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  • Writer's pictureSpring Valley, The Investor's Bank

Pro Tips from the Property Flippers: The Benefits of Investor Staging

Updated: Jun 4

Pro Tips from the Property Flippers May 2024 Special Edition

To stage or not to stage, that is the question. As investors continue to ride the wave of a seller's market the trend to add staging is increasing. This may seem counter intuitive, but 86% of buyers find it easier to visualize themselves in a property when staged. Staging offers an interest and emotional appeal to the masses that results in even higher sale prices in an already favorable market.

Jo Potvin, owner of Design to Market Home Staging in Cincinnati defines her business this way, "We are the intersection between retail merchandising and real estate. The window dressing staging creates speaks to the emotional appeal of the buyer that a vacant space simply cannot capture."

Jo and I sat down for an interview over this holiday weekend to talk how her company is designed (pun intended) to cater to the investor community.

Describe the services you offer to real estate investors?

Our focus is to be full service for the investor community. We've developed a wide range of services that meet the needs of the short and long term investor.
1.)  Vacant Home Staging: Our most widely used service is staging after the renovation is complete. We currently have around 150 investor clients that utilize this service. During the final stages of the project our staff walks through the property to develop a 2-tiered proposal. Tier 1 is staging the main living areas. Tier 2 provides additional staging to a la carte rooms such as lower levels & outdoor areas. Our clients find even minimal staging in of these areas suddenly allows the space to come to life. The potential buyer sees the benefit of the square footage.
2.)  Project Consulting: Our staff can come in early in the process to validate client ideas. For example, we can speak to how taking out a wall may affect furniture placement or certain style perception of living spaces and how they flow. We can consult on color choices and other styling sections providing the most current trends that pair with the architectural cues of the property. We are not architects or construction engineers, rather placement experts that create better living space.
 3.)  Short to Mid Term Rental Furnishings: We can have an investment fully furnished and set within a week. We use moved furniture from our staging inventory in combination with additionally purchased items such as mattresses and cutlery. This option provides everything needed for the tenant to live stylish and comfortably. Choosing to purchase items through us provides better quality and on trend pieces. We are seeing this option used more and more in the mid term rentals for traveling nurses and alike.
 4.)  Staging of Rentals: We'll stage the rental, again appealing to the emotional side of the prospective tenants. Unlike our furnishing option mentioned above, this is temporary staging. Typically, our clients use these staging opportunities to take professional pictures of the units while staged. They then own these pictures and can use them in the future if the unit needs to be rented again or if they decide to sell the building.
5.) Hourly Consulting: Our hourly service provides consulting for selection and design choices throughout the renovation process based on the desire of the clients. We offer trend presentations and other services to ensure our clients have a good visual understanding or how our design choices will marry with their renovation choices.

What do you like about working with investors?

We are fellow entrepreneurs, so I get as excited for their win as the investor does! We are in it together and help each other be successful.
We understand the financial model investors are dealing with. We get to help with the challenges and opportunities presented by fluctuating material cost and budgets that need to be maintained.
Our services are used for all price points. Like the investor, we understand the buyers needs which allows us to appeal to those in more modest price points all the way to the extravagant.

Founders Jo Potvin and Lisa Mellott are commemorating their 20th business anniversary this October, a significant year that coincides with the achievement of expanding to 20 employees. They credit a large part of their success to the loyalty of their staff. As women with diverse roles both in their professional and personal lives, they are committed to developing a business model that adapts to the evolving needs of their full time and part time employees. Consequently, their team has demonstrated deep dedication to the craft and sustained loyalty to the company.

The Financier

Sources show ROI on staging ranges from 5%-10% increase in sale price. I can tell you from my many conversations with investors that staging is equating to higher sale prices that well offsets the initial investment and attributes to fewer days on the market.

Make sure to add staging as a line item to your budget so you can appropriately calculate the capital needed for each project.

Spring Valley is your local community bank offering our investors SOLUTIONS:

  • Quick decisions with in-house underwriting

  • Certainty to close

  • Availability of real estate & banking experts to listen & stay connected

  • Flexible financing options for flips, refis & income producing properties

  • Dependability of an established banking institution

If you know an investor that may benefit from the flipping advise of seasoned professionals, please share this blog with them.


Special thanks to:

The Design to Market team for your ongoing collaboration and investment in our community

A monthly series showcasing tips from professional property flippers partnering with Spring Valley.

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