Setting Your Home Staging Fees
When it comes to setting fees for your home staging business, there is no magic number that I can give you. I can give you a method for determining your fee structure, however.
The key to good business is to make sure you are creating a win-win scenario for you and your clients. You get to make a living doing what you love doing, and your clients get useful information that will help them with their home sale. Both parties need to feel like the exchange was fair.
Make sure you get paid what you’re worth and remember that you’re helping your clients make thousands of extra dollars when they sell. Remember the value of your service.
Living expenses vary depending on where you are located. You might need to make $3500 per month for the lifestyle you want, or it might be more like $7000. If it’s $7,000, you need to have 20 work days where you earn $350 per day. $350 per day is two billable hours at $175 per hour. Keep in mind, only a portion of your work day will be actual billable time. You have to answer calls and emails, network, spend time marketing, maybe update your site, post a Craigslist ad, just to name some of the ways you’ll commonly spend your time.
Use a realistic formula such as two to three billable hours per day to determine your earning capability so you can decide on an average hourly rate or fee structure.
If I want to make $5,000 per month, this how I’ll work out my pricing structure. I’m starting with the assumption that I’ll work 20 days per month. $5,000 divided by 20 days comes out to $250 per day. If I think it’s reasonable to bill two hours per day, I would arrive at $125 per hour as a basis for my fees.
I could do two home staging consultations in a day for $125 each. I can use that $125/hour guideline to determine my home staging fees for large jobs. If I think a hands-on staging job will take me 5 hours then that gives me a fee of $625.
Personally, I do not break down my home staging fees with my hourly rate for clients. I would present it to them as a flat rate, and I would round up a little bit to cover my travel time and the possibility that something unexpected will happen that will take extra time. I would take that $625 and make it $650 to $700 when I submit my proposal to the client.
The hourly number is just a guideline for you to help arrive at a fee, it is NOT something you need to disclose to a client. To me, that’s an invitation for them to watch the clock and make sure they get their money’s worth as if you’re an hourly worker.
Again, you are NOT really an hourly worker since you work plenty of hours that technically are not paid hours. Therefore, the hours that you bill need to pay enough to sustain your business. You’re providing expertise that’s very valuable — don’t forget that.
You also have to make sure your pricing is in line with what other home stagers in your area are charging. Depending on your area, your hourly guideline number could be anywhere from $50 to $200.
You can always adjust that guideline dollar amount so just do your best to come up with fair prices and move them up or down as needed.
Also, when you’re starting out as a new home stager, you may not work quite as fast as you will after you have worked on several jobs. You might make mistakes with your quotes when you’re starting. That’s just part of the process so don’t stress about it. You need some experience before you can really develop a feel for quoting accurately.
Setting your home staging fees is often a process that takes testing and refining. Don’t expect everything to be perfect on day one.