3 ways to Brand Yourself with the Right Business Name

Your new business name – before you start

So a few things with choosing a business name that helps brand you quickly and bring in the bucks.

The 3 things you’ll want to remember

– Make it catchy, memorable and short like Style My Space

– Your name should SCREAM what you do very clearly like The Pet Sitters

– EVERYONE searches the internet for businesses these days. Chances are you will need a website. Make sure the dot com is available for your name without extra words, hyphens, underscores, etc. Even when your name is ebay, then ebay.com needs to be available. Who would remember to type in ebay_store.biz?

How to develop your new business name

If you will want to go into other segments of an industry, you will want to have a name that attracts that client base as well. I made the mistake when I launched my home staging and design business of naming myself Prepared to Sell Home Staging.

At the time, I didn’t realize I would want to eventually service other sectors of the market. When I reached that point in my business where I wanted to expand my services, I had to ask myself why I wasn’t getting any clients. It took me a while to realize that home owners that are not for sale but wanted to redesign their home or receive advice on remodeling their home wouldn’t call a designer whose business name was Prepared to Sell. And really, what does Prepared to Sell mean? I could have been teaching a sales class with a name like that.

So I decided I wasn’t doing myself any favors and changed my name to Style My Space which was not only costly, but confusing to my current clients and I feel like I lost some business along the way. Suffice to say, picking the perfect name from the beginning can be hard and time consuming but worth it in the end.

In hind sight, I have a few suggestions to picking a business name that is right for you.

First decide what you elements you want your business to portray. Is it fun, business”y” or sophisticated? Then determine what words are in alignment with the way you want your business name to feel and write them all down. Keep working with this list until you have a combination that rmeets the above requirements and rolls off the tongue.

The best name is a catchy name because it’s easy to remember, helps brand your business and should reflect what your business is about immediately without pigeon-holing you into one market segment. Don’t forget, the dot com needs to be available without any extra words, hyphens or underscores that no one will remember to type in. If you’re not on the first page of Google, at least if you have the dot com to a catchy name, some people who have met you in the past may still be able to find you even if they can’t find your business card. To see if a dot com is available, go to http://www.godaddy.com to search for available domain names.

Kim Kapellusch is the owner of Style My Space Home Staging & Design and currently teaches the Premier Home Staging Certification Course at The Academy of Home Staigng in Los Angeles. For more information, visit the sites at http://www.StyleMySpace.com and http://www.TheAcademyOfHomeStaging.com.

Kim Kapellusch
Home Staging Designer and Home Staging Certification Trainer

4 Sales Enhancing Master Bedroom Home Staging Tips

Master bedrooms are one of the top decision factors for home buyers when choosing which home to make an offer on. Creating a master bedroom retreat appeals to the buyers senses and helps them form an emotional connection to the home. This means attractive and fresh bedding, no clutter, light and bright and an overall feeling that one could come into the space to relax and rejuvenate after a long day.

Every buyer aspires to own something they are proud of and that their family and friends would be impressed with. Producing this type of an experience in a home is easy with the right elements. To ascertain whether this is happening in your property, ask yourself objectively in each room if the space feels expensive and luxurious. Even in an entry level home, there are ways to create a feeling of luxury. In general, this means fresh and stylish pieces. Remove outdated pieces and replace with new. In a master, you just need a bed, fresh bedding, 2 night stands and some art at minimum, so even if all the pieces are outdated, start with new night stands which you can purchase, borrow from a friend or rent from your favorite stager Kim Kapellusch (818.726.6429). Add a nice lamp on each night stand (great deals at Home Goods or Marshalls if needed) and some fresh new bedding. Add artwork and you will have a master retreat that has buyers sold! Again, all these items can be rented from me if that is a better option.

The color of the master bedroom should definitely be warm, peaceful and neutral. Colors like beige, brown and green or dark red as an accent color will feel comfortable for both men and women. Colors that are very feminine or masculine should be altered to appeal to both genders thereby generating the most interest possible.

The idea behind creating a restful and spa-like master bedroom is to create that ‘wow’ factor in the buyers most intimate and personal space. Try to incorporate everything and make it blend together style-wise. Take out extra pieces to make the room feel as large and spacious as possible. Night stands should have a lamp and at most, 1 or 2 other decorative accessories. Put away phones, alarm clocks and functional items that are not in line with the restful theme. TV’s should not be visible in master bedrooms whenever possible. New bedding with fresh bed pillows is a must. If a home owner’s bedding needs an update, Ross has many great choices typically ranging between $49 – $79.

The furniture and accessories should not point to one gender. Things like the pillows, bedding, drapes and rugs should be neutral hence having designs and themes that are not too feminine or masculine. Having fluffy things and stuffed animals in a master will be biased as would sport items and icons. Being neutral is the key since we will want to appeal to both men and women.

Feng Shui Tips to Enhance Your Home Value

The feng shui of a home is determined by factors both inside and outside your house. With feng shui methods, one can give their home the look they desire. The value of a home can be seen through the first look of its surrounding. This gives your visitors the impression of how your home is. The feng shui methods will help bring life to your home and enhance your house and its surrounding. Below are ten tips of how you can use feng shui to improve the value of your home:

(1). Use of warm colors.
In feng shui methods and style, red, yellow and orange represent fire, warmth and masculine. The use of these colors accordingly on pillows, flow rugs and throws can help you give your house life and energy. Use of natural fabrics with vegetable dyes will help improve the feng shui energy of your home.

(2). Lighting systems.
Installation of full light bulbs in your lamps and lighting fixtures also improves the feng shui energy of your home. The full bulb lights are close to sunlight so they give your home the natural look and mood. Make sure to always open your windows to allow light into your house. The energy flow in your house will always be improved by the natural light.

(3). Use of evergreen plants.
Plant evergreen plants in large containers and place them in your hall ways and doorways. Also on the outside of your house, ensure you have planted evergreen plants. They give your home a natural look and fresh air circulation in your homes.

(4). Use of water elements.
Your backyard is very vital, and you can install water elements in it to improve your home value. Use table fountains and small desks and you can add small plants around it to enhance feng shui balance.

(5). Use of indoor plants.
To improve positive feng shui energy, place indoor plants on your windows, hallways and other parts to give your house a fresh look. Avoid placing plants near heating vents and make sure to choose plants that are easy to care for and do well indoors.

(6). Creating inviting entry ways.
Your entry ways give the first impression of your home/house. Make sure your entry ways are alive. The use of green plants should be well applied to give your visitors a good impression of your homes.

(7). Sticking doors and drawers.
Make sure that your doors and drawers open easily with fewer efforts used. Easily opened doors and drawers save your home energy by improving the accessibility to the rooms in your house and drawers.

(8). Clutter clearing.
Get rid of all those items you do not use in your home. It helps make your house spacious enough, giving easy light penetration and flow of air in your homes.

(9). House furniture position.
Ensure your chair is in a position for you to have a clear view of your door way. Preferably, have a view of all the door ways to your room. In your bedroom, your headboard should not be along the same wall with your door.

(10). Stovetop burners.
Use all your stovetop burners since they each represent an avenue of prosperity in your home. Overlay the bagua on your stovetop and pay attention to the feng shui trinity; your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. These areas are important in matters concerning your health.

The use of feng shui methods will in a great way improve the value of your home. Plan well and apply the above tips to enhance the energy of your house. A home with great energy flow gives a great first impression and feeling to a potential visitor or home buyer.

What Real Estate Agents are Saying About Home Staging

According to the studies conducted by ASP Home staging, a whopping 94% of staged homes sell in 29 days or less on average. Difference in time on market is also of interest as staged homes have 83% less time on market. Based on the real estate agents surveys in the U.S, home staging can fetch up to 15% more than homes not staged. If these statistics are anything to go by, then home staging is the ultimate answer to home sales.

Do Real Estate Agents like home staging? Definitely, any serious agent does. They have realized that it is a necessity to have a professional home stager in their company. The reason is simple; to improve their marketing effectiveness and success. Having a professional home stager means greater client satisfaction, decreased marketing expenditure, increased referrals, more profits and higher commissions.

Not all real estate agents are for the idea of home staging. They argue that the staging is too expensive and is a wastage of time as the house will eventually sell. Some wonder why they should pay for consultations, while they can do the staging themselves. Others think home staging is fluffing and would rather not bother their selling client by suggesting home staging.

However, those in favor of staging know that home staging yields high investment and is short term. Home staging is time saving because the number of days in the market are reduced. Instead of complaining that it’s fluffing, they consider it savvy marketing. The time a real estate agent would waste doing the staging, is spent on what he or she does best, that is looking for homes for their clients and, listing and selling properties.

Why should real estate agents look for a professional home stager for all their listings?

– To sell faster and higher than the competition
– All properties increase their ratings after staging
– To save time
– To win listings
– So the agent can give more attention to listing and selling

Here are some statistics on importance of home staging and their ratings.

A staging survey carried out by the Duke University across North America on home staging principles, gave the following results:

– Removal of personal items such as toothbrushes from bathrooms had a 6.55 out of 7 rating. The justification was that the buyers didn’t need to be reminded they bought a “used” house.

– Turning on of lights during showing had 6.39 out of 7 rating. Apparently this made the house look bigger and showed there was nothing to hide. It also elicited positive reaction

– A house on listing in the market should not be empty. This staging principle had 6.28 importance rating. Houses that were furnished felt warm and helped the buyers have a picture of how to arrange their stuff. In contrast, an empty house is cold and unwelcoming.

– Use of scented candles and air fresheners had 4.54 rating. The pleasant scents mask bad odors and are inviting.

Home staging is definitely worth the investment. In conclusion, it is evident that home staging is no longer an option for any real estate agent looking to have quick and high real estate investments.

Spring Cleaning for Homes on the Market

With spring on the rise it is time to trade hot coca for lemonade and kick of rain boots for flip flops. That would mean the same for your home that is currently on the market. During our winter season we focused hard on keeping the insides of our home presentable to potential buyers and now since spring has sprung it is time to do a little spring cleaning for the outside of homes to make sure our curb appeal stand above the rest. Here are a few tips and trick for this spring season.

1. Sparkle and Shine– The sun is shining bright but from where your standing it’s pretty gloomy. Winter storms can leave dirty residue on your glass windows and screens. Tackle the outdoor windows before you move to the inside. Start with giving your screens and bath and then making sure you windows are squeaky clean. There is nothing better than enjoying spring when you are able to see it through your windows.

2. Don’t leave the leavesThere are many things we think about when cleaning outdoors, and cleaning the gutters is not one of them. The leaves may have fallen and blown away but there are always a few left behind in your gutters. Remember this is where the first impression starts and you want it to be spectacular.

3. FencingFences get over looked most of the time. We see them from a distance and we don’t notice that there is rotting on metal fences and paint has been chipped out of wooden fences. Take a closer look and make sure your fences have a fresh coat of paint that will stand out in the spring time sun.

4. Spring CoatIt is like changing your winter cloths to spring cloths. The winter showers may have dulled out your last year’s paint touch up on your house. So this spring why not give it a fresh coat to stand out from the rest. If the house doesn’t seem to be completely painted walk around and look for some imperfections and touch those up. It makes a huge difference to those perspective home buyers.

5. Keep it greenKeeping a nice lawn is most important when your home is on the market. Those weeds will always sneak up on you as well. Keep your grass green by tackling those dead weeds and giving it some fresh water. Add some color by planting some fresh spring flowers to your garden, always a nice touch.

Keep these 5 tips in mind for this spring and your outdoors will look inviting to all home buyers.

Staging Tips- Getting the sellers on board

From Everyday to Showcase – How to Motivate your Clients to make changes  

It’s no surprise that many people are feeling a bit overwhelmed by today’s Real Estate market. It’s up; it’s down, with foreclosures all around.  This is a confusing time for home sellers because a couple years ago, a good percentage of homes were selling in as little as a few weeks, some with multiple offers. In today’s market we have more inventory and ever changing interest rates.  On one hand, buyers have more choices when seeking to purchase.  On the other hand, home sellers have more competition in attracting a buyer for their home.

In both circumstances, it comes down to the home owner delivering a product that buyers are seeking. Clean, well balanced, neutral and inviting spaces that showcase all the features the home has to offer.

With so many homes having the same floor plan as the next, it is imperative that homes be designed in a manner that differentiates them from their competition. Hiring a Professional Stager works because many homeowners are not able to look at their home objectively with “buyer’s eyes”. People live in their home the way that works best for them but this is typically not the “look” buyers get excited about or make higher offers for. Staged homes statistically receive 3-10% higher offers than homes that are not staged.

So, what do I say to motivate my clients to make the needed changes?

When I am preparing a customized staging plan for home owners, I typically refer to the trends of buyers when trying to motivate a home seller that is unsure about committing to my suggestions. I am not the reason they need to make changes – the consumer who is demanding a certain level of standards is.

So here are a couple of statements that help sellers understand why they might benefit from improving the showing condition of their home:

– Buyers are seeking move-in condition homes and willing to pay more money for them. By addressing these things now, you will appeal to a broader audience of buyers.

– Neutralizing so buyers can envision their belongings in the space will help them form emotional attachments to your home. Emotional connections procure offers.

– Buyers find the space easier to relate to and more valuable and relevant to their wants and needs when rooms are staged in the manner in which they are meant to be used. For example a dining room should be staged as a dining room rather than an office or play room.

– I am here to help you sell your home faster and for more money. All of the advice I am giving you is based on increasing your bottom line.

– By following through on these suggestions, you improve your chances for a quicker sale. If by selling faster you save at least one price reduction, you will retain several more thousand dollars of equity in this home.

– Staging every room in your home creates a consistent look and feel. The more attractive your home is, the higher the offers people will make. Why? Because in our society, people expect that highly attractive things usually cost more and we tend to “bargain” less when something is just what we have been looking for.

For more information on staging, please visit our website at www.StyleMySpace.com

Or, if you are interested in becoming a home stager, check out our exclusive training programs at www.academyofstaging.com.

Former real estate agent Kim Kapellusch has over 10 years experience staging interiors for commercial advertising, vacant and lived-in homes, model homes and personal residences.

Call Kim today with your project details and get an over-the-phone estimate. 800.574.5576

10 Tips to Help you Sell Your House Faster

When homeowners put their home on the market they often ask themselves, “How can I sell my house faster?”

Here are a 10 tips that can help you sell your house faster.

  • Surfaces should be clean and clutter free. What is Clutter? Clutter is anything that is not decorative. Remove bills/papers, medicines, collections, family photos, cleaning aids, toothpaste, toys, etc.
  • Fireplaces should show clean with sparkling glass and no soot stains on the exterior. Mantels should have few, if any, accessories on them.
  • Sofas and chairs should be in good condition. If not, and no other furniture is available, covers should be purchased. For balance and interest, throw pillows or throws should be added with touches of the homes designated accent color. A sofa should typically have 5 or more pillows and can have 2-3 different patterns or colors.
  • Rugs should be cleaned and appear new. Replace outdated, worn, faded, and especially, stained rugs.
  • Windows, carpets, flooring, cabinetry….the entire interior should sparkle. A clean home sells.
  • Homes should be odor free
  • Kitchen and bathroom floor grout should be cleaned
  • Kitchen counters should have less appliances and more decorative items such as bowls of fruit, cookbooks, and decorative oil bottles.
  • Paint should appear fresh. If walls are dinged or marked up a paint job is in order.
  • Pull blinds all the way up to showcase the views and let in the light.

Like Style My Space on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/StyleMySpace1 for more tips and tricks in Home Staging and Design.