Home Staging Training - Online Courses are no "Field Day"

Home Stager with Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver

Field Day - Home Staging Training      
With the influx of correspondence and online staging training programs available today, would-be home stagers are being mislead into believing that breaking into the industry is as simple as reading a book or studying a course manual. Several of these programs are offered by people who are not active in the industry or have not built a successful staging company from the ground up.

The reality is that while some people may have a "flair for decorating" they don't succeed as home stagers because they are not provided with the tools, support and perhaps most importantly, the hands on learning or "field work" needed to jump start their venture.  

Unfortunately home staging training it seems, is becoming a gimmick for an easy buck. Too often I see people believe the promise of guaranteed employmentOver the years I have received countless inquiries from people wondering which staging training program is the best. Many of them complaining that the training they took did not prepare them to run a successful business. To be honest (even though I am a staging instructor) I cannot definitively answer the question regarding the best training since people learn in different ways and unlike myself, some don't actually need to generate an income from staging homes.

I do know that the hands on training offered by Certified Staging Professionals was instrumental in launching and growing my staging company in 2006. I was serious about breaking into the industry and I had a limited time frame before I needed to make a profit. I knew that just reading about how to stage a property and looking at photos would not be an effective way to learn for me. The unopened manuals for my cellphone, camera and laptop are testament to that.  

I clearly remember the first home I staged. It was under the direct guidance of staging guru Christine Rae. I was overwhelmed with information from the previous 2 days of learning but it all started to make sense to me once I rolled up my sleeves and actually staged a listing. The photos provided to me from that day were the start of my staging portfolio and helped me get my first client within days of taking the program. 

Fast forward a few years and now I am the one taking new stagers to actual Real Estate listings to transform the entire property.
I see first hand that students learn better and retain more by participating on the jobThe on site training is a day full of "ah ha" moments, bolsters the confidence of the students and provides them with a necessary and well deserved sense of accomplishment. 

I invite you to have a look at a few photos of recent class projects I have facilitated. Not only did the students learn the principles of home staging and how to run a business, they were given a jump start on their portfolio and did indeed have a field day!


Toronto Class Before    Toronto Staging Class After


Winnipeg Class Before   Winnipeg Staging Workshop


   Vancouver Class Before   Vancouver Home Staging Course  


   Edmonton Class Before   Edmonton Staging Certification


Jackson West is the owner of Reveal Estate Home Staging and is an instructor for Certified Staging Professionals.

Jackson West      
 He is also featured on a television series for the W Network. His interior redesign work can be seen in the book "Home Staging For Dummies" as well as multiple editions of the "Staging Standard" magazine. 

                       Follow Jackson on Twitter

Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Do these students realize how fortunate they are to have you as their teacher? I've so admired your work throughout the years.

I absolutely love how you changed up that bedroom. It was from traditional to transitional/contemporary in a wink of an eye.

Congratulations.  Your staging (and the staging of your students) is being featured in the group Staging Before & After Pictures.


Sep 29, 2009 11:56 PM
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Jackson,

Christine was also my CSP instructor. She was magnificent, and that "Field Day" was, too.Every single time I stage a house, that day comes bsck in my mind. I learned so much, and her words stick with me.

Indeed, I agree with Kathy! Your students are very lucky to get their training with you as their CSP instructor.


Sep 30, 2009 06:20 AM
Simone Frank

I would like to respond to the 1st comment. I am a student of Jacksons, and yes, I do realize how lucky I was to have been trained by him. Jackson doesnt just teach, he genuinly cares about our sucess and continues his support after the classroom.

Jackson is very motivating, and made the class fun too.

Sep 30, 2009 10:11 AM
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Jackson, I soo want to take the CSP training. I hope to be able to sometime next year.

Sep 30, 2009 02:12 PM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Great post Jackson. Christine is a great lady and I you are my staging idol! Love your work.

Sep 30, 2009 05:11 PM
Jackson West
Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Hi Kathy,

Thank you so much for the feature and your kind words. I have met so many amazing people since I started teaching early this year. I often mention certain staging websites that students should visit for examples of good staging and photography and is always one of them. 

The students did a great job on that bedroom. All I did was help move the bed ;)

Sep 30, 2009 07:55 PM
Jackson West
Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver - Vancouver, BC


Christine is a remarkable woman indeed and has been an amazing mentor for me. I strive to emulate her passion for students and the staging industry. Thanks for the lovely comment.


I know that you recognize the bedroom photos from above ;) do you remember how much stuff was underneath it lol! I am so proud of all you have accomplished in such a short time and your website looks fantastic!


Thanks for stopping by! I am fortunate enough to have attended most of the CSP instructors classes. We all bring something different to the table and once you take the program you can go back as often as you like, wherever you want for free!

Cathy Lee,

Aw shucks, I'm blushing now ;)

Sep 30, 2009 08:21 PM
Kathleen Garvey
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver - Denver, CO
Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales

Hey Jackson...gettin' all the lady love!  : )   I am thrilled that you are training new stagers-to-be with CSP!  Your abilities to teach others the proper techniques and skills will truly help the upcmining generation of newbies!!  So many folks are looking to do something new with their lives....and many will find new life when they train with you!!

Sep 30, 2009 11:00 PM
Susan Macaulay
Clarity Over Clutter - Winnipeg, MB


Your opening comments are so true.  Just reading a book or studying a course manual does not warrant the preparedness of becoming a Certified Staging Professional.  There are alot of dynamics involved and continued learning.

For those who are trying to decide what Home Staging training program to invest in, I strongly suggest that they check out the various programs.  Compare both pros and cons of each program.  Find out what is offered after completing the training.   Take the time to contact some Home Stagers to find out about their training.  I received my training with Canadian Staging Professionals and glad that I choose the training thru CSP.  As a Certified Canadian Staging Professional, I have the opportunity to pursue continued training through Specialized training and Refresher courses.  Having a great networking group of Stagers is also beneficial.  I was not left on my own to work through the many areas of building a business.  Home Staging is a big part of my company Clarity Over Clutter and having the contacts with other Stagers has been extremely beneficial. 

Jackson, you are easy to talk to and I enjoy learning from you.

Oct 01, 2009 02:01 PM
Annie Pinsker-Brown
Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging - Los Angeles, CA
Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager

I don't see how an online course could teach you anything about the reality of being a Stager. Walking into a home and having to figure out how to make it work using only what's available to you is the first step in figuring out that process. It separates those who are serious about Staging from those who think this would be a "fun" and "glamorous" career. Your students are lucky to have such a talented Stager as their teacher!

Oct 07, 2009 05:19 PM