Rave’s founder hasn’t always been a stager.
Rave Home Staging is a million dollar company, owned and founded by Melissa Marro. Melissa’s home staging journey started in real estate. As a manager in a real estate office, she saw first-hand how poorly many listing photos actually convey the value of a home. Empty rooms. Bad photos. It bothered her, but she didn’t see a solution right away.
Then, she started watching a staging show on TV. It peaked her interest and worsened her frustration. The homes on the show were staged, but poorly. Finally, a coworker told her about a training course for staging. Melissa realized staging was something you could make a living at, so she signed up too.
Developing a unique approach to home staging
That training course was a disaster. The advice didn’t make much sense. Then, the instructor admitted that they had never actually gotten anyone to pay them for staging. Melissa realized that if she was going to get someone to pay her for staging, she needed to figure things out on her own.
Always design-savvy, Melissa had a lot of experience with the moving process. As a child, she moved from home to home frequently with her mother. When she married a man in the military, that trend continued.
She took what she knew and started out by sending a newsletter to local realtors. Within minutes, 10 people called and asked her to stage for them, but they weren’t the jobs she expected.
Adjusting her plan
Originally, Melissa had planned to do 2 or 3 consultations a week. She described it as a “bored housewife” situation. Her family didn’t really need the money, it just seemed like an interesting thing to do.
Then she found her first few jobs, and her clients all wanted her to stage vacant homes. Her first client, an influential real estate company, had a very high-end home they wanted staged. Melissa got to name her price for the job and then rushed to secure a loan for the furnishings. Few of the people she ran into believed she could do it when she mentioned which house she was staging; it had been on the market for four years already.
It was one of the most intimidating jobs a stager could have as a first job. But she did it. She used a gorgeous, lipstick-red couch as a statement piece. And it sold—just one week later.
Suddenly, she had a tremendous amount of credibility and confidence. More jobs came in, and in her first year as a stager, Melissa made $180,000 in gross sales.
Having made her own way in the staging industry, Melissa now offers training classes of her own. These classes cover everything from becoming a vacant property specialist to using social media to build your brand. You can find out more about our 2020 offerings here.