I Want to Be a Home Stager

By
Home Stager with Independent

 

Like many of your out there I get lots of phone calls and emails from "budding" Home Stagers.  I thought I would put together a Frequently Asked Questions post to help any aspiring stagers out there.

 

Q. Do I have to take specialized training to be a Home Stager?

A. While technically no you do not have to.  I believe it does give you the fundamentals of the job, whether you have design experience or not.

Q. What is the best training program?

A. Well, this will depend on you.  There are many training programs out there.  Each offering something different.  Think about what your goals and aspirations are for your future business, also what type of learning do you do best.  Programs range from day classes, to complete correspondence or a mix of both.  Do you research to find out which one best suits you and your goals.

Q. Do I have to be "certified" or "accredited"?

A. No.  Currently there is no "official" governing body that "certifies" or "accredits" Home Stagers.  The terms are used by various training companies to signify someone has taken training with them.

Q. Will I be able to make lots of money in my business?

A. Just like starting any business, it takes time to actually make a profit.  Most business take between 3 to 5 years to really see profits.  If you are lucky enough to have another source of income while you are building your business this will be beneficial.  Remember you will be spending lots of hours in the beginning, marketing and networking that you will not be paid for.

Q.  I currently have a full-time job, do I have to quit it?

A. No, many Home Stagers keep their full-time jobs while starting their businesses.  When you business gets busy enough you can then at that time decide to transition into your business full-time. 

Q. Do I have to move things during a job or will there be people to do this for me?

A. Technically, it is a stagers job to move furniture, accessories, pack and declutter items in a home. 

Q. Do I have to have tons of furniture and accessories to rent?

A. No, but it can help if you are going to be staging vacant and can become another stream of income for you.  My best advice: if this is the route you choose to go only buy what you need when you need it.  There is no point in investing money into inventory if is going to sit in storage.  Remember, storage is going to be an added expenses of running your business.

Q. How do I get "known"?

A. Network, Network, Network.  Join networking groups, start a blog, talk you anyone you can about your new business.  Always carry and hand out your business cards

Q. How do I build my portfolio when I have had any paid jobs? 

A. Start by staging rooms in your own home or the homes of friends and family.  If you were lucky enough to take a training program where you had to stage houses as part of your course you can use those photos as well. 

Q. Can't I just use photos from the Internet or stock photos?

A. No.  You should never in any way every use someone else's photos or stock photos.  You will be misrepresenting yourself and run the risk of violating someone else's copyrights.   You should only use photos of work you have completed yourself whether in your portfolio or website.

Q. How do I set my Fees?

A.  See what others are charging in your area and work from there.  Remember to set your fees high enough to cover your operating expenses but not too high that you price yourself out of the market.  On the other hand don't try to undercut others in your area by setting your fees so low in order to attract business.  It will backfire and you don't want to be known as the "discount" stager.  It will be difficult to raise your fees later.  "NEVER WORK FOR FREE"

These are the most common questions that I seem to get asked.  I hope I have been able to answer the questions that may be on the minds of others thinking about entering this field.

 If you have any others please feel free to post them.

 

 

(C) 2009 ~ Kimberly Uksik ~ EliteHome Decor

 

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Show All Comments
Rainer
18,258
Isabel Gomes
Gomes Design - London, ON
Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont

This is an execellent post.  Maybe all the training companies should have it as part of their home pages.

Apr 21, 2009 03:08 AM #1
Rainer
77,300
Lynn Crawford
A Different View - Olney, MD
Staging DC & Maryland

Kimberly - thanks so much for the timely post. I just got another phone call today and often feel that "wannabees" think I'm a totally negative person when I try to tell them the truth about running a staging business. I love what I do but it's also hard work and I think in my area it's really tough to build up a business doing staging part-time in between other commitments.

 

Apr 21, 2009 05:10 AM #2
Rainer
21,099
Nancy Robertson
Signature Style Staging - Dallas, TX
RESA

Great post, Kimberly.  So many of us get frequent calls from future stagers and it is important that we be honest with them about what to expect when starting a home staging business.

Apr 21, 2009 06:00 AM #3
Rainmaker
165,357
Sandi Gerrard
Saint Thomas, ON
It's all about colour

Great post, Kimberly !

Apr 21, 2009 06:47 AM #4
Rainmaker
271,023
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

What a well written, excellent post!  

Apr 21, 2009 11:38 AM #5
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

... or you could just take a job at McDonalds. The pay is better and you get free fries. (OMG did I type that out loud)

Apr 21, 2009 12:42 PM #6
Rainer
62,148
SHARON CHARBONEAU
UPSTAGING YOUR HOMES - Sechelt, BC

Good idea Kimberly.  You seem to have hit the most important points and the most asked questions.

Apr 21, 2009 03:27 PM #7
Rainmaker
155,339
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Good post and well written. I think we have all been experiencing and influx of "interested parties" in recent weeks.

Apr 21, 2009 05:01 PM #8
Rainer
54,034
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.

Thanks very much everyone for the feedback.  If you have any new questions that I did not post here let me know and I will update the post.

Kimberly

Apr 22, 2009 12:21 AM #9
Rainer
22,989
Jess Graves
JessGravesDesigns.Com - Bristol, PA
Bucks County Decordiva of Home Staging

Great post. People wanting particpate  in this industry need to realize staging is business you build not fall into!

 

Thanks, Jess

Apr 22, 2009 12:54 AM #10
Rainer
54,034
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.

Jess ~ Thank you and yes we do "build" our businesses

Apr 23, 2009 12:26 AM #11
Rainmaker
146,058
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Great post Kimberly.  I get questions like that quite often too from new stagers and those considering getting into the business.  Your answers were bang on!

Apr 23, 2009 12:17 PM #12
Rainer
54,034
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.

Hi Charlene ~ Thank you very much

Apr 24, 2009 12:22 AM #13
Rainmaker
290,164
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

I want to be a Home Stager, too!!  Or wait, I already am - ok then I will be a REALTOR - did that too.

I still get lots of calls and your answers were right on.  Remember that it looks like fun but it is really a business and needs to be run like a business (profit etc).  Also only 10% of the population can visualize how something "could" be.  Not everyone can stage    --- or should.

Apr 24, 2009 12:18 PM #14
Rainer
54,034
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.

Kathleen ~ Good points!

Apr 27, 2009 12:30 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,036,603
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Kimberly -excellent points - I especially liked the one on the time it takes to establish yourself ... While the time frame varies this is true in any new business venture where not all labour bears fruit and you are paid for the fruits of your labour not the time you spend "working".

Jun 03, 2009 12:11 AM #16
Rainer
54,034
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.

Thank you Kathy - great points as well!

Jun 03, 2009 12:26 AM #17
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Rainer
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Kimberly Uksik

Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.
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