What is Home Staging in Real Estate?
Home Staging is a vital element of the real estate industry. It is not just decorating, putting things where you think it’s best, and hoping that the design will come out great. Staging basically means preparing the home for a potential buyer. When selling a home, it is essential that the buyer feels an emotional connection to the property.
Buyers can get this connection only when the property is staged in a setting where they can imagine themselves living in the property and understand the spaces very well because of the portrayed surroundings.
Home staging involves decorating, rearranging furniture, and positioning other aesthetic strategies to help the property highlight its selling point and boost its market value. It contributes to the overall improvement of the property. Making it more appealing to as many potential buyers as possible will result in a faster and more profitable sale of the property.
Home Staging Inventory
Staging inventory is very different from the typical warehouse inventory. Every piece is moving around a lot in multiple project locations every couple of months or even weeks depending on the business size or demand.
Given this setup, it’s truly hard to keep track of where things are located, which locations have what items, which moving truck has what items, and basically track everything that goes out and goes back of the warehouse.
Common Questions home stagers may have about staging inventory
Since Home Staging became part of the norm in selling real estate properties, it has come to the attention of many stagers that inventory plays a huge role in business success.
The following are some of the inventory staging questions, especially for those who just started in this industry.
- How to store the inventory?
- How to organize staging inventory?
- What physical tools help in organizing inventory?
- What inventory system do they use to keep track of staging inventory?
How to store the Staging Inventory?
Storing the staging inventory is very important in this business because most of the time, space is limited. Not maximizing the space for inventory or disorganization may lead to some serious problems, such as the risk of needing additional investment for more storage space or items can get damaged when not stored properly.
Stagers organize and maximize their storage space by doing the following
- Stacking up chairs and tables with furniture blankets in between to avoid damages
- Hanging things on the walls
- Using restaurant shelving to maximize storage
- Use clear containers with labels for accessories such as kitchen accessories, living room accessories, etc.
- Categorizing items by type and keeping similar items by section
- Keeping items accessible to see what’s available easily
How to organize the Staging inventory?
The key to organizing the staging inventory is ensuring items are easily accessible and easily seen where they are. The first step is to group and categorize your items.
Grouping items is putting similar items together. Such as putting all art prints together on a shelf where you can effortlessly check when you need them for installation and keeping huge items such as media consoles, coffee tables, or range seatings grouped in one section or room.
Categorizing things is simply gathering items used specifically for certain sections of the property. Accessories, for example, you can put them in a container labeled with different categories such as living room, bathroom, kitchen accessories, and so on.
How to manage and keep track of your Inventory?
Given the nature of this business, you can easily lose track of your Staging items particularly when peak seasons, and you have multiple staging projects simultaneously. How do you check which items are installed in which project? How many furniture or chairs do you have left in your warehouse available for a new project?
This is where a suitable inventory tracking system will come in handy. Some uses excel in tracking inventory which is very good when you’re business is at the starting phase. When it starts to grow, you’ll see some of the limitations it can do. It can limit to single-person use, has a high risk of human error, and has no activity or transaction history that is inducive to having accountability.
A Staging Inventory Management System, on the other hand, can do a lot of things. The following are things an inventory system can do.
Important Features a Staging Inventory Management System must have
A product catalog is the list of all items in your inventory. It’s not necessarily part of the inventory but this contains all the product information such as price, description, specification, weight, size, and so on.
This is very helpful in organizing your inventory to easily identify every item you may have. You can either add or remove specifications depending on what information you need for business operations. Below are some of the essential fields you must have in your inventory:
- Price field. Determines the original value of the item, essential when reporting a loss, or damage in times of a disaster.
- Purchase date. It can be used reference to calculate your item’s potential value when you decide to sell. Remember, trends and preferences change almost every day in every market so we can’t keep the same furniture and fixtures forever.
- Product description. It helps you quickly identify items by their characteristics such as color, size, and category
You should be able to download a report especially when it’s time to pack up the things you installed in a specific project. Having a report like this is like having a checklist to make sure that everything installed for a certain project is coming back to your warehouse.
Transaction or Activity History
Staging inventory is very dynamic. There are times that many people need to move things around for different projects making it hard to keep track of which items are being checked out by who, or which items are being placed for what project. Having an inventory system that can track the user’s transactions such as the items that have been checked out, when, and to what project they were installed is the key to having everything accounted for.
Attaching pictures and other files
Having pictures of your items installed into a certain staging project can also help you file claims in case of fire or a disaster. You should be able to keep this in your inventory as well. Another perk of this is being able to install pictures of your items in your product catalog. This can help staging designers easily look for things and they won’t need to roam around the warehouse to pick which items to put in a project.