The HSA UK & Ireland Interview Klaudia Leszczynska
Klaudia Leszczynska is a professional home stager and businesswoman from Poland. Now working alongside investors, helping to prepare properties to sell, she spoke to the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland on how she began her staging journey, home staging in Poland and any upcoming projects.
One-word Klaudia would use to describe herself is that of a “creator”, which is evident from her impressive portfolio of work that she has built up over the past 5 years she has been staging homes: “I create the spaces around me, investors' properties as well as apartments for tenants, in which they can live comfortably. I also create profits for investors, because through staging their apartments, they earn more”. Klaudia has also produced two real estate companies, alongside her husband, and wrote a book and recorded courses about real estate marketing and home staging.
Klaudia graduated with a degree in finances and accounting but had been interested in real estate for many years. After falling pregnant while working in a financial corporation, she was forced to slow down for health reasons and spent a few months at home, which is where she began to gather as much knowledge on real estate and home staging as possible. This was where her first company Krakowskie Pokoje was established, specialising in apartment rentals and providing rental management for investors.
It was a few years later and Klaudia describes the moment when “investors from all over Poland began knocking on [their] doors for help with staging apartments for sale or rent, because the prices of [their] rooms in Krakow were higher than others”. Klaudia’s properties had always had full occupancy, thanks to very deliberate home staging, which is when she thought that it was worth creating a guide on breaking down home staging into specific strategies and stages, so that investors could do it themselves or delegate the task to someone else. Since then, Klaudia has released further publications, stating that her biggest achievement so far, has been the publication of her book about home staging, explaining the entire strategy of creating Instagram style interiors for sale or rent.
Despite Klaudia’s own success, she commented on how home staging has not been very popular in Poland until recently for two main reasons. The first being that it is now a time of prosperity for the industry in Poland and the second due to that the real estate investment market is developing quite rapidly - people are increasingly and willingly investing in real estate, and therefore customer expectations are also rising. Klaudia believes that now is a very good time for home staging in Poland, describing the current state as “the glory years”.
Although it has only had a very recent surge in popularity in Poland, Klaudia believes that Polish home staging is different to the rest of the world. Because of the highly competitive nature of the Polish real estate market, the result has been a rapid growth in the quality of flats and apartments, meaning that “true home stagers” need to know more than how to stage a home - they need to delve into marketing strategies to be able to distinguish their clients' properties among the others, and know how to use social media, learn hashtags, etc. However, Klaudia also adds that ultimately, “[she] thinks the general aim is the same everywhere: at the end of the day it boils down to our visual efforts resulting in a satisfied customer and better returns for the investor”.
Klaudia also shared her advice on the biggest mistakes made when staging property and how individuals can earn when renting an apartment. “The worst approach is thinking that it is not worth investing in rentals: because tenants will damage things, because it is not worth it, etc.”, Klaudia says, but “sometimes people fail to do the simple calculation, that clearly shows that minor investments will result in them earning much more”. When it comes to making mistakes when staging property, Klaudia suggests posting adverts of a messy home, or one that requires repairs or painting and a lack of knowledge about the market prices are two of the biggest.
When attempting to earn more whilst renting an apartment, Klaudia recommends her own Insta-Staging strategy to investors, which entails combining real estate marketing, home staging and sensory marketing, while employing social media. After becoming inspired by Instagram's success, Klaudia began to break down its successful elements and noticed the things that drew people to it. She then included them in Insta-Staging's strategy, influencing the imagination, designing apartments to look as if they were just ready for an Instagram photo shoot, framing reality. Klaudia says “this all leads up to a huge wow factor and the fact that our investors' apartments clearly stand out on the market. Customers are able to pay more for these homes because there are not many available on the market”.
For more on Klaudia’s work and any staging advice, visit her website https://kreatorkiwynajmu.pl/, or its English version https://instastaging.com, where you can also purchase her e-book. Klaudia is also currently in the preparation stages of creating studio flats and will be attending our very own Home Staging Forum this month in London, where she welcomes everyone for a chat.