It’s amazing how many home stagers think they should be real estate agents too. They think that’s a fast road to easy money, not realizing that home stagers often make more money than real estate agents. I read a post on Active Rain a few weeks ago written by a real estate agent fed up with people trying to work out his paycheck by multiplying the price of a house he was selling by 6%.
Everyone assumes he must be filthy rich and he said in his post that many agents do the same type of math, lulling themselves into a world of delusion where they believe they’re actually doing okay. He stated (and I agree) that this is a dangerous perception that will lead to bankruptcy.
The real estate agent in the article worked out his hourly wage. He figured out all of the fees that he has to pay his broker and added that in with his other bills including:
- Car payment/maintenance/fuel, etc.
- Cell phone bill and other utilities
- Desk fees
- Office supplies
- Assistant’s salary
- Referral fees
- Registration fees
- Business meals
- Health insurance
- Promotional items
- And the list goes on and on and on
When he got that big number and figured it all out – including the fact that most times there are two agents sharing that 6% commission which is now more often 5% – and he wrote down the number of hours he works (roughly 14 or so a day), he discovered after doing his calculations that he was actually only earning $17/hour.
This real estate agent was one of the top producing agents in his office. I suspect that most agents are actually earning closer to half of that number, especially those who are new to the business.
Home stagers have a much higher earning potential than this. In my second year as a home stager I was earning up to $10,000 a month and unlike real estate agents, home stagers don’t have to worry about starving to death in a “slow real estate market” because no matter what the market is doing, home staging still works.
If you’re a real estate agent giving away free home staging advice to your clients, did you ever stop to consider that your passion for interior design and talent for home staging could make you a lot more money than collecting real estate commissions?
Depending on where you live, you can earn anywhere from $300 to $600 for a single home staging consultation. And your only real expenses are your fuel because everything else is billed to the client. Remember, that’s only the money you’re making from home staging consultations, that’s not even counting what you can earn if you actually turn some of those consultations into full-blown home staging projects.
Real estate agents, are you giving away your valuable home staging knowledge for free when it could be earning you tens of thousands of dollars per year? I urge you to read an article I wrote on this topic called “Recession Proof Your Real Estate Career” because it will really help put things into perspective for you.
You may also benefit from reading a free report I wrote about why home staging works in any economy (opposed to how it works in real estate) titled, “Should I Start a Home Staging Business in this Economy?”
Home stagers, did you start out as a real estate agent sick of living from commission check to commission check? Please share your story by leaving a comment below!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.