Staging Diva home staging courses, home staging checklist, home staging training

So you want to be a home stager?
Staging expert Debra Gould answers questions about how to start and grow your own home staging business

"Debra Gould has a gift for teaching aspiring home stagers what is attainable and helping them elevate their home staging business goals. The Staging Diva Program is amazing. I made more in 6 months after taking her program than I had the whole previous year!"

Caroline Carter (DC)

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Frequently asked questions for Home Stagers

General Questions about Home Staging (jump to this answer section)

home staging by Debra Gould

What's the difference between home staging, house fluffing and real estate enhancement?

Do I need a background or training in Interior Design?

Do I need to be "accredited" to be a real Home Stager?

What if there are no Home Stagers in my area?

How can Home Staging help me as a real estate agent?

Questions about The Staging Diva Program (jump to this answer section)

home staging by Debra Gould

What's the focus of The Staging Diva® Training Program?

Do I have to travel to take the Staging Diva Training Program?

How long does the program take?

What if some of the class times aren't convenient?

Can I try one course and then decide if I want to do the whole program?

How do I know The Staging Diva Training Program will meet my needs?

What will I get when I complete The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program?

Why don't you offer hands-on training in Home Staging?

What ongoing support do Staging Diva Graduates get?

Can I call myself a "Staging Diva" once I've completed the program?

Questions about being in the business of Home Staging (jump to this answer section)

Is Home Staging an expensive business to start?

Can I run a home staging business and still have time for my family?

Do I have to quit my job to start my home staging business?

Can I make a lot of money in Home Staging?

Who pays my home staging fees and how do I make sure I get paid?

How do I know how much to charge for my home staging services?

Will I have to clean, paint and move heavy things?

Should I start my Home Staging business with a partner?

Should I apprentice with a Home Stager before starting my own business?

Answers to General Questions about Home Staging

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What's the difference between home staging, house fluffing and real estate enhancement?

There really is no difference. Most people use these terms interchangeably to mean decorating a house to sell.

bed room after staging

Do I need a background or training in Interior Design?

No. But you need good taste and a good sense of how to arrange furniture in a room.

The Staging Diva® Home Staging Business Training Program addresses what you need to focus on when staging a house and how to get more comfortable with your skills in this area.

Do you think you could take an empty bedroom and create a setting like the one you see at left (assuming you knew where to source everything)?

Do I need to be "accredited" to be a real home stager?

There is no such thing as "accreditation" in the home staging field. In fact you can call yourself a Home Stager right now! It doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to grow a successful business, but you can call yourself a home stager.

There are companies that market training programs with official-sounding "certifications," just realize they are doing this for their own marketing reasons.

There are NO OFFICIAL CREDENTIALS in the home staging field. There is no independent judging organization or association. Associations that do exist are owned by the same people doing training programs.

"I don't believe in misleading the public or potential students," says internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, creator of The Staging Diva Program. "That's why I didn't create an official sounding set of initials to put after people's names when they graduate from my program. I offer solid business training based on my MBA in Marketing, BA in Communications and decades of business experience in a corporate setting and as an entrepreneur (since 1989), combined with the first-hand knowledge gained in building an incredibly successful home staging business from scratch, beginning in 2002."

Unlike other training programs where you are expected to pay annual dues to maintain your "accreditation", Graduates of The Staging Diva Training Program are always Graduates!

"I took an 'accredited' program.

It was expensive and I find as I read your site that there is a lot of information that I am missing or was not told.

Your free monthly newsletter is really very informative and it has helped me a lot with my business.

Once I get my first project I will take part of the money and invest in getting the Staging Diva recordings."

Ana, New Jersey

"I wish I had seen the Staging Diva site before I took the ASP course! Now I know where I can learn how to market my business!"

Kim Stephenson, ASP
Market Fresh Design

What if there are no home stagers in my area?

This is your chance to become the local expert, THE person to go to for Home Staging services. As more competitors come up behind you (and they will!), you'll continue to have the advantage of being one of the first in your area.

In course 4, Staging Diva Sales and Marketing Secrets to Boost Your Home Staging Business, you'll learn how to use being a home staging pioneer in your area to your advantage.

Naturally you'll have to be prepared to educate homeowners and real estate agents about the benefits of home staging, but you will reap the rewards of your efforts!

There are plenty of media stories to prove that home staging works and help pave the way for you.

Debra Gould staging a home for a TV news feature
One of many media features Debra Gould, The Staging Diva has participated in.

How can Home Staging help me as a real estate agent?

Learn how Home staging can make your job as a real estate agent infinitely easier.

Answers to Questions about The Staging Diva® Program upTop of Page

What's the focus of The Staging Diva Training Program?

We focus on what you need to know to turn your love of decorating into a profitable home staging business.

Our pricing, marketing and sales training is all specifically designed to help you grow a creatively satisfying home staging business that also meets your financial needs.

We don't want students who just want to dabble in this as a hobby. We want students who want to be financially independent while enjoying what they do every day.

We cover the important topics of what you're doing in a home staging project, but not down to the specifics of where to put a couch in a particular room. Let's face it, there are only so many ways to arrange a living room! The hard part is how to start and grow a home staging business and understanding what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

A growing number of graduates from the more hands-on home staging programs are now taking our courses so that they can learn the business-side they're missing.

We also have a number of interior designers and Realtors taking our program.

This is not some dry business program (Debra Gould did an MBA and hated it for the lack of creativity it offered). We take the business knowledge you need and make it all specifically about the home staging field, filled with lots of creativity to suit the personality of the students we serve.

"I chose the Staging Diva Training Program over others because it was obvious Debra's taste level and design perception was way above that of others offering staging courses.

She's a marketing expert as well.

This program is truly inspiring and empowering for anyone wanting to get into the staging business." - Martha Withers (CA)

Debra Gould teaches all Staging Diva students via audio recordings of her past classes. You're learning from her experience, not 'second hand' through someone else.

Do I have to travel to take The Staging Diva Program?

You don't need to travel! Take The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program from the comfort of your own home.

Our five courses are offered as audio recordings with accompanying study notes.

We don't delegate teaching to assistants. Debra Gould trains all her students and provides lots of real world examples from her own staging business!

You'll get fully edited audio recordings, picked from the best of the best of all Staging Diva Courses. You'll follow along in your study notes and listen to Debra Gould, as she presents the material sharing what she learned in her own journey of building her staging business plus her answers to questions from a small group of students.

"I really enjoyed your Staging Diva Classes! I got a real sense of your sincerity and integrity in the way you run your business, as well as the way you genuinely want to teach others how to be just as successful. You are inspiring and I like your down to earth manner of speaking." - Noelle Decambra (CA)

How long does the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program take?

The Staging Diva Program is a series of 5 courses. Each one takes up to two hours to complete.

Course notes are included so you can follow along. There are also optional homework assignments between classes.

When you order recordings of the courses, you can finish the program over two days at your own convenience.

"I just finished listening to the final Staging Diva Class recording. It was so enjoyable! I am so excited about my new real estate staging business!

I feel as though I got to know you and the other students during the Staging Diva program even though I was just listening to the course recordings.

I have learned so much and feel more confident.

I just staged my first home. It sold the first day on the market, with 2 other offers behind it in 3 days." - Kari Kizewski (WI)

What if class times aren't convenient for me?

There's no need to worry whether about whether the class times will fit with your schedule, because you'll be learning from the comfort of your own home via course recordings. You can listen to the courses whenever (and as often as) you like!

Recordings are of actual classes, so you'll hear all the interaction with the students, the questions they asked and what Debra answered. Each course is a professionally edited audio recording combining the best of the best from the hundreds of individual classes Debra has taught live to small groups of students.

You can read detailed course descriptions and order course recordings of any or all of the Staging Diva courses. You'll get the complete set of course notes and checklists too, just as if you had taken a live class. Plus you have the added advantage of your own set of recordings to keep forever and refer back to as often as you like. Each time, you'll learn something new and be re-inspired with new ideas for the growth of your staging business.

Flowers by home stager Debra Gould

Can I try one course before deciding if I want to do the whole program?

Yes, you can try out one course first. But, if you want to save up to $830, you should sign up for one of the 5-course training packages.

If you feel more comfortable, you can also sign up for courses one at a time, spreading them out over as many months as you like.

While you can spread out the courses over time, by ordering the recordings one by one, you aren't a Graduate until you have completed all 5 courses.

We only refer projects to graduates of our program and only graduates can participate in The Staging Diva Network and The Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers.

"I ordered the mailed-to-your-door version of the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program.

I've been listening to the course CDs while driving and I find when I reach my destination I don't want to get out of the car!

So much to learn, but I feel getting to listen while on the road is a good way to prime me for my home studies. Many thanks for the program, I look forward to going through each step!" - Mary Zalewski (OH)

How do I know the Staging Diva program will meet my needs?

Debra Gould The Staging Diva

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva as seen in Center of The City Magazine, May 2006.

Do your homework before signing up for this or any other Home Staging training program. Read carefully through course descriptions, read student testimonials, look at the portfolios of graduates of the program.

Remember there are no industry standards for training programs and there are no official home staging programs. Just as anyone can call themselves a home stager, anyone can offer a training program.

Investigate the credentials of anyone offering to train you.

If you want to turn home staging into a profitable business, make sure the person training you has business credentials and experience. Make sure they've actually created a successful home staging business, otherwise how can they teach you to do it?

Debra Gould is the only MBA graduate offering home staging business training. She's also recognized as an expert in her field in both the US and Canada, as evidenced by the significant media attention she has received. She created and grew Six Elements, her home staging business from scratch in record time. Check out all the photos on her sites of projects she's completed. Read the student reviews and client and agent comments.

"The Staging Diva Program is different from other home staging business training which mostly teaches you how to rearrange furniture. I already know that part, or I wouldn't be going into the Home Staging business.

Debra teaches you how to get started, get more business and keep it running. All step by step. Debra is a wealth of knowledge. I'm proud to be trained by her." - Deana Ramisch (CA)

Staging Diva Satisfaction Guarantee

You won't find many programs that offer the Satisfaction Guarantee that we do!

You'll find the full details on each and every order page.

With so much free information on home staging on this site and, is it reasonable to assume that there is also lots of great content once you actually sign up for a paid program?

If you really can't decide, call Debra Gould up and ask her some questions! Yes, she answers her own phone! Why? Because she wants you to make an informed decision before committing to the Staging Diva program. You can reach her at 416-691-6615. If she's out staging houses, you may have to leave a message, but she will call you back!

What will I get when I complete The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program?

Upon completion of the five courses, we'll mail you a personalized Graduation Certificate for your portfolio.

You're considered a Staging Diva Graduate, whether you do the courses all at once or spread them out over time (for example, by ordering one recording a month over 5 months).

Staging Diva Graduation Certificate
"Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and business savvy with me. Your course notes have been my bible and the Staging Diva Certificate of Completion is a reminder of how far I have come since I lost my job. You have inspired me in taking the first steps towards building my own successful home staging business." - Odette Williams (MD) Home stager Baltimore

Why don't you offer hands-on training in Home Staging?

Girl's bedroom staged by Debra Gould

The Staging Diva Training Program is designed for women and men who know they have great taste and an innate talent for how to arrange a home.

They've been decorating since they were young and grew up to decorate their own homes. Many have been helping friends for years, never realizing they had a talent they could actually make real money from.

IF you have NO innate sense of how to arrange furniture and you're terrible with color, we don't believe you can learn these skills in a weekend course. So we don't offer it.

But, if you have some decorating talent we'll teach you how to turn it into a thriving home staging business.

You might enjoy this article by Debra Gould on the difference between home staging and interior design.

If you're interested in a hands-on training program, find out the details of how this is offered before signing up.

Many staging or interior redesign training programs have 30 to 50 students go to three houses in a day and everyone takes turns rearranging the furniture!

It uses up lots of course time (traveling and waiting), but how much do you learn?

"I loved the Staging Diva program! I was skeptical about the format at first, but it was great. The notes were concise and easy to follow. Students asked questions I had been wondering about myself and Debra is clear and direct.

I'm confident in my decorating abilities, but wasn't sure how to run a professional and profitable staging business. Debra walks you through the entire process." - Deborah Brischler (CA)

If one of the things you're worried about is how to choose colors for home staging consultations, Debra Gould's ebook "Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide: the easy way to pick colors for home staging projects" can help. It includes:
  • When to discuss color in your home staging consultation
  • The process Debra Gould uses when making color selections
  • Different paint sheen levels and when to use them
  • What to do about ugly wallpaper
  • Specific colors to use for walls, ceiling, trim, doors and floors
  • And more

Learn more about the Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide

Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide

We also offer the Staging Diva® Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans. This resource tells you exactly what to do in every conceivable home staging scenario. The Staging Diva boosts your design confidence as she takes you room by room with tons of tips and tricks delivered in an entertaining, conversational format. Lots of accompanying photos and sample floor plans will help you visualize and learn all the staging design concepts.

Learn more about the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide

Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide

What ongoing support do Staging Diva Graduates get?

Staging Diva Project Referral Service

Home Staging Project Referral Service

We are contacted daily by homeowners and Realtors all over North America (and as far away as Europe, Australia and South Africa) looking for a Home Stager in their area.

Read samples of the hundreds of home staging projects we've made available to our Graduates!

As a Graduate, you can apply to participate in The Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers. You'll save thousands of dollars and countless hours over trying to build your own site. We get you on the Internet where potential clients can find you fast. Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers

Staging Diva Dialog Question and Answer Calls

Graduates can participate in monthly Question and Answer calls with The Staging Diva herself, Debra Gould, by becoming members of Staging Diva Dialog.

In addition to being live on the phone with Debra asking her questions each month, you'll get a recording of each call to re-listen to at your convenience, and as often as you like.

Staging Diva Network Online Discussion Group

Graduates can also join our online discussion group.

The Staging Diva Network provides ongoing support and connects you with a helpful community of others facing similar challenges. In fact, when you purchase one of the 5-course staging training packages, we'll throw in a FREE 2 month trial membership, so you can log in and post any questions you may have as you work through your course materials!

There are already ongoing discussions on a wide range of topics like: the benefits of registering an "S Corporation" versus an "LLC", challenges faced on first projects, where to get rental furniture, low cost marketing ideas, how to handle difficult clients, how to present to real estate agents and more.

Graduates help each other with questions, comments, suggestions and words of encouragement and Debra Gould logs in regularly to post her own thoughts on the various issues we all face in growing a home staging business.

Can I call myself a "Staging Diva" when I complete the program?

No. Staging Diva is a registered trademark of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. A variation of it, for example using "Diva" related to the field of home staging, is also a violation of the trademark.

Upon completion of our program you can call yourself a Graduate of The Staging Diva® Training Program.

We will also mail you a Graduation Certificate for your portfolio and provide artwork for a Graduate Badge (like you see at right) for use on your website or in any other marketing materials as you see fit.

Staging Diva Grad Badge

Answers to questions about being in the business of home staging upTop of Page

Is Home Staging an expensive business to start?

No. You can get your home staging business started with very little.

You don't need to spend much, if anything, on advertising. You also don't need to build up your own inventory of furnishings or accessories, and you don't need an office outside your home. All these factors make this a very easy business to start when you have limited funds.

Everything you need to get started in your home staging business is explained in detail in Staging Diva Course 2 "The Business of Home Staging."

In Course 4 "Staging Diva Sales & Marketing Secrets," Debra shares how she built her home staging business on a shoe string!

Can I run a home staging business and still have time for my family?

Yes! You're in control of when you book your client appointments. It is possible to grow a very profitable Home Staging business only seeing clients during normal business hours. Evening and weekend appointments are not necessary. Some Staging Diva Graduates even home school their children and work their business around that!

Do I have to quit my job to start my home staging business?

No you don't need to quit your job when you start your home staging business! You're in control of when you book your client appointments. You can grow your Home Staging business meeting with clients on evenings and weekends. You may have difficulty furnishing empty homes however, as deliveries are usually done during normal business hours.

As long as you're careful about the types of projects you take on, or you are able to book off the occasional day from work, you should be OK.

Many Staging Diva Graduates take our training program in the evenings and start their businesses around another full time job. Many have children as well and lots of them are single mothers.

Can I make a lot of money in Home Staging?

You are unlikely to be an overnight success. You'll need to work hard at providing stellar customer service and consistent marketing and sales effort. That's why The Staging Diva Program focuses on building your knowledge and skills in these areas.

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, will share with you how she was able to make up to $10,000 in a single month in home staging fees by the time she was in business just over two years. She regularly makes in two hours what many work a week to earn.

And, there's no reason to feel embarrassed about being successful or charging what you do! Clients are thrilled because they know they're getting a significant return on their investment.

"Rave reviews for Staging Diva Training. Definitely a 10 on a scale of 1 to 5! I knew I had artistic talent but was lacking business and marketing skills— major components of Staging Diva Training.

I'm truly grateful for the feeling of self-confidence that the program instilled in me. Debra Gould's warm, friendly and caring demeanor— before, during and after the courses really puts you at ease.

She is obviously sincere in her desire to share her knowledge and expertise to help budding entrepreneurs." - Karen Ozer (GA)

Who pays my home staging fees and how do I make sure I get paid?

corner filled with props by Six Elements Your fees might be paid by the real estate agent or the homeowner, or a combination of the two.

How and when you get paid, and how to avoid having to spend your own money up front on a client's behalf, are covered at length in Course 3 "Taking the Mystery Out of A Home Staging Consultation".

How do I know how much to charge for my home staging services?

Getting the pricing strategy right is one of the top three factors that will determine whether you make a significant income or get burned out and go broke.

That's why we spend lots of time on the single subject of how to charge for your services in Course 2, and it comes up again in course 3, 4 and 5.

Many of our students have taken other training previously and didn't learn proper pricing strategies. After 6 months or a year of not making any money they take The Staging Diva Program and totally change how they do business.

Home Staging expert Debra Gould has been supporting her family as an entrepreneur since 1989, so she knows the importance of pricing and how to do it right!

"The Staging Diva Training program recordings were an excellent way for me to complete this course and they totally exceeded my expectations. I listened at my own pace and continue to listen to the recordings over and over. The marketing training and materials included are extremely helpful. Debra sharing her experiences has helped me make different choices when marketing my business." - Cindy Barnes (CO)

Will I have to clean, paint and move heavy things?

No, not unless you want to! As a home stager you will recommend cleaning, what rooms should be painted and in what color, and moving furniture around. This does not mean YOU as the home stager have to physically do these things!

In the house at right for example, Debra Gould spent 3 hours with the client making all her recommendations and the clients did the rest of the work themselves. For other clients, Debra arranges for painters, cleaners and movers.

In Course 1, How To Cash In Decorating Homes To Sell, Debra Gould introduces you to all the services that can be offered as a home stager, and then explains how to determine which ones you'll handle personally or delegate to others. You do not need to have employees to offer a comprehensive service, because The Staging Diva will show you how.

In Course 3, Taking the Mystery out of Home Staging Consultations, you will learn what you do at a client's home including "who" moves "what" and "when" and other mysteries.



Should I start my Home Staging business with a partner?

In Course 1, How To Cash In Decorating Homes To Sell, you will complete The Staging Diva Self Assessment Scorecard that will help you determine whether you need a business partner.

Debra Gould has grown her home staging company Six Elements without a partner. There is certainly no requirement to have one to be successful in home staging.

If you are planning on having a business partner, we offer a $300 discount on a second Staging Diva Training Program registration. To take advantage of this offer, email us today.

Should I apprentice with a Home Stager before starting my own business?

Dining Room before Staging by Six Elements
Dining Room after staging by Six Elements
"Taking the Mystery Out of Home Staging Consultations," Course 3 of the Staging Diva Training Program, is where Debra Gould teaches you the process she uses to transform rooms like this.

"I get tons of people who want to apprentice with me and I turn them all down," says Staging Diva Debra Gould. "In fact I would charge someone if they wanted to shadow me around and see how I deal with clients, because I know they'd be doing it with the intention of taking what they learn and opening their own business."

The "decorating" part of the home staging business is the easy thing, assuming you have some basic talent for how to arrange furniture in a room. The challenge of turning this talent into a profitable business, is knowing how to price for your services (most people get that wrong and don't earn a living), how to promote yourself, how to build your credibility, how to market to the four important target audiences (most programs neglect two of these), all the other ways there are to make money at this, etc.

That's why the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program focuses so much on these elements and it's taught personally by Debra Gould, one of the most successful home stagers in a city that is flooded with them. She is also a seasoned entrepreneur and widely recognized for her marketing expertise and business savvy.

If you're committed to starting your own home staging business, we don't recommend losing time being an apprentice (and who knows if you'll find someone that really has that much to teach you). Instead, learn what you need to about the business side and then go for it. You'll be a formidable competitor of anyone you might have apprenticed with!

"I took another training course first.
home stager West Palm Beach FL The Staging Diva training program was THE PROGRAM that gave me the knowledge and expertise I needed to get my business up and running profitably.
Debra is wonderful... Professional, sincere and generous not only with her time, but by unselfishly sharing her years of experience and success!"
Elayne Forgie (FL)
"The Staging Diva classes are great and went way above what I expected! Debra Gould provides all the tools you need to start and grow your own Home Staging business.
From the overall concept to the nitty-gritty of consultations, and tips on continuing growth, Debra boosts your confidence with her flair and down-to-earth approach." Home Stager
Joanna Varini (GA)
Read more rave reviews from Staging Diva students and graduates!

"Thanks so much for all your hard work creating the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program and the other services you offer to help us start our own staging businesses! You have inspired me more than I could have imagined.

My enthusiasm has spread to my friends who have a home business and keep saying to me, 'Tell me more about what you learned in those Staging Diva classes!'"

Sharon Galyon (TX

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