Home Staging with Turn Around Interiors


In this episode of the Beta Bay Podcast, host Seb Fry interviews Joanne Ton and Lisa Nicks Beltazar from Turnaround Interiors, a home staging company. They discuss their backgrounds in design and staging, the importance of staging in selling a home quickly and for a higher price, and the trends in home staging. They also mention their website, where they have a portfolio of before and after photos, and offer a 10% discount on the first staging job for listeners of the podcast. They also mention their plans to create a Facebook page and Instagram account for their business.


Hey everybody. Welcome to the Beta Bay Podcast. I’m your host, Seb Fry, and today on the line we have a couple of guests from Turnaround Interiors. We have Joanne Ton and Lisa Nicks Beltazar. Hey ladies, how are you guys doing?

Awesome. Great. Great.

Alright, well thank you so much. Thanks for having us.

Oh, well I thank you for being here. I really appreciate it. I know you guys are very, very busy, especially this time of year. So just to get things started, do me a favor and tell me a little bit about yourselves, where you guys from and how long you lived here and why do you live here and what kind of background do you guys have professionally?

Well, I’m going to let Joanne start because I came in to Turnaround Interiors after having a long design career on my own. I merged with her about a year ago. So Joanne, why don’t you talk about yourself first? Alrighty. Well, I was actually born and raised here in Santa Cruz County, and so I’ve been here a while. Shall I divulge how long? No, that would be my age of it, so I’m not going to do that, but it’s been a long time. I got into staging about 12 years ago, so I’ve been doing this for 12 years. My background, I have a degree in journalism and my minor was psychology, but I actually have worked for the D E A, the Drug Enforcement Administration was board to tears. So I got myself into some sales jobs, which I really enjoyed. And the background of all this is that I’ve always enjoyed decorating and I walk into somebody’s house and my eyes start darting around and go, oh, they could do this. So a friend of mine and I just kind of on the whim said, Hey, let’s get into this business. We’re always decorating for our family and friends and our church, so why don’t we actually make some money? So we went to and got certified for home staging and the rest is history.


So yeah, she’s had, well, turnaround interiors. Joanne’s been in business for 12 years about right now, so a long time. And so I’m Lisa and my background is different. And I have to say that Joanne’s an amazing designer. I love working with her. I love her energy and I’m really excited to be a part of this business. Her partner, they were both going to retire at one point. I had heard about the company and I can say that I am so happy that I came in as a partner and that I’m working with her. But my background is that I grew up in the Monterey Peninsula and I’ve always been in the business of transformation. I realized that I’m pretty much an entrepreneur and design is my passion. I have been a fitness trainer and trained client for years. So that’s transformation of the body. And I went through a huge tragedy about 15 years ago now and lost my husband, my soulmate high school sweetheart.

Everyone wants to know…

And it was pivotal, very pivotal time in my life. And I had friends been telling me for years, Lisa, you designed the most amazing events. Your homes look great, you should go into the design business. So I landed a position in Monterey working for the premier design company, illusions of Grandeur. And for 14 years I held many positions in designing and including huge events and I would help friends with doing homes and I would do large scale events for fundraisers. And through this journey, I fell in love with an amazing man. Okay, burning Man, that’s where I met him. Me, I was Burning Man to take some of my husband’s ashes and honor the transformation I’ve gone through. And I met this amazing man who was an attorney and a divorcee and just a beautiful soul. Lived in Santa Cruz. And I moved to Santa Cruz six years ago and a woman, a realtor, walked into my house one day and said, who designed your home?
It’s beautiful. And I said, I did. And she said, we need more stages here in Santa Cruz. You should have a staging business. So I did my own business called Transformations for about two and a half years while I winded and dined Joanne and her partner, letting them know I wanted to come in. And it’s been amazing. And since Joanne and I have been together, we’ve moved into a 4,000 square foot warehouse and we’ve gone from being able to stage about six homes to be able to stage 10 to 11, we’ve bought some really beautiful furniture from the stager in the Pebble beach area. So we’re really expanding our business and that’s our story and we’re sticking to it. Wow. You guys, the fun. A lot of experience.

Yeah, the fun never ends, right? So is that what attracts you to it? I mean, is it the fun that keeps you going or is it the ability to design and create new spaces several times a month? Or what keeps you going in this business?

For me, it’s all of the above. But am telling you, I would not do this without a partner. It’s a lot of work. So before I say anything else, Lisa, I love you too. Oh, thank you.

Yeah, it’s a lot of work. So it’s not just going into a house and dragging a bunch of stuff out of your musty old warehouse and putting up a few chairs and tables there. There’s a lot more to it.

That’s not a musty piece. Come check it out. But I have to say this, that you hit the nail on the head when you said, now it’s interesting because I did do my staging company for two and a half years by myself, and there were many times where I could barely walk and I would walk in at 10 or 11 o’clock at night. And having a partner is, I mean, I can’t go back to the other way because you feed off of each other. You have two sets of eyes and we always, each time we finish a house, we walk around and we have such pride in what we’ve created because you’ve taken a blank slate and you’ve made this house, you want to buy the house. I mean, it just looks beautiful. We’ve seen some older houses where they don’t look so great, and then we come in and they look awesome. And we’ve seen newer homes that are beautiful, but huge and spacious and we make them feel warm and inviting. So it’s fun within a day or two, we’ve made a house look completely, someone’s living there in this beautiful, it’s like a painting, but it’s with furniture and knickknacks

And artwork. Craft,

Yeah, artwork.

Right, right. Yeah. I’ve worked with you guys in the past and you guys have always done a fantastic job for me and it, I’ve taken the accredited staging, whatever it is, from whatever it is, institution. And so I wanted to learn some design and staging principles myself just so that I could speak more informed Lee about it, I guess you want to say. But the training that I did was just, it might’ve been 12 hours or whatever, and I’m not really sure ultimately how much I got out of it, but you mentioned that you have been certified, I see here you guys are a certified interior staging specialists and interior redesign industry specialist. What’s that certification? Is that you go away for school to Paris or something like that or what’s that

Certification? Yeah, Paris from Paris, we go to London and then from London we go to Germany. So pretty cool. It’s a year of training. No, I wish. But no, I took my training up in the Bay area and it was two weeks of hands-on training and testing afterwards and you get certified. And I think what makes Sebastian, I think what makes us a really cool team is that my certification came from just 14 years hands-on being a lead designer for this company where I did so many different things. So I never went through the course, but just life experience and working within the industry. So the two of us together, I’m learning from Joanne and I’d like to think she sometimes learns from me vice versa. So you’re getting two different backgrounds of design capability, but we both have great passion for what we do and we want to walk away from the job feeling like everything’s just the way it’s supposed to be.

Yeah, you can’t beat that lifetime experience. There’s that book blank, I dunno if you’ve ever read it, but it’s all about the ability to make an instantaneous decision and have it be the right decision without even thinking about it. Right. It’s just something that you feel, right.


Can’t necessarily even explain it, but it just comes from all that you are, all the experiences that you’ve had and you guys have had a lot of it, and that’s what makes you guys so great at what you do.

Thank you. Thank you.

Your Customized Improvement Plan

So this is a question that I think a lot about is what actually is home staging? How would you define home staging?

Joanne start? There’s so many different elements that come into play here, so I’ll try to summarize it as best I can. I think the first thing to say is in a vacant home, only 10% of us can walk into a vacant home and say, oh, I like this house. I could live here. The other 90% of us walk into a vacant house and go, where does my furniture go and how is this going to fit and how’s that going to fit? And they just can’t visualize the potential of the home. So those are the folks, the potential buyers that we speak to in our staging business is those 90% that walk into a house and need visual interpretation. We work on the psychology of the buyer and to accentuate the home’s best features. And it allows the buyer to really imagine themselves living in that home. And that’s really the purpose of staging, is to speak to those 90% that can’t imagine the warmth in that homey feeling when they walk into a vacant home. So that’s how I’ll summarize that. That’s what

I say. I say that if people can’t see it, they won’t pay for it. If they can’t see what the place is going to be like, they’re not going to pay for it. So if they can’t see the kind of lifestyle they could have in that home, you’re not going to pay the extra 20, 30, 50 grand for it. They’ll say, well, this is like a barn, I need so much work or whatever.

And then they’ll focus on the wall color isn’t right or of the flaws, you see the flaws storage in the house. And so they’ll focus on the negatives rather than the positive.

Right, right. Good point.

So I have something to add to that too. And Joanne did hit the nail on the head because even in a home, and primarily we do vacant home staging, and really that is the best way to have a clean slate. And then we come in and do the house completely from top to bottom depending on how many rooms, but they’re going to walk in and feel that lived in feeling. Again, if we do partial staging or redesign, you don’t want to walk into somebody’s home where you feel like you’re in their space. Our advice helps them take the home so that they can walk in and feel like they’re not in someone’s space, that they’re actually seeing a beautifully designed home with that concept. It’s kind of like packaging a product to make it appeal to a target and larger audience. Because if the home looks its best, it’ll capture the emotion of the buyer and the buyers are making the biggest purchase of their lifetime. So that’s a big purchase. And so you are really tapping into emotion there. And you only get that one second often to make that first impression because a lot of buyers are going through and scheming through listings, just looking at pictures, an empty house versus a beautifully staged home. And the pictures, it’s going to capture your buyer before they even walk in often. So there’s so many ways it’s a beneficial thing to do.

Yeah, that’s right. I have a little guide that I prepared that says, preparing, maintaining and showing your house to sell in seconds, because literally that’s what it takes to get a buyer sold on your house when they pull up to the driveway. It’s very important to have a house look right on the outside, but once they open the door, you either grab ’em or lose them in the first 10 or 15 seconds that they’re in the house, and that’s what staging does for you to some extent. It is just that initial first impression is really, really important.

Yeah, gold, I mean,

Right? Yeah, it’s gold, right?

It’s the saying, you only get one opportunity, sorry, to make a positive first impression. Right. You get one shot at it.

That’s right. It is almost impossible to get a buyer who didn’t like your house to come back again for a second look.


Even if you drop the price, right, maybe, but then that’s going to cost you, it’s going to cost you a lot if you have to go and drop the price.

Exactly. So

You guys have any kind of specialty when it comes to the work you do you guys specialize in mansions or do you specialize in little cottages or

What do you guys Well, we do it all. I mean, we’ve done manufactured homes and we’ve done the big mansion type homes. So our favorite, however, no matter how big or small is coastal homes, I would think that’s one of our specialties, especially in the Santa Cruz County. However, if you’re up in Boulder Creek, you’re not going to do a coastal home. And so you do more of the wherever the environment that it’s in, that’s what you play to.
And it keeps it interesting that we have so many styles and so many looks. It makes our job more exciting. And it also is really good for all the realtors and homeowners that use us because we have such a variety. So we are always deciding on how we’re going to stage the home by the personality and the feel of the home. But I am with Joanne. I mean, we get a lot of coastal homes and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also a lot of fun to have that view when you’re staging, when you can walk out, balcony in the ocean, take a break on the deck, this is great. Let’s go out on the deck and have a glass of Chardonnay and cheer to our good job. Not to say that the mountains aren’t fun to work in too. They’re beautiful with the redwoods. I mean, there’s a lot of beautiful places. So

Yeah, we are blessed to live

In such a lovely area

Almost anywhere is pretty special. So one thing I find is that I have discussion a lot with people and say, Hey, do you want to stage your house or not? And a lot of people sort of push back on that idea, do we have to stage the house? And they don’t know if it really makes any difference. So can you guys speak to that at all? I mean, do you have any kind of numbers that show what a difference it makes to stage your house?

Yeah, Lucy, answer that one. Well, I’ll start off by saying that that is definitely, it’s a very normal reaction for someone who’s selling their home to say, I don’t need to stage it. They’re spending all the money to get it all ready, maybe paint or new carpets, et cetera. And they’re thinking, why do I have to spend this extra money in staging? But statistically natural Caldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation and National Statistics show that houses that are staged spend 73% and sometimes up to 80 or 90% less time on the market, and buyers are willing to spend one to 5% more on that. So homes that stay on the market longer that aren’t staged, typically you’re going to come in and have to do a price rejection, and it’s usually around 10,000, which a staged home, we usually don’t hit that high. It could be anywhere from depending on the home from 2000 up to maybe five or six for a much larger home.
But in the range of two $3,000, you do one $10,000 reduction, boom, you’ve already lost what you could have sold the house for more money in the staging. So statistics, if they look it up or we tell them, or the agents are educated and explain it, it happens every time. And there’s more that we can feed in with actual experiences we’ve had with some agents with amazing numbers. But I’ll let Joanna add something if she’d like to this. Well, one of the statistics also says that 95% of staged homes sell on an average of 11 days or less and for 17% more. So that was a survey that was conducted by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. So I’ve heard the comments leaving your home as is actually helps sell your competition.


Boost your Home’s Value – Easily

Yeah, that makes sense. Definitely the investment that you put into home staging, as Lisa had mentioned, is way less than your first price reduction. And in most cases, any of the funds that you spend getting your home ready for the market is tax deductible.

So you’re going to get that back and then some. So it’s an investment. Your home is a piece of merchandise now. And how are you going to package it? Are you going to package it something that is going to get sold in the dollar store or are you going to package it as something that’s going to get sold at Nordstrom’s? I mean, how are you going to package this piece of merchandise that you have,

Right? When you buy a Rolex at a garage sale versus buying a Rolex at Tiffany’s, one’s going to carry a premium just from the way it’s presented to you. And that’s actually a really very important point because if you look and see, okay, a house that’s on the market for one week, it’ll sell at a hundred percent of asking price or 105% and two weeks, it’ll be a hundred percent, three weeks, it’ll be 98%. And by four or five, six weeks, if you keep your house on the market that long, you’re going to be looking almost in all cases at getting something less than what you would’ve gotten maybe had at least as a percentage wise, had it been sold quickly. And having your house staged really does move up that time on sale. And so you can correlate that very closely between time on market and sale price and anything which reduces your time on market is almost by definition going to boost your sales price. I did a podcast a few weeks ago with an appraiser and I was asking her, how do you value these intangible things like of you or whatever. And then she mentioned, is the house staged
Staging? And she was talking from an appraiser’s perspective, when an appraiser walks in the door, is the house stage is that going to have an effect even on what an appraiser is going to say the house is worth? So I thought that was very interesting as well.

Wow. Yeah, that’s great to hear. That is good to hear. And interesting, you were talking about houses, the longer they’re on the market, they go down in value. And we’ve had situations more than once where a home has been on the market for a great deal of time, and they actually will take it off a long enough period of time. So there you’re talking more time so that it’s kind of when it’s put back on fresh and staged, it’s like it’s a new home. So it’s like they wish they did it the first time. They had to go through all that time on market, all the marketing, then they have to pull it off, wait a while, and then they restage it because a house that hasn’t been doing well and then you bring in staging sometimes it’s like what you just said, you get only that first chance to make a first impression, and somebody in their mind won’t go back to even thinking about that home until it’s taken off for a while and then it’s a fresh new start again. It’s been interesting how that’s happened.

If you’re going to do that, you really do need to make sure that when you reboot the listing that you do make it seem like it’s almost a completely new house that people haven’t seen before. And you can do that with staging.

Exactly. And it’ll look different.

It’s interesting how much psychology goes into the real estate market.

Oh yeah. It is total psychology. I mean, people are buying a feeling really more than just a roof, right? A lifestyle. You need to connect with people on an emotional level, and if you’re not connecting with them on emotion level, you’re going to connect with them on a financial level. And they don’t pay for that. They pay for the feeling. There’s not a feeling. They’re just looking at it like a collection of shingles and boards and bricks and whatnot.

Yeah, so true. It’s interesting being a stager and being a designer myself, when I was in the market looking, I was recently a few years ago looking to buy, and actually, and this is a big compliment to Joanne and Turnaround Interiors. At the time I had my own staging business, and one of the houses I went into, it just appealed to me. Just it was beautifully decorated and the way it was decorated, I could see myself there. And I found out later that it was Turnaround interiors who had, little did I know, little did I know that a few years later I’d be part of that team. And so even as a designer, it appealed more to me, and we actually almost bought that house, and we didn’t for other reasons than the fact that it wasn’t designed beautifully. So it makes a big difference. It really does.

So you mentioned earlier the staging budget and what is a typical staging budget? Exactly. What should people expect to pay to have their house staged?

Oh a, that’s a hard question to answer, but we’ll do our best. It all depends on the size of the house, and it depends on do they want the whole house staged? Do they want just the main room staged? So I’m going to say the minimum is probably 2200, the maximum. Who knows? It just depends on how much furniture we put in there, how much time it takes us to do that. You could be looking at, I don’t know, 4,000, 5,000. Again, it depends on the size of the house. Are we bringing in furniture, which we’re doing a lot more now, is bringing in furniture to stage outside here in California, extending your living space outside is a big deal. So staging decks and patios is really an additional value. Adds such an additional value to the home.

Yeah, because I mean, so much of what you’re paying for is the land really, and most of the land could be outside the house. And

Again, that’s a lifestyle too. Being able to go outside and just imagine yourself having a barbecue with family and what helps give that value and that impression to the potential buyer is having that area staged.

It is hard to answer that question, how much is it going to cost? But we do our best to work within budgets. I mean, we’ll often come in with some options. We will explain what we think would be the best thing for staging, and then we’ll give them options like adding on the outdoor, adding on an extra bedroom. And typically, usually the client does go with our recommendations, unless it’s a really tight budget, and we’ll work within that the best that we can. But one thing, and it doesn’t happen very often because our homes that we’re staging are selling so fast. But what happens is you pay a fee and in that fee includes the delivery, the pickup of the furniture, our work, the design, and that covers for the first month. If your house is on the market for longer than a month, then we do have a monthly fee for renting the furnishings. I’m telling you, it’s nice for us when that happens, but it’s not happening very often. Our homes are selling so quickly that we’re getting calls and we’re pulling out the furniture within that first month. But that’s kind of how the pricing works with most all staging companies and models,

Right? Yeah, that’s what I found is that there’s the initial setup fee and then there’s a continuing rental fee. But you’re right, you don’t need to typically rent for more than the first month. But let’s just say somebody is on a budget, which a lot of people are, and they have, I don’t know, let’s just call it $4,000. What would you stage first, what are the most important rooms to stage in a house, do you think?

Take all your equity when you move

Well, I’ll answer that, but before I do, I want to say that we will go out and do a bid. A bid does not cost anything. We’ll come out, we’ll do a bid and we’ll put the numbers together, we’ll discuss what the homeowner, okay, is there a budget constraint here? So it doesn’t really cost anything to get a bid from us. So that’s something for listeners to keep in mind. Yeah, that’s a great point, Joanne. Thanks for bringing that up. So what was the other part of the question? I already forgot.

Oh, well, I was asking the next question, which was let’s just say you’re on a budget and you only had like $4,000. What’s the most important rooms to stage? First

We suggest the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, all the bathrooms. A lot of the other additional bedrooms can speak for themselves, but at least stage one bedroom, which would be the master. If there’s an area of the house that you walk into it and you go, what is the purpose of this room? That would be another room that would be important to stage. So you have to give each room a purpose. Some bedrooms are really obvious in some areas, so you want to stage the obvious rooms that I mentioned. But also if there’s a room that’s odd and you walk in there and go, what do we do with this room? Then we say, just so the buyer knows what it is.

And doing that master bedroom, I mean, that’s that first, exactly what Joanne’s saying, it’s first impression is everything. So you open the door and you see this wonderfully inviting, beautiful living room or sometimes living room, dining room combination. But if you’re going into the bedrooms, I mean, especially the master bedroom, that’s a very personal, intimate space that you want to feel beautiful and comfy and yummy, and we create that so that they’re going to walk in and they can see themselves sitting in a chair having a glass of wine, looking out the window or a comfy bed. And so it’s definitely part of the psychology there. Definitely agree.

Right now when buyers walk into houses that have been staged, they see all this great furniture and whatnot, but usually there’s been a lot of work that went in the house before that, right? Like flooring or window covering, countertops, appliances. Do you guys consider that staging? Is that part of your work?

I’ll answer that. What we can do. I talked about a bid and how it doesn’t cost anything for us to come and give you a bid. If you want a consultation that does, there is a charge for that and what a consultation consists of. We would go into the house, we help you pick a paint color, we will suggest maybe new flooring or carpeting, whatever the case may be, lighting. It’s those little things. Paint doesn’t cost a whole lot lighting. You can go to Home Depot and get some awesome new light fixtures to update your bathroom and maybe new countertops, maybe it’s just painting those old oak cabinets, paint them white and put on new hardware so that all those elements can be part of the staging process.

Right. Now, do you guys refer out contractors to do that kind of work? Do you have your own folks that you’ve worked with to? Because in Santa Cruz, and I’m sure in Sunnyvale, I know in Sunnyvale, in San Jose, there’s a lot of clapped out old track houses, right? They’re structurally sound and they’re fine, but inside they’re just worn out and beat up, and they do need the flooring and the lighting and the paint and the counters and the cabinets and all that. So that’s a lot of work. Do you guys have folks that you work with who sort of bring your vision to life, or how does that all work?

Yes. To answer your question, preferred vendors that we’ve worked with, and that’s been a really wonderful thing for me. Like I said, I’ve been in the area for six years. Joanne’s been here her whole life pretty much, right? Joanne, for the most part, it’s not a

Very long time. Of course, Joan’s a young lady. Of course not

Of course. But my ex-husband was a diplomat in the foreign service. And so for many years we lived and traveled overseas, which was awesome and fun. So haven’t always been here in Santa Cruz County, I’ve been here, there and everywhere.

You’re worldly.

I’m a worldly woman. She’s worldly and wonderful, and she has great vendors and we have a lot of happy, happy clients. And one of the things she brought up, we were talking about this, we staged a home. We were actually staging a home yesterday, thank goodness, before the rain today. And we actually went out of our area up into Sunnyvale. Sometimes we’ll have local agents that we’ve worked with that will ask us if we’ll go further out of the area, and we will do that on a case by case basis. If we like you, we’ll do that. Yes. And we’re definitely tapping into the areas around here, up the mountains, Los Gatos, et cetera. But one of the things that we’ve talked about is a lot of the agents, the agents that are successful and doing well that keep using us, they already also have vendors that they use. But then if we have an agent coming in and they really don’t know who to turn to, yes, there are preferred vendors and people that we can recommend for them to go to.

Okay, great. So you’ll recommend specific paint colors, and maybe I think I should get the hickory plank flooring and the Cory encounters or whatever. You guys will make those specific recommendations as the materials. And then if the agent or the homeowner doesn’t have their own bid, you have somebody who you can recommend to come in and give them a price estimate on doing those repairs or upgrades.

Yes. Yes, definitely.


We will help you. We will help. So you don’t feel lost out there in this world of what do I do? And we’re fun to work with too. We’re entertaining. We’re entertaining and fun and knowledgeable.

Concierge Services

I will definitely concur with that. So let me ask you this, does every home really need to be staged? I mean, in a market like this where there’s nothing for sale anyway, people don’t have a lot of choices. They’re desperate in there. They just want to get anything they can possibly get their hands on. Do you really need to stage a house even in a market like this when there’s no other homes that are maybe in competition with a particular property?

Go ahead. If you want it to sell fast and you want to get more I money for it, for lack of a better way to say that, then yeah, you stage it. I mean, if you don’t want to spend the money, then like I said before, all you’re doing is helping your competition sell. And I speak of this house we stage yesterday, and here’s a prime example, this home in

Sunnyvale, right? I mean, Sunnyvale, I know there’s nothing for sale in Sunnyvale, right? Nothing.

Yes. So here’s a prime example, and I call this a very smart seller. So this house, which was not a very big house, but was in a nice area, it’s an older home, and it just shows you how crazy the market is right now before it was even listed. But they know it’s me listed. She’s getting an offer of 1.6 million cash, and it’s just a shock value that that house is even worth that she told her agent, I want to save this house because she’s going to get more than that, and she knows it. And we saw the difference after we were done staging it. So yes, I mean, you can use that argument. My house is going to sell fast. There’s a lot of them out, A lot of buyers, but not a lot of houses. But exactly what Joanne’s saying. I mean, if you’re going to stage your home and someone’s going to come in that one six May, who knows what that’s going to turn into? It’ll

Be, yeah, turn into one seven. You pay 6,000 that staged, and it could sell for one seven, right?

Yes. Yeah, definitely.


Conceivably, right?

Definitely. Because you see that a

Lot didn’t even, and that staging job, I think was, I don’t know, it was like 3,800 or something. Maybe it was 4,000, I’m not sure. Yeah. So it’s going to be really fun and interesting to follow this and see how quickly it sells and how for how much and for how much more. Yeah, it’s crazy.

Yeah, I was running comps just what, yesterday, the day before for a house that’s about a mile from the new Apple Park. They’re giant spaceship campus, look in the same house, same year of construction, same lot size, same bedroom, bathroom count, same square footage. There can be a $200,000 swing in price for the same house. And so much of it has to do with what the house looks like and what it feels like when you come in there. So yeah, I mean, every home can benefit from staging. There’s no question about it, but what kinds of homes benefit the most from staging? Is there some particular house that really is like, wow, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t stage this house?

All of them. No. Yeah, I mean, we talked about that. And of course being stagers, the audience is going to sit there, and of course they’re going to say all of them. We want the business. But honestly, we talked about it. And what’s so interesting is, like I said, we’ll go into some dated older homes, and I truly will look at each other. I hesitate to even say this, but it’s so funny. Joanne has this term, she calls it putting lipsticks on pigs. I’m sorry for saying that, but we’ve done some homes where I’ve walked in and gone, oh my God, they should have done the floor. They should have done this. And we do the best we can, and by the time we leave the house, it’s so cute and wonderful and warm. So that’s on that one extreme. And then on the other extreme, I’ve walked in, we’ve walked into some beautiful brand new constructed homes, absolutely beautiful. And these days, the way they’re doing the rooms are more kind of a larger living space where you have your family room, kitchen, it’s just this huge open area. And if that is not made warm and inviting with furniture, it’s really hard. It’s this kind of expansive, colder room, even though it’s beautiful. And so it’s kind of across the board. I agree with Joanne. It’s every single house, even the most beautiful brand new ones makes a

Difference. That’s a very interesting point. When you go and see these new homes that are for sale, and there are a few in Gilroy and Seaside, the old fort or the developers, they pay big bucks to have those house stages staged. Those houses are staged to a T. Even the big corporations know that’s where you spend your money, you spend your money in the presentation that it’s really so important.

Yeah, the designer, the homes. Yeah. Sorry. It’s all about packaging. It’s all about packaging.

That’s very true. Now, you guys mentioned a little while ago about staging the exterior. So tell me about staging the exterior, because there’s so much more to the exterior. I mean, exterior is very big space compared to the inside, usually of a house. So is there anything more that you guys recommend besides just putting some patio furniture up, or what kind of stuff do you do to the exterior of a house that you find yourself recommending these days?

Well, a lot of times it’s repainting the front door. Just paint the front door a color where it’s going to stand out. And everybody goes, oh, there’s the front door. I mean, sometimes these front doors, they’re confusing. It’s like, where do we go into this house? And so just painting the front door sometimes can make a big difference. When the car pulls up to the house with the agent and the buyers get out, you want to make a positive first impression as soon as they drive up the driveway before they get out of the house. So paying attention to that detail is important as well. And then when you add, you talk about, and that’s so true when you talk about the patio furniture. So if we see a little deck area off of a master bedroom as an example, we’ll put a couple of chairs. We’ll stage it with a bottle of wine and two glasses, some nice outdoor pillows, a little outdoor plant in a shell or something. And that’s so inviting so that they can picture, the buyer can picture themselves, oh, I come home from a hard day at work and I’m going to just sit out here on the balcony and have a glass of wine. So even adding just something small like that and really makes it that much more warm and inviting.

Yeah, you want to make it pop, right?

Yep, exactly.

It’s all got to pop inside and out. So what are the hottest trends in home staging these days? I mean, I love going to see these new model homes because I get an idea for what was shown at the National Association of Home Builders Expo last year. So what do you guys see as the hottest trends in home staging or home design or decor?

Well, I think when it comes to a home that’s going to go on the market to have the walls a neutral color so that when we do go in there to stage it, we can bring in art accent pillows. The accessories will be the pop of color. You never know what that potential buyer, what they’re going to be attracted to. So keeping it neutral is important, and we emphasize that. But as far as the furnishings go, you have to kind of play to the structure and the architecture of the house. I would say the big pieces of furniture are going to fall more into the transitional, what we, what’s call transitional style, because it’s going to fit in the majority of homes, and it’s going to appeal to the majority of buyers. But granite countertops are kind of out now, whereas the quartz now is in.


I don’t know if that’s what you were looking for in our answer. Well, yeah, and also what you’re saying, I agree totally. It’s that term, which we haven’t said yet, but with staging, it’s always less is more, and that is very true. So the neutral colors and staying with less is more. And as a designer, when I used to do huge events and work with it, we had something that was called, you always want to add a butterfly. And what they mean by that is something that catches your eyes. So it can be a really beautiful glass piece that we have, or some textile or a piece of art, or like she was saying, using some pillows with a pop of color, something that is going to be that pop, that butterfly, that look so that you don’t walk in and it’s just kind of mundane. You’re having something that’s neutral unless there’s more. But then with a pop of color or pop of a textile or something in there that’s going to grab an attention, but also keep the eye on the house. That’s the most important thing is look at this beautiful home.

Right? Yeah. I guess what I meant is that I always tell my sellers what people love, what people lust after is new people will go and buy these new homes, brand new homes, because they just look new and they have the latest hottest trends, and the paint is gray and the backsplashes, whatever it is, and counters are quarts and all


Stuff. So I guess the question is, what do you see out there that really is catching the buyer’s eyes these days that is new and hip trending in home design or decor or whatever?

I have answers. Do you have something to ask? I have an answer. Well, I to, I don’t know. For me, I tend to stay away from too trendy or too hip because eventually it’s going to out of style. And if you’re wanting to appeal to the masses, you have to go in a direction that’s not over the top trendy and hip.

Right? Well, there’s a reason to stay with classic styles, right? Because they’re classic, right? There’s things that everybody, the timeless, right? I agree. There are a lot of houses start for sale today, which I think people are going to look in 10 years and go like, what were they thinking? Wouldn’t they put those counters in? Yeah. So I think that’s an important distinction that people need to make is you shouldn’t look to necessarily what is the hottest trend. Maybe if it’s a tasteful trend that is timeless, it’s something to pay attention to. But if it’s just a flash in the pan gimmick that somebody is doing in a house, this might be something you want to stay away from.

Yes. I agree.

Right. So you guys have a website, I know you do, where people can go. And do you have a portfolio of work of before and after examples, so people get an idea of what kind of transformations houses go through with staging?

We do. We do. So we’re at www turnaround all one word, turnaround interiors.com. Have you say Joanne? Oh, I said interiors with an Ss. Yes, with an S. Sorry, I didn’t say that correctly, but turn around one word altogether. interiors.com. And on our website there is a section where those of you’re wondering, want to know a little bit. There’s a photo of each of us, a little more about our background. We have different tabs that you can go on that we’ll show before and after pictures. And then also we’re just going to be putting in even more pictures. We had a few on there and we thought, let’s just get even more on there for our realtors and people interested in our work to see pictures speak a thousand words. So we’re going to have different shots of the bedrooms, living rooms, different areas, outdoor furniture, so you can get a feel of our work and see the before and after pictures. Also,

I’m looking at some of these before and afters right now, and it’s pretty amazing the difference. It’s interesting. I’m looking at this one right now, guest bedroom before, and it’s just a picture of an empty floor and two empty walls.

Go to the Head of the Class

And surprising, how many times do you see pictures like that on the MLS? It’s like, this is what’s going to get people in the door to see this house is a little square, a little triangle of floor and a couple of empty walls. And then you had the stage picture, which is a big comfy bed with some lamps around it and some artistic artwork on the wall, and it looks so much better. This stuff would be great for Instagram. Do you guys have an Instagram account?

We should. That’ll be. I kind of, I’m the one. We just did a open house, which was wonderful. And I mean, Joanne and her partner really had established a really nice business. And then I came in kind of the new person full of energy, wanting to expand the business. Hence we moved into the 4,000 square foot warehouse. We got a lot of new furniture and to add to what we already had. And so I haven’t talked to her about Instagram, but it’s coming. Joanne, I know our little marketing girl. Yes, this would be incredible. It would be great for the realtors and the homeowners as well. Quickly get a following, right, of people who want to see your work. And these days it’s all about pictures, and you guys have an amazing story to tell, and the pictures are worth a thousand words, and they speak for themselves every single one of ’em. These are great pictures.

Thanks. There’ll be more coming. So I think by the time this podcast goes live, they’ll definitely all be on there. And we do have a little gift to, we’d love meet those of you listening that haven’t worked with us. And so if you mentioned this wonderful podcast that Sebastian invited us to be on, we are offering a 10% discount on your first staging job with us. So there’s no reason now to not try us, right?

Alright, I’m going to give this podcast to all my clients and say, listen to the very end. There’s a very special offer for you, so pay close attention. So now, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that I should have asked you? Like anything or

No, I don’t think so. What do you think, Joanne? No, I can’t think of anything. I really think we covered a lot of ground. Obviously there’s always going to be more to say, but for the purposes of this podcast, I think we covered a lot of ground. Anyone who has any questions that I can always call us, email us, text us, whatever. And

Yeah, how do they get ahold of you? We have your website, turnaround interiors.com. Is there an email or phone number they can

Call too? Yes, it’s all on the website, all of that information. Okay.

And do you guys have a Facebook page? Are you guys on Facebook as well?

That’s another thing with, that’s another thing. So I’ve been talking to Joanne. It’s so funny because I’m very active on Facebook. I actually have three Facebook accounts. I’m a writer. I have a book coming out, my memoir, and then I also do retreats and workshops for men and women for heart of manifestation. And then my personal. So I’m really active on Facebook, and I told Joan, we need a Facebook. And I go, do you have one? And she says, no. I go, you don’t even have one. So anyway, I’m working on it.

Wait, I have one. Boys and girls. I have one. I just don’t ever use it. I don’t even have a picture. I have a Facebook page, but there’s nothing on it. Okay. Well, I’m going to help her with that. But yes, we will be getting a Facebook page and we will be doing the Instagram. And so stepping into it, like I said, we’ve grown a lot. So what had happened with the business being in business for over a decade, it was a kind of happy niche where they were at. And then now we’ve grown and we can do a lot more homes. So we’re wanting to do a wider outreach to a larger area and a larger amount of agents. And this is an awesome tool being on your podcast. We really appreciate that. And it’s so true. I think the final thing I’d just like to keep tapping into is you only get that first chance, one chance to make a first impression, and that’s where staging is so important. It’s just, boom, once it’s done, it’s done. So that’s a good note to end on. Yeah,

Right. Well really, I mean, that really came clear to me. I mean, I was already clear on it before, but it’s very good to have it refreshed all the time that this is really important stuff. I mean, we’re talking about how much people are going to walk away with when they sell their house, and it’s the biggest asset that they own. Right? That’s the great thing about real estate. It’s not like a stock. You own a stock, you can’t do anything to change the value of it, but you can absolutely increase the value of your own home prior to selling it. So why wouldn’t you do that? Why wouldn’t you hire a stager? And I think you guys have done a great job of showing that all the time. Yes, hire a stager, bite the bullet, do it, get it done.

Get or done, get done, done. They’ll be happy when they have the house selling for a lot more and share and

Faster and faster. Right.

Well, a turnaround interior is the name is Turnaround for Sale. Right, exactly. It’s like turn it around, sell that out. All

Right, great. Well, I’m excited and I can’t wait to share this podcast here with my database because I know that all the thousands of people in my database will be really interested to hear this as well. So Lisa and Joanne, I want to thank you so much for making the time to come on my podcast, and I look forward to working with you guys again soon.

Yeah, don’t forget that 10% discount, you guys give us a call.

Okay, that wraps it up for this episode of the Bay to Bay podcast. And as always, the Beto Bay Podcast is sponsored by the sold to book.com. That’s where you can get a free copy of my book called Get It Sold. That’s right. I wrote a book and it’s available to you for [email protected]. It sells for $13 on Amazon, but you can get it for free. The book is all about how you can sell your home quickly, easily, and for the very highest price possible and have fun doing it. And I should mention, it talks a lot about the home staging. All that goes into preparing your home for sale because that will have a great effect on how much you’re going to sell your home for and how quickly. So go ahead, order your copy of Get It Sold [email protected]. And if you use the coupon code free ship at checkout, that’s F R E E S H I P at checkout, I’ll even pay the shipping too. So go and get your copy today. I’ll send it out to you for free. Hey, thanks again so much for listening to the Beto Bay Podcast. We’ll talk again soon.

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About the Author
Seb Frey helps long-time Bay Area homeowners make their next move easily the next one yet. If you're looking for a minimum of hassle, maximum net cash on sale, and certain results, contact Seb today.