Stagers-Organizers-Re-Designers OH MY!! Tips #3-5 Finding The Right Person For The Job




One of the things that reinforced my decision to create my own business back in 2007 were the questionable people and practices already in place. 

The HGTV shows with sniping relatives, and (many) poor design choices, projects with totally unrealistic budgets and time constraints. Then the real-life experiences from agents, clients and tradespeople with loopy, militant, unnecessarily dramatic, and just plain rude, inconsiderate people (I know, how do I really feel?!).

 In the weeks and months to come SO many will be coming into the housing market for either the first time-or for the first time in a long time, some thoughts to consider before hiring someone to help you:

First, don’t rely on titles, for many reasons, start conversations with home professionals of different backgrounds.  Ask them to describe what they do in real terms, using nouns and verbs-not titles.

Second-because many projects change as they develop, what is their range, how does it work, can they work within any constraints you may have? 

Last, you want to know the nature of the person who’ll be in your house.  Rarely is a job just about the task…it’s also about the people you work with during the job.  These last three tips are pretty subjective, but guess what? You are writing the checks, and it’s your space, your life, your stuff. It’s an important part of the experience, and you get to choose.

Similar in nature, but important enough to be considered separately:

3. Do they play well with others?  Are they realistic about their abilities, and are they respectful of others?

4. Do you trust them? Will they help you make the best decisions, based on your needs and goals?

5. Do you like them?  Work in your space, with your stuff is intrusive under the best of circumstances. Why wouldn’t you consider this?

With the recent turnaround, I see some contractors in our area reverting, scrambling to make up for lost time, over-promising and over-extending themselves in the process.

 Find out what their last half-dozen projects entailed, and if your needs are substantially different, how they will get your project done. You could be catching them on the cusp of a growth spurt, which is OK if they have a plan….or catching someone who’s just looking for an income stream and will say anything, or under-bid, just to get in the door.

Ask for references, not just from past clients, but from others in the trades that they have worked with. Almost anyone can manage to put on a nice face for a client, but other tradespeople can add great insight: were they organized and clear in their communication? Were appointments kept, were deadlines met, were they respectful of their time, and their crews?

Stagers and organizers  have the unwelcome task of trying to pry people away from their stuff and ideas, it just comes with the territory.

Phil Faranda, broker-owner of J Philip Real Estate in Briarcliff told me about his first experience working with a Stager: Probably a recent online-graduate, she brought his seller to tears by insisting a single wedding picture of her son-innocuously placed on a side wall-had to go. A real professional will get the job done, but a good one will leave their ego at the door, and knows how to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

So yes-FAIR AND NICE count.  You should also BELIEVE this person has your best interests at heart and YES,  LIKING them should be on your gotta-have list as well.  You will thank me, or even better, maybe you’ll START A CONVERSATION with me!