If you are a home staging professional, I am sure that the unmentionable dream you imagined at least once is delivering your clients an excellent result without the economic costs and the logistical problems of classic furniture.
I say unmentionable because – until now – expressing a similar ambition to friends, relatives and colleagues would end up with you being mocked… right?
You’ll agree with me: there are only two ways to do home staging.
You can use the real, everyday furniture but:
- the costs are very high, especially if you want to keep several pieces of furniture to choose the most suitable style or to be able to do several sets at the same time;
- you need a large warehouse to store all the goods;
- you need to use a van or contact a mover twice, the first time to set up and second time – a few weeks later – to clear everything;
- you always need to bring along tools, and the assembling process is slow and complicated. Otherwise, you can pay someone else to do it for you.
But there are some low cost “alternative.”
In these years, I have seen home stagers painting the walls, trying to simulate furniture, or using trestles, boards, and tablecloths.
Someone uses cardboard boxes, perhaps covered with low definition printed sheets which last a couple of preparations and then ruin, so you are forced to repurchase them (because every detail it’s showing in the professional photos you shoot …).
But to prepare a property for sale, you must provide two elements at the same time. On the one hand, potential buyers must have a very precise idea of spaces. As you know, only 10% of the population is able to understand the potential of an empty property and your task is to win that 90% left.
On the other hand, you have very few seconds to excite and convince them to choose your proposal among the dozens of alternatives available on the market.
The truth is that doing home staging always forced you to compromise and choose between a great result with disproportionate costs – especially for low budget properties – and with countless logistical problems or to settle for mediocre results.
It has never been possible to combine the suggestion of real furniture with low costs, and with ease of transport, assembly and storage, until now.
If you fit in this kind of home stager, always busy looking for the perfect tools, also, continue reading this letter because I have the right solution for you!
My name is Fabiano Gollo; I am the founder of RE.DA, and today, I want to tell you the true story behind our project and how a seemingly random mix of circumstances has given life to a seed that is sprouting: realistic cardboard furniture for home staging professionals.
Have you ever heard the famous speech that Steve Jobs held before Stanford graduates?
Everyone remembers him for the phrase “Stay hungry, stay foolish” but I was impressed by the less famous part of “connecting dots.”
Steve tells how some of the risky choices he made helped him create Apple, one of the largest companies in the world.
The concept he wanted to convey can be summarized as follows: follow your instinct and your passions even if, at the moment, it is not clear where they will lead you exactly. You will understand the importance of those choices and “connect the dots” in the future and only looking back, never forward.
This speech dated back to 2005 but became viral in Italy around 2010, thanks to the spread of Facebook. At the time I was studying at the University of Genoa where I moved with thousands of other transfer students, I interpreted this talk as an invitation to put even more energy into what was both my passion and my work: the disco.
Indeed, after countless attempts and a bit of apprenticeship, I managed to take the first steps as a DJ and events organizer for people of my own age.
In the free time, I also managed to study and pass some tests!
Years passed and encouraged by a series of successes; I decided to start my own project of events that goes … soooo bad.
I lived that experience as a real personal failure, brought with it a waste of investments and energy, misunderstandings, and arguments with people I cared about.
The disappointment was so big that I… gave up.
I decided to take a pause and put an order in my life.
I felt it’s time to move on and close the “student-disco-boy” phase which gave me so many emotions.
Reluctantly returning to my hometown, I finished the exams and got my degree.
At that point, I was 23 years old, and I absolutely have no idea about what to do with my life.
The only thing I created failed dramatically and the thought of retaking the initiative paralyzes me.
So, I choose the easy way out and I return to work in the family business, a cardboard box factory.
I know the manufacturing process very well because in the peaks of work, as a kid, I was also enlisted…
The idea of spending my entire life behind those production lines, an extremely mechanical work, suffocates me. By process of elimination, I choose to focus on the sale department.
In the following months, the first customers and the first satisfactions arrived.
Thanks to the good reputation of the company created in 30 years of activity, the technical competence matured being around machines and, importantly, the nerve developed working in the disco environment, I started to see some results.
But it’s not enough for me…
I felt something was missing…
Driven by this dissatisfaction, in my free time, I began to deepen some subjects that have always fascinated me.
Among many others, I focused on real estate investments, and here, I discovered home staging for the first time. I was fascinated by the suggestive power of this activity, and it was not a surprise for me to find out that it is widely used in the Anglo-Saxon countries, while it struggles to take off in Italy.
“On certain things, we are always a step behind”
I thought to myself…
As years passed, my work became more intense, the family company grows and invests in new technologies with the aim of facing the market of cardboard displays for the point of sale, the “beautiful” and “big” ones. We develop a specific department for digital manufacturing, and I immediately realized that this thing is bigger than we are.
Given the enormous potential of the industry, I decided to put these new machines at the disposal of everyone, and I launch an appeal to architects, designers and artists, asking their help to develop new projects.
In September 2017, releasing an interview, I tried to spread this idea without any expectations.
A few days later, a girl came across our office asking for a sheet of cardboard for a kitchen. This request seems a bit strange to me, so I tried to deepen.
She’s a home stager and she uses white cardboard modules to simulate the clearances of the furniture in empty properties. A minimal and, at the same time, innovative solution compared to the alternatives such as trestles surmounted by a shelf.
There is nothing better on the market, so, why not?
She broke a panel and needed some replacements.
She is desperate because she must deliver an installation within a few days and she will make a bad impression by submitting a staged property with a broken kitchen.
“These cardboard modules are cute, but they quickly ruin”
she told me.
It also seems they have a sixth sense … they always choose to break during the most important jobs!
She does not want to compromise the relationship of trust she created over time with this client, thanks to many sacrifices and constant excellent level of service delivered.
She might lose this important customer.
I helped her, actually creating an alternative solution, and we say goodbye… but with my head, I started to think…
I think about the lightness and versatility of the cardboard.
I think about the realism of high definition digital printing.
I think about how difficult and expensive it must be for a home stager to furnish a vacant property from the beginning and to clear it a few months later.
I think that classic furniture is so bulky..
I think about it and call her back.
We discussed it; she likes the idea, and in theory, everything seems perfect: realistic cardboard furniture, cheap, easy to transport and assemblable in a few minutes.
She told me that if we were ready by the time, we could present the project during her seminar.
..The girl is Elisabetta Rossi, a professional home stager with experience in interior design and photography.
She gives away for free, excellent content, guides and tutorials to help colleagues complete the journey to becoming home staging professionals. Her online community now has more than 1,000 members.
In 2016, she creates the real estate marketing course “Strategies for selling houses” which goes sold out since the first edition.
We start to develop the project, and 4 months later, in February, we present the first prototype in front of over 100 home stagers and real estate agents.
The feedback from the crowd is excellent, the idea pleases them and we revert to work full of energy.
We define 8 objectives, and we decide that the project will be completed when we reach them all.
- Realism: since no compromises on the print quality. We choose the high definition standard because the degree of realism leaves us speechless: our furniture will be identical to the real ones.
- Modularity: the modules must be few, interchangeable and adaptable to any space without difficulty.
- Customization: different textures and colors must be available to enhance any property in the best possible way.
- Ease of transport: we decide immediately that the modules must be transportable in a car without disturbing vans, trucks or movers. In doing this, the lightness and flexibility of the cardboard help us, running as the perfect material for this purpose.
- Easy assembly: no screws, bolts, glue or drills should be needed. The modules will be assembled and disassembled with ease, by anyone, using simple joints and without external tools.
- Resistance: the modules should last over time and they will be used in several installations. We choose one of the strongest cardboard available on the market and cover it with a lamination of opaque plastic that protects the print, strengthens the cardboard and avoids the reflections in the photos.
- Cost: the final price must be contained. When we discover that compared to a same-length real kitchen, those in high-resolution printed cardboard are 50% – 85% cheaper, we celebrate!
- 100% Made in Italy: the project must be entirely designed, developed and produced in Italy.
In the following months, we test and discard hundreds of different materials and assembly solutions.
It is a continuous tradeoff: we solve a problem and we create another one.
Our main concern is to combine total realism with ease of transport and assembly.
Six months later, this pursuit perfection leads us to a much higher degree of realism compared to the first prototypes with a few minutes of assembly time and a compact shape during storage and transport.
The realistic furniture for professional home staging projects came into reality.
Looking back, it’s easy to “connect the dots” right?
At this point, you may be thinking that RE.DA project is about furniture…
Actually, the cardboard kitchens – and all the products that will follow – are the means by which we reach our main goal, which is another.
As you know, the real estate industry is populated with offhanded and amateurs with no experience… I’m sure you know someone too.
Home staging is not different in this case: if, for instance, there is a small number of professionals who deliver great results to their customer, there are also people doing – insert a subject at your pleasure – that, if asked, they’ll play the home stager role. And it’s their fault and their lack of professionalism if your client doesn’t understand how precious your work is in order to invest in your services.
Yet home staging is a SERIOUS PROFESSION that gives value to the market.
An experienced home stager must have excellent knowledge of interior design as well as an innate aesthetic taste and cure for details.
It is neither a hobby, nor just a passion, nor a “secondary” job that can be improvised.
And this is where our project comes into play: our aim is to revolutionize home staging industry by providing professionals an innovative tool to DIFFERENTIATE themselves from the competition of amateurs.
Not a furniture that ends in itself but your tool to be elected as a REFERENCE POINT for home staging, avoiding to be mistakenly seen as a beginner.
This is the goal of RE.DA: to draw a clear demarcation line between those who believe and invest in their job and those who just play.
Now, where do you stand?
You have the chance to access the pre-sale of a unique and innovative product that makes your client think about you:
“WOW! I chose a real professionist!”
And instantly transforms you into their reference point for home staging and real estate marketing.
Nowadays, the cardboard is a standard and no one is impressed anymore, right?
Well, you can still see the surprise in the eyes of your customers who see a high definition printed cardboard kitchen for the first time.
If you want to be among home staging professionals, visit arredorealistico.com and join the crowdfunding: by funding the project, you contribute to watering this bud that is growing and you can get your next cardboard furniture at the lowest price that you will ever see!
You can choose among many combinations of textures and colors, from dove to light gray, from concrete effect to marble, as well as steel fridges and much more.
Visit arredorealistico.com, take part in crowdfunding and get the ultimate solution to your problems. The economic, easy and fast way to gain both personal and business prestige after all the sacrifices you made to reach this point.
It will be the purchase of the year, the one you will never regret.