Sunday, February 19, 2012

Earn CSP Home Staging Certification with RESA 2012 Pro Stager of the Year

With so many choices of home staging training available, how do you know which one to choose?
It’s easy to shop for the lowest price or the quick and easy routes. But generally speaking, in any purchase you make, “you get what you pay for.”
Invest in top value and train with the leaders in the industry.
Certified Staging Professionals is the leading home staging training program and is accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association. President and founder, Christine Rae, an internationally respected home staging authority and best selling-author, was recently honored with RESA’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the home staging industry. The CSP designation is recognized as a brand of excellence.
In my opinion, on-line training cannot possibly provide a comparable learning experience. Having an instructor, who is a successful home staging business owner, offers countless opportunities for one-on-one attention and numerous additional learning benefits.
I was recently honored by the membership of the Real Estate Staging Association as RESA’s 2012 Professional Stager of the Year. As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., I have collaborated with home sellers and real estate agents on the staging of over $600 million in real estate. Before relocating to the U.S. I was an award-winning university lecturer in Montreal and now as a CSP instructor, I am fortunate to be able to combine my love for teaching and home staging.
Here’s what my trainees say:
“Nairn is a superior teacher. She is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and creative. She communicates clearly and encourages questions. She is challenging but very encouraging. She is the consummate professional. As a college professor myself, I can assure you, she is top of the scale in effectiveness.” P.Ponzi
” Your generosity with your knowledge and training was enormous. You are truly a great teacher. There are a lot of people out there with knowledge, but not all can teach. We were very fortunate to have you as our trainer.” W. Trautwein
“You were the best instructor I could have asked for. You are imminently qualified, the personification of professional, a generous and natural teacher and an inspiring example of how to run a successful staging business. Your future students are in very good hands with you.” M. Lavery-Smith
My upcoming classes:
March 24-26: New York, NY. Come to NYC and enjoy a few extra days as a tourist
April 18-20: Purchase College, Purchase, NY
April 28-30: Hartford, CT
May 14-16: Montreal, QC
In addition, CSP trainees benefit immensely from a shared learning experience with other creative stagers and the hands-on component of the training is invaluable. And the CSP training includes so much more than a 3-day experience.
The Marketing Resources provided are incomparable in the industry. These resources include: 4 page website, complimentary (and already set up) weblog account. The graduates of the CSP program have a wealth of marketing tips and home staging resources at their fingertips in the CSP Resource Center. Other outstanding differences of the CSP program are the many after class support programs and opportunities available only to the CSP Members including CSP Marketing Advantage Camp (12 sessions, 6 week webinar with a marketing coach).
For more information, get your free information package.
Contact: 1-888-STAGING or nairn@ingenuitypizzazz.com

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

New York City Home Stager, Nairn Friemann, Honored as RESA 2012 Professional Stager of the Year

New York, NY. February 9, 2012: Nairn Friemann, President of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc. in New York City, and Certified Staging Professionals Instructor, was selected as the RESA 2012 Professional Stager of the Year. The RESA Professional Stager award was presented by the membership of the Real Estate Staging Association at the 2012 International Home Staging Convention awards banquet on February 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I am so excited and appreciative to receive this prestigious award. It is also so gratifying to see how far our home staging industry has come in the past ten years!” said Friemann in accepting the RESA honor.

RESA recognized home staging professionals in chapter, state and regional leadership positions. Professional home stagers in 5 regions throughout North America received awards in both Rookie Stager of the Year and Professional Stager of the Year categories. RESA also recognized a Staging Realtor of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Product of the Year and several other categories.

“Nairn Friemann was selected by her home staging industry peers and we are honored that Nairn has been recognized for her contributions to our industry”, said Shell Brodnax, President/CEO of RESA.

As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., one of New York City's top home staging companies, Nairn has collaborated with sellers and agents on the staging of over $600 million in real estate. “My specialty is transforming the ordinary to extraordinary with my ingenuity and pizzazz, but my focus is always on results – achieving a quick and profitable sale for my clients! I offer a full menu of home staging services and customized action plans to support each client’s budget and needs. My clients have called me a magician and miracle worker, but I know the magic and miracles happen because of my talent, professional training, extensive experience, high standards and very hard work.”

“It is also my pleasure to be able to share my expertise with hundreds of new home stagers, as an instructor for Certified Staging Professionals, the leading home staging training program. Nairn offers CSP home staging training classes in New York City, at Brookdale College in New Jersey, at Purchase College in Purchase, NY, in Connecticut and in Montreal.

At left, Nairn Friemann with RESA 2012 Professional Stager of the Year Awards and Christine Rae, President of Certified Staging Professionals, at the RESA Convention in Las Vegas.

For more information about Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc. visit www.ingenuitypizzazz.com and contact nairn@ingenuitypizzazz.com or 917-952-4669.

For more information about Nairn Friemann’s Certified Staging Professionals home staging training classes and webinars, visit www.stagingtraining.com and www.ingenuitypizzazz.com and call 1-888-STAGING.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

What Real Estate Agents Say about Home Staging: Out vs In

The key word for selling real estate in 2012 is CHALLENGING. No one, including the experts, can predict how the market will fare in the next 12 months. While the health of the economy and regional markets, and location and size of properties are outside the control of agents and sellers, three factors are discretionary and must be expertly managed to ensure a successful sale:


Increasingly, savvy real estate agents are realizing that having professional home stagers on their teams is the best way to increase their marketing effectiveness and success. When staged listings sell faster and for more than the comps that are not staged, agents and their real estate companies benefit from higher commissions, reduced marketing expenses, increased profitability, increased client satisfaction and increased referrals. Success breeds success.

In addition, collaborating with a home staging expert, who can handle a staging project from consultation through to completion, frees up an agent's time to focus on what they do best - list and sell properties and find homes for their buyers. For the home seller, agent and real estate company, professional home staging is a win-win-win marketing strategy. Unfortunately, some real estate agents still do not appreciate the value and necessity of professional home staging. But in 2012, staging is no longer optional, according to real estate guru, Barbara Corcoran. Here's what real estate agents say about staging -Out vs In.



"Staging costs too much"

"Staging is a short-term, high yield investment."

"Staging wastes too much time."

"Staging saves time by reducing days on the market."

"Staging is fluffing."

"Staging is savvy marketing."

"My listings always sell… eventually."

"My listings sell higher and faster than the competition."

"Why would I pay for a consultation?"

"Investing in consultations helps me sell listings."

"I won't offend my seller by suggesting staging."

"I win listings by having a pro stager on my team."

"I do my own staging."

"I focus on listing and selling."

"Staging is just for vacants."

"All properties benefit from some degree of staging."

"What's a stager?"

"My staging pro is an indispensable member of my team."

As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., I have collaborated with agents and sellers on the staging and sale of over $600 million in real estate. It is such a pleasure to work with savvy real estate agents, who embrace the "IN" attitude.

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Certified Staging Professionals Home Staging Training Provides Mentoring and Networking Opportunities for Alumni

When considering a new career in home staging, a comparison of numerous professional training options can seem overwhelming. To make the choice far simpler, I highly recommend comparing value vs price. No other home staging training in the industry provides the quality of trainers, classroom experience, resources, continuing ed learning and after training support as Certified Staging Professionals. Just one reason to invest in a program with classroom and hands-on staging training is the benefit of meeting and learning from and with other people vs studying alone at home. The learning experience is heightened and so is the enjoyment. In our CSP classes, trainees become instant colleagues and camaraderie abounds. Many become friends and collaborate on staging projects. CSP is renowned for its staging mentorship program and many of our CSPs receive invaluable experience working and staying connected with other CSP stagers.

I recently hosted a mentoring day in New York City for alumni from my Brookdale College, Purchase College and NYC classes. We spent time at Churchill Furniture Rental, meeting the reps, reviewing the inventory and discussing vacant staging issues. Then we did a tour of the NYC flower market and I introduced them to my wholesalers. We finished up with a late lunch and lots of Q + A about staging.

As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc.,I have collaborated with agents and homeowners on the staging and sale of over $600 million in real estate. This year I am honored to be a finalist for the Real Estate Staging Association’s 2012 Pro Stager of the Year Award. I am so pleased to share my diverse experience with all my trainees. In addition to the valuable learning experience, the CSPs all told me how much they enjoyed meeting these other stagers from Connecticut, New Jersey and NYC and how they planned to stay connected.

CSP Alumni Enjoy Mentoring Day and NYC Flower Market

“Yesterday was fabulous. The information and the camaraderie were flowing like a spring. Thank you for your generosity and good will. You continue to be an inspiration to me and others. I loved being with other stagers. They were inspiring and fun people. Thank you again. I loved every moment of the day.”

Dolores Curley

“I wanted to again thank you for hosting and coordinating your mentoring day last week. It is a sign of a true professional when you take the time out of your busy day to mentor folks just starting in the business. I appreciate the local insights you provided as well as the chance to make new acquaintances and network.”

Lori Ann Cerullo

“Thank you for setting up the wonderful Staging and networking day! Very fulfilling- In addition, great to meet so many talented people.”

Marie-Elena Waldrip

For more information on Nairn Friemann’s upcoming CSP training classes visit www.stagingtraining.com and www.ingenuitypizzazz.com

January 7-9: New York, NY

Feb. 20-22: Montreal, QC

March 12-15: Brookdale College, Lincroft, NJ

March 24-26: New York, NY

April 18-20: Purchase College, Purchase, NY

April 28-30: Hartford, CT

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Five Common Costly Mistakes Made by Untrained Home Staging Consultants

Selling a home is never easy.However, the challenges today seem overwhelming to most sellers.The main criteria for selling real estate have always been location, size, and price but never before have presentation and condition been as important as they are today. 95% of buyers are shopping first on the Internet and “driving-by” properties in a “click.” Without a doubt, appealing website photos are the key to attracting buyer traffic. Visiting the property, buyers form first and lasting impressions within seconds. 90% of the population cannot visualize and base their judgments solely on what they see and how they feel, and research is proving that emotions play a much larger part of the decision making process than previously assumed.

In this tough market, buyers are also demanding and getting best value, so properties that are in good condition sell faster and for money. According to Barbara Corcoran, for every $1 a home seller does not invest in condition work, a buyer will deduct at least $3. Most buyers today are putting their full investment into the purchase price of the home and don’t have extra money for any major work. In addition, the majority of buyers do not have the time or the desire for renovation.

As professional home stagers, we cannot influence location, size and price factors. Our role is to collaborate with agents and home sellers to prepare properties for the marketplace to sell for top dollar as quickly as possible. This is impossible without thorough attention to condition issues and enhanced presentation. A successful staging process begins with a professional analytical consultation that includes specific recommendations for the homeowner. It is our responsibility not only to tell the seller what they need to do but also to make sure they understand the importance of staging and to motivate them to follow through with the recommendations. Otherwise, they will not achieve their objectives of selling quickly and for top dollar. In fact they may not be able to sell at all.

With so much at stake for home sellers, the staging consultation is critical to the preparation and marketing of the property. The expert advice trained staging consultants provide has significant financial importance. That is why real estate agents and home sellers should invest in trained professional home staging consultants. Unfortunately, many “stagers” are not trained and make serious mistakes that can be extremely costly to the home sellers. When the staging process is ineffective this can lead to longer time on the market, increased carrying costs for the seller, reduced selling price and increased stress. These are all extremely costly consequences for a home seller.

Here are five common costly mistakes made by untrained staging consultants:

1) They give away free consultations:

My view of this is “you get what you pay for.” Trained professional stagers understand the critical importance of the consultation as the first step in the staging process. They provide comprehensive room-by-room assessments and thorough, prioritized recommendations. They counsel, explain and motivate homeowners to invest in what needs to be done. The consultation should be value-rich.

Free consultations are generally “meet and greet” with some general information about the benefits of staging. They are superficial and fail to capitalize on this opportunity to address all the important staging issues of the property. In many cases the lack of attention to detail and other omissions can lead to ineffective staging, longer time on the market and reduced selling prices.

2) They provide decorating advice versus marketing strategy:

Trained professional stagers know that staging is not decorating – it’s marketing. A room can be beautifully decorated, but fail from a staging perspective. Our focus is on showcasing the best features of the property, making rooms look as bright and spacious as possible and creating buyer appeal and wow impact. Our work is strategic, always considering the buyers’ preferences and the camera’s eye. Even if someone is a talented decorator, they may not be qualified to give you professional staging advice.

3) They perform check-list style assessments but don’t analyze and prioritize recommendations.

This really demonstrates the level of expertise of your consultant. The room- by-room assessment is just the beginning – it is simply information gathering. Identifying the key strengths of the property, and analyzing and prioritizing recommendations in respect to market trends, buyers’ wish lists, and budget issues provides the homeowner with a clear understanding of not only what has to be done but why these actions are so important. This expert consulting advice helps sellers make the best financial decisions.

4) They don’t know how to handle sensitive issues so avoid them.

Mastering the art of difficult conversations with home sellers is a key skill for professional home stagers. We are trained to address sensitive issues with home sellers and understand that it is imperative for us to do so. One strong negative impression can override a list of positive factors and prevent a sale. These sensitive issues can include odors, cleanliness problems, unattractive and dated décor, clutter, an abundance of religious items, provocative art, etc. A lack of understanding and or skill in handling these issues is not an excuse and avoiding them can be a very costly mistake.

5) They fail to motivate the client with an action plan.
Professional home stagers know that it is not enough just to tell home sellers what they need to do. The true test of an effective consultation is that the consultant has been able to motivate the sellers to follow through with the recommendations. Trained staging consultants understand that the staging recommendations may seem overwhelming to their clients, but by outlining a feasible action plan, they will inspire confidence and demonstrate their ability to help with some or all of the process. Trained professional home stagers are serious business owners who are experts at consulting, design planning, problem solving, project management and showcasing. A home seller is far more likely to get the best advice, follow through with the necessary staging process and succeed at selling faster for top dollar if they invest in a consultation with a trained staging professional.

Nairn Friemann, MBA, is a Certified Staging Professional and Instructor. As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., one of New York City’s leading home staging companies, she has collaborated with agents and home sellers on the staging and marketing of over $600 million in real estate. A nominee for the Real Estate Staging Association’s 2010 Pro Stager of the Year Award, Nairn has received exceptional media attention including the CBS Early Show, CNN, Dow Jones Market Watch, Business Week, the New York Times, New York Living, Staging for Dummies and others. As an instructor for Certified Staging Professionals, Nairn draws on her extensive staging and award-winning teaching experience. Nairn teaches the 3-Day CSP program in the U.S. and Canada and shares her signature, 10 step program for “Mastering the Art of Difficult Conversations with Home Sellers” in her popular webinar.

“Another outstanding webinar from Nairn. I’m happy to have had another opportunity to learn from her breadth of knowledge and experience. I had to look back at my receipt to see if I really only pay $49 dollars for this webinar because what I got in return was a steal. Every single slide was packed with invaluable advice, and I came away with a whole new perspective and awareness of how I should conduct my consultations going forward. I might sign up for it again in a few months to make sure I’m on track.”
Susi Pereira, Well Dressed Home

“I thoroughly enjoyed your Webinar. It was motivating and very easy to follow. I was able to take down excellent notes. These are wonderful guidelines which I will review frequently. You are an excellent speaker and know why you were an award winning professor at Concordia. Signing up for your Webinar was well worth my INVESTMENT……Many thanks.”
Jane Chisholm, JC Creations.

For more information on Certified Staging Professionals training http://http//www.stagingtraining.com/request_information.php

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Home Stagers, Do You Want to Grow Your Business and Increase Your Profitablity?

The key to success in the home staging business starts with your expertise in the consulting phase. Having talent and knowing what home sellers need to do is frankly, just not enough to guarantee business success. How you present yourself and your recommendations will determine your effectiveness. After all, it isn’t enough just to tell sellers what they should do, to be truly effective your recommendations should lead to implementation and a successful sale. This requires a set of skills that can be learned and honed with practice.

Increasing your consulting expertise will lead to committed business relationships with savvy real estate agents, who will truly appreciate the value you bring to their marketing team and who will bring you in on every new listing. As we all know, every listing benefits from some degree of staging. This will instantly increase your consulting income. As an effective consultant you will also have the opportunity to provide support to your sellers with additional project management and showcasing services as they implement your recommendations. In addition, on many of these jobs you will be able to increase your income by renting your staging inventory, which becomes income while you sleep. The bottom line is you will significantly increase your volume of consultations and exposure to potential full staging projects. Success breeds success, and increasing the volume of contacts with home sellers is the key.

As president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc. I have collaborated with agents and home sellers on the staging of over $600 million of real estate. I attribute much of my success to my consulting expertise and the business relationships I have with a core group of loyal agents – many of whom pay for my consultation as a value-added service for their clients. These agents know that I can deal with all sensitive issues in a professional manner and leave the “selling of staging” to me.
These consultations are often very challenging, as any home stager well knows. But as difficult as some issues may be, it is our responsibility to tell home sellers what they need to hear. We are not there to compliment or criticize their decorating – our objectives should be totally focused on helping them sell their most valuable asset for as much money as possible as quickly as possible.
Over my many years in this business, I have developed a signature system for “Mastering the Art of Difficult Conversations with Home Sellers.” Successful communication is an art but it is one that can be learned and practiced and perfected.

As a senior instructor for Certified Staging Professionals, the leading home staging training program, I am now able to share my signature-system with other home stagers in my new continuing ed monthly webinar. I am also developing a workshop that will include one-on-one coaching.

Just a few testimonials:

“Another outstanding webinar from Nairn! I’m happy to have had another opportunity to learn from her breadth of knowledge and experience. I had to look back at my receipt to see if I really only pay $49 dollars for this webinar because what I got in return was a steal. Every single slide was packed with invaluable advice, and I came away with a whole new perspective and awareness of how I should conduct my consultations going forward. I might sign up for it again in a few months to make sure I’m on track.”
Susi Pereira, Well Dressed Home

“I thoroughly enjoyed your Webinar just now. It was motivating and very easy to follow. I was able to take down excellent notes. These are wonderful guidelines which I will review frequently.You are an excellent speaker and know why you were an award winning professor at Concordia. Signing up for your Webinar was well worth my INVESTMENT……Many thanks.”
Jane Chisholm, JC Creations Inc.

“Great webinar! Very informative. I would refer anyone.”
Melody Eeuwes, Signature Design

Summer is a great time to invest in additional training. In this slow recovering economy, there will be increased business opportunity for effective and successful home stagers. Experts like Barbara Corcoran and AOL Money are advising sellers to hire a home stager to Sell Faster in a Tough Market. Will you be ready to capitalize on this market opportunity and increase your sales and profitability?
For more information, go to http://www.stagingtraining.com/class_dates.php?program_type=27 or contact nairn@ingenuitypizzazz.com.

And check out the other great continuing ed opportunities Certified Staging Professionals has to offer!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home Sellers Beware! What your Agent Isn’t Telling You about Home Staging Can Cost You Tens of Thousands of Dollars and Even More!

As one of New York City’s top stagers and president of Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc., I have collaborated with sellers and agents on the staging and marketing of over $600 million in real estate. I believe passionately that every property, regardless of location, size or price point, benefits from some degree of staging. After all, staging, simply stated, is the process of preparing a property for sale. Depending on the condition of the property, this can include editing, cleaning and window washing, painting, removal of carpeting, floor work, repairs, staging and showcasing with the homeowners’ furnishings and/or rental or newly purchased items.

It continues to amaze me that some agents still don’t fully understand the importance of staging all their properties – surely it’s their responsibility to their clients to represent their best financial interests. And yet many still don’t even bring up the topic of staging because:

– they are fearful of upsetting their clients,
– they don’t know how or when to introduce the topic of staging
– they truly don’t understand the benefits of staging and the costs of not staging

Sorry, but no more excuses! Fear or a lack of understanding is just not an acceptable reason for not addressing important staging issues with home sellers. Agents need to stop thinking about staging as a “negative” topic. Of course if agents present staging in a negative way,sellers are going to react accordingly. Instead, we recommend that staging is introduced as an integral part of a winning marketing strategy. Agents can offer their clients a professional staging consultation with their Certified Staging Professional as a value added service. This is the best way for an agent to introduce staging to their clients. We are the experts and we understand that staging is not an expense but the best short-term investment a home seller can make.

We know that staging works, but the best indicators are proven when an unstaged listing has lingered for months without selling. The agent loses the listing for lack of success, which is unfortunate for the agent, of course. But what is even more unfortunate is the significant financial loss suffered by the home seller. Monthly carrying costs for mortgages, taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc. are a burden for most homeowners. When a property doesn’t sell these are truly expenses and represent significant losses in the tens of thousands of dollars. And this does not even include the ramifications of the emotional distress!

Next the seller signs with a new agent, who insists that the only way they can sell quickly and for top dollar is to “stage.” Just think about the process in terms of Economic Theory 101. An entrepreneur is about to launch a new product into a highly competitive market, but the product is damaged and the packaging is dated and unattractive. What is the only way that product will sell (if at all)?….at a DISCOUNT of course. And for home owners selling their most valuable asset, this discount, compounded with increased carrying costs, represents significant financial loss that they will never be able to earn back. Savvy agents won’t risk this because they know they should do what is best for all their clients. And this includes small and large properties,owner occupied and vacant, high-end and less expensive ones too, because every seller deserves the opportunity to sell for top dollar as quickly as possible.

Here are just three examples of our recent success stories:

Upper West side $4 Million, owner-occupied 3-bedroom Condo. The property wasn’t getting a positive response from buyers in spite of great location and move-in condition, because the furnishings were “tired” and the furniture layout was not optimal. The Brown Harris agent advised the sellers to invest in staging to upgrade the furnishings and appeal of the apt. We recommended editing some of the current furnishings and staged with a combination of some rental furnishings and some additional new, contemporary higher-end purchases. When the apartment went back on the market, the first people who saw it, bought it!

Upper West side $1.340 Million, 2-bedroom, owner-occupied co-op had not sold. When Deanna Kory of Corcoran took over the listing, she advised the sellers to invest in staging. We worked with the family to purchase some new living room and dining room furnishings and showcased their apartment on a small budget. At the first open house, just four days after going to market, the co-op sold!

Sutton Place $1.1 Million, 2-bedroom, vacant co-op had lingered for 6 months without a sale. Mary Ann Fusco of Douglas Elliman took over the listing and brought us in to stage. We recommended painting, removal of some of the existing furnishings and a short-term investment in rental furnishings. The sellers agreed and we staged and showcased the freshly painted apartment, which sold in 2 weeks with multiple offers.

Staging works. Never before have presentation and condition been as important to the sale of real estate as they are today. Every home seller deserves to get the best marketing advice for the sale of their most valuable asset and the marketing process needs to begin with a comprehensive and thorough home staging consultation.

If your agent is not advising you to home stage your apartment to achieve a profitable and quick sale (and in some cases to sell at all) they are not saving you money. They are costing you tens of thousands of dollars, and maybe even more!

For more information about my services, please visit www.ingenuitypizzazz.com or contact me at nairn@ingenuitypizzazz.com. If you are interested in becoming a professional home stager, I am a senior instructor for the Certified Staging Professionals 3-day program in the U.S, and Canada. I also share my 10 step signature system for “Mastering the Art of Difficult Conversations with Home Sellers” in monthly CSP webinars. For more information call 1-888-Staging or request a free INFO package.

Nairn Friemann, MBA
Certified Stagng Professional and Instructor
Ingenuity & Pizzazz, Inc.

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