Knowing what the current home staging competition is like in your area, isn’t as simple as you might think.
I often hear form aspiring home stagers who say:
“There are no home stagers in my area, so there must not be a demand for this service.”
Just as often, I am told the exact opposite by others:
“There are already home stagers in my area. I’m sure there will be too much competition for me to enter this market.”
Home Staging Competition, a Reason or Excuse?
In both cases, these notions become excuses for not moving forward and following your dream.
You can talk yourself out of anything with the right arguments or “stories.”. Plus, you may be jumping to a whole bunch of conclusions that are not justified.
If you really have a dream of becoming a home stager, you owe it to yourself to verify these negative assumptions before giving up.
No Home Staging Competition in Your Area
If there are no home stagers in your area and there are also no homes for sale, then you’re right there is probably no demand for home staging.
You need to live in (or within driving distance of) an actual real estate market for there to be any potential demand for your home staging services.
Too Many Home Stagers in Your Area
I guarantee that your market isn’t saturated with home stagers, no matter where you live.
Consider how many real estate agents there are in the same city, town or surrounding area. Compare that to how many home stagers you can easily find.
There are easily 1000 times more Realtors than home stagers.
Then research how many homes sell in your real estate market in a year.
How many of these properties will you have to get as clients to make a living?
An incredibly small percentage if you learn how to price your staging services correctly. I cover this in detail in Course 2 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
Is There “Tough” Home Staging Competition?
If you fear there is already a lot of home staging competition in your area, you need to find out if this is really the case.
More importantly, you also need to find out the calibre of the competition.
I don’t mean how well they arrange furniture (though this is important). The question is how well they market themselves.
- Do they come across as real professionals?
- Does the home stager appear confident and knowledgable?
- Can they explain what they do for clients in a compelling way?
- Were they easy to find online?
- Is the home stager easy to speak to?
- Do they listen well?
- Could you envision them being easy to work with if you were their client?
Don’t just look at their websites and assume all these great qualities if it’s a great site.
The competitive picture might look a whole lot different if you actually pick up the phone and speak to them.
There are a lot of “home stagers” who aren’t actually serious about their businesses.
It’s more like one of their creative hobbies. You’ll be able to spot the “dabblers” as soon as they try to explain what they do!
That’s assuming you actually reach them by phone. If you leave a voicemail message, I guarantee not everyone will phone you back!
I can’t tell you home many times one of my Staging Diva Dialog group coaching members mention that when talking to a potential client the first thing they say is, “Wow, you’re the first home stager who actually returned my call!”
And if your “competitors” have unprofessional websites, you’ve learned you don’t need to worry about competition from them. As long as you market your own home staging business the right way.
One of the first homework assignments I have Staging Diva students complete during my home staging courses, is an assessment of their competition.
This is not homework they have to submit for marking. It’s homework they should be doing to set up a home staging business. That’s why I make it homework.
It’s my little way of nudging new home stagers to focus on the tasks that will be the biggest boost to their businesses.
I’ve taught thousands of students and they consistently discover that the home staging competition is not as intimidating as they first thought.
If you’d like more tips on how to measure the need for home staging in your local real estate market, download this FREE report, Ask Staging Diva: Will A Home Staging Business Work in My Area?
What If the Home staging Competition Looks Tough?
Then you have to resolve to step up to the plate and give it all you’ve got if you truly want to make money as a home stager.
I’ve learned from experience over the years that a lack of serious competition can make you a bit lazy. Taking it easy once we’ve mastered something is a tempting trap.
One sharp competitor and it’s amazing how much better you get at boosting your own home staging business!
I always fine-tune my own approach when I review what others are doing. It’s important to not spend all your time watching (and comparing against) others though. It’s very distracting.
The cool thing is that home staging is a growing industry. The sooner you jump in and establish yourself as THE local expert, the better you will stand up to any competitors coming up behind you.
Home Stagers What’s Your Experience?
How has the competition affected your staging business?
If you’re just starting to think about home staging, has worrying about the competition stopped you?
Are you a home stager who is holding yourself back because you’re intimidated by what other stagers’ websites look like?
Please share by leaving a comment below. You’ll give me ideas for a follow up story to explore this topic in more detail.
Heather Cook says
We knew our area had 1 – 2 very established stagers when we started our business. We also knew they weren’t doing a lot of advertising or marketing themselves because it was very hard to find anyone who did staging if you were looking. It seemed most of their business came from referrals – which is great – but it gave us a place where we could set ourselves apart.
We have created what we feel, is a very professional website complete with a company name and logo which gives us a very professional look. We don’t approach staging as a hobby and we are candid about that. In addition, we have been strong in our marketing campaigns, social media and simply getting out there. Those stagers are still there – plus others – but we can’t worry about what they are doing with their business. We are always looking for different ways to put ourselves out there and to get spotlight our business for consumers.
In addition, we feel the quality of our staging designs sets us apart from the others. We don’t just move furniture around, we strive to make every space we stage look like it belongs in a model home. We have encountered many realtors who are dismissive of staging very simply because in their experience, staging is only about moving furniture or adding a few accessories. When they realize we’re addressing *everything* from paint, flooring, smart upgrades, repairs, landscaping … all the way to staging the finished space, they are impressed.
There is a lot involved in starting not only a staging business, but in setting your staging designs up as THE designs is something else entirely. Staging is fun, rewarding and hard work so if that’s what you have a passion for and you’re willing to put in the work and effort to make yourself memorable then you will definitely get continual business.
Donna Dazzo says
In addition to what Debra says, and to also reinforce it, you have to differentiate yourself. One way is to be really serious about home staging as a business, not a hobby, as Debra says. You also have to be professional. Be reliable, courteous and follow through. There are a lot of home stagers here in New York City and one could think there is a lot of competition by the sheer numbers, however, I would say only a few are really competition. Most of the others are not serious about the business and don’t know how to present themselves or their business. The Darwinian principle applies to home staging businesses: only the fittest will survive.
I am toltaly wowed and prepared to take the next step now.
Christina Rodriguez - The Diva's Home says
I agree with this article. There really aren’t that many stagers in my area and none of them have a website. I do, but it is one of those “do-it-yourself” sites. I don’t believe that is bad because it is better to have something to START with than nothing at all! 🙂
Hi Heather and Donna, I agree with the both of you in that it is all about the way you present yourself and establish your authority in the field. I also believe and advocate focusing on the end result and not factoring in the “competition” as we all have unique traits and characteristics to embrace and express. Setting yourself up on the business end is always advantageous and crucial to the success of your business. Maintaining your sense of presence as a professional expert is also key.
Thanks girls for the insight, and I look forward to more!!
Monica Cooper says
Doing the homework in the courses is very important it gives you lead way and allows you to know what’s going on in your area. I’m NOT worried about the competition at all if I did it will become a set back. I looked at websites before and after pictures some were nice, good, and some were even great! and then looked at other websites before and after pics and they were not so nice, good, or great. so the competition doesn’t bother me and to other home stagers don’t let it get to you either. Thank you Debra for all your support and articles like this one it keeps me/us on our toes. It was a slow start for me but my business will soon to be up and running. BEST WISHES TO ALL THE HOMESTAGERS, YOU GOT THIS!
Debra Gould says
That’s fantastic Monica, thanks so much for commenting!