Home Staging, as it's called in the US, or Home Doctoring if you are in the UK, is a long established practice when preparing a house for sale. Traditionally, it is almost always a lived in home or property that is 'staged' in preparation for a sale or open house viewing day.
The reason a home is staged is to make it look fresh and inviting to interested people who come in for a viewing.In many real estate markets worldwide, a real estate agent or consultant will always advice you to either stage a home yourself, or seek the services of proper home staging firms.
Yes, such a service may not be that familiar with residents and even real estate agents here in the UAE, and why should it be? There are hardly any homes that are lived in for that long, that they need to be staged to sell them.
In fact, it is radically different here. Properties and homes still have that fresh brick and paint smell whenever there is an open house. If indeed there even is such a thing as an open house! With most properties being bought out within a few hours of their launch announcements, it still is a virgin market for real estate. But the market is changing, and there are many sought after projects that have been completed, lived in and most importantly, have become established communities to live in.
The homes in these projects are what would benefit from Home Staging services. Such projects as Emaar's The Greens which feature apartments only, and projects such as the Springs and The Lakes, which feature villas and town houses, are today going head to head with newer villas and apartments coming on the market.
Are these 'older' structures really that old and lived in that they need Home Staging? Far from it! they are around 4 to 5 years old, hardly what you would call 'lived in'. Yet, as with all things nice and shiny that is the way of life here, it is not uncommon to find clients say that they want to buy into new projects only.
This is where there is a small Home Staging market opportunity. But wait, that really isn't the market potential we are talking about here in this article...
Home Staging Newly Built Homes:
This is a different take on Home Staging, and would be best suited to the unique real estate market in Dubai and the UAE. Currently, as is witnessed by picking up a news paper, there are apartments and villas getting completed and delivered at a phenomenal rate here. There is also no dearth of ready investors as well as people who are re locating to this oasis to start of their lives. So why stage them in the first place if everything sells without effort?
The reason we see a good business opportunity in staging newly built homes, is to attract the attention of buyers who will soon be able to physically visit these completed projects and they may be a completely different perspective than when they were sold only from brochures and DVD videos earlier.
Consider some truths...
1) The Building is completed, but is in the middle of a construction site, because other buildings and towers in the vicinity are still being completed over the next couple of years. - Will home buyers prefer a home here over a more peaceful locality?
2) On paper and on DVD a 389 sq foot studio apartment does not convey a true sense of space, after all, the tiny graphics used to denote beds and wardrobes always seem to fit in perfectly in a drawing - not so in real life! So a properly appointed interior decorator / Stager is needed to do up a studio apartment to convey a feeling of coziness, yet space and richness to the client. An empty studio is a box and will not make the cut!
These are only some reasons how and why Home Staging is a beneficial proposition for newly constructed homes.
Getting into the Home Staging Business:
Typically a Home Staging business either uses whats available in the home that is for sale, or has an inventory of furniture, and other home fittings that they rent out to a client to spruce up a home for open house day.
This is exactly how Home Staging works... They come in, fix up the place, and then take away the equipment that has been placed in.
Now, there is no way a Home Staging business would be able to cope up with having inventory for the multitude of homes that are freshly 'baked' here and coming online. So how would a small property developer or interior decoration firm diversify into the Home Staging scenario?
We saved the best tip for last! - By getting into a tie-up with Luxury goods, furniture giants and home electronics companies here.
Consider this - One of the primary reasons people are buying a home in Dubai and soon AbuDhabi, is that they are already sold on the lifestyle of the country!
They are sold on the luxury, the environment (social and climate) and have made a choice of wanting to live here. The speculation phase of real estate is soon coming to an end and thankfully real home owners are showing up asking to buy properties.
So for a single person looking at living in a studio apartment or a small family moving into a one bedroom apartment, considering that space is going to be a compromise, having it staged with the right kind of furniture and electronics goes a long way in helping them make up their minds, more so if the project is in the middle of a construction site!
This is where a proper partnership with a furniture company can mean a win-win-win situation for the Furniture company, the home buyer and the Home Staging firm. Chances are that people will more likely take the (discounted) furniture and interior package with the brand new apartment.
This would definitely hold true for larger Villas and Duplex apartments where money is no objective to the home buyer and a Jacuzzi (R)(Tm) and outdoor private sauna room could make all the difference when closing the gap between a Villa by the Sea or a villa with a desert scape.
The staging skills of the Home Staging Company is what will bring it success!