How To: Build a Successful Property Styling Businesskatie | April 21, 2021
Here at Huntley + Co we have the absolute privilege of working closely with some of the best property stylists throughout Sydney. We are also blessed with an internal team that possess an incredible pool of knowledge from their various backgrounds in real estate, marketing, onsite property styling and small business management. With our ears and eyes on the ground, we are able to gain valuable insight into what is currently working for businesses within the industry and also what is not. This, coupled with my previous life as a property stylist, has led me to want to share some of the things I believe are key to success in this ever-evolving industry.
First and foremost, your relationships with real estate agents are vital. Put simply, they are your lifeline. If you can establish relationships with two to three agents that are fiercely loyal to you, this is half the battle won. Networking and getting in front of agents is essential and the more you can do this the better. Set up meet and greets with as many agents as you can in the area you wish to service and leave beautiful marketing collateral with them that will make a lasting impression. Which leads me to my next point.
In an aesthetically driven industry, beautiful imagery and polished marketing collateral such as brochures is a must. It is not enough to simply leave your business card. Ensure you are capturing high quality imagery of your work that can be repurposed for your website, social media and brochures. When you are quoting for a job, if you simply leave the vendor with a quote and nothing else, you are giving them no other choice than to focus solely on price. Show them what they will be getting for their money and why you are worth what you say you are.
Get social! If you aren’t overly savvy with social media, then align yourself with someone that is. Social media is so incredibly important for a number of reasons. Firstly, people will look you up on social media (be that Instagram or Facebook) to determine your credibility. There’s no doubt about that. Use your social media as a gallery of your work, a portfolio if you will – which brings me back to why capturing beautiful imagery of your work is key. Social media is the single most powerful tool to reach the widest possible audience and when used correctly, it will aid in generating brand awareness, leads and ultimately revenue. Which is a big part of why we do what we do!
Train yourself. As Founder and Principal Educator of the International Institute of Home Staging Naomi Findlay says, “The most successful property stylists and stagers make ongoing training and development a key priority throughout their career”. I also can’t stress the importance of spatial skills in this line of work. Knowing how to properly measure up a space and select furniture that is to scale and proportional is critical and will separate you as a professional. Property stylists are highly skilled curators of interior spaces with well-trained eyes for detail. You will need to stay abreast with the latest design trends and suppliers and know which styles best suit which target markets, while being able appeal to the widest possible audience – a skill set in itself! You will need to know how to emphasise a property’s attributes and minimise its low lights and have extensive knowledge of the real estate markets in which you operate.
When styling a home for sale, it is crucial that the overall aesthetic be tailored to the demographics of the buyer, the style of the property and the location. To ensure you get this correct, I recommend you consult with the real estate agent before or after you quote on the job to ascertain who they are likely to be marketing the property to. While you don’t want to be too specific with a certain look, the way you would style a family home in Manly is vastly different to a bachelor’s penthouse in Potts Point. Communicating with your agent to make sure you have got the look just right it so important.
Lastly, quality stock is what will truly separate you from your competitors. While quality furniture and accessories may cost you more upfront, they will stand the test of time and serve you much better than their cheaper counterparts that will only need replacing more regularly and don’t look anywhere near as nice. More importantly, the quality of your stock is a direct reflection of your brand. While it’s a significant investment, it’s one worth making! This is something we feel truly passionate about here at Huntley + Co.
Love Amy + The Team xx