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