Don’t you wish that there was an easy step-by-step guide to getting started as a home stager? I would love to say that this is it, but embarking on a new career is a BIG deal, and is one that should be given the attention that it deserves! That said, I can provide you with some tips for the first steps that you should take on your journey to becoming a home stager.
Do your research
Just like any career, you want to be sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into! Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you see on TV is the full picture. So how do you learn more about the industry?
- Reach out to local home stagers – the best way to do this is to find out if there is a local RESA chapter nearby where you could attend a meeting. Home Stagers, like most entrepreneurs, work very hectic schedules, and given that they are working in the real estate industry, most of their work is very time-sensitive. While most love to help to educate others about what a career in home staging is all about, they may not always have the time to meet or chat with you. That said, if you do not have a local RESA chapter in your area, absolutely feel free to reach out to home stagers directly, keeping in mind that you are more likely to receive a response during a time of year when the real estate market is a little slower (this can vary by city, and in some areas, simply doesn’t exist).
- What is the local demand for home staging services? Home staging has been a VERY lucrative and rewarding career choice for a lot of people, but keep in mind that some real estate markets will be much more advanced in their home staging awareness and adoption of this service into standard industry practice. A successful home staging business can be built anywhere, but if the home staging industry is less developed, some areas may take longer to build, and you will want to be prepared for this. In addition to speaking with home stagers, it would serve you well to talk to real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and others in the real estate industry to help you to gauge the demand of your services.
- Job Shadowing – this is a great opportunity to get to see what home staging is like, first-hand. I once had a staging assistant who had a great interest in potentially becoming a home stager herself, and welcomed the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the industry by working alongside me. After only two home staging projects, she quit. She said that she “just wanted to be a home stager”, and if I had any work that was more or less “just staging”, then she would be happy to help. What she failed to realize was that every aspect of work that was assigned to her, in fact, WAS home staging! She wanted a real look at the industry, and we gave it to her, but it turns out that she really only wanted to work in the TV version of what she thought home staging was. Job Shadowing a local stager is a great way to see exactly what a career in home staging looks like.
- Join a Facebook Group – we happen to have created one geared at people just like you! Click here to join the group and ask any questions that you would like!
- Strategy Session – Are you someone that would just prefer to talk it out? Click here to book a one-on-one with me, where you can ask me anything!
Budget for Your New Career
What costs should you expect when first starting your business? What will your on-going operating expenses be like? How will you pay your bills while you are building your business? Will you own your home staging inventory, or rent from a third-party furniture rental company?
There are a number of questions like this that you will want to explore BEFORE diving head-first into the deep end. We answer all of these questions and more with our free On-Demand Behind-the-Scenes Webinar (we are currently offering a limited time offer for our certification program as well for those that complete this webinar).
Get Professional Training
Just like any profession, proper certification and training is critical to success. The investment in a quality certification program is just like the one that you would make to become an accountant, a plumber, or any other skilled profession. While you may have a natural talent that will serve you very well in this industry, it’s your training that will make you an expert in your profession, one that your clients will be happy to pay for.
Create a business plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Once you have been trained as an expert in your field, it’s time to get yourself out there and start generating some business! To do this, you will need to select a business name, what type of business you will operate (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, etc), and set out your company’s policies and objectives. All of this and more should be covered in a detailed business plan – do NOT skip this step! Remember:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Read my book (warning…shameless plug)
Oh yeah…did I mention I’m writing a book all about the ins and outs of becoming a home stager, and what you can expect as you embark on this career? Well, it’s not ready just yet, but you can check out an excerpt from it here, and we hope to open pre-sales for the book VERY soon!
Still have questions about getting started as a home stager? Schedule a 1-on-1 chat with home staging expert, Shauna Lynn Simon – click here to select a time that is convenient to you.