Home staging is more popular than ever, thanks to shows on HGTV and other media attention in recent years. It has made the job of a home stager so much easier — no longer do we have to sell homeowners and agents on the value of our service. It’s already a well known fact that buyers love staged homes, and staged homes sell for more. So if you want to become a home stager, the timing has never been better. Read on to see how to start a home staging business.
Whether you want a part-time income stream or a full-time business, a home staging business is not very difficult to start.
How to Start a Home Staging Business
Learn Home Staging
Of course the first thing you’ll need to do will be to learn home staging techniques so that you can deliver professional results to your clients. You can learn all about home staging right here for free, including tips on using color, depersonalizing, and more. There is also a home staging checklist for you to refer to.
If you want an intensive, incredibly detailed course, I recommend the Staging Diva program. No one in this business knows more than Debra Gould, and her marketing know-how is impressive. There are a range of course options to choose from, depending on your budget and your desired level of training.
At this point I also want to give a very affectionate shout-out to Peggy Selinger-Eaton, who put a fantastic staging book and DVD together back when staging was very new. It’s called Peggy’s Corner: The Art of Staging. Her instructions are spot-on, and she’s also lovely to watch. Here it is if you want to take a look:
Practice staging homes. Work on rooms in your home or your sister’s house or anywhere that there are rooms you can use for staging. Take before and after photos. Make sure you have a variety of rooms so you have some kitchen, bathroom, living room, outdoor, and bedroom photos to show. It’s OK if you don’t have an example of each type of room when starting out, but try to have a variety.
Keep working on this stage until you have at least four or five sets of before and after photos that look professional. Compare them honestly to photos on other stagers’ websites and see how you measure up. It may be hard to assess your own skill level so feel free to ask a friend or family member to take a look.
Once your skills are dialed, you’re ready to start putting the business components in place.
Let’s move on to the next step in how to start a home staging business.
Form Your Staging Business
At this point, start getting your business name and business structure figured out. Do you want to operate as a sole proprietor or an LLC? What are you naming your business?
At the same time, you should look at available domain names. This can really be an important factor in settling on a name, because you do want one with an available dot-com name. Here is some info on choosing a domain name for your business. (Scroll down the page.)
You can use a resource like Nolo to find out more about business structures. I’ve linked to a helpful article that is not specifically about how to start a home staging business, but it does give you an excellent overview of the different business structures and their advantages.
You also need to investigate your insurance options, and if you intend to do hands-on work for clients it is extremel important that you are well covered. You can do a search for home staging business insurance. Since it is a common business these days it should not be difficult to find a provider. If not, you can always call your agent that you use for your auto and/or home policy. Just ask them if they provide what you need, and if they don’t it is almost certain that they can refer you to someone.
If you’re not planning on doing hands-on staging right away and are sticking to a consultation-only model, bear that in mind when looking into insurance. Make sure the insurance agent understands exactly what services you are providing so that they give you a policy with appropriate coverage.
OK on to the next step in how to start your home staging business…
Get Your Home Staging Business Cards
Once you have your business name and contact info all set, you can go ahead and order business cards. You can opt for a professional designer if you have the budget, but you can also get very nice results from places like VistaPrint, Zazzle, and many others.
You may want to get going on the business cards right away since they will take at least a few days before you have them in hand. Once you have them in hand, keep some on you at all times. Introduce yourself as a local home stager whenever you find yourself making chit-chat in social situations. Start getting the word out about your new business!
Create Your Home Staging Business Website
Your website is of course a very important part of how to start a home staging business.
The nice thing about starting a staging business these days is that you have so many options for getting your website built. In the past, you either had to learn HTML and some design skills, or you had to hire a website designer, which could easily cost a couple of thousand. Options like WordPress and Wix let you create a beautiful site on your own.
We’ve put together a detailed guide for your website setup options right here.
Get Started Marketing and Networking
Aside from your website, you’ll have many ways you can market your business for little to no cost. Social media is a great route to take, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Here is more on networking and marketing for your home staging business.
These action steps should help you get started in your new staging business. There is plenty more info on the site about running your business, so look around or check back as you get further along in your journey.
I hope this “How to Start a Home Staging Business” article has been helpful and I wish you the best luck and success in becoming a professional home stager. Home staging has been very good to me and I hope you enjoy the same rewards.