In this episode, the IAHSP® EU President meets Francesca Greco, the Founder of Home Philosophy Academy. HPA’s Home Staging Course is the first European approved Course by IAHSP® EU and IAHSP® INTERNATIONAL.
Sanja Radovanovic: Francesca, please tell us how you came up with the idea of founding Home Philosophy.
Francesca Greco: Thank you for your first and challenging question. Home|Philosophy as a matter of fact is not the result of a sudden intuition, but rather the product of a transformation process that began in the early 2000s when along with my husband Gabrio Terrible we plunged into the world of real estate brokerage by joining a nationally established franchise company.
The franchisor immediately recognized the thoroughness and accuracy of our work and offered us to become a pilot training agency for new and old affiliates.
Those were the first years of the internet and technology was beginning to make its way into a field that until then had mostly seen poor and imageless advertising blurbs as the only mean of communication on main then not yet specialized newspapers or on free real estate publications.
Coming from different backgrounds, Gabrio and I wondered what could be done to improve real estate promotion both through advertisment and during properties tours.
It is at this point that my photographic and Home Staging skills, combined with Gabrio’s marketing and technical-IT skills, came together starting a fantastic adventure that in 2014 saw the birth of Home|Philosophy, the first real estate agency in Italy to introduce Home Staging, applying it to all managed properties.
This is how Home|Philosophy Academy (HPA) was born in 2015, inspired by our desire to share such enthusiasm with others and thus to improve all together. A new training project committed since the beginning to enhance the spreading of Home Staging and emotional marketing as well as the correct understanding of their usefulness in the process of matching supply and demand.
Since 2015 there have been countless and still continuing attempts to replicate our training offer and communication approach. Over the years however, several of such ventures have quickly faded away lacking the solid ultra-decennial base of experience and the splendid team of HPA which still today represents a leading voice in the world of the Home Staging training.
S.R.: What characteristics separate HPA from any other online or in-person training program in Italy?
F.G.: At Home|Philosophy Academy we are convinced that things must be done well and with the right attention to the student. We are the only Italian training program with 20 years of experience in the real estate field and over 600 properties professionally prepared in the last 6 years. We count more than 2,150 enrolments on our courses with applications coming from all over Italy.
We also adjusted to the advent of the pandemic by adding online courses, still keeping a close interaction with our students through live-only sessions and no pre-recorded videos. Of course we look forward to reintroducing in-person classes for those who prefer them as soon as the situation will be safe again.
Furthermore only our students have access to an exclusive comunity which keeps them constantly up-to-date also providing continuing support from our team.
In addition HPA is the only school approved by IAHSP® and the only one that got the patronage of IAHSP® Europe and the Order of Architects of Milan. Finally it is also the only Academy in Italy recommended by Barb Schwarz®, the creator of Home Staging and above all a special friend of ours.
S.R.: What is HP’s Mission?
F.G.: Our mission is soon said: spreading HS properly and training its best professionals.
S.R.: How large is today the gap between the available offer and the actual demand of HS services? In other words, how many professionals and former students do not work sporadically but have really made HS a source for a living?
F.G.: Also thank to HP’s ongoing promotion and communication through the media over the years, Home Staging is increasingly known, appreciated and utilised.
The number of home stagers in Italy is increasing and everyone can count on a market of 600,000 transactions per year.
For this reason several home stagers can currently count on Home Staging as a profitable job. Of course like in any other profession success is determined by individual entrepreneurial skills and commitment. It is clear that if the activity is carried out on an occasional basis, the economic results will also be more limited.
On the other hand numbers show that those who upgrade their training by attending more in-depth courses in addition to the main Home Staging program, obtain better results.
S.R.: What’s in store for HP in the medium to long term future?
F.G.: We’ll stay devoted to spreading our profession as well as protecting the whole category. For this reason we’ll keep on training new professionals and supporting those who have already started their career with meetings, advice and internships. We expect our profession to acquire its due credibility in order to be recognised as a vital support for the sale or rental of all the properties placed on the market.
S.R.: We at IAHSP® EU are aware of HP’s deep vocation to provide constant support to its students and also of its desire to make a difference. What drives you so much to donate your time and experience and what is your best wish for the students themselves?
F.G.: Since the beginning we always decided to share. Sharing experiences, knowledge, mistakes and solutions, so that our students can build up their skills and avoid missteps that may limit their success and their personal and professional fulfilment.
Because as we always like to say “IL BELLO CHIAMA IL BELLO” (Beauty brings beauty). It is our philosophy, to convey the beauty that we have received from Home Staging to those who approach this profession with passion and love.