Today we are introducing you to May-Ann, the small business owner of Coastal Property Styling, a property styling and home staging business in Perth WA.
May-Ann has a passion for interior design and started working on her business idea seven years ago. With support from her Many Rivers business coach, May-Ann is taking her business to the next level. With Coastal Property Styling, real estate agents have noted that their houses have sold faster and for a higher price than they would have without the staging. In the future, May-Ann is looking to extend the services offered by Coastal Property Styling to attract personal clients in addition to real estate agents.
“Joy was really understanding when I was going through a hard time in my personal life. Her offering of business advice and emotional support during a difficult time was very helpful for me. She is also always coming up with new ideas of what I could do to change things up in my business too.”
Read May-Ann’s business journey with Coastal Property Styling.
Coastal Property Styling is a property styling or home staging business. I have a wide range of furniture and home accessories that allow me to create unique beach-side, modern looks for my customers. I mainly work with real estate agents to help them prepare a home for sale. With my services, agents can attract more people to home opens, sell properties faster and sell them for more! I have qualifications in interior design and home staging, but beyond that, it is a passion. I have always had an eye for making a home just that bit more warm and homely.
I have been in business for about seven years. I started doing it part-time when I was still working to pay the bills. When I started , I created a website, and I got a few leads that way. I would chat with agents and distribute flyers to tell them what they could do to improve the presentation of their listings. It was slow at the beginning, and it took me a few years to learn about my industry and find the finances. Every day I get more and more confident as a business owner and as a house stager. I have more courage to step out of my comfort zone, and I am really starting to see the success that I have built over the last seven years. It is exciting to be recognised for the impact I make on selling houses.
I studied interior design many years ago. The jobs I was attracted to were interior retail. My son in law suggested I consider staging, but I didn’t even know what it was at that point. So, I looked into it and did a course with a trainer based in Canada.
I love staging homes, and I am passionate about interior design. I feel so satisfied when I can bring real change to someone’s home and positively impact their selling experience.
Also, I don’t like having someone telling me what to do. I have been out of the workforce for so long now, if I go back, I will have to start as a junior again.
Working With Many Rivers
After five years of running my own business, I received some advice from other people in the industry who encouraged me to take the leap and run my own business a full-time job. I got referred to NEIS, and that gave me an income in the meantime. Many Rivers business coach, Colin did a presentation at NEIS and I so I looked into Many Rivers.
Joy, my Many Rivers business coach, has helped me get myself in front of real estate agents. She brainstorms different ideas with me. For example, recently, I started sending personalised postcards to real estate agents with a tea bag so that I’d catch their eye. Some agents have reached out to me this way, but I haven’t received any work from them quite yet.
Joy knows about copywriting and so in our meeting this week, I think that we are going to review the language that I use on my website. When we catch up, Joy will sit next to me and work with me on a particular part of my business that I want to improve. She motivates me because otherwise, I am just working by myself.
Joy was really understanding when I was going through a hard time in my personal life. Her offering of business advice and emotional support during a difficult time was very helpful for me. She is also always coming up with new ideas of what I could do to change things up in my business too.
Getting leads is the biggest challenge. The average person sells their house every 7 years, so it’s more tactful if I approach real estate agents and get them to recognise me. Cold calling just really doesn’t work. They have to see my work before they want to work with me. I continue to work hard building relationships with local real-estate agents. My skills are being recognised now that the housing market has picked up, and I am quite busy!
There was a downturn in the WA housing market a few years ago, and then the COVID-19 impacted my business too. But I have pushed through these challenges, and I am now reaping the benefits!
Recently, I have successfully staged many houses that have attracted more viewers to the home open and then sold a lot faster and for more money because of my work.
Recently I have found some success in networking with real estate agents. I have been going to different coffee networking catchups, and I hope that they will lead to work. I find that I need to show them what I can do rather than tell them and that will be what catches their interest.
I went to a networking event the other day and made contacts with some agents who I have since styled some properties for. I think that this is a much more successful way to drive leads and contacts with real estate agents than cold calling.
I can help more with my grandchildren. If someone is sick, I can look after them so that my daughter can still work. I hope in the future that I might be able to buy a house. At the end of the day, I have more free time and flexibility. When it wasn’t busy in the summer, I would go down to the beach for a swim.
The next step will be to get a bigger warehouse. At the moment there are so many people who want my services, and so soon I will have to buy more furniture. After that, if the business is going really well, I might have to buy a truck. I’m not sure; maybe I will keep using the removalists that I use now. I’ll have to learn as I go!
I am also looking to grow my personal clients. These are people who do not want to sell their homes but want it to have a warm, modern and ‘beach’ style. This will broaden my customers beyond just real-estate agents and home sellers.
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