I receive many emails from people who are completely confused by the various home staging training programs available. With so many options, I can understand the frustration. Since this is a completely unregulated industry, it’s important to do your research before handing over you money.
These 15 questions will help you research the various programs and weigh your options:
1. If a program offers hands on training, how is it done?
I’ve heard far too many stories of groups of 40 or more people spending most of their day in their own (or a rental) car driving to various far-flung locations only to take turns rearranging a living room.
2. Is the trainer a recognized expert in the field of home staging?
Do a Google search on their names and see what you can find out about them or their training program.
3. Will the training prepare you for the realities of being an entrepreneur?
No matter how talented you are at staging or decorating, if you don’t know how to do the following tasks, you will not make a living at this business: price your services properly, cost effectively market your business, effectively promote yourself to the right audiences, create your own portfolio, find potential clients, get media attention.
A worthwhile training program should really cover all these areas; otherwise they are just talking to you about what will amount to nothing more than a creative hobby.
4. Does the trainer have real world experience starting and growing a profitable home staging business? If they haven’t done it, how do they know what they’re talking about?
I remember when I did my Masters degree in business/marketing, there were professors spouting all kinds of great theories, but only the professors who had actually worked in the real world offered anything really useful or actionable.
5. Has the trainer proved they know how to get media attention for their expertise as a home stager? If not, how will they teach you to do it?
6. Does the company give you an opportunity to learn and ask questions about their program before signing up?
7. Is free information available to aspiring stagers and others or is it all about the money? Is the free information quality content or just fluff?
8. What do past students say about the program? What business success have they experienced?
9. Can you talk to the trainer personally before deciding?
10. Can you attend a free preview to experience something about what the program will be like?
11. Does the program offer a Satisfaction Guarantee? In other words, will you get your money back if it’s not what you expected?
12. Is the format of the program or the way it is delivered practical for you? Will you have to travel or be away from family for a few days?
13. Are you being promised anything that sounds too good to be true or unrealistic?
14. Are you being promised official credentials for completing the program so that you will be a “real” home stager; or does the training company admit that home staging is a completely unregulated field that does not require any credentials at all?
15. What type of ongoing support does the company provide for its graduates?
Don’t assume because a program costs more that it is better. Make sure you’ve answered the above questions so you know what you’re getting for your money. While there is a wide variation in the costs of home staging training, this should not be the first criteria. The reality is that home staging is a very lucrative business if you know what you are doing on the business side.
So, whether you spend a few hundred dollars more or less on a program is not significant when you consider the big picture. The key is getting what you need from a program and positioning yourself to take your passion for decorating and interest in real estate and turn it into a profitable and creatively satisfying business.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements and creator of The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. Debra has personally staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio shows about staging and has been quoted in major media including: CNNMoney, Wall Street Journal, MoneySense Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Women’s Day and more.
[tags]home staging, home stager, home staging business, home staging training, home staging course, learn about home staging, real estate staging, make money in home staging, Debra Gould, Staging Diva, advice for home stagers[/tags]