‘Skin In The Game’


Pensive greetings from ‘The Shed’!

I have had my Pandora ‘Bosa Nova’ music on, and have been pottering about sorting and packing and scheming all day. Lots of time to think and sort out my week too. I have been thinking a lot about the concept of  ‘Skin In The Game’.

Definition: ’Skin In The Game’ – “to have incurred monetary risk by being involved in achieving a goal”.


A buyer, who came through one of my properties yesterday, described my business model back to me in a way that had never occurred to me before. He said that I have ‘serious skin in the game’. A lot of it! It made me think … what a great way to describe how I am so different to other real estate agents! It’s my point of difference. Big time.


By providing my furniture and accessories staging inventory (and my styling time) at NO cost to all my real estate clients, I share the risks with my sellers as we all have ‘skin in the game’.


As a direct result of the investment I’ve made into my business assets, I am making a direct investment into the sales result of every property I sell. The more I invest in my business, the better it is for all of my sellers. Making my ever expanding range of high quality furniture and accessories available to all of my clients allows every seller to make their home as beautiful as possible, so when they enter the market they are immediately positioned to generate higher ‘buyer desirability’ and higher ‘buyer competition’, which in turn drives faster sales and higher prices.


My stock, and my time spent scheming and staging, returns nothing if, on the off chance, my seller doesn’t sell. My risk? … no return for my styling time, no return for the cost of my stock and the opportunity cost of my stock being out of circulation that could be used elsewhere. Needless to say there is also no real estate revenue as well.



Everything I use in styling my homes has been purchased from re-investment in my business. Behind the scenes I receive A LOT of enquiry about pieces that I have purchased and that I use … where I often refer many readers on to the supplier that I have purchased from … with no kickbacks or benefit to me. I need someone full time to answer email enquiries. I am working on that!

I can also honestly say that I have not received one gift or freebie from anyone when it comes to my inventory, although I am definitely not opposed to that!!! My inventory has been painstakingly schemed and purchased by me over the years. I now have an inventory insured for over $200,000. For a minimalist by heart, it overwhelms me at times! It’s work, it’s stock, it’s not possessions! Repeat, repeat!


That said, I am always looking for something different for my homes and vignettes. If you have a product that you feel fits in with my aesthetic, and that you think would look great in one of my vignettes, I would love to know about it. In return, I am happy to link back to your business in my social media posts and pass on your details to buyers who enquire about your product and want to purchase.


Over time, your product will feature over and over in my homes, so my on-going promotion would be the gift that keeps on giving … not just a one-off shout out. It would also be nice for me to have special things that others have provided that I can display … and that I would have never have thought of using! It would just mix it all up a bit, make life exciting … and be a great way (I think) to create variety.
Would love to hear from you!
Happy Sunday evening!
A-M xx

This is where I muse about home design, interiors, life with my boys and other stuff that stops my heart. I own my own Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia.

You may also like


  • Catherine Lynn
    May 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    As usual a wonderful post AM! Things are progressing here at a rapid pace all on track so suffice to say I am very excited about the next few months and what it will bring! What a wonderful description “skin in the game” this is and very apt to describe you as this does set you apart from anyone else in the business. I have a friend selling her home one street away from having a Bulimba address as her address is Balmoral and she is suffering big time because of this. Add to this lots of buyers choice and she is struggling to even get a serious buyer through her open homes, most of her open homes are no shows. I have been advising her the best I can from what I have learnt from your website but there is little I can do of course to help her. Thanks once again for such an inspiring post. love Catherine xx

    • A-M
      May 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Oh that’s such a pity about your friend. I hope her buyer walks through the door very soon. Thanks for your kind words! xx

  • Susan S
    May 16, 2016 at 9:26 am

    It astonishes me that furnishing stores haven’t reached out to you already! Collaboration can go a long way. Hope you can strike up some great alliances, A-M!

    • A-M
      May 19, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Sorta hoped my blogging agency would have come up with some opportunities for me. Would have given me something to blog about too! Catch 22! Not one opportunity has come my way. I am going to have to go out and make it happen! xx

  • KL
    May 16, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Good for you: your business model is unique! Good for you to realise how much ‘skin’ is involved and to look at making your inventory more cost-savy. You are a clever business woman whom I have followed and admired for eons. You deserve continued success. Perhaps you should have a link to the products / suppliers you use which you gain a referal fee from? Not sure how it’s done but other blogs do it. ? Might be cheaper than answering all those non-profit enquiries whist helping the eager shopper and getting a small kick-back in monetory terms? Win – win – win ! x KL

  • Sue Fogarty
    May 19, 2016 at 7:53 am

    It is so obvious you work extremely hard you deserve the best returns. My daughter sold her house in Sydney about five years ago, well before the recent BOOM, the agent organised the stylist who charged her $6,000.00 and then they never got a single bid. Needless to say it was a very minimal styling event, nothing WOW like your amazing presentations.

    • A-M
      May 19, 2016 at 8:38 am

      I do everything I can to achieve the best sales outcome for my clients. Every investment I make in my business is an investment in the outcome of the sale of their home. I love what I do but yes, it is hard work! Thank you for your kind words! xx

Comments are closed here.

About ‘A-M’

This is where I muse about home design, real estate, interiors and life with my boys. I am starting my next house build, 'The Next House That A-M Built', and hope to have some action on site in January 2018. While I am building I will continue to run my Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia. I have an unrivalled staging inventory which enables me to present all manner of homes in their absolute best light for sale. It brings me such joy to be able to do Real Estate so differently and achieve great results for my clients. I am so grateful to be living such a creative and exciting life ... that I have created through blood, sweat, tears and physio appointments!
A-M xx

Subscribe in a reader here. Or want the latest posts emailed straight to your inbox? Enter address:

My Real Estate Staging Inventory

My Real Estate Staging Inventory

Our designer in-house furniture and accessories inventory is available free of charge to all our real estate clients.

Anne-Maree Russell in Brisbane, QLD, AU on Houzz
Anne-Maree Russell in Brisbane, QLD, AU on Houzz
Anne-Maree Russell in Brisbane, QLD, AU on Houzz
Anne-Maree Russell in Brisbane, QLD, AU on Houzz

My Top Tips For Preparing Your Home For Sale

My Top Tips For Preparing Your Home For Sale

The first 'House That A-M Built' -Home Beautiful Cover, May 2010

Archives – Posts Prior To 2009 Have Been Archived