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How To Start In Staging Business in 7 Simple Steps
Do you love to decorate? Do you have an “eye for design”? Are you feeling creative? Thinking of a career change? This article will help you figure out your first steps and answer a very popular question: “How to become a home stager”?
It is always a good idea to learn from home stagers who are already running their businesses and who are willing to share their knowledge, experience and expertise. Our home staging company TNT Staging, based out of Charlotte, NC, has great experience with the following three home staging organizations:
HSRA is based in Texas with many members nationwide. It provides extensive business training and helps stagers build relationships with the top players in the real estate industry. What we like about HSRA as experienced and seasoned stagers, is the fact that they coach you on how to work on your business rather than in your business. HSRA brings tremendous value to our thriving staging business.
According to their website, IHASP® is the largest and the longest-running Home Staging Industry Trade Association. This staging association is based in Denver, Colorado with thousands of members worldwide. It provides training and guidelines on how to stage and redesign homes as well as how to run your staging business. We love the supportive, collaborating, family vibe of IHASP® and thoroughly enjoy our monthly chapter meetings with other fellow stagers in Charlotte, NC.
RESA’s mission is to bring the home staging industry to the next level by creating high industry standards that would help both home staging professionals and their customers maximize their profits. Their vision is to make home staging a standard practice when selling real estate. RESA is based in Columbus, NC.
Start with your own home or help your friends and family make their homes look better. Rearranged furniture in your house, your apartment or your room, put together a vignette, found something cute at your local home decor store? That’s a great start! Now use your phone to take photos or hire a professional photographer to enhance your portfolio. Post it on social media. Let your followers know what you do. Keep going, one step at a time…
We live in an exciting era of digital marketing that is virtually free. Be active on social media, create a website, consider creating a Google business page, if you want your business to be found on Google Maps. Create great content that would be useful, aesthetically-pleasing, fun and engaging. Post regularly. Consistency is key. Check your direct messages, at TNT Staging we receive a lot of staging requests starting with: “I’ve been following you on social media. Your work is beautiful…”. Your online presence is very important. The better it is, the better your chances to be hired. We all shop online both for goods and services. So make sure you or your business can be found online too.
There are two types of home staging: owner-occupied and vacant, you could also do staging or redesign for living, staging or design consultations, short-term vacation rentals staging and design. Most home stagers start with owner-occupied staging and redesign, since, unlike vacant home staging, it does not require having a lot of inventory, a storage unit or a warehouse to store your inventory.
The beauty of vacant home staging, the niche that we picked for TNT Staging, is the ability to work with a blank canvas and create pretty much whatever you want. Vacant home staging done right is usually very impactful, before and after photos are day and night. Plus you don’t have to deal with the emotional attachment of the homeowners to their home, You also don’t have to go through other people’s stuff etc.
Short-term vacation rental (STVR) business is on the rise. Vacation rentals need to be furnished and thoughtfully designed, so they could provide their owners with the highest return on their investment (ROI): higher occupancy rates and higher nighty rates.
Real estate agents are a great source of staging leads. If you help them sell real estate faster and for more, they’ll keep hiring you and keep recommending your home staging and redesign services to their clients and colleagues. Go to your local real estate firms, brokerage offices, become a sponsor, participate in the events for real estate specialists. Follow them on social media, invite them for coffee. Build great relationships. Deliver what you promised and deliver it on time. Repeat. Be consistent.
Unity is strength. Establish relationships with your fellow home stagers, collaborate, exchange experience, learn from each other and support each other on your journey. Most of the professionals from the same industry deal with the same issues, believe it or not.
See Step #1, Visit HSRA, IHASP and RESA websites to find information on local chapters and other home stagers in your area as well as upcoming events for home staging and redesign professionals. We find it helpful and we do participate in our local chapter meetings as well as national and international professional events. It feels great to know that you’re not alone, that you can support and feel supported by other fellow stagers. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Be known for what you do. Don’t be shy. The loudest marketer wins. Promote your talents and your services. See Step #3 on building your online presence as well as Step #5 on establishing great working relationships with the real estate agents. Besides working with realtors®, we also find it very helpful to build relationships with your local real estate investors, flippers, builders as well as property managers and owners of vacation rentals (STVRs). The first three are especially relevant, if you choose to do vacant home staging. Find local real estate investor groups on social media, such as FaceBook (now Meta), discover MeetUp and other sources available online. Attend those meetings and events, don’t be a wallflower, work the room, introduce yourself, give away your business cards and other marketing materials. Find out how you could become a speaker at some of those events. Give away free staging or redesign consultations, if that’s what it takes to get your foot through the door.
You can do it! Good luck!
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Written by Yauheni Mayorau, TNT Staging