Space Property Staging Founder, Dani Trow, has been involved in property for over 17 years, buying and renovating properties to a high standard ready for sale. Dani has also been working a corporate role within the investment industry for a number of years, but in 2022 took the leap to transform her love for property and interior styling to launch her own venture. BIPC Devon talks to Dani about her small business journey..
To those that don’t know what Space Property Staging, what is that you do?
“Home staging is a service, it’s a marketing tool that helps people sell their homes faster and for more money, that’s the crux of it. So what we do is we provide furniture and furnishings to help present homes beautifully, so when people are looking at property listings on the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, there are beautiful photos of a really aspirational home that people will stop and look at. The Instagram and Pinterest generation expect homes to be presented at their best. It’s a bit like if you were going to a job interview where you want to look your best, it’s exactly the same concept for a home.
We work with property developers, builders and architects that have high-end empty properties that need those vital touches in order to get top value and fast offers on their properties. Staging is proven to increase valuations by up to15% and lead to faster sales.
We offer a full furniture rental and staging package for them. They can complete the construction and final finishes, they hire us to come in and furnish the property with really stylish items to give their property that aspirational look. We basically create a ‘show home’ for them.
Empty rooms actually look smaller without furniture!”
When did you start the business and what is the story behind why you started Space Property Staging?
“So the business is a new venture for me, but for the last seventeen years my husband and I have been buying and renovating properties for sale. I’ve always loved properties and I adore interiors and really enjoyed furnishing and decorating them ready for market. Staging to me was just a natural thing to do in order to maximise the value of the property, but I didn’t actually realise that some people struggle with this.
A few years ago I realised that staging is actually an industry and it’s been in the back of my mind. Then last year I thought to myself, right, I’m turning forty next year and now is the time to really go for it, so I launched in November 2022!”
How’s it all going so far?
“Yeah it’s good! I’m building it at the moment, some people totally get the concept of staging and the massive benefits that it brings. But others are completely new to the concept, and I still see so many empty properties out there on the market that just need to be shown some love!
I’ve been going to loads of property networking events; recently I went to three networking events in one day! I’m talking to everyone that I can: developers, builders, architects, investors, as I want to get the staging concept out there!
I recently completed a high-end project in Newton Abbot and the owner was delighted with the transformation.”
All small business face challenges – how have you overcome them so far?
“Yes I actually had one this week- my aim is to ‘shop local’ as much as possible as I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses, and we have such a talented pool of artisans and suppliers in the South West that it’s crazy not to use them! When I launched the business I built a great network of local artists and suppliers whose artwork I use to decorate the properties I stage. (One particular artist called Joe Webster recently completed a stunning commission for a project which really elevated the property).
Anyway, another artist in my network contacted me to say that her daughter had a property for sale in Teignmouth (my home town!) It was part-furnished and had been hanging on the market for a while, and she thought that if the property was staged it would sell faster. So I’d put the quote in and we were preparing to stage, but before we had a change the homeowner then received an offer on the property which she accepted.
The real shame was she said she had ‘offers’ in, so I imagine that she wasn’t offered the full asking price, but if she had the property staged she would likely have got full asking price or perhaps even over the asking. But the horse had already bolted on that one so it was a real shame. It taught me that it’s best to get the property staged prior to going on the market, rather than leaving it too late.”
What’s the big why/values behind you that keeps you going when times are tough?
“Yes, it’s obviously very early days at the moment, but I’ve got a young family, I’ve got a four and a half year old daughter and an eighteen month old son. I’ve worked in the sales and financial industry for the last few years and life changes! I’ve got two lovely children now and I want to have that freedom to pick and choose my own hours, so I can see my children more, but I also want to have a really successful business that I – and they can be proud of.”
Have you got any exciting goals or things coming up in the future?
“I’m really in the building stage at the moment, and just trying to get my brand out there across Devon. So you’ll see me at a lot more events, trade shows, I’m going to an amazing trade show in Plymouth in May which focuses on sustainable furniture, because I really want to source furniture as sustainably and responsibly as possible. I’m really looking forward to building the business, working with more developers, estate agents and homeowners, and just helping people sell their properties for more money!”
Any top tips for someone looking to start their own business?
“Don’t be afraid of going to those networking events because people are so warm and welcoming, I personally have been astonished by it. It’s nowhere near as scary as you think because people are genuinely interested in you.
Number two is to get on social media, it’s completely free, all it takes is your time. Use tools like Canva and you can make some really good posts, which can really generate a lot of interest!
And the third is just go for it! You can dream about it, you can think about it but you’ve just got to try it at the end of the day.”
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