Name: Paloma Harrington
Experience: several years of experience
Company Name: Casa e Progetti
My name is Paloma Harrington and I am the founder of the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland, and Vice President of the European Association of Home Staging Professionals (EAHSP). I’m also the Global Director of Operations of IAHSP® International and oversee its activity and expansion worldwide. I am an ASP® Accredited Staging Professional, a Property Styling Expert and Luxury Home Staging Specialist.
Paloma runs her own Staging businesses in the UK and also in Brazil, focusing mainly on pre-build marketing material for property developers worldwide.
Talk to us about your early days in Home Staging :
1) How did you get your start in Luxury Home Staging?
I started working with home staging back in 2017 when deciding to change careers after having worked with Marketing for the past decade.
I landed a job in one of the leading staging companies in London at the time, whose main clients were property developers that focused on high-end properties in Prime London.
We also did a few mid-market apartments across London, but the core of the business was the luxury market, where £10m+ properties were the norm.
I was quickly immersed in that world, which forced me to seek education and learn as much as I could about this profile of client and of potential buyers.
From customer service to the actual furniture sourcing, it all functions at a different level of care and exclusivity when it comes to the luxury market.
2) What are some of the most important elements of a successful Luxury home staging project?
Any property on the market benefits from professional home staging, but there isn’t a set formula that would fit all homes, and a lot of forethought is required when said homes are luxury properties.
When staging for the luxury market, specific trends are less important than timeless appeal, in the overall scheme.
Bold and unusual touches that complement memorable accents are a must – bonus points for unique items such as an exclusive artwork, a rare sculpture or a designer piece.
Focusing on the lifestyle that can be achieved when purchasing the property is a great lifeline to follow as well, which in this case include home offices, media rooms, outdoor kitchens, dedicated hobby rooms, fitness room and fully-equipped spas.
A sign of a luxury staging well done is when good looks and comfort meet, bringing together an atmosphere that a buyer will relate to and creating that “wow factor” that sells a home .
3) Tell us something more about your passions and lifestyle.
I am very passionate about home staging, obviously, and about working with and empowering women – hence focusing so much on education and professional development across my work with the Associations I have the honour to represent.
But when the topic isn’t work and I can focus on myself, I could say I am a very active person and I do love to keep moving and stay healthy so I can keep up with my own pace!
I enjoy going to the gym and I love running, especially ever since I got my adorable Springer Spaniel last summer.
I also love to travel (who doesn’t?) and am always looking forward to the next destination.
4) How do you help clients understand the importance of small details when staging a home?
Communication is extremely important when dealing with clients, especially those that carry an emotional attachment to their homes.
It is important to make them understand that the way someone lives in a property is very different than the way we sell a property.
There is no room for individual taste or anything personal, as the goal is to appeal to the highest number of potential buyers possible – and that is the role of the home staging professional, who will research the market to find out the profile of that property’s buyer, and how to connect with them via their work.
The same applies for vacant properties: an empty space does not appeal to anyone. Buyers can’t visualise themselves living in an empty space – no lifestyle is presented and therefore no emotional connection is established, making the decision-making process of putting down an offer a lot slower, if there at all.
5) Do you have any experience working with real estate agents? Tell us more about it and the way you build value for them.
Home Staging is an incredibly effective property marketing tool, proven to bring results when it comes to selling or renting properties.
Staging professionals often work alongside Estate Agents and developers. They all have the same objective: to achieve a quick sale with little to no price reduction – in fact, frequently a property will sell for over the asking price.
According to the Home Staging Report by the HSA UK & Ireland, 71% of Estate Agents in the UK & Ireland agree that staged properties get more viewings than non-staged ones, whilst 86% of agents reported that staged homes sell faster than non-staged homes, and up to 10% above the asking price.
This is the value that home staging and staging professionals bring to agents everywhere.
Real estate agents that understand this and will be able to create sales and marketing material that wins clients, making their business a unique success by standing out from their competition and achieving better results for their clients.
6) We want to attract buyers who are in a specific price range. How would you adjust your decorating choices if the current setup was too expensive-looking ?
We have all heard of the golden rule that less is more.
If a space is too expensive-looking, I would create space and remove anything that stands out too much. I would also stick to neutral colours and be mindful of the function given to each room (for example, a hobby room might be something a mid-market property wouldn’t normally have).
Simplifying a space is usually the answer in cases like this, combined with the right choice of pieces and colours.
7) What do you think is the most important skill for a home stager to have?
Successful Stagers are passionate about what they do and unafraid of hard work. Organisational skills and a good eye for detail are also key to succeeding in this dynamic profession, as well as being creative and resourceful.
A good understanding of interior trends and, most importantly, the property market, is also vital in order to excel and deliver a complete service.
8) What makes you stand out from other home stagers?
All professionals have something unique to offer, as we all come from different backgrounds, with a different set of skills and varied experience, making differences something to be celebrated.
I hold something unique when it comes to what I bring to the table as a Staging professional due to my marketing background and my international connections. These allow me to focus on the best sales angle whilst accessing and applying my global knowledge of trends, whether it’s related to the interiors world or the property market.