Free home staging consultations are a bad idea that will burn you out long before you make a living as a home stager.
A lot of you were very interested in the last home staging dilemma I posted. In case you missed it, I asked what you would do if you were asked to waive your consultation fee.
There were some different opinions and I love to see such a great discussion going on. Thanks to all who contributed.
Do you offer free home staging consultations?
I don’t think I could have provided better advice on this issue than Staging Diva Graduate Leah Fritz, who from day one has applied everything she learned from her training to grow Perfect Place Home Staging into very successful home staging business.
Leah hit it on the head when she commented that she constantly reminds herself that “If my mouth is moving, I’m getting paid!”
Or Staging Diva Graduate Gary Baugher of An Eye 4 Change who said, “Why waste your time giving free advice when you could be somewhere else making money?”
I love that!
As a professional home stager, you’re making a living selling your time, your talent and the accumulation of your experiences.
Several other comments that were left opened my eyes to how many home stagers do waive their consultation fee when they’re dealing with a vacant home.
I do not agree with that practice.
How much time do you have to take out of your day to book the appointment, travel to that vacant house, go through all of the rooms and come up with a plan as to how to tackle it?
Why shouldn’t you be paid for your time?
Have you determined how much an hour (or three) of your time is worth? When you get a real handle on that, you’ll see that it makes absolutely no sense to give that time away because the home is vacant and not occupied.
After all, it takes a lot of expertise to walk into an empty house, take all your measurements, imagine how the rooms can best be furnished, determine the style and type of furniture, calculate that you need 2 couches, 8 tables, 10 lamps, 15 pieces of art, etc.
This is not the same as doing a ball park estimate over the phone; of course you can tell someone the rough costs of furnishing a three bedroom home of a certain number of square feet.
But actually planning it out is an entirely different matter that requires you to be at the property using up your creative energy.
When you choose to give a free consultation, you’re devaluing your knowledge and your talents, not only for yourself but for all home stagers as a collective industry.
If you’re nervous about how to approach the issue of charging for your time spent at a home staging consultation, order a copy of the Staging Diva Sales Script.
You’ll get my word-for-word script that I use when I’m on the phone with a prospective client.
Please continue to discuss the issue here by leaving a comment below. It certainly is a hot topic!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging
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 while helping others at the same time.