Be part of the HSA for UK and Ireland - Home Staging Association - is so important for me. Because when I moved here in London I needed a place where to have a guide, where to share ideas, opinions, problems. Taking part of something bigger.
Paloma Harrington-Griffin is the Founder & Director of the HSA - Home Staging Association for UK & Ireland - and she shared with me and Laila her opinions about Home staging and some differences of our precious work between Italy and Uk
Enjoy the reading.
Paloma, you are the founder of HSA for UK and Ireland. But, first of all, you are a Home Stager.
1. Who is a Home Stager for you? Which skills and creative abilities must have?
A Home Stager is the professional that prepares a property for sale, making use of furniture, accessories and potential improvements that will enhance the property’s best features and keeping the end goal in mind: a faster, better sale. Definitions aside, Home Stagers have to be passionate about what they do and can’t be afraid of hard work. Organisational skills and a good eye for detail are key to succeed in this dynamic profession.They also need to have a good understanding of interior trends and, most importantly, the property market, as Home Staging is property marketing tool.
2. Can you describe the role and the importance of the Association?
The Home Staging Association promotes our activity and works to raise awareness on its benefits. We educate the wider public about what we do and how we help to sell properties. Not only that, the Association brings credibility to our activity by representing the Home Staging Industry, and gives Home Staging professionals a voice and a place to turn to for resources, support, information and networking. A professional body such as the Home Staging Association is key for the activity’s growth, recognition and development, and being a part of it is highly beneficial for those professionals looking to achieve more within their roles as Stagers.
3. Do you think that home staging is different between UK and Italy?
It is in some aspects. When staging, we need to take architecture and style into consideration and that certainly affects the way we stage. We can’t deny the differences between UK and Italy! Colours play a great part, too, especially when repainting walls or thinking a cupboard refresh. Italy’s weather lends itself to earthy tones, whereas in the UK you can only use those colours in certain times of the year – which wouldn’t be recommended when trying to maximise a property’s potential and appeal to all markets and seasons. Another difference would also be the type of furniture being used in each country. In the UK, for example, it’s very rare to see cardboard furniture whereas in Italy it seems to be very common. All-in-all, the core is the same and both countries are still finding their way to get more recognition whilst helping property owners to sell faster.
4. We are living a very particular time. Covid19 has changed a lot of our habits. And so has our work. What do you think about remote and virtual home staging? Is it our future or only a temporary way of working?
Virtual Staging is a fantastic tool to market properties, especially those that are unfinished or simply inaccessible – the latter being precisely the case during the pandemic. Many Home Staging companies have turned to online alternatives, including remote staging, during these challenging times, as there were home sellers ready to prepare their houses and properties queueing up to be put on the market, during a period in which online viewings hit a 500% increase. To not adapt and take advantage of that would mean passing on the opportunity to supply to a new demand, not having something to offer to a homeowner, agent or developer willing to sell. As Charles Darwin would say, “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Businesses need to adapt and those that did start offering virtual and remote services have kept relevant and secured business during a much scarce time. As much as virtual services are a great aid and can cater for great portions of the market, including a complementing add-on to the usual services, the power of physical staging is indisputable. The emotional connection that is established with the potential buyer when visiting a staged property that sells exactly the lifestyle they want to buy, is the most powerful sales tool one can get. Some tools, however, came to stay and virtual services will remain part of our new routines going forward. We just might need to wait and see what portion of our previous work life will be taken over by it.
5. You can stage the house of your dreams. What would that be? Small and cosy? Big and expensive? In the town? In the countryside? My dream staging project would be a multi-million villa in Andratx, Mallorca, with beautiful sea views, glamorous modern furniture and a very high budget!
6. Describe yourself, as Home Stager, in 3 words.
Organised, resourceful and creative. But aren’t we all?
Thank you Paloma for your precious and encouraging words.
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