Home stagers often make the mistake of thinking they need to chase real estate agents to get home staging projects. This is often a recipe for frustration and rarely results in making the kind of money you want.
What many new home stagers don’t realize is that the home stager is often hired before the Realtor for a given property. Today, I’ll discuss what that means for you — especially if you’re a home stager who also happens to have a real estate license.
Savvy home sellers stage before requesting listing presentations
As more and more people get comfortable (and familiar) with the idea of home staging, fewer of them will wait for their real estate agent to recommend it to them. In fact, the really savvy home sellers stage their home before they invite real estate agents in to view their property and come up with a pricing strategy for their listing. They realize the agents will set a higher asking price for a staged home than one that isn’t.
From the beginning of my home staging business in 2002, I was contacted by home sellers directly at least 80% of the time, rather than their real estate agents.
As a home stager I got to know my clients fairly well
Home staging is a fairly intimate experience because you’re spending two, three or more hours in their house with them, going through all their stuff. You see everything.
You see things nobody else in their family has ever seen because you’re opening all the cupboards, discussing how they’re going to function in the house when it’s on the market, what they should get rid of, and all of that stuff.
What you’ll find is that, at the end of that two or three hours or working with the client through all of that stuff, there’s a real bond, trust and rapport that develop. A lot of those people will say to you:
“I haven’t hired a real estate agent yet. Who would you recommend?”
You can recommend another real estate agent and earn the referral fee, or you can say, “As it happens, I have my real estate license and would be happy to handle the listing for you.”
Home staging generates the highest value leads for real estate agents
In other words, staging can become a way to generate really hot leads for your real estate business, but because you approached it as a home stager first, not a real estate agent who stages houses, you’re attracting those clients who would not necessarily have come to you if they were just looking for a real estate agent.
Also, as potential listings, those are awesome leads because it’s a person who’s really serious about selling. If they’ve gone to the trouble of hiring and paying for a home stager, they’re going to sell. That’s their intention. They’re not thinking “maybe, down the road I’ll list my house.”
They’re really motivated to sell their house if they’re doing that. It’s a really hot lead for a real estate agent, be that you or somebody else.
If you approach it that way, then the business model I teach in the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program totally makes sense. If, on the other hand, you’re a real estate agent who just wants to stage your client’s homes for free, then forget about the Staging Diva program.
That’s not what this is about. This is about how to make money as a home stager.
Yes, you can make extra money also in real estate commissions because you take the listing or refer it to another agent, if you have your real estate license. It’s not a requirement to be a successful home stager by any means. I’ve been a very successful home stager, and I do not have a real estate license.
This is part three of a series on home stagers who are also licensed real estate agents.
In Part 1 I discussed what happens if you have a real estate license and discover you prefer home staging. In Part 2, I talked about when you’re a home stager with a real estate license who wants to make the bulk of your income from home staging rather than real estate commissions.
If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series, here are the links for Part 1 and Part 2. In the next chapter, I’ll talk about whether you should have one business card or two for your staging and real estate businesses.
Please comment on the discussion so far. I’d also really appreciate it if you would click the “Share” buttons below and invite your home staging friends to comment too! The wider the conversation, the more we all learn.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
Debra Gould isn’t a real estate agent because she never wanted to be on call 24/7 the way agents are. Being a home stager earns her a higher income, gives her the real estate buzz she craves, and means she only has to go to an open house when she wants to.