Here at Huntley + Co we have the privilege of working closely with some of the most talented property stylists throughout Sydney. We also have an internal team that possess an incredible pool of knowledge from their various backgrounds in real estate, marketing, property styling and small business. 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. With this, along with my experience in a past life as senior property stylist, I wanted 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 introducing yourself to agents is essential and the more you can do this the better. For every home you style, make sure you contact the selling agent, as well as the other agents from their office, to introduce yourself and tell them about the services you offer. It is important to provide beautiful marketing collateral that will make a lasting impression. Which leads me to my next point…
In an aesthetically driven industry, beautiful imagery and polished marketing collateral 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.
When styling a home for sale, it is important that the overall aesthetic is 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 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. It also will help to build the relationship with the agent.
Get social! If you aren’t overly savvy with social media, then align yourself with someone that is. In an aesthetically driven industry, social media is so incredibly important. People use social media, particularly Instagram, as a way to determine the credibility of a business and also see the calibre of the work on offer. You can 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.
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.
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. 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.
Amy + The Team
NB: All images feature furniture and decor exclusively by Huntley + Co.