Marshall Stevenson
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Tips for Starting a Home Staging Business

Turn your passion into a money making business.

Home staging has become a popular and lucrative career over the years. In fact, almost 30 percent of all sellers’ real estate agents say they stage their homes before they list them, and 40 percent say that this has an effect on how most buyers view the homes.

But most agents don’t have the time, desire, or skill to stage the homes themselves. So, they usually end up hiring professionals to do it for them. This is where you come in: if you have a knack for decorating and a little business savvy, this could be your dream job. Read on to learn more.

What is home staging?

If you’ve ever watched a DIY show, like Fixer Upper on HGTV, you’ve seen home staging in action. After the homes are remodeled, the host completely decorates them before the clients see them. They are fully furnished, complete with wall decor, furniture, rugs, and other accessories to make the house feel like a home. They might even personalize some of the accessories with online canvas printing or customized metal work.

What differentiates staging jobs from interior design work is that the clients don’t actually keep all the decor that’s been put in their homes. It’s just a tool to help them see the potential and what the designer truly had in mind when they remodeled the interior.

Do your research.

To begin with, you’ll need to research your local real estate market. Find out how many of them already have home stagers, or if they might need to hire one. Then, do some online research and talk to other successful people in the field.

You should be able to find Facebook groups or other online forums dedicated to the topic. There are even online classes you can take to learn the specifics. But if you’re a good decorator and can ask the right questions, you’ll probably do fine without these.

Find your clients.

During your research, you’ll likely come across several agents who need home stagers. You just need to convince them you’re the best choice for the job. Many times, this happens by word of mouth. In other words, maybe you know someone who has seen your work and knows the agent.

But, the best way to start is by gathering a portfolio of your work to show potential clients. This can be photos of rooms you’ve decorated in your own house, or you can ask friends and family to allow you to decorate some of their rooms as examples. You can then take your portfolio with you to real estate offices and ask if they could use your help.

In the beginning, you might have to offer your services for free a few times. This lets your clients know you’re serious and it gives you a chance to impress them. Many home stagers offer one free staging to each new client. You can even have this printed on your business cards to use as a coupon of sorts.

Build your inventory.

In order to stage homes, you need a good inventory. You need large furniture items, such as couches and beds. But you’ll also need lots of decor items, such as paintings, rugs, and lamps.

A great way to gain access to quality merchandise is by partnering with local furniture stores. Often, they will loan their inventory to home stagers in return for displaying their company name on the flyers or in the home. They’ll usually even deliver it to your location and set it up for you.

It can take time for furniture stores to become willing to work with you, though. If you’re a new business, they may not know if they can trust you with their expensive products. It’s possible that the agent you’re working for has a connection with the stores from previous stagings, but you need to be prepared with another option.

If you don’t have access to borrowed goods, you can begin by using things you already have. It’s also a good idea to start shopping estate sales and liquidations for low-cost items you can store and use. For example, you may be able to buy a load of B stock supply rugs for a fraction of the cost of prime selections. Or, you might find a box of classic wall hangings at a garage sale that will fit elegant decorative themes.

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Tips for Starting a Home Staging Business
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