Home staging groups on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn let you hang out with fellow home stagers and get home staging advice, share ideas, etc. There might be lots of well-meaning and free advice on the Internet, but it’s not always coming from people who know what they’re talking about.
Almost everyone has an opinion, not necessarily an educated opinion.
Your online “friends” may have no business experience and/or they could be going broke as home stagers. So if you’re hoping to make money in your own home staging business, do you really want to follow the advice of people who may not be qualified to give it?
Bad advice might appear “free” but it’s very expensive!
When you get bits and pieces of advice without the whole picture of how it fits together, you waste time stumbling around in the dark because you don’t know what pieces of the puzzle you’re missing.
Or worse, if it’s actually bad advice you’ll be headed in the wrong direction entirely. That can turn “free” advice into really expensive advice— costing you tens of thousands of dollars in costs and lost income.
Plus, you might not realize what it’s really costing you until it’s too late.
One well-meaning home stager said the best way to build a staging business is to focus all your attention on real estate agents. This is simply not true. In fact it’s a path to great frustration which is why I’ve written so many articles about this topic. For example:
Another stager advises doing lots of magazine advertising to make it look like you’re established.
This is completely erroneous advice and based on zero knowledge of how paid advertising actually works. It’s also really costly because no small business owner will have enough budget to get the “reach”and “frequency” needed. These are advertising terms I learned working in the field in the 1980s.
“Reach” refers to how many people see the ad. Clearly you’d want a lot of reach, but the more people a publication goes out to the higher the rates.
“Frequency” refers to how often someone sees your ad. Did you know your audience needs to see your ad 7 to 10 times before they’ll notice it? Don’t advertise if you can’t afford to run your ad at least this often!
I saw a discussion about marketing strategies in an online group that could put most stagers out of business, but they don’t know any better. One home staging trainer actually gave this advice about building a database or email list:
“Make sure you take a picture of all the real estate agent cards on the counters when you de-stage or check on a home you’ve staged while it’s on the real estate market. Enter their information into your email list of potential clients.”
You could use this idea to contact real estate agents one by one. But that’s pretty time-consuming and who wants to cold-call REALTORs? I know I would hate doing that and I also know you’d get very few of them to actually talk to you.
But if you use her advice to grab their contact information and then subscribe the real estate agents to your email list, you’ll be violating the CAN-SPAM Act. This is grounds to have your account closed by email providers like iContact, Constant Contact, aWeber, MailChimp, etc., not to mention the trouble you can get into with the Federal Trade Commission.
Unless someone specifically gives you permission to email them on an ongoing basis, you aren’t allowed to do it. That’s considered spam, and none of us want to be in the same category as scammers and “you know what” enhancement.
The knowledge I share is NOT based on a best guess of what works in the real world.
I explain why these free ideas you’ll find in online discussion groups don’t work, and replace them with powerful business building strategies, inside the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program and in coaching thousands of stagers.
I’d love to hear your examples of bad home staging business advice you’ve seen online. Or advice you’re not sure about and want me to elaborate on. Please share in the comment section and I’ll answer your questions there and address the best ones in future posts.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging and Voice Of Possibility Group Inc.
Debra Gould has an MBA in Marketing and is a published author on the topic. She worked in advertising and communications before creating her own home staging business. Later she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love. Debra is frequently profiled in the media for her home staging expertise.