Melinda and I were so lucky to spend last weekend in Las Vegas for the 2018 RESA Convention. We spent two full days listening and interacting with the home staging industry leaders to learn tips and tricks of the trade that we can use to better serve our clients and thoughtfully better our business. The RESA Convention hosted hundreds of stagers representing newbies (like us) up to the OG stagers who have been in the market for years and really paved the way for staging services to be recognized as a valuable piece of the real estate puzzle. We are thankful to all those who were generous with their time, energy and enthusiasm and we are so excited to be home and get back to work!
Here are our top 4 takeaways from RESACON:
#1 - There is power in editing!
You have probably heard the quote by Coco Chanel that states that "before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." The sentiment was originally geared towards personal fashion, but it rang true this weekend when re-introduced in the realm of home staging and styling. When we stage a property, we want the home to feel warm and inviting and certainly curated, but we think it's important to maintain restraint and use only the pieces of furniture and accessories that truly showcase a room and allow potential home buyers to understand the natural flow of the home. Just because you have always put a side table next to a couch, does not mean that the space needs the side table, nor will it necessarily provide any benefit. We recommend that when you prep your home for sale, you walk through each room and thoughtfully take one thing out!
#2 - Upcoming color tips with Vern Yip
Seriously, Vern Yip might be my new favorite person on the planet. I have watched him on TV since his days on Trading Spaces (which is coming back...yay!), but while I was excited to see his name as the keynote speaker during the conference, I was blown away by his intelligence, humor, humility and kindness. He was simply amazing. One section of his presentation walked through emerging color trends. While we may not be using each of the colors and color combinations exclusively in our upcoming stages, do not be surprised if you begin to see pops of these colors woven in our designs.
#3 - The "rule of 2" and the "rule of 45"
Honestly, there is nothing sexy about this takeaway, but sometimes hearing a very simple practice can be mind-blowing. Like you, I am a busy lady - between 2 jobs, 2 kids and too many to-do's, I oftentimes have a hard time with time management and prioritization. So probably more than any other session at the conference, I was so excited to learn more about managing the administrative side as a business owner. While I learned MANY, MANY wonderful tips and tools to help manage the business (and my life!), I decided to immediately implement the following:
- Rule of 2: If a task can be done in two minutes, do it now. Simple, easy, no brainer. So why does half of the to-do's on my list, many of which take less than 2 minutes, continue to get moved from one day's list to the next?? No more, now when I review my to-do lists, I call out those short, simple tasks and knock them out immediately.
- Rule of 45: It's so hard to stay on track with all the distractions these days - emails, texts, Instagram alerts, etc - it never ends. And as a result, my work never gets done. The rule of 45 specifies that you break down your tasks into 45 minute intervals where you completely dedicate yourself to ONE task for 45 minutes (unless it's completed sooner) and completely set aside all other items until you've hit 45 minutes. Once you finish 45 minutes, then you can use the remaining 15 minutes to check email and address all those other administrative tasks (distractions!) before starting again on your next item. Genius.
#4 - Stager and homeowner DIY hacks
Melinda and I thought that we had a pretty good handle on many of the tips and tricks that stagers use in their properties, but we quickly learned that there is a whole arsenal of tricks that never made our radar. Here are a few good tips and products:
- Painter's tripod: Have you ever painted a piece of furniture and struggled to paint the bottoms of the legs? Enter the painter's tripod. How did I go so long without this guy? The tripod props up your furniture so that you can evenly paint a piece, top to bottom.
- Etsy printables: We recommend that homeowners remove personal effects, such as family pictures, to allow potential buyers to envision themselves in the space, not the former owners. But what if you have a big gallery wall of family pics...do you need to buy all new art to replace them? Nope, just hop on Etsy and find a series of downloadable and printable art in sizes similar to your picture openings. This is an inexpensive way to cover up the personal photos without having to start from scratch.
- Combine rugs: I wouldn't recommend this hack for all rugs and all rooms, but if you need a large area rug but do not have the budget to purchase the size you need, a great tip is to find 2 smaller rugs and position them next to each other to give the appearance of an oversized area rug.
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: This is one thing that was already using at home and at jobs, but my goodness, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is probably the best cleaning tool every invented. It cleans EVERYTHING. They are perfect for scuffs on your walls and baseboards. You can even pick off a small piece and use it as filler in a small nail hole. Seriously, this product has no limits.
One more DIY hack I wanted to share in about hanging art. I watched a video by Shari Auldridge from Staged Above that shows an amazing tip for hanging artwork and I think it will save you time, energy and your walls. Shari is great and had so many amazing insights, but this picture hanging hack blew my mind.
You can check out more of Shari at her site here and follow her on Instagram at @staged_above.
Okay, there you go, some really great takeaways from our time in Las Vegas. We might have also had some fun on the Strip as well, but that's for another time and place.
Tell me, what are some more tips, tricks and takeaways that you'd like us to share?