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LOCAL STORIES

August 31, 2023 at 5:10:19 AM

Not Your Average Home Stager

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so much more than just furniture

Published on:

August 31, 2023 at 5:10:19 AM

Ignite Business Insider shares the stories of businesses that are making an impact in their local markets. We highlight their stories in order to inspire entrepreneurial growth and to let readers learn more about businesses across the world that are growing and scaling.

Featuring

Lisa McIntee

Owner

The Staging Professionals

Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?

Thank You! I own one of the longest running Home Staging Companies in the Niagara Region. I truly believe that this is attributed to my strong desire to truly provide value to each and every client. I have spent years educating myself on so many areas of business and just life in general that I have been able to successfully become the “go-to” solution provider within my area and in some cases, within the industry.

A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?

Previously, I worked as an International Operations Manager for North Americas largest public forensic consulting firm. It is definitely a career that I miss, but not one conducive to family life. On a staycation with my kids when they were very young, I saw a commercial for a career in Home Staging and the market for this was tiny at the time, so I didn’t know much about it. I took a course, decided to start with the idea of a part-time business, within my first year it grew so quickly that I was busy full-time and it has only grown since.

Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?

Ha! There was a point in time I wanted to become a Nun, only because I was obsessed with the movie The Sound of Music and she seemed so happy! After that phase wore off, I was a typical child who dreamt of being a Doctor, Teacher, Lawyer and Astronaut.

Have you fully let go of that childhood dream? And where do you see yourself going in the next ten years?

Those dreams are long gone, however, I would still love to get into Law so maybe the dreams aren’t entirely gone!

Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?

My parents. They gave me the freedom to explore what I wanted and I’m sure I caused them enormous amounts of stress along the way. My life path wasn’t carved out in some master plan, it took me sideways, up and down. Somehow I ended up here, ambitious, determined, focused and a little bit crazy days. I’ve had more life experiences and learned more lessons than any straight path would have taken me, and I’m grateful for each and every one.

What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?

Keep going. When you encounter a problem, know there is a solution, you just have to find it. I’ve hit many rough patches in my life and on my business, I take a moment to breathe (or sometimes days), but then I start looking for the solution to make things better. Sometimes it works in my favour, other times I’ve messed up terribly, but I have always learned and it’s made me so much stronger.

When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?

Relationships. They matter to me. I love to see people, get to know them, help make their world a little bit better in any way I can. Of course, we all need the income, but for me I choose to work with amazing people who become partners and friends and those relationships are so beneficial on so many levels, it’s more than just the money, that always comes.

Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?

To be honest, as a stager the main thing that sets you apart immediately is your designs (furniture, decor and ability to pull a room together flawlessly).

A Professional Home Stager is so much more than that. We meet people at often the most vulnerable, emotional and sometimes desperate time in their lives. Being able to truly “see” people and connect is the backbone of my service. It isn’t about the furniture for me, it’s about how I can help impact this time in their life by providing a positive attitude and also the best return possible on my services. I had the most amazing job not too long ago, my client lost her mother and was in the process of preparing the home. The day of photos, we spent the morning together getting set up, talking about loss as I also lost my mother, talking about business, talking about travel. Just a barrier free conversation between 2 non judgemental strangers. It’s more than staging for me.

Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?

Solutions. I will find a solution for everything and anything. It becomes my personal mission to help figure something out. From cat urine in carpets, to clearing out hoarder homes, to selecting small updates that will provide high returns to figuring out how to create the most profitable short term rentals. I understand by laws, I’m knowledgeable of the renovation process, I have knowledge of asbestos/mold and other contaminants. I’ve tried to spend years education myself on a million random things, all my “useless”, random knowledge has come in very handy many times!

Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?

I am at a point now I work by referral for the most part. I do have a website and an Instagram page, but I am horrible at keeping them up to date. A few clients find me this way, but mainly referrals.

Regardless of the service, a phone call or if required, an in person consultation is always the best starting point.

Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?

I had one customer that hired me to stage a home for him years ago. He was a very insightful man, and always such a pleasure. He put his whole trust in a professional he hired and that afforded him the freedom to do what he needed to do in life. Over the years, I spent time with him staging multiple homes, helping him
with design and every minute spent was so educational and informative. To see someone so successful treat people the way he did, and structure his life and business the way he did, often times made me rethink how I approached both my business and life in general. He was incredibly inspiring.

Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know?

I’m pretty much an open book, but most people would never guess I am a complete book worm. I read constantly, online, books, articles. Morning, afternoon and evening, it’s what I do. I have also won “North America’s Top Home Stager” twice in my career. This is quite an accomplishment for me being from such a small area, competing against some seriously talented stagers in major areas like NYC and LA!

Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?

I just want them to feel that I made a difference and truly put their best interest at heart.

Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?

Definitely call, I’m always happy to chat. Technology makes life so impersonal. 289.929.4171, reach out!

Check out my website at www.thestagingprofessionals.com or my Instagram @theluxurystager to get a glimpse into my business and my life.

Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.

Thank you!

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