AROUND TOWN: Staging business nominated for awards

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
Kathryn Swan

Today, I am deviating from my usual writing style (where I share a one-on-one interview) because this column is about my daughter, Kimberly, and me.

Shortly after I took early retirement from Phillips Petroleum Co., Kimberly announced she was interested in pursuing a career in the home staging industry. I thought this was a good fit for her, particularly since is a Marketing major and is very creative. I also thought it might be fun to do something together. In June of 2009, we both earned our Accredited Staging Professional accreditation and officially launched 2 Swans A-Staging, recently rebranded as Staging Oklahoma.

Our first staged home sold in eight days. Our second home sold in four hours, earning us the distinction of Premier ASP. Most recently, we earned our Accredited Staging Professional Master. Kimberly and I are also proud members of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals and are Oklahoma’s only Lifetime Premier ASPM.

This past Friday, Jennie Norris, president and CEO of Staged Homes and IAHSP, announced that our industry peers had nominated us for three prestigious IAHSP Awards — staging excellence, customer service and industry leadership. We proudly join nominees from across the continental U.S., Canada and Europe.

Kimberly and I are humbled by this recognition and pledge to do our best to promote our incredible industry by upholding the strict ethics and guidelines held by all.

As master stagers, Kimberly and I have studied, learned and truly mastered the proven and powerful techniques of staging homes. We join an elite group of less than 200 ASPM’s throughout the world, providing our clients with a value added service and market differentiator.

Home staging is an art that California Real Estate Professional Barb Schwarz created in 1972 when she coined the term “staging” to refer to the process of preparing a home for sale. Her idea created a brand new industry that continues to flourish and grow in momentum as sellers and Realtors are educated on the benefits of staging.

Typical home buyers decide if they are attracted to a home within the first 7-10 seconds. Only 10 percent can actually visualize the potential of a home. Our mission is to create a first impression where the buyer can envision living in the home during those first critical moments of viewing the property. The simplicity of our staging is to showcase each room’s features — not the “stuff” in the room, accentuating the property’s strengths and detracting its weaknesses. Staging is similar to detailing a car — making sure the property (now a commodity) is in pristine condition.

Staging is about setting an emotional environment. Leaving the property vacant allows buyers to focus on the home’s flaws. Staged homes give the seller an advantage over the competition since they typically sell faster and frequently for more money than non-staged homes.

Since 2010, Staging Oklahoma has staged and/or consulted on properties totaling nearly 415,000 square feet and valued at almost $43 million. The National Average for Days on Market for nonstaged homes is 84.6 days. The National Average for DOM for staged homes is 10.3 days. Staging Oklahoma’s DOM Average is 9.15 days.

Obviously, staging is a passion for me. I plan to submit future articles with tips on staging to live, staging to work, market trends, decluttering and organizing.

In the meantime, I invite you to visit our website