CRM (Client Relationship Management) for Home Stagers

In this blog post, we are using 17hats as an example. We had used 17hats to run our 6-figure home staging business when we were in full operations. We still recommend it and demos it in our courses. 17hats is also a sponsor in our 2021 StagerCon. Click here to access our breakdown and reviews of 17hats, plus walk-through videos recorded by the COO of 17hats, Amanda Rae.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Client Relationship Management. It usually comes in a form of software that you pay to subscribe to. When I was working as a real estate agent, we had a CRM software that was built into our dashboard as agents through our brokerage.

The software helped us track leads (potential real estate clients/ buyers or sellers), convert leads into customers and maintain relationships after their sale is completed. It is a critical piece for being a real estate agent, because it is a living database that gives us a bird eye’s view and helps us make sense of where the client is in the transaction and the sales process.

The cost of CRM can be very high. When we were looking at CRM softwares as a home staging company, something like Infusionsoft can perform very complex tasks, but onboarding alone cost $2,000. We also tried Sage, which was a common CRM for real estate agents at the time. It had a high learning curve and it was expensive as well. If I remembered correctly, the annual fee was around $800.

How Sophisticated Does It Need to Be?

Personally, I think it depends on your personal preference and if it is a good fit for you. Of course, you can buy the top of line software for a nice chunk of change, but it will be useless if you don’t actually use it to its full potential.

Also, the sales cycle for home staging projects, in my opinion, is much less complicated than typical real estate transactions where there are a lot more complications and people involved.

Our previous Student Coach, Jon, was the Operation Director of a 7-figure home staging business. He ran everything ranging from scheduling to client databases all with Excel spreadsheets. So expensive does not necessarily equal performance. The key thing is that you will actually use the tool.

What Should I be Tracking in My CRM?

In my opinion, your CRM should give you a clear understanding of where your staging clients stand in your home staging business. When I am looking at data, I am looking at ROI of marketing (for example, where did my staging client find me?) and Client Lifetime Value. This means how much income I can generate off this one particular client through our time working together.

To do that, I want to capture as much information as possible in my CRM. This includes:

  • The basic information of the staging clients

    • Who are they? A home seller or an agent?

    • What is their work? Family status? Children? Organizations they are involved with? Charities?

    • Property address? Size of the project?

    • Any personal details, shared interests, etc. that I can use to connect to the client with

  • All the communications, paperwork, details about individual staging projects we had worked on together

  • Track any communication (like thank you cards, holiday gifts, etc.) information, marketing, etc. that this client has been exposed to

  • Basically if I were Joe Goldberg from You, EVERYTHING about this person I can scrape off social media, Google, websites, etc.

Collecting Qualified Leads (Potential Home Staging Clients) and Convert them into Paying Staging Clients through Personalized Outreach & Marketing

In today’s day and age, customers are savvy. They know when they are being sold to. This is why it is important to create, grow and build organic relationships with your potential home staging clients. Ultimately, real estate is a people business and people do business with people they like.

This is also why a CRM is a helpful tool to help you keep track of your marketing efforts and ways you “touch” your home staging clients through exposing them to your brand and staging company consistently and strategically.

A staging client of mine was an agent with Keller Williams. At the time, Keller Williams brokerages had this system called the “33 touches” that they taught through their agent training. The 33 touches essentially creates a system of consistently being in touch in a meaningful, personalized way with your real estate clients over the period of one year. This system not only helps you maintain a relationship with your clients, it also helps to drive repeat business and build referrals from your clients.

My staging client was old school. She had a folder for every one of her client in her file cabinet. Then every time she had an interaction with her client, she added a piece of documentation into her folder. She also had a checklist for each folder, making sure she was hitting her 33 touches throughout the year. It worked for her for years.

That worked well for her. For me, I prefer electronic databases so that I am not tied to a physical file cabinet in my office. This is where 17hats comes in again. Not to mention we already paid for it to manage our business paperwork and workflows. It is a no brainer to use it as a CRM.

Having a Bird’s Eye View on Income Your Staging Clients Generate for Your Staging Business

Like boyfriends, friends, or partners in life, staging clients are about quality, not quantity.

I don’t need 10,000 home staging clients, I just need a few top producers who are going to treat me as partners, not as the help.

So, I do evaluate my staging clients based on how often they send me staging projects and if they are problematic or not.

Just because they are paying clients, that doesn’t mean they are the right clients. Just like every man is not going to qualify to be my husband. Just because someone has paid me for a service, it doesn’t mean they are entitled to everything. I made an even trade with my staging service.

17hats allows me to get a bird’s eye view. Here is an example of a Client Sales Report that I can run via 17hats. Obviously, the data is from 2015 when we started using 17hats and I had blacked out all the names for privacy reasons.

As you can see, I can see the average $ volume that each client sends me. This can help me to make an informed decision if a staging client is going to be a VIP in my book, and how will I marketing my home staging business to duplicate more staging clients like this.

In each client’s profile, you can also see all the communications being sent back and forth, plus any important documents relating to this particular home staging project. I’ve whited out information for the client’s privacy.

I’ve also highlighted features I love with yellow numbers on the screenshot:

  1. As you can see, there is an active workflow “Home Staging Projects” attached this staging project. This helps us make sure that we are providing a consistent staging client experience and we are not dropping any balls even when we are busy staging 6-7 days a week. (I’ve written a blog post on this. You can read the post here.)

  2. The progress bar shows you how far you’ve gone through in your active workflow.

  3. You can also add related contacts to your staging projects, like the home sellers and builders. Here, I’ve got the home seller’s profile attached to this project.

  4. Here are all the important documents related to the project at a glance.

  5. As you can see, 17hats can keep track of notes you have about the project + client, email correspondence, files, to-do, events, etc. Under Emails, you can also see the status if the email had been sent or read. Which makes it super handy for following up.

  6. “About your staging tomorrow” is an email template we had created. All the fields get automatically populated by 17hats. All my assistant needed to do was to do a double check to make sure it is okay to send. This cut down a lot of time and because I had already pre-written the template, it was done how I wanted it to be done.

Do you have a CRM now? How are you using yours?

Tell me in the Comments below! I would love to find out more about your system and what key metrics you are tracking in your CRM!

By the way, we've created a resource guide on 17hats. You can also find a coupon code here if you want to give 17hats a try.