I receive several emails and phone calls a day asking how to compare home staging courses.
It can definitely feel overwhelming if you don’t know what to look out for.
For example, is one home staging certification better than another? Does it matter who you learn from? What support will you get during, and after, the program?
Here’s what I know is different based on hundreds of emails from my students who have previously taken other programs.
One key difference is my focus on how to take your talent and quickly turn it into a profitable staging business. And how to keep it easy to run.
“The Staging Diva Training Program transformed my way of thinking about the business of home staging. I was formerly trained by two other 3-day staging programs. In fact, I was even a teacher for one of them!
But the staging pricing model was wrong in those other programs. It kept me stuck, trudging up a difficult hill wondering why I wasn’t making real money as a home stager.
It wasn’t until Debra Gould explained home staging consulting and billing correctly, that I was able to shift into higher home staging income levels.”— Jill Gargus-Turgeon (AB)*Simply Irresistible Interiors Inc.
Many programs spend a lot of time on “where to put the couch” and understanding color wheels. You can learn about color wheels for free on a myriad of websites, just Google it.
Besides, I don’t believe you need to understand primary, secondary and tertiary colors to flip through a fan deck and pick a nice neutral for your client’s walls!
I don’t even talk about color wheels in the Ultimate Color Guide for Home Stagers!
Instead I save you time by explaining how to: compare color swatches, approach color with your clients and I give you my top 90 paint colors that work in any home.
My feeling is that you shouldn’t consider becoming a home stager if you have zero decorating talent.
You have an eye for it or you don’t!
That said, I’ve written a downloadable guide on Design for Home Staging if you need a confidence boost in this area.
Staging Diva home staging courses were developed with the assumption that you have that raw talent.
If you’re worried that you don’t have “enough” decorating talent, take my free quiz here!
It’s important to know that you only need to know more than your client to be able to provide value.
If their house looks amazing, they won’t contact you in the first place. So don’t worry about not knowing what to recommend when you get there.
You’ll be amazed at how bad most homes look because the owners never “got around to decorating,” or simply don’t have a clue.
If you have the eye of a home stager, you’ll have tons of ideas that they never thought of. When you look at the real life photos in my quiz, you’ll see how most people live.
It’s easy to under value our natural talent and think we’re not good enough.
I teach you how to get over that in the Staging Diva Program.
Plus, I solve the biggest obstacle to your success. Not knowing how to make money from your talent.
Compare Home Staging Courses – How Long Does It Take?
You can get through my entire program in about 12 hours (instead of losing weeks and months in something that’s more complicated than it needs to be).
Staging Diva courses give you everything from how to set up your company and templates for any forms you’ll need, to how to deal with clients and never have to chase payment.
And, I’m available to answer your questions inside the Staging Diva Network. All students get a bonus membership to this handy resource! I don’t ever want you to feel you’re on your own!
In the program, you’ll learn:
- How to do a home staging consultation in both occupied and vacant homes
- How to manage a project from start to finish
- What changes you should almost always recommend
- How to properly price your services and so much more
With the Staging Diva home staging courses, you won’t have the expense and inconvenience of travel.
While many programs suddenly switched to an online model during the pandemic, Staging Diva has been offering “distance learning” since 2005. I know how to effectively teach and support you before, during and after the program.
That’s how I’ve always done it.
As always, you save time and money by learning from the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s convenient for you to study at night, or spend a weekend. Or spread the 12 hours of material out over several weeks, it’s entirely up to you.
Debra Gould’s business model is so easy to follow. With one home staging project, I earned more than I’d made my whole first year in staging before taking the Staging Diva Program!
The course recordings are the holy grail of staging business strategies and techniques. Each time I re-listen, I hear something new.
I’m confident about the business now, and have such peace of mind knowing that I have a powerhouse like the Staging Diva in my corner.
It’s a blessing to be a part of this program and I’m so excited for the future.— Julie Williams Johnson (GA)*Investors Staging, LLC
There’s no need to put the rest of your life on hold while you spend long weeks or months wading through dense materials. I keep it all simple and straight to the point.
You can even listen to the home staging courses while you’re commuting, walking the dog, or cooking dinner. And unlike other programs, you never lose access to the Staging Diva course materials. They’re yours to keep forever.
In the program, you’ll hear me explain real world examples of what you’ll face as a home stager. What to say to a real estate agent or a nervous client, and how to make sure you get paid for your services.
The Staging Diva Program teaches you how to effectively promote your home staging services.
I don’t list random information you’d find in any marketing “textbook” or browsing online. That’s what happens when a course is taught by someone who has never been a home stager or who doesn’t have real marketing expertise.
There are many people teaching home staging even though they’ve never earned a living as home stagers.
Look your teacher up on LinkedIn to see if there’s any evidence that they’ve had a home staging business. Also Google their name to see their track record.
When you sign up for Staging Diva Training, you’re going to learn directly from me. I’ve been marketing since the 1980s and I’m even a published author on the topic.
I have a Master’s degree in Marketing, I’ve been supporting myself and my family from a home office since 1989. More importantly, I’m a home stager who has grown a successful staging business.
Forget About Chasing Real Estate Agents
I’m going to tell you the marketing information you need to know as a self-employed person. What’s going to work and what’s a waste of time.
For example, most home staging courses will teach you to cold call real estate agents. I’ll teach you how the bigger home staging profits come from home owners and how to get them coming to you for help.
I’ll steer you away from expensive advertising and other techniques that less experienced marketers would recommend because they just don’t know any better.
Once you complete the 5 home staging courses that make up the Staging Diva Program, you can say you’re a Graduate and I’ll give you a certificate and artwork to put on your marketing materials or website to back that up.
You will NOT have to pay an ongoing fee to Staging Diva to say you are a Staging Diva Graduate. Annual fees are a common practice with other schools, that’s not how I do business.
Ultimately, the difference between Staging Diva and other programs out there is that it’s based on the real-world experiences of someone who has personally done this.
And it really is about how to turn a talent you love into a money-making business.
Keep Your Costs Down to Maximize Profits
Unlike other courses, I’ll teach you how to be a home stager without buying any of your own furniture or accessories. I know it works because I’ve done it and so have thousands of Staging Diva Grads.
“The Staging Diva Program is a great investment. I haven’t found any other course that offers such a step-by-step action plan to get your staging business started. Plus, there are a ton of real-life examples to learn from.
Debra offers a lot of support, even after you finish the courses. She’s not just a world-renowned home stager, she’s also a great mentor!”— Jonah Branco (ON)*ARC Interiors Co.
None of them had to go into debt to become home stagers. And, when you don’t have a warehouse full of stuff, your business is easy to move. That’s why my business model appeals to so many military spouses too.
If you want a decorating hobby and you have no real intention of making money at it, don’t take my program because it would be a waste for you.
Or if you’re a realtor wanting to stage your listings for free, don’t take my program.
You don’t need to take any home staging course to do that. Go ahead and dabble and decorate! This is a completely unregulated industry so anyone can call themselves a professional home stager.
If you are serious about making money as a home stager, and you’d rather not waste 5 years figuring out what mistakes to avoid, then you’ve come to the right place!
Home stagers, if you’ve taken my program and another perhaps you would be willing to share some of the key differences you’ve noticed by leaving a comment below. After all, you could speak to the differences better than anyone!
Donna Dazzo says
Debra, thanks for preparing this. Because I took both your course and Home Staging Resource simultaneously, and it indicates I am a graduate of both on my website, I often get asked the differences. I have often described your program as how to start, run, market and price your home staging business, and not where to put a couch, but I am going to bookmark this and forward it the next time I get that question.
One of the differences I describe between the two is that with your course, as a graduate, we can purchase guides, for example, using social media or the one on color, on an a la carte basis, rather than pay an annual fee to access information. With HSR, there is an annual fee as a graduate to access information, which is continuously updated. Either one is fine, so it’s a matter of personal preference. (Note: you may want to state that you publish guides available for purchase in your explanation)
Debra Gould says
Thanks for commenting on the differences Donna! I’ve so enjoyed watching your amazing success over the years.
Susan Atwell says
I’m also glad you wrote this post. I’ve been tempted at times to take additional training, but more out of curiosity and comparison sake, than any other reason. I’m really glad that I found Staging Diva training first.
A while back someone Tweeted about feedback on any home staging training we might have taken. I wrote an entry on their blog. I kept the text, and whenever I get a mail from someone asking about Staging Diva training, I send the following (along with some personalized comments):
“I spent several months researching training courses before formally starting my home staging business. I was confident in my ability to stage as I had successfully staged and decorated several homes for friends and family. (I believe that you either know how to stage or you don’t.)
I almost took a very expensive course, from a high profile provider of training, but thought better of it. What could I really learn from that course that I hadn’t already learned from the web, TV, books, and personal experience? What I really needed to learn was how to run a profitable home staging business. That’s when I searched for business training and found Staging Diva.
Debra Gould has a simple, logical, and effective business model. Right from my very first paying job, I had all the information that I needed to succeed. I came across as a seasoned and experienced pro. I have used this business model for over 12 years with great success.
I would recommend this education highly for new home stagers. It is also a great formula for seasoned stagers that might not be getting the most out of their current business model. The course was worth every penny I paid – and ironically, half the price of the first course I contemplated. Without a strong business model, I would have made many costly and frustrating mistakes.”
It’s more than just business training, it’s a roadmap, a business model. If you follow the plan I believe it will lead you down the path to success.
Debra Gould says
I really appreciate this feedback Susan and congratulations on all your success! I continue to follow your progress and enjoy writing articles featuring your fabulous staging projects!
Hi Debra. This is great. I was explaining the Staging Diva difference to someone only today. The top reason is that you teach the business behind the assumed talent. Learning the latest design trends or how to style a coffee table isn’t going to make you a living without the other stuff like pricing, websites, social media, marketing, business models and coaching. These are the things that help build and sustain a home staging business. You turn the idea of the ‘poor creative’ on it’s head and make it OK to make money!
Another distinction that sets you apart for me is that you don’t just take the money and run! If students want it there is a lot of ongoing support available through regular blog posts, coaching, connecting with you through social media and dialog calls. When you are building a business it is great to have someone ‘in your corner’ cheering you on and that is how I think of you : )
Debra Gould says
Thanks so much for sharing your feedback Imogen. I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with others! It’s been a true joy watching you step into your new role as a home stager and watching your business grow. You’ve done amazing work and earned every success.
Lori Carbone says
I took another course prior to yours, I’m sorry to say. Sat in a classroom for 3 days because I am the type that needs to be taught in person, hands on. At least that’s what I thought until taking your business training course.
Listening to your courses I received more useable and on point information in just a few hours than I learned in 3 days. When I finished the previous course there still felt a disconnect. Something was missing. However, what your Staging Diva course offers, that the other course does not, is a business plan from start to finish-nothing left out, no questions unanswered. It is step-by-step blueprint of what to do, and when to do it, leading to a successful business.
The Staging Diva course is set up to be taken whether you are working full time or not, making it easy for anyone to do. The additional material re social media, marketing, portfolio, Twitter etc is available as you need it.
Everything is in manageable steps. No need to feel overwhelmed. Debra Gould cuts to the “need to know” information. Gone are the days of thousand page “learn to do” manuals. Debra has been there and done it and is sharing her trials, tribulations and wisdom.
The Staging Diva Program with the follow up emails, blogs, newsletters lets you feel like you are part of the home staging community. The timeliness of information is amazing and always seems to arrive just as you need it. Debra is a constant mentor to all of us and takes a personal interest in all her students something other courses don’t do. That alone is priceless! I highly recommend this training course!
Debra Gould says
Lori, thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with others. I really appreciate that feedback and especially that you’ve highlighted what I value most — giving people an easy to follow business system that gets them up and running quickly without extra “fluff,” and having a community of home stagers that knows I’m there as a mentor and source of ongoing information and support as their business grows over the years.
Thanks so much for commenting Lori!
Victoria Guillot says
I took another course many years ago which did a fine job of covering all the bases. It took months and required passage of a long exam and submission of a portfolio of work for review in order to be “certified”. It included textbooks on basic design training and on staging specifics.
However, there was absolutely no personal connection like you offer, and when the course was finished I still didn’t see the big picture about what to do on a day to day basis to build a strong business.
While the other course did address pricing and business basics, it didn’t do as strong a job as your course, as evidenced by the fact that I worked my business for 6 years like the typical creative type, at modest profit before I finally decided to spend the money on the Staging Diva program.
My business has really grown since taking your course earlier this year and so has my confidence. (And I haven’t even had time to implement all your best suggestions yet!) You have been very successful as a stager plus you have a gift for making things practical and clear and logical and obvious and you get straight to the point.
I agree with the comments above about the value of you cheering us on. I love the ongoing personal connection we have with you after the course. It’s so clear that you are sincere in really wanting to see us succeed. Every time I have a little success, my first thought is “I can’t wait to tell Debra” because I know you will be happy for me.
I believe the Staging Diva program is hands down the best for learning how to run this business successfully. It has certainly changed my life by helping me take my business to the next level, and I will be forever thankful that I pried open my wallet one more time!
Debra Gould says
Thanks so much for sharing your experience Victoria, I really appreciate that feedback!
I really smiled when I read that when you have each little success your first thought is “I can’t wait to tell Debra because I know you will be happy for me.” What better honor could a mentor receive?! Love it!!
Related to that, don’t forget also to post your successes on my FB wall for your chance to win the monthly Stages of Success Contest! Just post a sentence or two about your latest business victory over at: http://facebook.com/TheStagingDiva
Thanks again for commenting on this article Victoria, I sincerely appreciate it and you for taking the ball and running with it to have the success that you have! It’s what keeps me inspired!
P atricia Busch says