“As a Realtor, I meet some wonderful people on a daily basis, and as a Certified Residential Specialist (Only 3-4% of the country’s Realtors hold this coveted designation), I meet many well qualified men and women, and who simply stand out in their field and who are exemplary individuals. Once such person is Claire Bisignano Chesnoff, the President Elect of the Staten Island Board of Realtors. I had the opportunity to chat with Claire, and she kindly agreed to an interview with me for . I think we can all see how and why she is such a success, and her comments are certainly an inspiration to us all. I had to share them in a post. Thank you Claire!
1) You had mentioned that being a CRS designee was one of the best decisions you ever made. Why?
” Being a CRS designee has brought my business to the next level and has afforded me the opportunity to meet and establish friendships with REALTORS all over the nation. CRS gives agents the opportunity to add to their tool kit through the knowledge from classes. This expands their scope in selling real estate. As a CRS designee, I give my clients moving out of state peace of mind. No matter where they chose to live, I can introduce them to my real estate “clone” who will work just like me. What I have found is that the CRS referral agents I have used have referred are like minded, very ethical and have strong real estate work habits. It makes the transition to another city very smooth for clients. Using a fellow CRS designee lets you put your head on the pillow at night knowing that your clients are in capable hands.”
2) As a Certified Residential Specialist, you obviously seek to maximize the sales prices for all homes that you represent. You mentioned staging. As someone holding the ASP Designation, can you elaborate a little on that subject?
“While CRS has given me the tools to be on the top of my game in residential real estate, being an International Accredited Staging Professional (IASP) has put the icing on the cake. While expert in pricing, marketing, financing and advertising, staging brings the ability to get the house from active to sold in record time. As a home stager, I give the seller the opportunity to maximize their bottom line. By presenting a home for showing which looks like those homes on network television such as HGTV, buyers are wowed and will act quickly to purchase. Buyers will even pay a premium for a house that has been depersonalized—personal photos removed, with neutral decor and fresh paint. Now buyers can visualize what their furniture will look like in the home. They do not have to look beyond the clutter, wall paper and rooms with too much furniture. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, is my mantra as well as “the devil is in the details”. There is quite a bit of work involved for both the seller and agent but so well worth seeing a client’s face when presenting offers close to or at asking price.”
3) When would you not call it staging?
“I would not call it staging in two instances. One would be when I am putting a house on the market which as I call it just needs some “tweaking”. These are sellers who live with no clutter, ornate furniture or photos of every family member they know. This can make life easier for everyone. Their punch list of things to do to place the house on the market is very short and may consist, for example, of removing extra pieces of furniture in the house. If I am selling a luxury home, I would speak of my services as getting the house ready for the market and explain how we live and how we sell our homes are not the same. Each instance needs to be handled differently.”
4) You mentioned that you can create a ‘theme’ within a home be it seasonal, or otherwise. What have been your sales stats as a result of your specialized marketing?
“Since I have included staging in my marketing plan, my stats have increased significantly. Our average home which is placed on the market after staging is usually sold within days to a week close to or at asking price. At times we have even had multiple offers. When a buyer feels that they can make a home their own and do not have to wade through seeing clutter, bold colored paint, wall paper or oversized furniture to make their decision. For the seller, it is usually an inexpensive fix, mostly sweat equity on their part with little out of pocket. See the staging tab on www.claireproperties.com for the before and after photos.”
5) Do you ever have your properties televised?
“I have been the go to REALTOR for two HGTV shows “What You Get For Your Money” and “Moving Up” for the Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York markets. As of yet, I have not had an opportunity to have any homes showcased although I am working on that.”
6) Do you represent just the luxury market or do you cover lesser priced properties also?
Although I am the only Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist , CLHMS on Staten Island and in Brooklyn New York , I market and sell all price points. If a seller has a need, I satisfy it. Conversely if a buyer wants representation whether buying a studio cooperative apartment or a six bedroom center hall colonial, I will represent them. I enjoy the challenge.
7) You are the President Elect for SIBOR.. what are your thoughts on your upcoming Presidency if any at this point?
As President Elect of The Staten Island Board of Realtors I see my upcoming presidency as working with our membership to give them the edge in real estate by arming them with the proper tools for success. My challenge would be to see each member of our association holding at least one real estate designation. Attaining real estate designations, especially that of CRS, will increase their bottom line. It is a win win situation. Agents will become educated, make lasting friendships with referral agents and see their bottom line grow.