How long have you been in the staging business, and how has it evolved?
BRETT BAER: I’ve been staging homes since 2004. In its nascent period, staging was simply putting whatever furniture one had access to into a home. Over time, the level of expectation grew dramatically; initially toward a fuller look and then to architecturally specific furniture. In the last few years, this bar has been raised higher; now the expectation is for the furniture to be as fashionable as clothing, and updated as regularly. Artwork is no different; clients expect current, globally sourced work—something they may have seen at Art Basel, for example.
At Halston, we’re evolving as well. Because we own the largest (and most advanced) custom furniture manufacturing facility in the U.S., we’re able to customize pieces to better fit our staged homes, while keeping an eye on quality and delivering quickly. Simply put, we control the process from start to finish, while other companies traditionally rely on an ever-changing army of unnamed sources to support their business and fill their homes.
MARY TREISMAN: I have been in the staging business for almost 10 years now. The biggest change I’ve seen is that clients no longer want a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach; they expect unique, custom furniture, art, and accessories to make their property stand out from every other listing. This is why our manufacturing facility is so important to our clients and our success. Additionally, we’ve seen that staging has reached a critical mass. It’s no longer just for high-end properties, but properties at all price points that see the value in staging. There’s tangible evidence that properties, both small and large, will sell nearly 17 percent faster if staged.
Can you elaborate a bit more on how staging a home helps expedite its sale?
BAER: Staging creates a more emotional, passionate buyer. People are aspirational when they’re purchasing a new home, and being able to imagine one’s self living in an environment is a powerful memory that will stand out among the 10 [to] 30 homes they’ll visit.
TREISMAN: We’re not just filling a home with furniture, we’re telling stories. A well-tossed throw or an endearing collection of children’s book[s] left out—all selected to reflect the region and architecture of the home—creates harmony, what everyone is looking for in a home. A white box (empty room) can’t do this.
Although staging is becoming more common, people traditionally sell their homes ‘as is’ or empty, and as a result, a home often stays on the market for months and sometimes a year later than expected. For clients who’ve experienced this, we love to show them how our staging services can sell their home in two weeks, for over the asking price.
Describe a time when a home you staged sold quickly and achieved a maximum return.
BAER: It happens every day. The most systematic study of staging conducted recently found that staged homes garner a 5 to 7 percent higher sales price, and staged homes sell 17 days faster than unstaged homes. Staging is becoming the standard for how homes are being sold in this competitive market.
Who is the typical Halston Home client, and in which areas do you work?
BAER: Our typical clients are realtors and developers, with frequent outlier clients in spaces such as museums, film, and commercial spaces.
TREISMAN: Halston’s typical clients run the gamut from celebrities and high-end developers to agents, brokers, and families who all see the tremendous value that home staging provides. We work with clients throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Francisco. Soon we will be expanding to the East Coast and internationally.
What does staging a home involve? Describe the process.
BAER: It varies from client to client. There are circumstances in which we’re told, ‘I need the home staged in 72 hours. Go!’ Luckily, we have a full warehouse to pull from, and the team loves the rush of these jobs. Other clients are more involved in the process and are looking for a more collaborative experience.
Halston Home also offers interior design and luxury leasing. In what other ways does the firm differ from competing staging companies?
BAER: We have a client-centric approach, which changes most aspects of our company—from the process, to the conversations, to the furniture. To stay on trend, we buy in small batches, and we buy daily. This helps our concepts to continuously evolve and never repeat. We also manufacture locally, in Los Angeles, where our high-end manufacturers work together in an innovative, streamlined system that results in custom, high-end pieces that are made better and faster. You simply won’t find this level of dedication to the craft coming from other staging companies. We encourage clients to stop by our J. Alexander Showroom in Beverly Hills so they can see the quality for themselves.
TREISMAN: Halston differentiates itself in several ways. First is our ability to offer custom furniture, accessories, and artwork that won’t be seen in any other listing. If the buyer is inspired by the furniture and interiors we stage, they can conveniently purchase the entire collection, or parts of the collection, with or without the home. Since working with Halston, I’ve seen this happen more than anyplace else. We call this service ‘Instant Home.’
Additionally, we are laser-focused on hospitality and customer service. The joy in what we do comes from making a client’s life easier during what is often a stressful time in their life—the buying or selling of a home. At Halston, every client will have one dedicated expert to work with—someone who is intimate with the space being sold and understands the vision of both the seller and designer assigned to the project. We take pride in knowing that not only will homes sell faster with our staging, but people can take back their time and energy while we handle what we’re best at—selling homes with inspired staging.
Where are your favorite local places to buy staging items, and why?
BAER: My favorite places are run by my favorite people. Brock Mayeux of Landlocd learned to build furniture 20 years ago in North Carolina and Louisiana. He builds anything we can think up in his Venice shop. Carlos Navarro pours these extraordinary candles in Guadalajara, Mexico. I’d say we have roughly 50 passionate venders and builders we’ve gotten to know over the past 15 years. We take great care of these craftsmen and women because we know their passion will come through in our homes.
TREISMAN: J. Alexander.
What should we expect after hiring you?
BAER: Once your staging is complete, to call me back in two weeks to schedule a move out. Our staged homes sell fast!
TREISMAN: VIP treatment, with a hands-on approach, and working as a team to achieve maximum quality and design.
319 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 ~ 323.348.1551 | HalstonHome.com