If you’re among the thousands of people who got a real estate license when the market was hot, are you starting to think it might not be as easy to make money as it looked back then?
According to the 2007 Real Estate Trends Report, there is one licensed Realtor® for every 90 Americans. There couldn’t possibly be enough work for all of you, especially in today’s real estate market.
With such a saturated market of Realtors, it’s hardly surprising that they aren’t making much money either. According to Realtor.org, the median salary for a sales agent in 2004 was $37,600 and for 2008 that number is down to $31,000. For newer agents, salaries can be as low as $13,000 a year.
Instead of heading to McDonalds® for an application, (a manager at a fast food restaurant earns $30,000 to $35,000 per year and doesn’t have to work 24/7) if you’re not making your fortune as an agent you might consider a career in home staging.
Home stagers can grow their businesses regardless of whether the real estate market is hot or not, because people will always want to make more on the sale of their property. And in a buyer’s market, they need our help even more, if they want to sell quickly.
Even the FSBO (for sale by owner) market is open to us as home stagers. The same sellers who don’t want to pay real estate commissions, and instead try and sell their homes privately, will invest in home staging services to decorate their home to sell faster and for more money.
As a real estate agent, you already know the real estate market and you’re probably used to giving home owners tips on getting their homes ready to sell. I hope you’re not making the fatal mistake of staging your vendors’ homes for free as an added service.
You could actually be making more money on giving staging advice than you do right now in real estate commissions!
In my second year as a home stager I was making up to $10,000 a month staging my clients’ homes and that was starting from the ground up without a real estate license. It’s interesting to note too, that the majority of these home sellers hadn’t chosen their agent yet when they hired me. Had I had a license I would have had many of those listings myself rather than recommending them to other agents.
If you’re a real estate agent accustomed to driving around all day showing properties and not getting paid until you actually sell something, the income you can make as a home stager may surprise you. For example, $300 to $600 is close to industry standard for a home staging consultation, depending on where you live.
Assuming the low end, at $300, if you were to do four of those a week, that’s over $60,000 at the end of the year. At the high end you could be making $124,800 a year and that’s just doing home staging consultations where you walk around the client’s home and give them staging advice so they can do the rest of the work themselves.
Now, let’s assume only a quarter of those consultations turn into full blown staging projects. You’ll earn another $4,000 to $8,000 per month, or between $48,000 and $96,000 a year on top of the consulation fees you were already making! And you don’t have to share any of that income with a broker.
If you’re making less than the average fast food restaurant manager, watching your meager income get eaten up by fees and large advertising budgets and you’re tired of being on call for your clients 24/7, isn’t it about time you started looking at other options that leverage the real estate knowledge you already have while allowing you to make double or triple what you’re earning now?
Consider the current economy and slow real estate market your wake up call. Maybe you should recession-proof your real estate career by enrolling in a home staging training program and start earning the kind of money that lured you into the real estate profession in the first place!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Home Staging expert Debra Gould also known as The Staging Diva has taught over 1000 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 both the US and Canada. 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.
[tags] home stager, home staging, home stager marketing, home staging business, house fluffing, real estate staging, house staging, property styling, real estate market, real estate enhancement, Staging Diva, Debra Gould, investing in home staging training, real estate agent career change, home staging business training [/tags]