As more and more people are looking for home stagers online, or checking their online profiles and reviews, having great testimonials will become a tipping point for many “would be clients”.

Just think about it, if you were going to hire anyone, wouldn’t you check them out online to see what others have been saying about them?

Let’s face it, converting a cold lead online is a lot more challenging than a word of mouth lead from a trusted resource like a Real Estate Agent or friend. And because of that, it is incumbent on you to make sure that you not only stand out online, you also have a posse of people who have given you great reviews.

That is one way to warm up a cold lead!

Think of this through the lens of the potential client. The client really doesn’t know you and they want to feel comfortable about hiring you.

They are curious about you and want to get to know you better.

What do you offer in the way of services? Do your pictures look great? Is your website informative and professional and most importantly, what have others experiences been like working with you?

Before they pick up the phone they will check you out to see if they even want to call you!

Great testimonials are a door opener to having that conversation. They “warm up” the client. And that is why it is sooo important to get great reviews on places like Google, Houzz, Yelp, etc.

Each of these platforms have different benefits. In my humble opinion, Houzz is a  great one to start with. There are approximately 40 million users on Houzz and since it is the most popular website on the internet for people interested in designing or remodeling their home, it is also a likely place that potential sellers might begin their search to find a home stager.

But I will also say that interestingly enough, I have been getting calls from potential design clients who prefer working with a stager for some reason lately so there seems to be a trend that I am going to be following closely.

Now each of these platforms has different benefits. The benefit of building a presence on Houzz is obvious because it is a likely place for clients to search. You will, however have to spend some time so that your profile is done well and make sure that you have great pictures that represent your work. Pictures are incredibly important.

So I recommend that you work on those things first and make sure that you feel really great about them and then focus on getting really awesome reviews.

The cool thing about HOUZZ is that you can email to get a review right from your page. You simply go to reviews and then “Get Reviews” and you put the email of your client in with a short note and hit send……sooooo easy!

You can even leave a template of your email to tweak for the next review request so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Keep it short and simple and gently guide them about what you would like them to focus on. Here are examples:

(for a Seller)

Hi Elizabeth

I am trying to build my ranking on Houzz and I would appreciate it if you would write a brief review for me on

If you aren’t sure what to talk about you could talk about what you like about working with me and how it helped you sell your house fast.

Just a paragraph is fine.

Thanks so much!
Marianne Cherico


(for a Real Estate Agent)

Hi Mark

I am trying to build my ranking on Houzz and I would appreciate it if you would write a brief review for me on

If you aren’t sure what to talk about you could talk about what you like about working with me and how it helps your sellers.

Just a paragraph is fine.

Thanks so much!
Marianne Cherico

Once they have reviewed you it usually takes about a day or 2 to go through. You will get an email that says that you got a new review on Houzz and when you do. it is always nice to like it and leave a comment for your client underneath as a way of appreciating them for taking the time to do this.

So let’s talk about when you should ask for the review? I say strike while the iron is hot…..immediately after working with them. When they are excited about your work they are happy to do this.

Now I have had to ask a few agents a few times to write a review for me because they get so busy putting out fires that this might be low on the totem pole for them. But if you do it in a nice way, even playful, they eventually are shamed into doing it (ha-usually when they need you for another job). So don’t be shy about asking more than once especially if you know that they really love your work.

I think that you should actually get as many reviews on  HOUZZ as you can especially if you offer design services. One designer that I know gets up to 50% of her business from Houzz. That is a big deal!

After HOUZZ you might consider building your reviews on Google.  Google is the biggest search engine so it is a no brainer.

If you haven’t already, first you should get your company listed on Google.

If you are not sure what I am talking about, in the Google search bar type in “Home Stager” and your area. If a staging company is listed with Google you will see what looks like an ad. It lists a company, shows it on the map, has pictures, shows hours, lists the web site etc. It really helps you to stand apart on Google and serves as free advertising. And you can easily get reviews that will show right there as well. Clients simply go to your page and there is a spot that says write a review and your client can write it there and give you a star rating. You might direct them to the link and gently guide them about what to focus on to make it simple.

Again, having this public presence on Google sets you apart

Here is the link to get you started:

Ok now let’s talk about Yelp. Yelp is a little different as far as the way that they vet reviews. I know some really successful stagers who swear by Yelp. Personally I have not spent a lot of time working on my Yelp reviews because I found that they don’t post all of them and they only seem to post the ones from people who have posted other reviews for other businesses to YELP. If you get a review from someone who hasn’t been active on YELP then they very well may not post it. So if you would like to build your YELP visibility, ask for reviews from your customers who are active on Yelp.

Now I would like to talk about paying for advertising for these sites. IMHO there are so many free ways to advertise your business that I would not invest in paying to advertise on these sites until you have leveraged them organically. Instead I would maximize the organic searches as well as possible. If you do decide to advertise, be very strategic. I might focus on FB ads or Google as opposed to paying for Yelp or Angie’s list or even HOUZZ ads.

I will say that they will try and sell you ads because that is how they make money. But what I do when they call is ask them to give me the names of a few stagers who I can contact who have used this form of advertising successfully and they usually come up with some crazy reason why they can’t provide that info- which is a red flag for me.

I believe that there are better ways to strategically use your advertising money. On all of the staging social media groups that I belong to I have never heard of anyone using the paid advertising for these forums successfully (other than FB ads and Google and that is a whole different ballgame)

So all in all I would focus on building your profile on HOUZZ and Google first and then perhaps Yelp. And then as you build each profile, start asking for reviews.

Sometimes a great client finds it intimidating to write. It is ok to have them write bullet points and then you put it into a paragraph for them. Then simply have them approve it and post it. You want to make it easy for them to do.

There are other ways that you can get reviews that are a little more advanced. You can get video reviews from your clients and if you are tech savvy you can even edit them on something like Camtasia and put them on your website.

Now let’s talk about the mindset of getting that review. For those of you who might be shy about it or who might make up stories about why someone hasn’t written that review that you requested think about this, I have found that it is not that people don’t want to review you- people want to do it “right” or want to make sure it is “good enough” and that is what stops them. They have the greatest of intentions—especially because they want to see you succeed but they get stuck in their head, feel intimidated about writing it and are afraid that they won’t do it in the best way for you.

In our head we often tell ourselves that we are being a pest if we keep asking or they really don’t want to write it and that is why they haven’t. That is just a story. Sometimes you simply have to ask to remind them. The easier you can make it for them the better your results will be.

So just to recap, don’t simply ask for the review but ask what you might like your client to focus on. And make it easy for them to review you by asking them to focus on specific things and offering to help in any way that they would like.

Cheers to YOU and YOUR success,

P.S. I want to give you a heads up that I will be offering a new tele summit  featuring Super stars in the field, on How to Sell Your Staging Services so stay tuned. It is going to be awesome!