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Meet Suzanne O’Brien of Home Staging by Metamorphysis in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne O’Brien.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Suzanne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It seems I’ve always had an interest in design, structure, organization and helping people. Helping friends and family shop, decorate and rearrange furnishings was always my creative outlet. Upon walking into a room, I like to visualized the layout, colors, art and furniture I’d like to see. The process for me is a passion and fulfilling.

Our business started out with a comment about our home by a Realtor friend who said, “I wish my Clients homes were as organized and put together as yours is because it would make my job easier.” I replied, Next time you have a listing appointment, I’ll join you. Maybe I can make a few suggestions to the Homeowners. It worked, the home sold quickly at a great price. The Homeowners we’re happy for the help, the Realtor was happy his listing looked good and sold quickly and I felt an idea blossom in my head.

Since a friend and I had a similar eye and love to decorate, we started Homeredos in 1998 in Texas. In 2000, my husbands work had us moving to Carlsbad and in 2001, I started Home Staging by Metamorphosis.

Since then, our business model went from a one person operation to a thriving business working with a group of talented Stagers, Interior Designers and Organizers. Each professional is dedicated to a Standard of Excellence and goes above and beyond creating beautiful spaces for Buyers to envision themselves in and giving Homeowners the home of their dreams to Live.

I feel blessed that I do what I love and love what I do.

Has it been a smooth road?
Oh my, yes, initially many struggles. As I acquired inventory, it went from our garage to space in a storage facility, then two spaces, then 3. Then questioning myself about getting into purchasing furniture too. After much consideration, I decided I would instead continue courting and working with the 4 Rental Furniture companies I used for projects. Brooks Furniture Rental, Fashion Furniture, Cort Furniture and Rent Time.

Our process became easier over time and I was happy with the collaboration. By having choices of different scale and style of furniture, allowed us to work on any size project. Our smallest project was 900 sq. Ft. home in Vista, which sold in 1 day for over ask and our largest was just under 11,000 sq. Ft. In Rancho Santa Fe which also sold quickly which is unusual for the larger homes.

After working by myself for 11 years, I decided it was time to team up with people that specialized in areas of Organizing, Design and Staging. Once we had a Team, it made all the difference. It allowed us to work with more Clients, add a location in Texas and also specialize in the areas of Downsizing, Remodeling, Updating and Organizing everything from closets to whole homes.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I feel our business is unique because for us, it’s not about how many or how fast we do a job it’s about the relationship we have with our Client and their needs. We work with many of our Clients several times on different homes. We build relationships that often last a lifetime. We have Clients from California to Florida that still keep in touch with us and we’ve also assisted them with long distance projects in their new homes out of state. They know we really care about them and the outcome of each project.

I personally love helping and working with people. I also wanted to improve help build and support my colleagues and Strive for a Standard of Excellence for the Home Staging Industry. Helping other Staging professionals overcome some of the obstacles we all experience in our business.

Staging is a unique business, with no real Certifications or Licensing and has interesting challenges for us, so I joined a group of fabulous Stagers who worked throughout San Diego and Orange County in hopes of finding support. We met once a month to discuss ideas, solutions for issues everyone experienced, and to have brain- storming sessions, but mostly to connect and get to know each other.

I am proud to call them Friends and so happy we have met the challenges we’ve set for ourselves and for the Home Staging Industry. I am proud of the many new Stagers I mentored and was able to help start in this amazing business. You can’t be faint of heart. You must have passion, heart, stamina, patience, strength of body and soul and of course knowing how to run a business especially helps too.

I would say our specialty is also what sets us apart. We are a full service, concierge Home Staging company specializing in Project management from initial consultation, to making cost effective improvements, to update and restyle each home. Our goal is making each project look move-in ready, appealing to the Buyer, the first time they see the listing online. You get one chance for that 1st Impression and we make it count!.

We are different because we work closely with our clients and manage the scheduling, of contractors, purchase things like lightening, select paint colors, flooring and furnishings, art and all finishing touches transforming each home to Sell quickly, for a a highest possible return.

I am proud of how our fabulous group of Stagers came together for one goal, to help each other grow a sustainable, successful Home Staging business.

My goal as a company is to help each client by managing the preparation and presentation of their home so they can relax while the offers come in.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego County is a great place for a Home Staging business. Southern California has record numbers of people moving here to enjoy the beautiful weather. So you will have many opportunities to meet people needing help with staging to sell or decorate homes.

Starting this business is not as simple as you might think. First, you really should have a natural talent at design. Most important, you must be able to multi-task too. Even with the natural talent, taking classes in design, color, composition and remodeling would also help. Do take the time to take classes. It’s the most cost effective for someone just starting out. Look at the local community colleges offering a variety of courses. Brush up on a business class too; you’ll need it.

Fact, Staging does cost money to start. You will need Education, business license, business cards, liability insurance, website and of course, Inventory. And please, hold off on buying inventory until you have received your first check from your first job.

All that isn’t half of it. Do your research. What would make your company stand out or
different from the rest? You’ll need to to get to know, Realtors, Furniture companies, trades like electricians, painters, contractors, handyman, etc. A lot of leg work. Brush up on your smile and know what you do in 5 minute speech.

There are also Home Staging courses out there that can be helpful but beware. Cost and Content. Does the cost provide valuable content? Again research.

At the end of the day… It takes time to establish yourself. Do not work for free or under value what you do. It’s a lot of work. Just remember, ask yourself, do you have a passion for this business? I did and I’d do it all again.

Pricing:

  • Consultations run between $ 200.00 to $600.00 on average. Important for every project.
  • Design or Color Consultation run from $150.00 to $800.00 and up.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Photographers: Gary Sandkasl of Sandkasl Imaging, Joe Dodd of JD Design, John Leonffu of Warm Focus, Wade Steelman of Estate View Photography, Virtuance,

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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