Two questions that keep coming up from new or aspiring home stagers:
- Should I do my first few projects for free just to let agents see what I can do?
- Should I wait until the house is sold and get paid for my home staging services from the proceeds?
My answer is a resounding NO to both questions and here’s why:
Home Staging provides a significant return on investment for clients. Mine have made anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 profit on my services.
Therefore, I see no need to provide your services for free. It does nothing to boost your credibility and only attracts the wrong type of clients. If you don’t appear to value your time, your clients won’t either. Have you ever met a doctor, lawyer, plumber, electrician or home inspector who would work for free?
Real estate agents wait until closing to collect their fees but they’re making tens of thousands of dollars. As a home stager I would not wait until closing (unless I was making a healthy percentage of the selling price). Any investment in my fees is far less than their first price reduction if the house doesn’t sell.
If the homeowner isn’t prepared to invest in my services, I question their commitment to the whole thing. If your client has absolutely no cash flow (are you sure you want to work with such a client?), one option would be to let the agent pay for your services and then they can get repaid with their proceeds after closing.
Even though this is a creative business, it’s a business and you have to be pretty firm in your dealings with prospects, realtors and clients. If you’re clear and you deal with people with integrity and take the time to explain “what’s in it for them”, most people will respect that.
You only short change yourself and invite being taken advantage of by working for free or agreeing to wait months to be paid after your staging services are rendered. Not all Staging Diva Graduates take this advice and I’ve certainly heard back from many of them with horror stories and regrets for not being more firm.
You will come under pressure from others, especially from those who want to take advantage of you. My advice, stand strong and hold on to your principals and what is right for you. It’s your business and you don’t need to give up your power to anyone!
“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” (Bo Bennett)
I discuss pricing strategies, how to make sure you get paid, and how to turn a prospect into a paying client very thoroughly in course 2 and 3 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program.
Discover the ONLY Home Staging Business Training Program taught by a seasoned entrepreneur who has successfully grown her own home staging business (not as a side-line to selling real estate) — The Staging Diva Training Program. With an MBA in marketing and hundreds of home staging clients, internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, is uniquely qualified to train others how to start and grow a profitable home staging business.
You can become a Staging Diva Graduate with 10 hours of training by phone with Debra Gould from home, or you can do the entire program by listening to recordings which are emailed to you immediately after you register.