Constraints on Staging Inventory

By Michael Repka

Impact of Home Presentation

In the Silicon Valley housing market, it behooves homeowners to prepare their homes for the market in the best way possible. Given that most homeowners take care of repairing broken or inoperative items and make at least minor stylistic improvements to the house, homeowners that elect not to do these items will be at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. The DeLeon Team is often complimented, both by other agents and by the public, for how well our homes are presented and this is a direct result of many factors. First, our in-house licensed contractor or handyman inspects the home and confers with the sellers to come up with a list of appropriate items to fix prior to marketing. Second, our interior designer goes through the home in detail looking for opportunities to update the style and improve the appearance of the home at little to no cost to the sellers. Third, our interior designer selects the best stager for the particular house in question from a number of different staging companies with which we work.

While the employ of dedicated in-house interior designers and contractors is an element unique to DeLeon Realty, the use of outside stagers is not unique to us. Unfortunately, a problem arises when stagers’ inventory of furnishings, artwork and rugs begin to diminish towards the middle or end of the busy seasons.

Due to our volume, the DeLeon Team can reserve the best inventory from stagers such that we know that we will have well-coordinated homes. Yet, even we run into situations in which inventory is limited as the busy season progresses.

DeLeon Realty Purchases 10 Homes Worth of Staging Furniture

In an effort to provide a consistent flow of exceptional staging, the DeLeon Team has decided to purchase its own inventory. To that end, one of our in-house interior designers who is also fluent in Mandarin, and I went to the Guanzhou International Furniture Show at the end of March and purchased 10 homes worth of art, rugs and high-end furnishings. Additionally, we purchased approximately 16 homes worth of high-end outdoor furniture, including sofas, loveseats, coffee tables, and dining sets. It has been our experience in the past that stagers have limited inventory when it comes to outdoor furniture, yet these areas can represent significant value to the potential buyers and should be enhanced.

The Guanzhou Show was very interesting in that it brought together many of the furniture manufacturers that supply high-end U.S. furniture stores. This internationally prestigious trade show, held in multiple phases, features over 6,000 manufacturers from across approximately 200 different regions and provided us with the opportunity to bring back unique and thoughtful pieces to be featured in our sellers’ homes. I was especially impressed by the show’s dedication to create an unparalleled platform for various industries, not just solely limited to real estate. The DeLeon Team is excited about bringing these cutting edge furnishings to our homes and adding to the visual appeal of the individuality of each of our listings.

While certainly not an interior designer myself, even I found this show to be quite interesting.

Unintended Benefits to Sellers

In addition to enhancing the look of our properties, our decision to expand in this area should have some additional benefits for our sellers. For example, we will be warehousing this furniture in the South Bay and may have some additional storage room available for our clients during the busy times of year when much of this furniture will be out at clients’ homes. Additionally, we are purchasing a cab-forward box truck and hiring additional personnel to move the staging items into place. It is foreseeable that these movers and this truck will be available to help clients with some small moving related tasks, including delivering individual pieces of furniture to certain friends and family members, taking items to consignment shops and/or charities, moving excess items to storage, and delivering our reusable crates, which we often lend to clients for local moves.

At DeLeon Realty, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance the presentation of our listings and elevate the client experience. We are confident that this decision will do both.