautiful chairs and she loves them because they are green. We personalize when we decorate or design a house, staging is going in, working with the people either with a consultation or to do the work for them. What we do there is depersonalizing. We depersonalize because we don’t want that teddy bear collection there. Everybody will look at the teddy bears instead of looking at the room. Same has to do with almost everything in the house and some things, when it’s lived in are fine, they’re good. We may have to put them in a different room but a lot of it is too personalized. Staging is depersonalizing and design and decorating is personalizing. Does that make sense?
K: Of course.
B: That’s my definition of staging. It’s preparing a home for sale. To prepare for sale we must depersonalize it so that the buyer can imagine living there instead of looking at the teddy bears and all the quilts all over the place, and this wallpaper that’s got choo-choo engines on it and the foil and the whole deal. This is too personalized. We want to depersonalize it.
K: That’s true. That’s crucial. Thank you for this explanation.
B: It’s simple.
K: It is but a lot of people forget about it.
B: They do. Don’t overstage a house because then you start to get into that area when it becomes too cluttered. We don’t want that. When you feel in your heart “ah, this is great” – it is. When maybe a team member says “well, I think maybe we should put…” well, whose business is it? Is it her business or is it your business?
HOW TO BECOME A HOME STAGER?
K: Exactly. Many people wonder whether to become a home stager. What would you advise today’s home stagers or people who want to start? Are there people who are not suitable for it? What features must a home stager have?
B: OK, which do you want me to talk about first?
K: As you wish.
B: OK, thank you. To become a home stager you must love people. You don’t like people? You don’t want to be around people? We feel negative when they’re not listening to us… It’s not them it’s you.
So, really if you want changes you have to change you, then they’ll change. You can’t change the seller? I can’t change a seller.
Some people think, when they get married and they think about their spouse, especially women “well, I’ll change him when we get married” – oh, doesn’t work. The person has to want to change themselves. So, look for what you want and those who you want to work with. It’s a people business. That’s first – you really want to love people to be in this business.
Some people that talk about becoming stagers are like “I love houses” – that’s great I do to, I love houses! However, there won’t be a house without an owner or a seller. “Well, actually this is new”. Well there’s still one, it’s called a builder.
So, you want to help them stage? It’s all about the communication with yourself and with the owner and the agents too, that don’t believe in staging. We get them turned around one by one. You really wan to love people to become a home stager. Now, it took me, by myself from 1972 until 1999/2000 – how many years is that? Almost 20 years before some more people started to learn some more about staging in my state because I spread the word in the West Coast. East Coast didn’t know about it at all. Midwest, they didn’t know about it. I’m talking about America here. I was drip, drip, drip, drip, dripping all the time to bring people in to the concept of what staging is.
Europe was not staging, South America wasn’t, China wasn’t, you know Japan, whatever. It was happening bit by bit here. I remember, because I began to speak in 1985 professionally along the West Coast, city by city, state by state, going down the West Coast brought them on by city by city, board of realtors, giving classes for companies, that kind of thing.
It took, oh my gosh, before all of America… and you don’t have to go through this, you don’t have to! Because I already paved it all for you. So it took until, let’s see about… close to 2009 before the whole country knew the concept but that didn’t mean they were on board. Again, you don’t have to go through all that because of what’s out there, there’s books in the library, all these things. So then in about 2015 people in Europe started, God bless them, buying the books that I’d written about staging and drip, drip, drip it was, it’s being developed more and more and I’m very proud of you Kaludia for that. So, loving people and also being persistent.
Attitude is everything ‘cause you talk to someone and they go “I don’t think that will work” – if you just stop because of that well you… it’s not gonna happen for you. No, no, no, no, no, no, no… I’ve heard more then anybody on the planet and I feel this way. Every “no” takes you one step closer to “yes”.
B: So get the “no’s” out of the way and look for what you want and for people that are saying “yes”. The industry is going to continue grow, grow, grow. People don’t stop doing something that works.
HOME STAGING FAD
A reporter said to me once “Is this a fad?” “Well, let me ask you” I said to the reporter “You want to sell you house and you’ve heard about it, I’m telling you about it, you bring in one of the stagers, they stage – ah! It sells right away and for more money than you thought. Is that a fad or wouldn’t you want to do it next time you had a house to sell, too?” “Well, yeah, I guess that it’s not a fad.” Of course you would because look what happened! Which is why it’s growing, and growing, and growing all around the world. So, your future is really bright and brilliant waiting for you to get on board.
THE FUTURE OF HOME STAGING
K: How do you see the future of this profession and is this industry developing as you wished?
B: Ah, yes! Ok, yes, yes, yes. It is really true that the future is wide open. My example of that reporter is that it’s going to get bigger, and bigger, and larger, and larger until the entire planet is staging. Cause it’s getting larger and larger. What that means for you as a professional stager, each of you listening, it means that you’re going to be staging more, and more, and more houses.
Nothing can be back and now it’s halfway around the world. So you, as long as you want to be a professional stager (…) and you market yourself. You need to get out there. This is another topic but it’s a part of this. The business of staging is getting more, and more, higher and higher and the incomes people were earning were down here and up, and up, and up. I’m talking about North America especially but also I see great stagers, great ones in Europe. That are doing great things because they believe. So the future for each of you is just so bright. It’s like the sunshine.
So one by one by one when one owner has a house that was staged and sold right away, for more money, whatever it was ‘cause they either sell quicker or for more money and those are almost the same because when the house isn’t staged it sits on the market and the prices tend to go down. With staging the prices don’t tend to go down, they tend to go up. Wouldn’t the next door neighbor want to know that? And the people down the block. So it’s up to you.
HOME STAGER – ONE OF THE BEST PROFESSIONS
I’m just saying that the industry is wide open. The Wall Street Journal in the USA has said it’s one of the top 5 professions to be in because of the growth. It’s just obvious. For all of you listening, when you see where I started and now in the US – bringing the house on, it better be staged. And the sellers know that. There are those who don’t care about the money “well, whatever it sells for”, they may not stage but in San Francisco you don’t bring… San Francisco, California? You don’t bring a home on the market unless it’s staged. Do you think it was always that way? No! Nobody staged. Nobody! And now it’s expected. That’s where you’re headed in Poland. That’s where you’re headed in Germany. That’s where you’re headed in Switzerland, and Austria, and Spain, and Italy, and the list just keeps going on and on. It’s like a new restaurant. When someone eats there… and when the virus is over… and they loved it… and by the way, this is not gonna last forever.
I wrote something on Facebook last night and I would love those of you listening to just follow me – it’s free, to see what I write about staging. See what I write about attitudes ‘cause it’s… There’s 5 things that make you a great stager and really help you be successful. Number one I already said, it’s attitude. Either you have a great attitude or you don’t. Number two I marketing yourself. So you either put the word out and you’re persistent over and over, every day to teach new people about you. You should talk to 8 new people every single day. McDonald’s says, you know the restaurant, fast food says it takes 8 times, where’s 8 – right there. My fingers don’t work as well as I’d like but there we go. 8 times to get something to someone’s brain so they remember it. It’s really true. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the mother of learning. You may say to Klaudia or to me “I already talked to that person” so what? They’ve probably already forgotten. You have to keep going back again, and again, and again to call or e-mail or check how they’re doing. Being sweet, being nice. Maybe bring them the latest news on the market or a magazine or something. Drip, drip, drip… That’s how water carves a hole in a rock. So I say drip, drip, drip. You’ve got to keep drip, drip, dripping on people. Not to make a hole but to get their brain educated so they remember and have an “Aha! This staging thing is great!”. That’s already happening in Poland. Drip, drip, drip – it’s true!
You’re future is brilliant, everyone of you listening. It’s all about you. How determined are you? How persistent are you? How much do you believe in staging? How much do you believe in you? Is this your purpose? What are your purposes? What is your purpose statement or your mission statement? You should share that with people. It’s a little paragraph about why you’re doing what you’re doing. And yeah, the word love is in it. I love to help people succeed in selling their homes by staging them. Just a few sentences so people know what you stand for. I just will say over and over again, you have the brightest future and the only reason you wouldn’t is because of yourself.
K: Thank you. I’m really impressed.
B: What do you think about that, Klaudia?
K: I think it’s great what you’re saying. I’m just in shock because you’re such a friendly and supportive person. You achieved so much. I’m really impressed by your modesty, your love to people right now.
B: Thank you sweetheart, thank you. My grandparents, I shared, raised me and my grandpa – he was like a saint to me. He was just such a gentle, dear, wonderful man and he called me Barbie. He would say “Barbie, stay humble. You have talent, everyone has talent and stay humble and fulfill your dreams and mission. That’s where it came from – my grandfather. He was so wise. I adore him. I wish he was still here and he is somewhere. So anyway, sometimes the people you meet or know are there for your lifetime and sometimes they’re a dear friend and they’re there for a long period, sometimes for a short time and sometimes only to teach you a few lessons and then they’re gone.
K: Thank you Barb. It’s really true.
B: You’re welcome. It’s all about lessons.
K: Thanks a lot. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I think that every home stager should learn from you this approach to people especially, also to home staging and business but especially to people. I think that’s the key to everything you did and achieved.
HOME STAGING IS… LOVE
B: Well bless your heart, that’s so kind of you and so loving. I really feel staging is love. I really do. It’s about loving people, loving serving them, loving staging. When you really love it, everyone listening, when you really love it you say “I love this business!” ‘cause you do! Or you step back and say “Oh, I really love how it turned out”. What does the buyer say? “Oh, I love this house!” that’s what they’re saying. The seller comes back and says “That’s amazing what you did. Oh, I love it, I love it!” We all use the word love around home staging.
That’s what it’s really about and the grace that you and I use to hear and really listen to the client, to the sellers, even to someone, you know, an agent or an inspector or a neighbor who is really nice or maybe not so nice. There’s something underneath that that’s driving them not acting nice and it’s layers that we build. I believe it’s really important we really work, all of us on this planet, on building layers of love. That’s what it’s about. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it. That’s what really matters… and that’s what brings you more business.
K: Closed circle.
OK Barb, I think we will end our interview. Would you like to give any advice for Polish home stagers at the end of our interview?
B: I just love being with you. You’re such a wonderful person. You really are. You’re a wonderful woman and a wonderful stager. I believe that’s why people also want to be with you. Stagers and sellers and agents. It’s because you have the ability to bring them together, draw them together. That’s because of the love that you have inside of you. It’s really true. So, what I shared before that, I think is really what I want to leave people with for this time ‘cause we’ll do another recorded, right? There’s more to share. It is about love and it’s how much you believe in yourself and in staging and never, never, never give up! Because things are going to get better and better and will improve more. The day is coming that the average person is going to know in Poland what home staging is and you’re going to help, every single one of you that believe in making that happen. You are, you are. I love you!
K: Love you too! Thank you Barb!