Home Staging Certification – What is it, and Do I Need it?

Home Staging Certification – What is it, and Do I Need it?

If you are considering home staging as a career, you might be underwhelmed by the amount of information about how to get started. While some colleges offer some basic courses on home staging, it can be difficult to figure out where to get your training, and whether or not it’s even something that you need.

If you are planning to offer home staging services, it is recommended that you enroll in a reputable home staging certification training program. Here’s the skinny on this – home staging is NOT a regulated industry, therefore, you are not required to receive any licensing, diploma, or certificate in order to call yourself a home stager. In fact, you can wake up tomorrow, call yourself a home stager, and *poof*, you’re a home stager.

Right…?

WRONG

Now that you’re calling yourself a home stager, what exactly makes you a home-selling expert? Why should people hire you? Why should your clients take your advice?

Sure, there are some great online resources available today that will provide you with some general information about staging a property for sale, but to become a qualified and successful home stager, you want to be sure to arm yourself with the best resources. Who do you trust with your money? Do you have a financial advisor, or an accountant? I’m sure that they have likely received some pretty extensive training; after all, you are trusting them with your money. What about your doctor, they received some training as well, didn’t they? I mean, you are trusting them with your life. When working with homeowners to sell their home, you are working with their largest asset, and they are trusting you to do great work – this means selling their home in the shortest timeframe possible, for the most amount of money.

You might be thinking that you have “staged” and sold many of your own homes already, and your friends have probably told you that you should pursue a creative career because of your natural eye for design, and this is certainly a valuable skill when it comes to becoming a home stager, but it isn’t the only skill needed.

Did you know?

Home staging is just as much about marketing, as it is about decorating.

 

Home staging is about properly merchandizing and marketing a property for sale. Even if you have received formal training to become an interior designer or interior decorator, you will find great value in taking a home stager certification course. While many concepts of the two industries overlap and inspire each other, home staging is a part of the real estate industry, and operates with very different guidelines, processes, and “rules” (whether official or not) – your home staging certification will teach you which design elements to use and when. Setting up a home for sale takes a lot more than a little cleaning and decluttering. Here are just a few things that your certification training program should outline and teach you:

  • The ins and outs of the Real Estate Market, the key players and how home staging fits in
  • The various business structures, creating your business plan, and registering your new home staging business
  • Creating your staging plan by addressing buyer perceptions, decluttering, and eliminating distractions
  • Furniture selection and placement for optimal flow and buyer appeal
  • Step by step review of the home staging evaluation – what to look for, and what to address with your home sellers
  • Accessorizing techniques for selling
  • What role textures and fabrics play in home staging and design
  • Organizing spaces for selling and living
  • Repairs and updates – what to address and how to understand the value and impact of each recommendation
  • Creating curb appeal and lasting first impressions
  • Identifying design styles and working within them
  • Creating and preparing accurate floor plans
  • Colour theory – using the colour wheel as a tool in colour palette selection; understanding the components and significance of colours
  • Preparing your home sellers for the process of selling their home, including managing seller expectations and resistance
  • The home staging consultation, from start to finish
  • The people factor – the importance of working with the homeowner throughout the process, and understanding their needs
  • Managing your owner-occupied and vacant home staging projects, start to finish
  • Building your portfolio (especially when you are first starting out)
  • How to set up your office to run efficiently and effectively to keep you out meeting with clients and building the business
  • Contracts – what clauses to include, policies to consider, and how to create these to ensure that they are ironclad
  • How to work with subcontractors
  • Health & Safety, and how it applies to your home staging business
  • Insurance – what you need, to ensure that you are properly covered
  • How to set your policies and procedures for smooth operating practices
  • Inventory management and best practices (applies regardless of whether or not you choose to own large furniture pieces)
  • How to outline your services and set your pricing (including identifying the various services that you can offer to help your clients, such as color consultations, shopping, decluttering, organizing, project management, and more)

 

In addition to teaching you how to run your home staging projects, a quality home staging certification program will provide you with the tools and templates that you need to be successful – this is invaluable! I can’t even begin to explain the amount of time that this alone will save you when you are first starting your business. Why re-invent the wheel? From outlining what your services will include, how to provide each service, pricing your services (to get paid your value as an expert in your field), plus contracts, insurance, and SO MUCH MORE! Mistakes can be very costly, so arm yourself with the tools and the information to safeguard yourself, and your business.

Becoming certified as a home stager will also add to your credibility. Keep in mind that the very real estate agents that you will be working with are required to take an intensive training course before working in the industry, and they are also required to earn additional credits through continuing education courses throughout the year, in order to maintain their license. They expect that the people that they work with as a part of their home-selling team are just as qualified, and have invested a similar amount of time, money, and energy.

Above all else, in taking a home staging certification course, you receive the thrill of learning something new, and I promise, you will learn something new. For more about how to choose the right home stager certification training program for you, check out our blog here.

 

 

 

 

How to Get Started as a Home Stager

How to Get Started as a Home Stager

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 in our Behind-the-Scenes 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!

 

To download our FREE Guide to Getting Started as a Home Stager, click here.

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.

Selling Home Staging in a “Seller’s Market”

Selling Home Staging in a “Seller’s Market”

If you’re living in a “seller’s market”, you may find that some real estate agents have lost interest in your home staging services. You know that their clients can still benefit from your services, but how do you motivate these agents?

What is a seller’s market? A seller’s market simply means that there are fewer homes for sale with a large number of buyers looking to purchase. This offers a great advantage to home sellers as this can drive housing prices up, and most house are sold with multiple offers. Buyers will be quick to move on a property that they are interested in, and will work to present the most appealing offer possible in an effort to secure the property. This can be a game-changer for almost any real estate market.

Here is where you come in as a home stager – in a seller’s market, homebuyers are often purchasing at the top of their purchasing power. This means that most buyers will have very little funds available, if any, to spend on any additional renovations or repairs upon purchase of the home and therefore the importance of a move-in ready home is higher than ever. Homes that are prepared properly will net the greatest return and largest quantity of offers.

Regardless of the market, most buyers have one thing in common – they do not have the time, nor the desire to perform work on a new house, and thanks to popular television shows, a buyer’s expectations of a move-in ready home have never been greater.

In a seller’s market, home staging is the ultimate marketing tool! Home Staging could mean the difference between an offer and a bidding. When selling homeowners and/or real estate agents on your services in a seller’s market, focus on where you add value:

  • A professionally trained home stager can help to identify hidden value in your home. Home Staging utilizes merchandising techniques to showcase the best features of the home.
  • The goal of home staging is to clearly define the space, show proper scale, and create an emotional connection for buyers – this results is higher quality offers and is achieved through the necessary updates and repairs, proper furnishing, arranging, accessorizing, and essentially, merchandising of the space.
  • A home stager can help to identify the most cost-effective updates/repairs to address to help to avoid buyer uncertainty and allow the home sellers to skip any unnecessary expenses.
  • Working as a part of your home-selling team, a professional home stager will provide practical and creative solutions for showcasing your home.

Emphasize to the real estate agents that you are a part of their team! The biggest pain point for a real estate agent in a seller’s market is securing listings. Homeowners know that their houses will sell, so they are choosing agents based on who provides them with the greatest value, and who can get them the most money for their home. Home staging is the best marketing tool that an agent can use – you could be the difference between an offer and a bidding war! Savvy agents will choose to present an effective home-selling team to secure their listings. In fact, there has never been a better time to invest in home staging – every homeowner is guaranteed to benefit from your expertise! You can return their support of your business by emphasizing what a great agent they are to work with to the homeowners. By working with you and offering your services, the agent will gain more listings, and in-turn, more referrals. It’s a win-win!

Have questions about becoming a Home Stager, or just starting out and need an extra boost in your business? Join our Facebook group, To Be a Home Stager – our very own Shauna Lynn Simon is live online every Thursday afternoon, answering your most pressing questions!

 

 

 

7 Steps to Get Started in a Career in Home Staging!

7 Steps to Get Started in a Career in Home Staging!

Free Guide Provides 7 Steps to Getting Started as a Home Stager!

 

7 Steps to Get Started in a
Career in Home Staging!

Download this FREE Cheat Sheet to get started

 

  • CNN named home staging as an industry poised for growth!
  • 81% of buyers say home staging makes it easier to visualize the property as their future home (NAR)
  • Staged homes spend 90% less time on the market (RESA)
  • Home Staging is an effective sales technique that integrates decorating with marketing and creates an experience for buyers

Start your journey to becoming a home stager

  • Take control of your future as an independent business owner
  • Put your creative skills to use helping others
  • Gain financial independence
  • Enjoy a fast-paced and exciting industry

Get Started Today!

“I really enjoyed taking this course. It is full of detailed information regarding all aspects of home staging from the basic “what is home staging?” to wall art hanging heights and what to look for in a home. I appreciate all the time and effort that went into the content of this course as well as all the downloads and personalized templates. I highly recommend it for anyone that is interested in home staging. I feel that I learned way more information than I originally thought would be included in the course and I completed it feeling confident in my knowledge and what was presented. The value for what you get it incredible.”

Nicole Pletz

RESP Graduate

“I enjoyed everything that I learned and Shauna Lynn, I think you are very confident and a great instructor. Thank you again for all of the knowledgeable information.”

Melisia Kelly

SLS Academy Student

“Attending SLS Academy was one of the best things I did for myself! Not only did I gain valuable information and the tools to become a successful stager, but it has given me the confidence to follow my passion. Thank you, Shauna Lynn, you have been such an inspiration!”

Dawn Dalke

RESP Graduate

Behind The Scenes Webinar

Behind The Scenes Webinar

 

Staging Insider Workshop

 

Your Backstage Pass To a Professional Home Staging career

 

 

Do you have what it takes to be a professional home stager?

Learn what it takes to become a Certified Real Estate Staging Professional (RESP)!

During the webinar you’ll discover:

 

  • What it means to be a certified home stager, and how the process works
  • Whether or not you will need to invest in owning your home staging rental inventory
  • Essential skills for a successful home staging business
  • What you need to register your business
  • What startup costs to expect, and how to plan for growth
  • Plus, so much more!

Presented By:

Shauna Lynn Simon

 

 

How to Choose the Right Home Staging Course for YOU

How to Choose the Right Home Staging Course for YOU

Since home staging as a career has gained additional exposure over the last several years, there are now more options than ever for home staging training. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose which one is the “best” one to take. The answer to this question will depend greatly on what your goals and expectations are. There are several factors to consider in selecting the course that is right for you:

       How long do you hope to work in this new career for?
o   Regardless of what your answer is to this question, what sort of skills will your training program provide you with?
§  Will they be there for you through the various stages of your business? What sort of support will they provide?
§  If you plan to be in and out of the business in a short time-frame, will they help you with the exit-strategy?
§  If you plan to make this your career for the next couple of decades, will they keep you up-to-date and current as trends and techniques change and evolve?
 
       Are you interested in expanding your services beyond home staging (i.e. home organizing, colour consultations, redesign services, and more)?
o   If yes, you’ll want to review what additional training they will provide you to ensure that you are properly equipped to provide these to your clients. Many courses offer advanced options in the areas of design, through continuing education, and others incorporate it into the home stager training course.
 
       Do you have any experience running a business?
o   If not, what sort of training will they provide you for managing the business, including registration, day-to-day operations, outlining your services and pricing, marketing, expansion, and more?
 
       What vendors are offered?
o   Are they teamed up with resources that will help you to build and grow your business? Any reputable home staging program will have affiliates that they work with to provide you with valuable information, supplies, and discounts.
 
       How much time will the course take?
o   The answer you’re looking for for this question might not be what you think! The longer that the course takes to complete, the more comprehensive it likely is. Whether it’s an in-class or online training program, you’ll want to identify the time commitment before registering, to ensure that you are ready to make the commitment that it needs.
 
       What does the course content cover?
o   What value will you get for your investment into your training? Review the type of information that you will learn, from home staging techniques, to design theory, to creating your systems and processes, and running the day-to-day business.
o   Will they offer you templates and cheat sheets for starting your business, or will you be creating these yourself from scratch?
 
       What direction do you wish to take the business?
o   Do you plan to own your own home staging inventory, or rent it? Do they teach you the differences, and help you to decide which is best for you?
o   Is there a particular niche that you hope to specialize in? If so, what training do they provide in that area?
o   Do you hope to add staffing to your business, or keep it a solo operation? How will they help with whichever direction you choose?
 
       What additional support do they offer following completion?
o This may include, but is not limited to: coaching, mastermind groups, continuing education training courses, and networking.
 
       What certification do you receive?
o   While this should not be a deciding factor, you will want to consider what your “title” will be once you have completed the course.
 
       How do their members interact?
o   Do members offer members support?
o  Do you have an opportunity to connect with and collaborate with others within your designation?
 
       What will it cost you to keep your certification and training up to date?
o   Some courses will charge you a membership fee in order to keep your designation title, whereas others will charge you a fee to maintain your access to your training material. Be sure to clearly understand these fees upfront before investing, and ensure that you are prepared to pay them over the coming years.
 
       Who will be your training instructor, and what is their experience with home staging?
o   Are they currently operating a home staging business, or have they operated one in the past?
o   If they are not currently operating a home staging business, when was the last time that they worked hands-on with clients?

You’ll notice that price was not mentioned as a factor here, but in truth it should be mentioned. The reason that it was not outlined as a deciding factor is that most reputable training programs will be comparable in price, and therefore this shouldn’t be a deciding factor. If a program is listed significantly lower than the others that you have researched, the chances are that the training provided will be sub-par (you’ve heard the saying that “you get what you pay for”, right?).

At the end of the day, choose the one that best fits your needs and your expectations. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and contact them directly to ask your questions. Heading down any new career path is a big decision, and one that you want to make carefully and purposefully.
Happy staging!
Want to learn more about what it means to be a home stager, what you need to know to get started, what startup costs you should expect, and how the certification process works? Check out our upcoming Behind-the-Scenes Home Staging Career Training – register here.
Have questions about becoming a Home Stager, or just starting out and need an extra boost in your business? Join our Facebook group, To Be a Home Stager – our very own Shauna Lynn Simon is live online every Thursday afternoon, answering your most pressing questions!