I receive many emails from people who are completely confused by the various home staging training programs available. Here are some guiding questions to ask when you’re wondering “How do you choose a home staging course?”
Since this is a completely unregulated industry, it’s important to do your research before handing over you money.
These 15 questions will help you choose a home staging course:
1. If a home staging program offers hands on training, how is it done?
I’ve heard far too many stories of groups of 40 or more people spending most of their day in their own (or a rental) car driving to various far-flung locations only to take turns rearranging a living room.
2. Is the trainer a recognized expert in the field of home staging?
Do a Google search on their names and see what you can find out about them or their training program.
3. Will the home staging training prepare you for the realities of being your own boss?
No matter how talented you are at staging or decorating, if you don’t know how to do the following tasks, you will not make a living at this business: price your services properly, cost effectively market your business, effectively promote yourself to the right audiences, create your own portfolio, find potential clients, get media attention.
A worthwhile home staging training program should really cover all these areas; otherwise they are just talking to you about what will amount to nothing more than a creative hobby.
4. Does the trainer have real world experience starting and growing a profitable home staging business? If they haven’t done it, how do they know what they’re talking about?
I remember when I did my Masters degree in business/marketing, there were professors spouting all kinds of great theories, but only the professors who had actually worked in the real world offered anything really useful or actionable.
5. Has the trainer proved they know how to get media attention for their expertise as a home stager? If not, how will they teach you to do it?
Don’t just look at logos on their website. Look for actual evidence of media attention. Sadly, a growing number of people in all industries are using media logos and “as seen on” without actual appearances.
6. Does the company give you an opportunity to learn and ask questions about their program before signing up?
Staging Diva offers many free resources to get a sense of what learning with Debra is like. For example, you might want to start with this FREE 10 Tips Jumpstart Course.
7. Is free information available to aspiring stagers and others or is it all about the money? Is the free information quality content or just fluff?
One of our many special reports, is designed to help you figure out if home staging will work in your area. You can get your FREE copy of the Report here.
8. What do past students say about the program? What business success have they experienced?
Staging Diva has countless reviews from students which you can read here. You’ll also enjoy these home staging success stories from our Graduates.
9. Can you talk to the trainer personally before deciding?
We offer a thorough home staging FAQ page for aspiring home stagers. You are also welcome to contact us directly.
10. Can you attend a free preview to experience something about what the program will be like?
If you have joined the Staging Diva email list by subscribing to our newsletter or ordering one of our free reports, of buying any of our products, you will be invited to an exclusive telephone conference call with me. During this call, you’ll get a first hand look at what learning with me is like as I’ll be teaching you a mini course on making money as a home stager.
11. Does the program offer a Satisfaction Guarantee? In other words, will you get your money back if it’s not what you expected?
Unlike most other home staging courses, Staging Diva offers a 100% money back guarantee.
12. Is the format of the program or the way it is delivered practical for you? Will you have to travel or be away from family for a few days?
Let’s face it, travel isn’t as fun as it used to be. Airport hassles, cost of hotels, etc. Staging Diva Training is offered as a study from home set of courses. No travel required and you get to learn on whatever schedule works for you.
13. Are you being promised anything that sounds too good to be true or unrealistic?
There are a lot of claims out there. Use your common sense when evaluating them.
14. Are you being promised official credentials for completing the program so that you will be a “real” home stager?
Or does the training company admit that home staging is a completely unregulated field that does not require any credentials at all?
15. What type of ongoing support does the company provide for its graduates?
Will you take the home staging courses and that’s the end of it? Staging Diva offers a number of ways for your to get ongoing support, including the Staging Diva Network Online Discussion Group, Staging Diva Dialog Group Coaching, and more. You can get an overview of all our products here.
Don’t assume because a program costs more that it is better. Make sure you’ve answered the above questions so you know what you’re getting for your money.
While there is a wide variation in the costs of home staging training, this should not be the first criteria. The reality is that home staging is a very lucrative business if you know what you are doing on the business side.
So, whether you spend a few hundred dollars more or less on a program is not significant when you consider the big picture.
The key is getting what you need from a program and positioning yourself to take your passion for decorating and interest in real estate and turn it into a profitable and creatively satisfying business.
Katie Mines says
Oh My Gosh I am so over whelmed with where to go for training, my husband thinks I need to attend NRI because of their credentials. (it is the closest to anything in my area of Nebraska). Thanks for the 15 points which I forward to my husband to read. Reading your news letters and listening to your messages make sense to me. Katie
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva says
Katie, Glad you’ve found my newsletters and Ask Staging Diva Live helpful. I don’t know anything about NRI. But I will say, it’s important not to fall into the trap of going for “credentials” since none exist in home staging.
Instead always come back to a clear idea of what you want to learn and then find the program that offers that. Then make sure they can back up their claims and find out what outsiders think of the program. Fortunately that’s an easy thing in the Internet age. You’d be amazed what you can learn by putting “name of school” and “fraud” into a search on Google.
Elana Suzanne says
I have no problems with the design elements. When I get a home that needs staging they always sell immediately unless the seller’s asking a price is too far above the current market value. My problem is everyone expects the first visit for free and real estate agents have been little to no help at all. Then, as you say, they want to pick your brains and not pay. I immediately need the course that helps in that regard. Would that be course number two? I also don’t know where to find clients or how to market myself. Right now I cannot afford the entire package even though I know I need it. Please help. Thank you for your valuable time. Elana
Debra Gould says
Hi Elana, Thanks for writing with your concerns.
First of all, congratulations on having a natural talent for how to redesign a home. For the people who don’t have this gift, it’s a mystery how we do what we do. Recognizing you have a talent that most people don’t, and that your clients can make a real profit on what you do, you must not be afraid to charge what you’re worth. Once you can do that, your current money troubles will disappear.
There are really a few issues going on here:
– how to properly charge for your services
– how to get out of the free estimate trap
– how to market yourself
– how to be less reliant on real estate agents for your business
Course 2 will immediately tell you how to properly charge for your services. With that knowledge you can make enough money to pay for the entire training program.
Course 3 will help get you out of the free estimate trap, as will the Staging Diva Sales Script, which tells you exactly what to say to people word for word so you never have to visit someone’s home for free again. Think of how many frustrating hours and gallons of gas you’ll save right there!
Course 4 will teach you how to properly market yourself and to go way beyond real estate agents.
Here’s where you should go for the quick list of all my products, priced individually to determine what order you want to do things in.
My recommendation to you would be to start with course 2 plus the Sales Script and then go from there. You’ll immediately get out of doing free estimates (which are a waste of your time and a fast road to bankruptcy and burnout) and you’ll make enough with your first client to be able to afford the rest of the program, and really take your business to the next level.
Elana, thanks for letting me be part of your journey of learning how to grow a profitable home staging business!
I have started home staging course with Haverhill Home Staging, the problem started as there is no live hands on training just instructions as to what assignments needs to be done plus the resource centre when logged on after third time I don’t even have my profile there anymore not sure what is going on. Just few days back read so many negative feed backs from actual students from the instituition that I am disheartened. I have limited time but have a big dream in life, want to reach my goals. I am going through a divorce and have a little boy to take care of also have no job at this time but only thing I have is my talent and creativity. I have passion for colors, once I see something I want to make something or create something new out of it. I want to have my own business but need to know how to start, where and what are the necessary things to start with as I am coming out of transition phase in my personal life. I want to make each step become a milestone for a beautiful fruitful future. I am very hardworking with talent of learning quick all I need is a professional hands on training and mentoring as a guide through in journey to reaching my goal. Again, it comes to money factor…is it possible for me to start with course 1 and then step by step follow through with the other courses? Even though I would love to do all courses at once. Need your advice urgently. I very much appreciate you taking the time to make a difference in individuals life to reaching their goals. Thank you very much. Regards.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva says
Hi Mahzabeen, It certainly is important to be clear about what you want to learn before signing up for any training and then find out whether they offer the things you’re looking for. No single program can meet everyone’s needs. Unfortunately many people have been pulled into a certain program with promises of a “guaranteed job” without stopping to read the fine print or asking themselves whether that’s even a logical claim. After all, who has a guaranteed job in ANY field?
That said, if you’ve made a wrong choice in the past it’s best to accept that and move on. Holding onto anger over past decisions will only use up your energy that you could instead be using to move forward. I know you get that since you’ve mentioned having to move forward in a new direction in your personal life as well.
Home staging is still an awesome business opportunity for you since you have a passion for color and design. If you have that natural talent and creativity you’ve got something that many people don’t have. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many badly decorated homes out there just crying for our vision!
To turn your talent from a hobby into a business, you are right that you need to learn things like how to price your services, start your business, market yourself, etc. The business side of home staging IS the focus of the Staging Diva Training Program and what sets it apart from other programs. I’ll teach you what I learned the hard way building my own business and save you tons of trial and error.
I don’t offer hands on training however, because I’m not teaching you how to decorate. I’m teaching you how to make money from your decorating talent.
You can take the courses one by one as your budget allows, and you don’t need to take them in a specific order. You’ll find a detailed description of each course in the Staging Diva Store.
Good luck and keep the faith. Your big dream IS within your grasp. Just keep focused on your goals and keep moving towards them.
Marsha Winkler says
I would Love to learn how to stage a home and make people happy
Debra Gould says
Marsha, you’ve totally come to the right place. You mention wanting to learn “how to stage.” As a first step you might consider a detailed ebook I’ve written. It will really boost your confidence in that regard. It’s called, Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.
I can also teach you how to turn that decorating know how into a profitable business in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. It’s a complete step by step roadmap to your career as a home stager.
Carole Jarvis says
As a home staging, do you have to do mainly shopping to purchase what is needed to improve what you see in their house?
Do you have to shop first and then tell them the cost to do the improvement? Do you mainly work with what is already in place in their house. Do you have to front the money and asking to be paid for the merchandise you purchased.
Debra Gould says
Hi Carole, You’ve asked some great questions.
With the business model I teach in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, you won’t have to buy any of your own inventory of furniture or accessories. Plus, you won’t ever be out of pocket any of your own money because I teach you how to get paid as you go, and even get deposits for future work. Those are the short answers to your questions but I dive much deeper into all these topics (and ones you haven’t even thought to wonder about yet) in my training program. You can learn more about the complete step by step business model I offer here.
Thanks for writing! By the way, the approaches I’ve described above are NOT common to other training programs. Most would have you investing tens of thousands of dollars in buying your own inventory. I’ve staged hundreds of homes and that’s completely not necessary.