Designed to Sell

Designed to Sell

A New Approach to Sale Incentives
Although “Staging a Home” is a subject with great popularity proven by the success of shows on cable channel HGTV — Designed to Sell, Design on a Dime, Curb Appeal, to name a few, only 10% of our survey respondents offer a Staging Allowance as a formal component of their relocation policy. However, for those who have provided such support, approximately two-thirds have witnessed an increase in sale activity prior to resale and/or buyer activity when a Staging Allowance was utilized.

Traditionally, companies have extended a homesale bonus (usually 2% of the final sales price) as a means to help the employee aggressively market the home. However, there is evidence to suggest the bonus is not working the way it was intended. By reallocating funds from the end of the process (paid after the home is sold) to the beginning may provide the necessary marketing edge. In a Paragon survey conducted earlier this year, 36% of the respondents were considering a policy change or addition with regards to the Staging Allowance / Homesale Bonus.

A Staging Allowance is encouraged for all transferring homeowners, regardless of providing homesale assistance benefits. Extended marketing times may impact other areas of the program, especially requests for extensions in temporary living and duplicate housing. Investing in strategies targeted towards the sale of the home may ultimately drive cost savings in the long run, while allowing the employee to focus on work and life in the new location.

Paragon is currently conducting a Case Study regarding the effects of utilizing a Staging Allowance rather than a typical homesale bonus. We will report these results in the first quarter of 2009.

Survey Results
Is a staging allowance a formal component of your Company’s relocation policy?

Yes10%
No90%

How is the benefit offered?

Standard provision20%
Case by case basis60%
Market area specific0%
Exception to policy20%

How is the benefit calculated?

Flat amount ($500-$2,500)50%
Flat amount ($2,500+)0%
Percentage of home value25%
Other25%

How is the benefit disbursed?

Receipted reimbursement50%
Lump sum payment25%
Other25%

Is the benefit tax assisted?

Yes50%
No50%

Have you seen an increase in sales of homes and/or buyer activity on homes that the Staging Allowance has been utilized?

Yes67%
No33%

Survey Participation
The data represents results from 20 corporate relocation professionals in the following industries:

Retail20%
Industrial Manufacturing20%
Technology15%
Financial Services10%
Healthcare10%
Other10%
Consumer Products5%
Energy5%
Communications5%