Rehabbers/STR Owners looking for design/decorating help

2 Replies | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hi all,

Some background: I am currently doing a live-in rehab in St. Paul with my husband and looking to sell our house next spring to continue our real estate investing journey (we're looking to get into rentals and potentially flips). I've started a blog and IG account and have gained some attention for my design and decorating and have started a business. 

My business is currently broad and I am offering a variety of decorating and design services to homeowners. I am looking to create a "niche" clientele and hoping to market specifically to investors- specifically flippers and long- and short-term rental owners. This will allow me to combine my passions of investing and design, and ideally continue to learn more about the investing world.

I will offer 3 "levels" of service at a range of price points, based on the investor's needs: design (hard finishes/fixtures) only; design + furnishing/decor (investor orders/installs); design + furnishing/decor + install (I order/install/decorate/optional: photograph).

My questions for those of you who are very involved with the MSP market is: do you think these services would be of value to investors? What do you feel might be reasonable prices for such services? Do you have any advice on how I might begin to market these services to investors? 

Thank you!

*note: this is not an advertisement- I am truly looking for advice here!* 

Laura,  I would join some real estate club and meetups and network with other investors. 

There could be a niche in the market that you mentioned. I for one am bit "challenged" when come to picking furnishing and I understand how costly a mistake can be like those. However, this niche targeting investors is going to be very cost sensitive so I don't think u will see the Margins a typical interior designer does. If you think about a flip the margin is so tight I don't think there is room for this cost. STR might be the best place...margins tend to be wider and if you target investors that's are trying to scale quickly your service might Be worth paying for to enable this.

I have worked with designers in the past and you would need to be much more cost conscious and have strict time mgmt skills or your customer might be unhappy.. If you could offer some fixed rate Pricing that might help at least to get started so the investors know exactly what they are paying

As far as more specifics on price, dissect the current deal that you are doing and try to lay out how many hours you are dedicating to these tasks, multiply it times some rates estimates and subtract it from your final margin you will quickly see the impact on the margins and why I say it will cost sensitive.  

Hi Laura! As a beginning investor myself, I like the concept of 3 levels of service, dependent on the margins and building class.  

As you mentioned, talking to potential clients (i.e. the investors) if this is something that they can see a need for, and taking it to the next step and possibly pointing out the need (what's their pain point?) that they haven''t even realized. Further, I would perform a bit of data analysis to show (if that's the case) how much additional $ for rent, or less showings, or higher quality clientele can be attributed to using an designer/decorator. I'm fairly certain some websites have data comparing staged vs unstaged (so decorated vs not decorated) dwelling data, etc...

When someone would actually ask me to get out my checkbook, I'd need to see, pretty quickly the potential for the service, and hence that would be up to you to make a convincing sales pitch based on some data. 

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