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 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.
This 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.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Voice of Possibility Group Inc.
With an MBA in marketing and hundreds of home staging clients, internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, is uniquely qualified to train others how to start and grow a profitable home staging business. She created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with students in 23 countries.