Initially, the focus of home staging was to neutralize your home in order to appeal to a wider market of potential buyers. But that often results in the fatal side-effect of becoming a “forgettable” home.
Forgettable Homes: Not distasteful, but not memorable enough to make the short list.
The latest trend in Home Staging is target marketing, or “Lifestyle Merchandising.” Designing a space to attract a more specific buyer.
This is nothing new – consumer product companies have been using this science for years. It’s about getting more specific data from a lifestyle perspective to attract the most likely buyer demographic. This involves defining not only demographics, but psychographics and lifestyle profiles as well.
As a seasoned marketer, I totally get the value of target marketing in staging. But I’m cautious to find the right balance between casting a wide (enough) net and targeting a specific buyer. I believe you should be as targeted as possible based on the data you have. Assumptions can be dangerous, and going too far in either direction can be ineffective.
So how do you find good data? By working with a knowledgeable Real Estate Agent who really knows the area. The stager and agent should work closely together to understand who they’re trying to attract.
- Nearby retail (shops and restaurants)
- School data
- Interview Sellers about the area
- Local sport teams, art galleries, etc.
Realtor.org published helpful definitions by Hal Douthit, a contributing columnist to The Real Estate Professional and creator of Re/Ad, a computer ad writing program for real estate. He’s the publisher of 19 Homes Illustrated magazines and 13 newspapers.
Hal applied psychographics to real estate sales, and articulated five market segments among homebuyers and sellers, as illustrated in this chart presented in Realtor® Magazine (click chart to enlarge):
So before you list your home, make sure you have a solid team on your side to help you prepare your home in the smartest way possible for the quickest sale possible.
There is a careful balance in translating the science of data to the art of purposeful design. And the right combination is powerful!