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Company Profile: Taking Center Stage – Successful Staging Starts with PODS

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By Maria Patterson

RISMEDIA, August 19, 2009-With a background in music and interior design, it’s no wonder Barb Schwarz earned the title of “creator of staging”…complete with the federal trademarks that make it official.

After an increasing number of successful sales based on “setting the right stage,” Schwarz, who entered real estate in the ’70s, was well on her way to becoming one of the top-producing agents in Seattle. In 1985 she founded her training business and in 1999 Schwarz founded stagedhomes.com along with an official accreditation for stagers and Realtors, the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP). The course teaches Realtors how to communicate the concept and importance of staging to clients, and teaches stagers how to set up and run a home-staging business.

Schwarz then founded the International Association for Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP.com) for ASPs who have graduated and want to further their education. Currently, there are approximately 2,500 active stagers.

Since beginning her staging training in 1985, Schwarz has taught staging to over one million Realtors across the country. With such tremendous reach in home staging, Schwarz is well versed in what works and what doesn’t and has developed a loyal allegiance to those partners who play a key role in facilitating a successful staging…like PODS.

“I started using PODS in Seattle in 2002, referring them to my clients,” says Schwarz. “When I opened an office in northern California, I started recommending PODS to the agents and stagers taking my classes. They have had a preferred vendor relationship with us for four years now.”

For Schwarz, it’s all about providing the best solutions for agents, stagers and their home-selling clients. “I pick the best when it comes to vendors because I want my clients to have a great company to work with,” she says. “With PODS, they can now tell sellers they’ll have a dry, secure storage solution for the things they need to put away while having their home staged.”

Schwarz also loves the fact that arranging for a PODS container can be scheduled online for the next day. “PODS is my choice and I recommend them to all our ASPs,” she explains. “They offer a savings to our ASPs that they can then pass on to the seller. It’s wonderful to be able to offer a turn-key solution like PODS.” If you stage or declutter with PODS, once the home sells, the customer can simply have the container delivered to their new home, just about anywhere in the U.S.

Staging, says Schwarz, is becoming increasingly more important in today’s difficult housing market. “We’re going to see the stager recommending the Realtor. It’s really important that we need each other and we are a community.”

For more information, visit www.pods.com. For more information on staging, visit stagedhomes.com and IAHSP.com.

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