In 1972 Barb Schwarz entered the world of residential real estate as an agent in Bellevue, WA. Prior to real estate Barb had owned her own interior design business. She recognized the challenge that existed for all agents of how to help Sellers prepare their homes for sale without upsetting or offending the owner. Barb started educating her sellers on how to set the scene and how to set the Stage® to get their properties sold for top dollar. She coined the phrase "Staging the home for sale," and holds the Federally Registered Trademark on the word "Stage" in the US and Canada as it pertains to preparing a house for sale.
At the same time, Barb understood the need for an association to help guide and govern the Home Staging industry. As a member of both The National Association of REALTORS® and The National Speakers Association (NSA), Barb saw the value in having an association that provided educational opportunities, standards and ethics, and professional networking for its members. In 1999, Barb founded The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®) as the first industry trade association. Since 1999, IAHSP® has grown to include thousands of members worldwide. Being a true visionary, in 1999, Barb named it "International" as she saw the future of Home Staging would be global, and today it is. We have members in foreign countries and affiliate Home Staging associations in Japan and Italy, with more to come.
Another part of Barb's vision came to fruition with the launch of Worldwide Staging Service Week® where our IAHSP® Chapters give back to their communities. For years, Barb incorporated charitable work and donations as part of her business model. Giving back to others is gratifying on many levels and she wanted our IAHSP® members to incorporate the spirit of giving as part of their membership in IAHSP®. Since 2004, IAHSP® Members have come together to help benefit those in need, collectively donating millions of dollars in time, services and products as part of their WWSSW® projects.