How it works in Real Estate and Staging are somewhat similar. We ARE part of the Real Estate Industry. Ok, we got our real estate license and are ready to start a real estate business? Do we know what we don't know? Same with STAGERS...Do YOU know what you don't know? Let me tell you, most Realtors who are serious about a Real Estate career go and get the education and designations they need to specialize and refine their businesses. Some of those are the CRS Certified Residential Specialist, SRES Senior Real Estate Specialist, GRI Graduate Realtors Institute, CCIM Certified Commercial Investment Member and many more.
Fast forward to the staging industry. You've taken a class or not, are you ready to go and start a staging business? Do you know what you don't know? The business of setting up a staging business can be a challenge for the practitioner that is creative and just wants to stage. IF you don't need the help, more power to you. But, where do you go if you didn't get what you needed in one class? Well, perhaps a direction can come from the real estate industry. Each training provider offers a different twist on your staging business. Realtors who are interested in a career get education to fill the gaps in training or where they want to specialize. I know there are many stagers who have gone to more than one provider to get the education they need regarding various aspects of their staging businesses. Why should you hesitate to take ANY class that you feel will improve your product and/or services to your target client and allow you to be more successful?
Obtaining designations, certifications and education proficiencies are common in the real estate industry. They are becoming more common in the staging industry. I know stagers with several of the HSR Home Staging Resource, PSC Professional Staging Consultant, IRIS Interior Redesign Industry Specialist, CSP Certified Staging Professional, ASP Accredited Staging Professional, NAPO National Association of Professional Organizers and other designations on their websites and business cards and many with none of the above. The next big step is a Trade association that encompasses all of them.
Why recreate the wheel, we have a model. The real estate industry has a huge trade association in the National Association of Realtors that encompasses the specialties in the industry. It is RUN by it's members locally, statewide, nationally, the Realtors have a major voice in the direction of their association, their code of ethics, lobbying efforts, self regulating and many other areas.
Staging Associations are coming forward. Should you join them? As a Realtor I have designations and join their associations. My chosen trade association is the National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, and my local chapters and Boards of Realtors and I joined them all. They are ALL governed by their members. It is my belief that an industry to be viable should be governed by those in the trenches who do the work and know the challenges. The association that meets the needs of their members will be the one that comes out on top. You have a vote with your renewed membership.
Will staging be elevated to a profession of committed practitioners? I believe it can. Who and how you govern yourselves will determine the respect and status that you will be given in the eyes of practitioners and the public who are your clients. Stage it Forward has moved us far in that direction...are you ready to take the leap?
What an opportunity we have to shape our future businesses, our associations and our education providers. We need to take the reins now and tell them what we need. They WILL listen, and with a strong self governed trade association they will come to us and ask what we need, and then they will provide it or go the way of others who have not heeded the needs of their customers. This is the American way. I believe we should join RESA now and shape our future in the industry, even if we are part of other training run associations. Your Trainer run association does not serve the same purpose as a member run trade association. A true member governed staging trade organization will serve the practitioners in ways we tell them we need to be served and preserve our industry as a whole. A true member governed staging trade organization does not exclude based on training. It sets standards for training and professionalism. The public benefits and that enhances our respect in the public's eyes. We are not each other's adversary. WE ARE THE INDUSTRY. There are thousands of us not in an association of any kind. These are stagers too who can and will influence our industry along with us. Together we are our own best advocates, as we and only we, know what our business is about and what things we need to protect ourselves and our livelihood while we do the work we love.
I am excited at the opportunities in front of us. See you there.