Ever wonder if luxury homes really need to be staged?
Most traditional real estate professionals and their clients are familiar with the concept of staging a listing to help potential buyers see themselves in the home. In fact, hardly any traditional real estate professionals would opt out of staging a client’s home when preparing to bring it to market.
Interestingly, that sentiment changes a bit as a home’s price point reaches the luxury threshold. Some luxury real estate professionals and their clients don’t necessarily believe staging is quite as important in the upper tier — especially not in a hot seller’s market like the one we’ve been experiencing over the last year and a half.
What’s the right answer?
The fact is luxury real estate professionals who don’t believe in staging might be right. But not completely.
Recently, the Institute spoke with top luxury real estate producers Jordan and Jan Ayan of The Lifestyle Collection about the differences between “luxury staging” and “luxury styling,” and why styling is what truly creates aspirational spaces that sell.
Why Luxury Staging Can Feel “Stark” On Its Own
When one thinks of staging, they might think of neutral palettes, generic artwork, and the same staging furniture that gets passed along from one listing to the next.
While the idea is to create a “blank slate” for potential buyers to picture themselves in the home, staging can feel stark. Plus, great marketing does a bit more heavy lifting to guide the prospect’s thoughts and emotions.
That’s where luxury styling comes in.
Unlike staging, styling takes an ideal buyer avatar’s dream life into consideration and markets the home with intention.
Instead of making a lot of people feel like “maybe” they’d enjoy living in the home, styling makes that perfect buyer feel irresistibly drawn to the space by giving them a taste of the lifestyle they’re aspiring to.
Creating an Aspirational Space
According to the Ayans, there’s a certain appeal for prospective buyers when a listing feels “lived in.” It makes it easier for them to see themselves in the space versus making it bare. Rather than conceal any signs of life, the Ayans say they style their listings more like a lifestyle catalog shoot than a staged home.
For instance, outside spaces are filled with things a prospective buyer might actually use outdoors, like place settings and a sangria pitcher on the patio table, or magazines flipped open on a lounge chair near the pool.
Inside, the Ayans may create a reading nook with comfy blankets and books in one of the home’s anchor areas, or a bread basket and pasta set out on the table to mimic a dinner party.
Jan says these types of details add “depth” and “warmth” to the space. To the right buyer, the decision to buy is often a quick and emotional one.
How to Apply Luxury Styling to Your Next Listing
If you want to get luxury styling right, one of the best ways to create an aspirational space is to find the home’s unique anchor points and bring them to life.
For example, is there a big, beautiful apple tree outside? Bake an apple pie and put it back in the oven just before guests arrive to fill the home with its sweet, cinnamon scent. The right prospect may get excited about the idea of picking her own apples to bake for her family on special occasions, or it could bring back memories of a childhood home.
Ask the seller about their experience in the home. Is there a corner of the home that’s special to them? why? and how can you recreate that for prospects?
Again, the right buyer will take notice, and your seller will appreciate a buyer who loves the home as much as they did.
Want a Proven Blueprint for Luxury Home Marketing?
The Institute’s in-person Luxury Live events are back!
The curriculum for these exciting two-day events is based on our proven 7-Step Luxury Marketing Blueprint to help you break into luxury real estate or reach the next level in your luxury real estate career.
To learn more and see when Luxury Live is coming to your city, click here.