Last week Alana and I traveled to Las Vegas to attend the annual RESA conference. This is our second time attending together as a team and as usual, we had a fabulous time. If you have never been to a RESA conference, you are missing out – it’s jam packed with lots of great seminars, guest speakers and networking opportunities with other industry professionals.
One of the strongest take aways we got was how specific and targeted staging is getting. Matthew Finlayson, who is best known for role on the HGTV show The Stagers and an industry professional gave a very interesting seminar on how it’s important these days not to just broaden a home’s appeal – but to target specific buyers and tell a story they want to hear. He stressed that staging a home was not about making it pretty – it was about selling real estate so every item that makes it into the final design should be a part of a cohesive overall story that speaks to your target demographics. This is where the staging industry is heading – we have heard the phrase lifestyle staging from many people but this is what it means. It’s all about ensuring the home tells a story buyers want to hear.
Another great topic that many people touched on was the power of information – specifically statistics. For many stagers who have a hard time getting realtors and home owners to take them seriously, this is important stuff. Statistics, facts – information – empowers. The more empowered a stager feels, the more definitively he or she will address issues within the home. Here in Canada it’s difficult getting the statistics that many of the speakers were talking about as they are readily available to stagers in the U.S on certain real estate sites like Redfin or Zillow. If and when we do get similar sites, this is one thing we will be sure to utilize consistently so we can then help our clients even more.
We learned from Christine Rae some great statistics that we thought we would share:
- 96% of people shop online before ever visiting a home
- Baby boomers have more wealth than any other generation in history
- Single home owners are primarily women with little time or money – and they want everything now
- Women make 85% of the decisions and have 95% veto power when it comes to any type of decision
- Gen Y are echo boomers who want a return to family values. They have an effortless style and have no time to decorate
- ALL of these people value QUALITY over PRICE
- Younger buyers are less skilled than their parents generation and less able to see projects through. This generation has more money than their parents did and are willing to invest in their homes to improve the overall value
- The emerging buyer places considerable value on free time – they eat out more, travel and want to spend time with family & friends. They want to do less at home and will therefore pay more money for a home which supports that lifestyle
- Outdoor living spaces are HUGE and have a great return on investment (130% ROI)
Probably the best learning we did was through networking with other industry professionals. The people were what made this week so memorable for us and we are excited about the friendships we have fostered. Our local RESA Chapter was well represented and it was awesome to see the Canadian influence in the group because we make up a huge part of the RESA organization!
Alana and I also managed to get some great sight seeing in as well. We had a fabulous time seeing David Copperfield, visiting the Sharks at the Aquarium and even going on a ghost tour through the most haunted spots in Vegas! We ate at some pretty fabulous restaurants and bought lots of purses (3 – between the two of us and they are delicious!!) and some cute souvenirs. We also encountered some interesting characters up and down the strip and of course had to get our pictures taken with them!
Last but definitely not least, we were happy to be recognized as one of the Top 5 Home Staging Companies in North America and also have one of our staging designs placed in the Top 10! We heartily congratulate the other winners who deserve the recognition for the hard work they do and the fabulous results they achieve.
RESA conferences are always a great investment in your business and we can’t wait to implement all the tips and suggestions we were given to help make our business run better. We also want to say thank you to Shell Brodnax, Kathy Nielson, the presenters and volunteers who made this RESA conference a reality. The amount of behind the scenes work that goes on to make these events run smoothly is enormous so we extend our thanks and gratitude to these dynamic people who make this event so memorable for so many.