Last week, I travelled from Waterloo to Las Vegas to attend the North American Real Estate Staging Association’s (RESA) annual home staging convention. This convention is put together by RESA in order to provide continuing education, support and inspiration to the thousands of home stagers who are currently members of this wonderful organization. In an industry which is not regulated, RESA provides its members with a way to improve their business practices and overall professionalism as well as form connections with other home stagers across the country. At the awards dinner, I am proud to say that I was honored with the Canadian Professional Stager of the Year Award – an award I accepted on behalf of my company Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. My partner Alana Merritt, was ecstatic after receiving the news. Our collaborative staging efforts have brought home a very prestigious award to the growing cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
Prior to the convention, RESA holds nominations for different awards which then have to be voted on by all the members as well as an expert panel of judges before the winners are announced at the conference. Depending on the award, there are different criteria that the winners have to meet. The criteria ranges from overall design work to professionalism, business ethics, social media skills, involvement with RESA .. and much more. Essentially, the winners selected are top professionals in their category who are both outstanding staging professionals and savvy business people.
I am giving you all this background so that you understand why RESA and these awards are so important to our industry. Home stagers all across the world have struggled and continue to struggle to educate home owners and realtors about the value of their services in an effort to be taken just as seriously as other design professionals. The staging jobs we do maximize a property’s potential resulting in our clients making the most of the biggest investment they own. This is as important – if not more so – than any other type of design job and the professionals who are members of RESA and who have taken staging courses deserve to be respected for the job they do. Many of us have stories of how our staging efforts have changed lives – for the better – for families and we cherish those stories.
For Alana and myself, this award is even more bittersweet. In the three years we have been in business, we have had to deal with tragedy and overcome it in order to be as successful as we are today. We could have folded our business early on however we decided we were going to persevere and today we have the amazing title of Canadian Professional Home Stager of the Year. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support of our families, the incredible loyalty of the realtors and clients we have worked with and last, but not definitely not least, RESA. To all of you we give a very heart-felt ‘thank you’ for your support, faith and loyalty – we couldn’t have achieved this without you.
For aspiring stagers (and we are contacted by many every week) we encourage you to check out RESA to see all it has to offer you and your growing home staging business.