Home Staging Business Report – Staging Diva https://stagingdiva.com Learn How to Make Make Money as a Home Stager Wed, 16 Jan 2019 03:48:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 How to Make a Home Staging Business Plan https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-staging-business-plan/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-staging-business-plan/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 03:48:29 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/?p=25139 If you’re thinking about how to become a home stager, one of the first steps many people take is to create their home staging business plan.

This is a short document that outlines things like your getting-started budget, what services you’ll offer, and how much money you expect… Read More →

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home staging business planIf you’re thinking about how to become a home stager, one of the first steps many people take is to create their home staging business plan.

This is a short document that outlines things like your getting-started budget, what services you’ll offer, and how much money you expect to make.

A business plan might sound scary if you’re someone with little business experience. Or it might be exciting if you’re a natural-born planner!

Regardless, I encourage all my Staging Diva home staging students not to get hung up on big formal plans.

If you follow the business model that I teach in my home staging courses, you’ll realize that I scaled my home staging business to making up to $10,000 a month on a shoestring budget.

Keep reading to learn how you can write your own plan!

Steps to Make a Home Staging Business Plan

1. Choose a Name for Your Staging Business

I recommend that every new home stager starts by sitting down and thinking of a name for their business. This will get you excited about beginning to promote your business, and better yet it will make things feel official!

It’s also an opportunity to consider your business’s personality. Do you want to choose a company name that evokes elegance, or perhaps something a little more fun? Are you going to use a tag line that goes with your company name?

Check out my tips for choosing a home staging company name if you get stuck.

2. Decide on Your Budget to Get Started

Home staging is one of the least expensive businesses to start, so this doesn’t need to be a big part of your home staging business plan.

Regardless, make a budget so you know how much you can spend on things like home staging training, getting a logo and business cards, marketing materials, etc.

If you can’t afford much right now, that’s okay! Because you’ll be your own boss, you can grow your staging business at whatever pace feels comfortable for you.

And when you follow my Staging Diva Business Model, you’ll need very little money to get started. You’ll be able to start on a shoe string, just like I did.

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t waste any money on the most common home staging business traps:

  • Paying for expensive home staging certifications: Home staging is an unregulated industry, which means that companies promising to give you “official” credentials are making false claims.
  • Investing in a home staging inventory: This is totally unnecessary, and will cut into your bottom line.
  • Spending money on magazine ads, newspaper ads, and door-to-door postcards or flyers. There are tons of no-cost marketing things you can do that are not only free, but work even better!
  • Giving away your time with free home estimates, or significantly discounting your services to real estate agents.

3. Make a List of Services to Offer Home Staging Clients

There are many ways to be a successful home stager. A key part of your home staging business plan is outlining what kind of business you want to have.

For example, some home stagers specialize in vacant properties that require furniture to be brought in.

Personally, while I’ve staged tons of vacant homes over the years, I like to focus on home staging consultations for owner-occupied homes. They’re fast, simple and pay well. Plus, I love choosing colors and rearranging furniture that’s already in a home!

You should also take this opportunity to consider how much money a home stager makes.

Many home staging projects involve doing a single meeting, so make sure you’re not the cheapest stager in your area! Otherwise you won’t make any money, and you’ll attract clients that don’t value your services.

With the right pricing strategy, many home stagers make more from 2 or 3 staging projects per month than they did working full-time jobs!

I teach my exact pricing strategy in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program because it’s so important.

4. Brainstorm How to Get the Word Out

Are any of your friends thinking about selling their homes? Do you know any real estate agents that can help you get started?

Even if you answered “no” to both of these questions, there are tons of cheap ways to spread the word about your home staging business.

The two most important parts of your home staging marketing will be your website and portfolio (click here to learn how you can build a portfolio in one weekend!).

If you’re really stuck on how to market your home staging business, check out my Simple Marketing Plan Companion.

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Home Staging Business Can Be Simple or Complicated https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/simple-home-staging-business/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/simple-home-staging-business/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 05:36:35 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/?p=24886 You can build a million dollar home staging business.

It would impress your relatives, friends, neighbors, and probably the media too.

Million Dollar Home Staging Business

A million dollar home staging business sounds so big, right? There are even multi-million dollar ones.

I’veRead More →

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simple home staging businessYou can build a million dollar home staging business.

It would impress your relatives, friends, neighbors, and probably the media too.

Million Dollar Home Staging Business

A million dollar home staging business sounds so big, right? There are even multi-million dollar ones.

I’ve never wanted such a big home staging business. In this article I explain why.

It mostly boils down to wanting freedom and simplicity (while also making as much money as I need).

How to Get to Millions in Home Staging Sales

Invest hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) in your own home staging furniture, accessories and art work.

Open offices and warehouses in a number of major cities where residential real estate is expensive.

Buy a fleet of trucks.

Build a large team of employees in those cities, including administrative staff, operations managers to oversee logistics, movers, drivers, warehouse managers, etc.

Pay tens of thousands of dollars every month storing, insuring and moving all your bits and pieces from one house to the next.

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems in your Home Staging Business

What I’m describing is a fairly complex home staging business.

Impressive from the outside, but would you be happy running such a thing?

I know I wouldn’t (even if I only did it in one city!).

I’d be tossing and turning at night worrying about:

  • Meeting payroll and benefits
  • Whether it’s time to buy more inventory because of new projects
  • How my furniture and accessories are getting banged up moving in and out of houses
  • Which employees aren’t performing well or taking too many sick days
  • Someone quitting right before a big deadline
  • How to be a better manager or how to motivate everyone

And on an on . . .

The other thing that would keep me up at night in this scenario is the inevitable ups and downs of the real estate market.

If I had a ton of my own inventory, I’d be in trouble when the real estate market slowed down because my inventory would be tied up for a long time in customers’ homes.

When I got a new home staging project, I’d have to go out and buy another house full of furniture because that’s what my business model was based on.

And if business slowed down, I’d still have all that rented space and employees to pay for.

There would also be the question of how to take a vacation. Who would watch over it all if I wanted to take a break?

Meridith Baer created a multi-million dollar home staging empire.

Offices in 5 cities, over 300,000 square feet of warehouse space filled with inventory, a fleet of trucks, and a giant team of employees.

Clearly a shrewd business woman and I admire her! What she’s created is NOT for me, and never has been.

A Home Staging Business that’s Easier and Still Makes Money

I like a business that my friend Joe Polish would call “easy, lucrative and fun.”

When I set out to be a home stager, I never wanted inventory or overhead. I didn’t want staff to pay, motivate and manage.

It was important to be able to take time off when I wanted to or needed to. My daughter was only 7 when I became a professional home stager.

As a single mom, I didn’t want to go into debt to start my business. Which meant I had to figure out a way to stage homes without owning any of my own furniture or accessories. (And I did!)

I also needed to be available to walk her to and from school every day and not work evenings or weekends.

When she was in Grade 5, I even took a week off to be a parent chaperone on one of her school trips to another city.

I told my home staging clients that I was all booked that week. To my surprise (and relief) they were all willing to wait for me to stage their homes.

They didn’t need to know I was on a school trip 😊

I love a home staging business that provides that freedom!

Even if you’re only operating in one city with a small inventory, you still have fixed costs for your business.

So if you don’t have any income one month, you’ve actually lost money.

My staging business has no fixed costs because I don’t use any of my own furniture or accessories to stage my clients’ homes.

Therefore, I’m NOT losing money when I have no clients because I’m between projects, or taking time off.

I’ve always operated my home staging business from my laptop. It could be sitting on my kitchen counter or beside me in a cafe. In other words, I’m not paying for an office.

I have a small number of floor and tile samples in my car trunk, plus my Designer Kit for paint colors. But that’s about it. No big filing cabinet. No “equipment” other than a measuring tape, travel-size steamer and digital camera.

This also means I can pick up and move my home staging business anytime I want.

Running a simple home staging business like I’ve just described can also be very lucrative.

Because you’re not paying for all the types of things I’ve described in the more complicated scenario, all your income is pure profit.

Yes, you can boost your sales significantly if it includes furniture rental fees, but do you really take home more home staging income at the end of the home staging job?

My mother once said,

“You have to decide whether you want to build an empire or get rich.”

That’s not to say you can’t do both. But her point is that you can get “quietly rich” without building an “empire” that’s obvious to others.

No one would have guessed I was making up to $10,000 a month in my home staging and redesign business within my second year in business.

And that was fine with me!

With no employees to pay, that income was all mine to keep (not including income taxes of course).

I didn’t need a fleet of trucks to feel successful. I was quite happily selecting furniture and accessories and getting paid to do it without having to own any of the items myself.

Curious how I made so much from a simple home staging business?

Find out about my complete business model in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program here.

My Inner Circle of Staging Diva students and Grads learns all the steps I took to start and grow a very profitable home staging business, while still having time for the rest of my life.

Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’m curious whether you’d prefer a home staging business that’s easy, lucrative and fun over one that’s more complicated.

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How To Become A Home Stager https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/how-to-become-a-home-stager/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/how-to-become-a-home-stager/#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2018 00:09:53 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/?p=24831 How Do I Know If I Should Become a Home Stager?

One of the hardest parts of starting something new is the self-doubt that comes with it.

You might ask yourself, “Am I on the right track?”

Or even worse, “Am I doing the right thing?”

In a nutshell, if you have a talent for decorating houses… Read More →

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home stager Lori Fischer
Staging Diva Grad Lori Fischer

How Do I Know If I Should Become a Home Stager?

One of the hardest parts of starting something new is the self-doubt that comes with it.

You might ask yourself, “Am I on the right track?”

Or even worse, “Am I doing the right thing?”

In a nutshell, if you have a talent for decorating houses and a passion for real estate, then home staging could be the perfect home-based business for you!

Keep reading to learn how you can become a successful home stager.

Steps to Become a Home Stager

1. Ask yourself if you have a true passion for decorating

You don’t need to have any formal interior design training to become a home stager.

Stagers come from all walks of life, and it doesn’t matter what your career was before you start staging homes.

Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you spent the last decade (or two) not working at all!

What truly matters is if you have a passion for putting together a room, and turning a house into a home.

I created this home staging quiz to help aspiring home stagers see whether they have the “eye of a home stager.” I encourage you to take it if you’re wondering if you have the decorating talent needed.

I knew I had a true passion for decorating since I was a little girl. Not only did I regularly rearrange my bedroom, I’d design dream houses for my dolls.

So it makes sense that I later became a home stager!

2. Recognize that home staging is an unregulated industry. You don’t need any official credentials to become a home stager

It’s a common misconception among new home stagers that they need certification or accreditation to start staging client’s homes for the real estate market.

That’s absolutely not true! In fact, there is no official governing body that regulates the home staging industry.

Anyone who wants to offer home staging courses can make up their own credentials and pretend they’re “official.”

Some training companies even create their own associations to endorse their own programs.

Unfortunately, these are common (and misleading) marketing strategies used in the home staging training industry.

3. Research home staging training options

Home stager after photoSince you don’t need any sort of official training to become a home stager, that means anyone can get business cards printed and start calling themselves a home stager!

 

When I became a home stager in 2002 there were very few home staging courses.

I already had many years of business and marketing experience, so I figured out how to get started on my own.

You can do that too if you have good business instincts and you’re a self-starter.

But I also encourage you to look into home staging courses if you’re serious about avoiding the time, frustrations and expense that comes with making beginners’ mistakes.

Whether you take my Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, someone else’s courses, or become a home stager on your own, make sure you do your research!

Here are some questions to keep in mind as you research home staging courses:

Has the person teaching your course actually had a successful home staging business themselves?

It seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of companies offering home staging training have instructors who have never been successful home stagers.

This means that they’re not able to answer your questions from experience. Or teach you proven strategies that work in the real world!

Google instructors’ names and training company names, and look at their LinkedIn history to see if they’ve ever had a successful business, or track record as home stagers.

Are you considering a particular course just because it offers you “home staging certification”?

Like I mentioned above, home staging is an unregulated field.

So even if you take a home staging training program that offers you certification or accreditation, that doesn’t mean the program will be better quality!

When I started my home staging courses, I deliberately chose not to offer any fake certifications because I believe it’s misleading to students and the general public.

There is also no such thing as a home staging license (another misleading term I’ve seen used recently).

Does the home staging course you’re looking at offer testimonials from real students?

Unfortunately it’s hard to believe a lot of what you read online these days.

If you’re looking at a student testimonial online, make sure that the quote is accompanied by the person’s photo, plus a location and/or company name.

It should be clear that there’s a real person behind the quote. With enough information that you could prove they exist from a Google search.

Reading testimonials will also give you clues about the kinds of students that take different programs, what they were looking for, and what value they found.

If all the testimonial says is “great program” that’s pretty vague. It won’t help you know whether the course will have what you’re looking for.

If you’re still wondering how to become a home stager and you’re not ready to take a full training program, sign up for my FREE email course: The Home Staging Business JumpStart.

It’s a great way to get started and see if home staging is right for you!

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How Home Stagers Use Coral In Home Staging Projects – Color Tips https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/how-home-stagers-use-coral-home-staging-projects/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/how-home-stagers-use-coral-home-staging-projects/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 01:24:25 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/?p=24904 Pantone just announced their latest Color of the Year, “Living Coral”.

Before I discuss how home stagers use coral, I must say I find the name “Living Coral” highly ironic in the face of global climate change.

While not Pantone’s mandate, perhaps they… Read More →

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coral in home stagingPantone just announced their latest Color of the Year, “Living Coral”.

Before I discuss how home stagers use coral, I must say I find the name “Living Coral” highly ironic in the face of global climate change.

While not Pantone’s mandate, perhaps they found a way to get more people talking about the reality of what’s happening to the world’s coral reefs?

Pantone’s choice or Coral means you’ll see this very feminine orange-pink pop up all over the place in 2019.

Watch for it in textiles, furniture, cosmetics, home accessories, jewlery, clothing, etc.

In my opinion, spring or summer clothing, scarves, lipstick and nail polish seem like the best uses.

Pantone describes their color choice this way:

“Vibrant, yet mellow . . . embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment . . .

Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity.

Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.”

I agree Coral is playful and cheerful. The world can certainly use that right now!

Is it just me or does Living Coral look a bit like if Pantone’s 2011 Honeysuckle and 2012’s Tangerine Tango had a baby? 🙂

Pantone 2012 and 2011 Colors

 

A Word about Pantone

If you’re wondering what Pantone is, or whether they will have any influence, I wrote about it in more detail here.

Pantone’s official color number for Living Coral is 16-1546, which is handy to know, especially if you’re thinking of using it in your home staging business logo.

Pantone color numbers are often used when you need to specify an exact color match for a logo for printing.

It saves you from the subjectivity that comes with trying to match a HEX or RGB color (which also look different on different computer/electronic device screens).

Home Stagers Use Coral in Home Staging Projects

Coral will be eye-popping (distracting?) in real estate listing photos and on social media.

I wouldn’t use Coral as a paint color in a home staging project because it’s too bold. It might scare away home buyers.

Years ago, I recommended new home staging paint colors for a home that had a living room painted this color, leading into a dining room in bright turquoise.

Where the two colors met it actually vibrated! Awful and so distracting to home buyers!

I successfully convinced them to repaint (in addition to putting 7,000 pounds of furniture and clutter into offsite storage— but that’s another story!).

There are many ways for home stagers to use Coral in a less overbearing way than as a wall color.

For home staging projects, consider Coral as an accent color only, and limit it to a few accessories.

Coral will energize an otherwise gray or very neutral interior. Adding warmth and brightness.

For example, imagine a fairly masculine interior with lots of charcoal gray and black furnishings. Or even a warmer-but-neutral decor of mostly beiges and white.

In both cases, Coral would be nice as an accent in art, flowers, throws or throw cushions.

Perhaps as one of the colors in a shower curtain (especially in a basement bathroom which can use some warming up and brightening). Complemented by white fluffy towels.

Coral could be nice in bedding (especially in a kid’s room).

Home Stagers, Don’t Get Carried Away with Coral in Home Staging

Over use will make a home look very feminine which is risky in decorating a house to sell on the real estate market.

When you have a color consultation or interior redesign project for a client who isn’t moving, you may want to consider Coral, especially for a client who wants a warm and feminine interior.

Imagine an accent wall in child’s room with white, black or silver furniture and patterned bedding!

You can definitely be bolder when you’re choosing paint colors for interior redesign.

If you want tips for using color in home staging, be sure to check out the Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide: The Easy Way to Pick Color For Home Staging Projects.

Home Stagers Will You Use Coral in Your Home Staging Projects?

Please share in the comments whether you are planning to use Coral in your home staging projects. Also what colors do you think it will pair well with?

If you’d like me to write an article about how you used Coral in a home staging project, you can submit your photos and details here.

Photos: Pantone 2019 Color of the Year

 

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What Is Home Staging? https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/what-is-home-staging-definition/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/what-is-home-staging-definition/#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 23:17:15 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/?p=24823 Home Staging (also known as House Staging, Real Estate Staging and Property Styling) is the art of decorating a home to sell quickly and for more money on the real estate market.

Home stagers set the stage for potential home buyers to imagine how they could live in a property and make it their… Read More →

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home staging after photoHome Staging (also known as House Staging, Real Estate Staging and Property Styling) is the art of decorating a home to sell quickly and for more money on the real estate market.

Home stagers set the stage for potential home buyers to imagine how they could live in a property and make it their home.

This can be as “simple” as rearranging what the home seller already has. Or it can include bringing in new furniture, accessories and art to make the home appeal to more buyers.

In Home Staging, Every Detail Counts

To attract more buyers and a higher offer, a home stager makes the space visually pleasing and draws attention to the home’s best features.

Home stagers also get rid of clutter and depersonalize the home so that potential buyers will be able to see themselves living there.

There is an art to effective depersonalization.

Too much and the home looks bland and boring. Too little and potential buyers are distracted by thinking about the people who already live there.

Every detail counts in selling a home for top dollar. From cleanliness to the state of repair. And from furniture placement to lighting, color, art and accessories.

Home stagers attend to all of these details for their home staging clients.

living room after home staging tips
Before home staging
living room after home staging tips
After home staging

Home Staging Starts with a Consultation

Home staging usually starts with a paid home staging consultation in the client’s home. The stager completes an assessment of the current state of the property and what’s needed to help the home look its best.

There are many improvements a home stager can make on the spot.

In a resale property that’s already furnished, part of the home’s transformation will take place during this initial home staging consultation.

After the initial home staging consultation, some clients will implement the stager’s recommendations themselves. Others will ask the home stager to come back for subsequent visits.

Read more about what home staging costs, and what to expect when you hire a home stager.

Why don’t real estate agents stage their own listings?

Real estate agents are independent contractors, paid 100% on commission. They only have so many hours in a day!

Most real estate agents cannot spend additional time inside a client’s house discussing how to improve the decor, because that’s time they’re not spending on getting (and selling) their listings.

Some real estate agents will suggest obvious repairs, cleaning and decluttering. They will tell home sellers to implement some of these Top 10 Home Staging Tips.

In addition to time constraints, a Realtor’s staging advice is limited by their design experience and expertise.

After all, an eye for decorating is a gift! It takes vision to come to a space (especially one that might be completely vacant) and know how to turn that house into a home.

Curious if you have the eye of a home stager?

Check out this free home staging quiz to test your natural decorating talent!

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Home Stager Makes $2,000 in Days on First Staging Job https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-stager-makes-2000-dollars-staging-job/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-stager-makes-2000-dollars-staging-job/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2018 20:47:07 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/?p=20377

Many home stagers worry about home staging competition before they start, not realizing that there is probably more than enough opportunity for them too.

That’s why I love this home staging success story from Staging Diva Grad Robin Weflen of Round Table Home Staging (PA) about her… Read More →

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Living room after staging

Many home stagers worry about home staging competition before they start, not realizing that there is probably more than enough opportunity for them too.

That’s why I love this home staging success story from Staging Diva Grad Robin Weflen of Round Table Home Staging (PA) about her first staging job.

When she took the Staging Diva Program and became a home stager, Robin was aware of a local sales lot of model homes in Lancaster County. They were already using an out-of-state home stager to decorate their model homes to sell on the real estate market.

The fact that they already had a home stager didn’t discourage Robin. After looking into how their staging was done, she knew she could do better and pitched her talents to the General Manager.

Brave, yes! But really, what did she have to lose? 

The worst that could happen is he would say “No”.

Living room before staging
When empty, this modest home looks depressing.

Robin learned that even though they already had their own inventory of furniture and accessories in storage from previous model homes, their current home stager insisted they stage using new furniture from her store.

Plus, she was much slower than they would have liked, taking a few months to complete a project!

(Isn’t it amazing what some home staging clients will agree to when they don’t know any better?!)

Robin convinced the General Manager to give her home staging services a try, explaining how much quicker she could stage their homes, and that she’d use what they already had to keep the costs down.

First Job as a Home Stager

Her first job as a home stager was to stage 4 of their model homes. It took her a few days to piece it together using the furniture and accessories they already had in their warehouse.

As a home stager, Robin made $2,000 on that first job, more than paying for her Staging Diva Training and any other costs to launch her home staging business.

The General Manager got what he needed.

His model homes staged more economically (using what he already had). And more importantly, done quickly.

Time is money.

Robin Weflen
Staging Diva Grad, Robin Weflen

Four model homes staged and ready to show in a matter of days versus months, is a significant difference.

Potential buyers seeing the model homes expressed their surprise at how the interiors looked so good at such a modest price point.

Robin’s bravery at approaching him in the first place not only ensured that she was earning a profit from her first home staging job, she has a happy repeat client who will be hiring her to stage all their new homes in the future!

Robin writes,

“I’m obsessed with decorating and rearranging furniture in my own homes. Driving my family a little crazy since they never know what they’ll find when they come home.

I try to find different uses for spaces; for example, would my dining room make sense in front of the fire place for a cozy feeling? And would the family room fit better where my dining room is now?

Looking back at the number of times our family moved over the years, it’s probably because I grew bored with some of the homes and needed a new challenge.

Now that I’m a home stager, I use my creative decorating skills and get paid for it!

The Staging Diva Training Program helped so much with setting up my business and having the confidence to think like a home stager. I’m so thankful I found this Program. I’m almost 63, so it’s never too late to start! As a home stager, I’m doing what I love and getting paid for it. I quit my full-time job and can schedule my time for once in my life.”

Aside from how quickly this new home stager was able to make money and get a repeat client, I want you to notice how Robin explained her services to the General Manager in a way that he’d see the advantages of giving her a try.

This is something we discuss at length in Course 4 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. In that course, I explore your 4 key target audiences: home sellers, real estate agents, the media and builders/developers.

Less detailed than my actual training program, but you can see examples of how I explain home staging to home sellers here. And, this is how I explain home staging to real estate agents.

Thank you Robin Weflen for sharing your home staging success story! Staging Diva students and Grads, if you’d like to be featured, please provide some information to share your story here.

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How to Be a Successful Home Stager https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/successful-home-stager/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/successful-home-stager/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 02:59:33 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/?p=20338 I was asked in an interview what the key factors are to becoming a successful home stager. Surprisingly, I don’t think it’s really much different than any other business.

Here are 4 key factors that will help you become a successful home stager:

1. Consistent Marketing of Yourself… Read More →

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home staging successI was asked in an interview what the key factors are to becoming a successful home stager. Surprisingly, I don’t think it’s really much different than any other business.

Here are 4 key factors that will help you become a successful home stager:

1. Consistent Marketing of Yourself as a Home Stager

Effective and consistent marketing is critical. If potential clients don’t know about you, it really doesn’t matter how talented you are.

For example, let’s say you live in Kenosha (WI). Would someone who wanted to hire a home stager be able to find you?

Knowing the right marketing tactics to use and when to use them is how I was able to get featured on CNNMoney, HGTV, Women’s Day Magazine and more within my first 18 months as a home stager. Even though I didn’t have a PR person, reporters and editors all requested interviews with me because I had done an effective job marketing Six Elements, my home staging business.

Instead of spending money on advertising, I’ve developed many ways to “burst on the scene” and get noticed in a neighborhood. I share these steps in detail in Course 4 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. I knew I was on the right track in my own home staging business when potential clients would phone me saying things like “No matter who I ask to recommend a home stager, they all mention you!”

That might sound crazy until you realize that this didn’t happen across the entire city I was living in! I was very targeted in my marketing efforts, down to very specific neighborhoods where I knew there was a lot of real estate activity.

2. Staying focused on your home staging business goals.

Not only is it important to stay focused on your home staging business goals, you have to take consistent action towards achieving them.

Many home stagers start their business on the side of another job which means they have limited time available. You can still be successful, you just have to effectively use the time you have. Set one or two concrete goals per week and then when you find yourself distracted, ask “Is what I’m doing right now helping me achieve that goal I set for this week?”

Much of your ability to succeed will come down to mindset.

So often I see business owners fail because they couldn’t get out of their own way. They let their fears paralyze them, or they give up as soon as they face a challenge instead of reaching out for the help they need.

I’ve coached hundreds of business owners over the years and no matter what industry they’re in, so much of an individual’s success comes down to finding the right help when you need it.

For example, I had one new home stager tell me she couldn’t get clients because she didn’t have a home staging portfolio and she couldn’t get a portfolio because she didn’t have clients!

Then she used this as an excuse to not move forward rather than putting on her thinking cap to figure out how she could get a portfolio together. I explained how she could build a solid portfolio of before and after photos in a single weekend in her own house, and then she was able to cross over that hurdle.

How many weeks and months did she waste worrying about this instead of just getting the answer?

3. Not being afraid to charge what you’re worth as a home stager.

This can be challenging because when you have self esteem issues, or you don’t realize how talented you are because what you’re doing comes easily, you imagine that the service you’re offering isn’t worth much.

Or you focus on how much YOU would pay for it. This is faulty thinking.

A home stager can increase the selling price of a property by tens of thousands of dollars, so why shouldn’t they be well paid for their time and expertise?

In the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program I provide a thorough pricing strategy and the thinking behind it so that Staging Diva Grads typically earn more than home stagers who aren’t following my formula.

4. Operating your home staging business with integrity.

Staging Diva Grad BadgeThis means that you keep your word with both clients and suppliers. You show up (or follow up) when you say you will, you explain things properly so your client knows what to expect and how your fees work, etc.

Your clients need to know that they can trust you and that you’re taking care of their interests. This doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat or allow yourself to be taken advantage of though.

There’s nothing wrong with having healthy boundaries and communicating them clearly. So for example, if you have a home staging or decorating client that keeps phoning you for advice, there’s a point fairly early on where you’ll have to make it clear with them that this is billable time.

So there you have it, my top suggestions to help you become a successful home stager. What would you add to this list? Please share in the comments below.

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Becoming a Home Stager – Debra Gould’s Story https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/becoming-a-home-stager-debra-gould/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/becoming-a-home-stager-debra-gould/#respond Wed, 02 May 2018 01:24:34 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/?p=20254 There are so many creative people who dream of becoming a home stager.

Yet they think it’s too late to try something new, or they under value their own talent.

I’ve learned from the many Staging Diva Grads in their 50s, 60s and 70s that it’s never too late, as long as you still… Read More →

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home stager Debra Gould on Artist PodcastThere are so many creative people who dream of becoming a home stager.

Yet they think it’s too late to try something new, or they under value their own talent.

I’ve learned from the many Staging Diva Grads in their 50s, 60s and 70s that it’s never too late, as long as you still have a desire to take the energy you have left and put it towards something you’re passionate about.

Many people are curious about my journey of becoming a home stager and later how I created Staging Diva.

I spill the beans in this interview I did with Carol McQuaid for her podcast Two Artists Walk Into a Bar.

You can listen to our conversation here:

Becoming a home stager and the tips I learned along the way

If you already know me, you know that I can’t share a story without throwing in a bunch of marketing or business tips— and this interview was no exception.

The business insights I gained along my journey are sprinkled throughout my stories of becoming a home stager in my 40s.

From bribing a vice principal with one of my paintings in high school (so I could take more art instead of gym), through selling the most Girl Guide cookies in the country, to running a marketing communications business and having a child on my own.

I share about giving up my career several times as I reinvented myself and tried to find more meaning in my work.

I talk about how I supported myself and my daughter as a floorcloth artist, and how that first got me into visiting client homes and seeing (and adding to) their decor. How I added home staging into the mix once I realized from several of my own house flips that I had a marketable talent for decorating houses to sell for top dollar.

home stager Debra Gould on HGTVThen how I ended up being featured by CNN, The Wall Street Journal and HGTV (which no one including me would have ever predicted!). And how my little one got to share in the experience from the control booths at TV and radio stations.

This media attention eventually led to creating and offering the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program because of the hundreds of emails I was getting from struggling home stagers who had no idea how to make a living despite taking prior home staging courses.

They say a life makes more sense when you look at it backwards to connect the dots. I think this is definitely true of my own journey of reinvention. Honestly, becoming a home stager was never part of my original vision. I really stumbled into it, and even doubted my passion for it in the early days!

Let me know what you think of the interview! What were your biggest takeaways from the conversation? I would love for you to share in the comments. You can also ask me any follow up questions you like about my journey in the comments section below 🙂

And, if you’d like to subscribe to Carol’s “Two Artists Walk Into a Bar” podcast, you can get it here on itunes or subscribe here on Android.

Thanks for listening!

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Voice of Possibility Group Inc.

Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.

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Home Staging Transformation Triples New Jersey Seller’s Investment https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-staging-transformation-triples-investment/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-staging-transformation-triples-investment/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 01:09:11 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/?p=20221 There aren’t many ways to legally triple your investment within a short period of time— especially not in 7 days. A home staging transformation (or decorating a house to sell), happens to be one of them.

This home staging success story comes from Staging Diva Grad Lori CarboneRead More →

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home staging transformation living room by Lori CarboneThere aren’t many ways to legally triple your investment within a short period of time— especially not in 7 days. A home staging transformation (or decorating a house to sell), happens to be one of them.

This home staging success story comes from Staging Diva Grad Lori Carbone of Spaces That Speak Home Staging, based in  Mahwah, New Jersey.

Lori writes, “It’s so exciting to help people so that they can move on to the next chapter of their lives. A home staging transformation is such an incredible rush! It works time and time again.”

This client’s home had been on the real estate market for a year with no no acceptable offers. A Realtor (finally) suggested they hire a home stager and contacted Lori on their behalf.

What Lori found was a house with a lot of mix and match furniture and very “kid friendly” décor in all rooms.

This is not uncommon as the average person rarely lives in a house that looks like it was torn from the pages of a decorating magazine— especially when there are young children living there.

However, a well staged home is exactly what home buyers are typically looking for because that’s what helps them fall in love with one property instead of another.

Before meeting with clients, Lori reports that she always researches MLS to familiarize herself with the competition in that neighborhood and price point, and does whatever else she can to get to know the area and likely target market for the home she will be staging.

Such research is key to delivering the best result for any home staging client and is discussed in detail in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.

Home Staging Transformation Results

Living room before home staging transformation by Lori CarboneLori took the kid-friendly decor and transformed it into a warm and inviting atmosphere, giving each room a specific purpose. She used on-trend furniture, accessories and art, and the staged home showed beautifully.

After previously being on the real estate market for a year without an acceptable offer, here’s what happened after Lori staged it:

Home sellers received multiple offers within a week and sold at $15,000 over list price for a total of $1,261,000.

Investment in home staging – $ 5,000
Gain on selling price – $ 15,000
Return on investment – 300%

More about Lori Carbone, Founder & President of Spaces That Speak Home Staging

With 20+ years in sales, marketing and merchandising in New York’s fashion industry, Lori utilizes her corporate experience to ensure client objectives are clearly defined and overall goals are achieved. Through her business, Lori has extensive experience in home staging, decorating and remodeling.

Her education includes the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. She writes:

“The Staging Diva Program was such an influential part of my home staging business plan. The tools, process and procedures Debra outlines in the program set you up for success. I have taken other courses but none compare to the comprehensive program with Staging Diva. I truly appreciate all Debra’s help and guidance through the courses and Staging Diva Dialog group coaching calls. She is such a great inspiration!”

Home Stagers!

Do you have an interesting staging success story to share? Please let me know by filling out this online form and perhaps I’ll feature your business in an upcoming post!

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®

A home stager since 2002, Debra Gould created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program in 2005 to help others make a living from their creativity. Debra is the author of 5 guides including the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.

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Home Stagers Use Purple as Accent Color https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-staging-accent-color/ https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/home-staging-accent-color/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:34:09 +0000 https://stagingdiva.com/homestagingbusiness/?p=20121 Home stagers, it’s official, Pantone has selected Ultra Violet — otherwise known as purple — as their color of the year for 2018. It just so happens that this is an incredible home staging accent color!

I can’t tell you how much more I like this choice than when Radiant Orchid was… Read More →

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home staging accent color purpleHome stagers, it’s official, Pantone has selected Ultra Violet — otherwise known as purple — as their color of the year for 2018. It just so happens that this is an incredible home staging accent color!

I can’t tell you how much more I like this choice than when Radiant Orchid was all the rage!

Actually I like this choice for the same reasons I liked another jewel tone, Emerald, which they chose in 2013.

If you’re wondering what Pantone is, or whether they will have any influence, I wrote about it in more detail here.

For now, suffice to say that Pantone’s choice means you’ll be seeing purple popping up all over the place in 2018.

In textiles, home furnishings, cosmetics, home accessories, jewlery, fashion, etc. The official color number from Pantone is 18-3838, which is handy to know, especially if you’re thinking of using it in your home staging business logo.

Purple is often associated with mindfulness and spirituality which is why you’ll often see it in yoga and mediation centers. It’s also associated with experimentation and non conformity. Think Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix 🙂

Here’s a video about ultra violet and the places you’ll see it pop up in 2018:

Home Stagers Use Purple This Way

Purple is a refreshing choice that will add spice and brightness to otherwise neutral decor. It will work well as an accent color that splashes through different rooms in your upcoming home staging projects.

I wouldn’t use ultra violet as a paint color in a home staging project because it’s too bold and might scare off home buyers.

However, there are many ways to incorporate purple in a less overbearing way. For example through: art, flowers, vases, lamps, decorative objects, accent pillows, throws, towels, perhaps even bedding (especially in a kid’s room).

Consider the importance of color repetition to establish a cohesive look in a home.

You can sprinkle small hits of purple across different rooms, to pull it all together. Here’s an article about how one Staging Diva Grad used turquoise in that way.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a color consultation or interior redesign project, you may want to consider purple. Imagine a tiny jewel box of a powder room painted ultra-violet top to bottom, with white fixtures and white (or gray) fluffy towels! You can definitely be bolder when you’re not choosing paint colors for home staging.

I used ultra-violet tile for the backsplash of a kitchen I renovated in my own home in 1996. I really wish I still had photos of it to show you! I have to admit, that’s not something I would do today.

Home Stagers Will You Use Purple?

Please share in the comments whether you are planning to use purple in your home staging projects. Also what colors do you think it will pair well with?

If you’d like me to write an article about how you used purple in a home staging project, you can submit your photos and details here.

Photo credit: Pantone

 

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