Recently I wrote and posted 2 similar blogs entitled: Inconvenient Truths about Home Staging. A shorter edited down version was posted here on Active Rain while a more complete and comprehensive version was then posted here on what I call my "pretty blog."
The post created quite a ruckus with a foundation training company whose website, at one point, I quoted directly from and linked to to prove that I was not making an unsubstantiated point. They, however felt attacked and prestented me with Cease & Desist email and comments. I have since removed all of my direct references to them in my posts and all links I had placed in my blogs to their site.
Unfortunately, I think they saw my words as personal attack on their program, which was not the point. They are NOT doing anything that most other staging foundation training organizations within our industry are doing. For all I know they may have one of the most in-expensive & compressive training programs available for those interested in learning about home staging.
But regardless, I bigger insight and message was the point of this and the initial post.
Foundation training programs are a big part of the the home staging industry. Being that I am one of the LEAST formally schooled in home staging (I am self trained) I have tried to stay neutral about training. Staying neutral, yet believing in the benefits of training, I tried to be a trusted resource to those that seek out my advice on "which foundation training program they should take." To make it easy for people to do their homework I have compiled a FREE reference list (in alphabetical order) of 33 different training programs I know of and placed it in the right hand column of my pretty blog. Thanks to Goggle Analytics I know that people researching staging utilize this list.
Anyway, the point I was originally making in the "Inconvenient Truths" blog was that I see the staging INDUSTRY (note INDUSTRY not one player) being partially responsible for the bashing it got from a report on staging by the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA). While much of what the NAEBA said was wrong and sensationalized I still don't believe it was all wrong. The report got me to think about the Home Staging Industry... and the collective "who and how" we have been and how there could be some truth to what the NAEBA reported.
So with the home staging industry in my sites I started writing. My writing took me back to re-examine what I refereed to as a "Frankenstein" of a problem in our industry... Credentials. I have found at least 34 different foundation staging training programs in North America. I have no idea how good or bad any of these courses are. I can tell you that I have spoken to MANY stagers from all over the USA & Canada... some have raved about their training others were not impressed. I've heard it all. In general I believe people are pretty happy that they received formal training... if only for the fact that it got them going in the industry.
However, with no "board of staging education" overseeing what is actually being taught... there is no way of knowing how good or bad the training these organizations are offering is. Or how compressive and complete it is. To be a staging trainer all one needs to do is open their doors.... and say they are a staging training school.
Lump on top of that the fact that so many of these organizations are then offering quick "Accredited Certifications" for their graduates to tack on to their names in the hopes to legitimize their graduates as "stagers" to the eyes of the consumer, I believe this is now further compromising the whole industry. What is good? What is Bad? What is Right? What is Wrong? Who knows!
For the most part the consuming public has no understanding of this. The public views and relies on credentials as proof of ability. The consuming pubic believes the person who has been "Accredited" by an organization has gone through a process were they have been trained, tested and PASSED. TESTING is TYPICAL and expected in an ACCREDITATION PROCESS. As the industry stands today, staging really is NOT about the credentials, it is a combination of talent, experience, & education... and yet so much emphasis is placed on Accrediting Credentials. This has been a topic of conversation time and time again here on Active Rain.
The industry's allowance of and reliance on unregulated certification and accreditation can expose the consumer to less then good and qualified staging... ultimately diluting what staging can make available. With no regulation on training, training schools, curriculum, testing, or certification this will a problem that will continue to get bigger. Not having standards will ultimately mean there will be consumers that use stagers that do substandard work and give organizations ammunition to continue to write negative reports on staging as the NAEBA did.
In my opinion, because of the way the home staging industry currently is, the consumer is becoming more and more exposed and could loose out on what is possible from good and proper staging... and our industry will loose face and legitimacy.
THAT WAS ONE OF MY TRUTHS in Inconvenient Truths about Home Staging.
Stage It Forward,