Self-storage and home staging have more to do with one another than you may think–most families who opt for home staging will often have very urgent needs for self-storage. Because the main goal of home staging is to make a living space look inviting and habitable to any potential buyer, most home stagers work to declutter and depersonalize the homes that they are trying to sell. As such, homeowners are often advised to store their personal belongings and furniture in order to make space for the home stager’s carefully chosen decorations.
“When people are selling their homes, most of them have a lot more things than they really need,” said Paula Hobbs of Pop-Decor.com. “One of the things I do when I meet with owners is to depersonalize, declutter and arrange the remaining furniture and accessories to make the rooms flow well and look nice and tidy. I always recommend that they take a small storage unit, because we don’t want their belongings to be stored in the garage or in closets. Everything should look as organized and clean as possible for potential buyers.”
Richard Kline of The Staging Guy agreed, saying that he almost always recommends that clients relocate furniture and items from their house while still on the market.
With all of the reliance on storage, it seems that home stagers could be the biggest proponents of self-storage yet. Paula was quick to add that there are many upsides of keeping belongings in a storage space, such as making it easier for those selling their homes further down the line.
“If all of these items are already boxed and packed, it makes it easier on the homeowners when they do move to their next home, especially since so many of their belongings are ready to move. There’s no reason not to use a storage unit.”
Both Paula and Richard (and most home stagers) will go to incredible lengths to make sure their clients are satisfied. This includes having recommendations for various services in order to make clients feel cared for and to ease the stress of the transition.
“I think it’s always good to have a reference when I meet with homeowners, whether it be for plumbers or handymen,” said Paula. “It’s essential to give them as much information as I can, especially when they need storage solutions, so that I can offer them the best service.”
“I receive discounts from major retailers that recognize that I bring them business,” said Richard. “I pass on my discounts to my clients, which enables them to make needed repairs or upgrades to the property that we are trying to sell.”
With such encouragement and support for self-storage from home stagers, one would think that most facilities would clamor to partner with home stagers in order to help potential lifetime customers. After all, most people seem to think that storing in a garage or closet is the only option.
Oddly enough, however, this has not been the case. According to Richard, it has been difficult to negotiate deals or discounts for his clients with the self-storage facilities in the area.
“Only the facility that I currently use has been more flexible in their lease terms by offering a discount–for only the first month–to my clients. All others have looked at me like I have 42 heads for even suggesting that a discount be offered. If storage facilities would also offer discounts, I would be able to convince more people to remove unwanted items from the home, rather than storing in their garage.”
Both Paula and Richard’s efforts have shown that home stagers actively try to get their clients to use storage–a partnership that offers a discount to referred customers may encourage more people to store outside their garages and feel safe doing so. Additionally, first-time customers may be more likely to use storage in the future if they find that the experience was useful, easy and pleasing. They may even be valuable for recommending your facility to family or friends looking to store, who may have otherwise not considered the option. By opening yourself up to a partnership with home stagers, you also open yourself to a new customer pool, as well as facilitating loyalty among the customers that you get from home stagers.
“Even a small discount for a short term would be helpful,” said Richard. “I know I’ve had seven clients who chose not to store their items offsite– they may have done so if they felt that they were ‘getting a deal.’”
Would you ever partner with a trusty home staging business? Are there definite upsides or downsides? Sound off in the comments below!
Image courtesy of stimulrealty.com