I’ve always been one of the most expensive home stagers in my city, even when I was just starting out in 2002. And I’ve never made any apologies about it.
My belief has always been: It’s fine if other home stagers want to give their time away for basically nothing. It doesn’t mean I have to do the same thing.
And you don’t have to give your time away either!
Instead of trying to compete on price, which is a big mistake for almost any entrepreneur, I put my energy into marketing myself to be perceived as the expert home stager in my market. I wanted people to come to me when they were looking for the best.
That led to me getting clients who knew they were going to have to pay more for my services and it was a much more effective marketing strategy than promoting myself as the cheapest stager out there.
Avoid the Penny-Pinchers
If you promote your services as being cheap, you’ll attract penny-pinching clients who don’t value what you have to offer.
People who only care about price will argue every step of the way about any recommendation you might make that might cost extra.
You’ll get the people who haven’t spent money maintaining their homes over the years and will balk at repainting over their 1965 decor. You’ll get people who say, “why should I replace that rusted out mailbox or the cracked front window, the new owners can worry about it.”
If you’ve gone into the home staging business because you’re a creative person, I can tell you that sort of client will completely stifle your creativity and suck all the joy out of giving advice and envisioning the potential of a property.
You’ll also have to worry more about bounced checks and chasing your money.
Marketing is more than telling people what you charge for your services.
You have to position yourself, properly explain the benefits of your services in a way that is meaningful to the potential customer, learn how to convey the right image and relate to people in a way that makes them want to work with you.
You really should have a prospect sold on you long before you start talking price.
They should want you bad enough that your rate is not an issue.
Of course price enters into a buying decision, but the point is you want it to be far down the list after other considerations, not your client’s number one concern.
Home stagers, do you have a good example about how marketing based on low rates can lead to nightmare clients? Please share by leaving a comment below!
I’ve created a handy Tip Sheet that will help you understand the different phases of a home staging project and how much money you can make as a home stager.
You’ll be surprised at how few projects you need to do to make a living as a home stager.