At some point in your home staging business, you might decide you need some help. For example when you have to stage a vacant home and all the setup needs to be completed in a day.
It takes time to dress all the beds, get the wrinkles out of the new shower curtain and hang artwork. These home staging tasks are much easier when you have an extra set of hands.
Hiring an ineffective home staging assistant, or bringing the wrong person to your client’s home, can be both frustrating and costly.
Here are 5 key qualities I look for in a home staging assistant:
There’s an astonishing lack of integrity these days. People who say “Sure, I’ll meet you at 2PM” and then cancel at the last moment, or chronically show up late.
Or people who pretend they’re working when they aren’t. Or people who commit to send you something by a certain date and don’t get around to it.
This is not the kind of behavior you can have on your team and it will make you look bad in front of your home staging clients. Not to mention the pitfalls of hiring someone who might steal from your client’s home when your back is turned!
2. Attention to Detail
Some people have a natural eye for detail and others don’t. You’ll need to find a way to assess this skill if you don’t want to micro manage every little thing your assistant does on a home staging job.
3. Positive Energy
Now that you run your own home staging business, you get to decide what kind of people you want to have around you.
Your home staging day will be much more pleasant when it’s free of Drama Queens, Complainers and people who just seem to make you want to take a nap after a conversation with them.
Look for a home staging assistant who is positive, enthusiastic and has high energy— without being hyper.
4. Able to Remember and Follow Directions
You don’t want to have to keep repeating yourself because that gets really frustrating and wastes your time and energy.
You should be able to give your home staging assistant a list of what you want done and then let them go do it.
Ideally, you want them to follow a long series of steps without having to check back with you to dole them out one at a time.
I don’t mind if someone takes notes while I give instructions, but it drives me crazy when they don’t and have to ask me to repeat myself every 10 minutes.
Perhaps you expected “creativity” to be first on my list? Perhaps it would be higher up in the ranking (though still behind “integrity” and “attention to detail”) if I were hiring someone to take over a home staging project from start to finish.
When I’m hiring an assistant to just help me out on a project, “creativity” is definitely last behind the other qualities I’ve mentioned. As the head of my own home staging business, I really see my role as that of Creative Director and Project Manager, so I need someone who is better at following my directions than coming up with their own creative solutions.
I do look for more creativity if I’m sending someone out to shop for accessories for me on behalf of one of my home staging clients. While they pay me to shop for them, there’s nothing wrong with delegating some of the legwork to an assistant.
Please don’t call me if you’re looking for a home staging assistant job (though I am hiring for other roles). I don’t employ any full-time home staging assistants. I prefer to contract out to people by the hour on an as-needed basis. This keeps my overhead very low, plus I still make extra profit on their services using the formula I share in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
If you’re wondering why I don’t need a whole bunch of home staging assistants despite staging hundreds of homes, it’s because I don’t own my own home staging inventory. This also keeps my overhead low, and profits high.
Home stagers – What do you do in your own home staging business? Do you hire people? What qualities do you look for in an assistant? Did I leave out anything in my top 5? Please share in the comments below to make this an even better and more complete resource for our fellow home stagers.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging and Voice of Possibility Group Inc.
Home Staging expert Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and has taught over 8000 students how to do the same. She is the author of several guides including the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.