Interior Designers: You NEED to Network with Realtors [per Eric Reeves]

Episode #224 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Why do interior designers and home stagers need professional relationships with realtors? How can this relationship further your business and put dollars in your pocket? How do you build those relationships in the first place? Darla and Eric Reeves set out to answer these questions in this episode of Wingnut Social!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:49] Get your custom furniture through Build Lane!
  • [1:21] Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” group
  • [3:16] Mini news sesh: Rumored Facebook news
  • [5:46] Check out Wingnut Social Premium!
  • [7:40] Learn more about Eric Reeves
  • [11:00] How real estate + interior design mesh
  • [13:45] Why interior designers should network with realtors
  • [23:05] How Eric built his reputation in his community
  • [25:58] How home stagers can sell their value to realtors
  • [28:00] Eric’s thoughts about digital staging
  • [33:16] The “What Up Wingnut” Round!
  • [35:43] Darla’s take: Networking tips + tricks
  • [38:32] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Eric Reeves

Resources & People Mentioned

How real estate + interior design mesh

Eric is one of the few that can stage a home, sell it, and remodel it. Because of his degree in interior design, he can help buyers visualize the potential of the space when he’s showing it. He can help people see how to make a home of their own. He can also advise buyers of resale value and help them determine changes to make that stay within the budget of the neighborhood. When Eric started his business, it was geared toward home staging because there was nothing in his area. As a realtor, seeing how homes were presented, he knew his market needed the service.

Why interior designers should network with realtors

Eric points out that realtors are a great resource to home buyers and sellers. New home buyers might need an electrician, plumber, contractor, etc. Most of the homes in Eric’s area are resales—not new construction—so remodeling is always a consideration. Most people who own a home at some point will need to sell or buy. The homeowner will likely ask you for interior design recommendations. That’s why a symbiotic relationship between designers and realtors is imperative. 

What benefit does the realtor get? When you’re a great resource for your clients, it keeps you top of mind. When they go to buy or sell, you’re the person that comes to mind. Eric’s market is a lot of second homes and vacation homes. They tend to be empty or furnished with pieces that are outdated and old. They often need a designer’s touch to help them move.

How home stagers can sell their value to realtors

Eric recommends that home stagers and interior designers need to build a good relationship with realtors—and know your numbers. You need to be familiar with the inventory on the market. You need to understand if the market is hot or barely moving. It’s all about perceived value. 95% of people start their home searches online. So you need to communicate to your client the value of a well-staged home. 

You also need a professional online presence (website and social media). You need a packet of information that’s exceptional that you can provide outlining the services you offer. You also need to be able to communicate the value of your work (and how it can lead to more money for the homeowner and realtor).

Eric believes there’s a place for both normal and digital staging. If someone needs a quick turnaround at a low price point, digital staging may be the way to go. But Eric points out if he’s showing a home with staged photos online but walks into an empty house, it’s a letdown. People don’t have the vision to see what could be. But if you can learn to do both, do it. You don’t want to be the Blockbuster of the interior design industry. 

Listen to the whole episode for some networking tips + tricks from Darla!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Desi Creswell

  • Ready to stop being overwhelmed? Check out Desi Creswell’s new “Out of Overwhelm” coaching group
  • Desi Creswell’s Daily Planner
  • Desi has a six-month customized coaching experience

Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor: Build Lane

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