As a society, we are a skeptical bunch. Today’s consumer almost instinctively sees sales pitches as scams and are afraid those products that do sound worthwhile must be too good to be true.
There are thousands of valuable and reputable products available to us thanks to the power of the Internet. Yes, there are bad products out there, and those that over-promise, but there are also genuine resources which end up being even better than you had hoped for.
The best way to avoid purchasing something that will end up disappointing, is to simply do your homework before you buy.
Google is a powerful tool to research your options – use it!
Many students come to the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program directly from other programs to get the business skills they still desperately need.
I’m surprised people aren’t more careful when investing in training. When I hear people tell me they have completed home staging programs but still don’t know how to start a business using those skills, I always wonder if they thoroughly researched what they were getting into before pulling out their credit cards.
What differentiates my home staging courses is the genuine emphasis on building a profitable business.
Others have started making this claim in recent years, but Staging Diva is the only home staging training program taught by someone with an MBA in marketing (me) who has personally built their own home staging business into a success.
Given that home staging is a completely unregulated field, where anyone can offer training, I advise anyone planning to enroll in a home staging course to do their homework before handing over their hard-earned money.
Before enrolling in a home staging training program, be sure you look into the following details before committing to anything:
Who’s the teacher?
Is the program you’re considering being taught by someone who has built a successful home staging business? If not, how will they teach you to build one? I recently read a press release about a home stager that was joining a training organization to teach their home staging courses. Amazingly they didn’t see the irony that the same press release mentioned that this new trainer had been a finalist for a Rooky Stager of the Year award, that very same year!
Imagine spending a couple of days of your time (plus any costs for travel and accommodation) and about $2,000 to be trained by a failed rooky! Wouldn’t you want to learn from an experienced professional?
Consider also whether the teacher is quoted in the media as home staging expert. That’s a sign that the outside world sees them as credible and you’re not just relying on what they say on their own website!
What happens if you pick up the phone and call the training program, will you actually get to speak to the trainer or is an anonymous call center the best access you can get?
People are always surprised when I answer my own phone, why wouldn’t I? I want you to know what you’re buying and from whom before you make your decision!
Home staging credentials don’t exist.
If you’re trying to decide which program to take depending on the weight their credentials hold, you’re wasting your time. The home staging industry is not regulated and there are no official home staging credentials. Any home staging training company, or private individual for that matter, can offer you their own set of initials to put after your name.
You also want to find out if you’ll be charged an ongoing licensing fee to say that you have these so called “credentials.” This is often a hidden cost you learn about later.
What are people saying?
Spend lots of time going over testimonials from graduates of the program and contact some of them directly to make sure they really exist. If you see testimonials on a website that are not accompanied by a photo, a full name and a company name of the stager, be VERY suspicious!
Do a Google search to see what people are saying about the program, and the person who will be training you, in discussion groups and elsewhere on the Internet.
Because there are no official credentials, if you’re looking to gain credibility from your training, make sure the organization has a great reputation and is recognized as a leader in the field of home staging.
Instead, you learn how to establish your own credibility so you can promote your own business name with confidence! This is a key distinction and you’ll notice the difference if you pay attention to how different home stagers promote themselves online. Is all the emphasis on where they got their training rather than who they are? They are taught to do this in certain courses, which is great for the training company, but not as great for the home stager!
What is the quality of the information the company or trainer gives out for free?
Are there ways for you to sample the program? Are there any resources for you to read or audio clips to listen to before signing up? If what you can get for free doesn’t seem very informative, how do you know the quality of the paid material will be any better? If what you can access for free is of high quality, it’s reasonable to assume what you pay for will be even more informative.
I personally share more free information than any other individual in this industry and I’ve been doing that since 2002. Examples include the many free reports I offer (“Ask Staging Diva: Should I start a home staging business in this economy?“, “12 Tips for a Successful Home Staging Business” , “Ask Staging Diva: Can a regular person like me become a successful home stager?“, etc.) as well as my regular posts to this blog Home Staging Business Report, and monthly newsletter Staging Diva Dispatch.
My best secrets of success are of course reserved for my inner circle of Staging Diva students.
Is there a refund policy?
Find out what happens if you aren’t happy with your purchase. Do you get any or all of your money back? Staging Diva students are entitled to a 100% refund and always have been. This was a firm policy I put in place with my first students back in January 2005 and it’s never changed!
What happens after you complete the training program?
Is there any ongoing support available to you or does the company just offer one product and once you’ve got that you’re on your own? If job guarantees are being made, be careful to read the “fine print” and find out how it all works.
If the state of the economy has you ready to take control of your own employment destiny by starting a home staging business, you’re making a great move. There is already lots of demand for real estate staging services and it will continue to grow as more home sellers realize the profit they can make by hiring a home stager.
But be sure to find out if the training program you’re considering will provide you with the tools you need to grow a successful business. In this, as in any unregulated industry, buyer beware applies.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging
Home Staging expert Debra Gould also known as The Staging Diva has taught over 7000 men and women how to make money as a home stager. She is president of Six Elements Inc., an internationally recognized home staging company that is frequently profiled in the media in the US, Canada and Australia. Debra Gould developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to create opportunities for others to grow their own profitable home staging, real estate enhancement businesses.