By Cathy Hobbs, ASID Created: Sep 21, 2011 Last Updated: Sep 21, 2011
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Certified Staging Professional Cathy Hobbs in action, staging one of her many projects. (Courtesy of Cathy Hobbs)
Starting and building a home staging business is ideal for design enthusiasts, professional organizers, do-it-yourselfers, real estate brokers, and virtually anyone who has a desire to have their own business and has an interest in real estate, interior design, or decorating.
In 2005, when I became interested in adding home staging services to my existing interior design business, there was really only one course that stood out above the rest: the three-day Home Staging Certification Course offered by Certified Staging Professionals.
Similar three-day courses and online courses are currently being marketed, but the Certified Staging Professional Course (CSP) is the only course I discovered that provides home staging training plus the in-depth business knowledge that a new home stager needs to succeed in the competitive world of home staging. Their three-day intensive course consists of two days of in-class instruction, followed by a third day on-site where students actually stage a property.
Earning Money as a Home Stager
Home stagers can charge anywhere from $75 to $300 an hour, so for an avid marketer as well as someone with lots of contacts, the income potential can be tremendous. Just like with any other entrepreneurial endeavor, what one gets out of it is linked to what one puts into it.
The first step in launching a home staging business is letting everyone you possibly know that you are a home stager and are available to help them sell their properties. Most people at some point in their lives will need to sell a property and that is where you will come in!
What is wonderful about starting a home staging business is that there are minimal startup costs. In order to start a home staging business, one will need to have the following:
1. A computer
2. Business checking account
3. Professional liability insurance
4. A digital camera
5. A professional email address
6. A website
7. Business cards
8. A dedicated business phone line
9. A fax machine
What Does Home Staging Entail?
Staging can mean a number of things as it relates to selling a property. It can mean anything from painting and minor repairs to obtaining rental furniture and furniture arrangement. As a stager you will want to build a team to help you execute these tasks.
As a stager, you can expect to provide the following services:
1. Remove clutter
2. Pack away any and all unnecessary items and furnishings
3. Apply a fresh coat of paint or make paint color recommendations
4. Clean and steam carpets
5. Hire a professional cleaning crew
6. Recommend minor repairs
7. Rent furniture
8. Incorporate furniture and accessories to show function
Are Courses Required?
Unlike interior design, there are no education requirements for becoming a home stager. In fact, home staging is actually an unregulated industry. The question I would simply ask someone who is considering starting a home staging business is why would you not seek training?
It is hard enough starting an entrepreneurial venture, let alone setting out on one’s own without the necessary tools and basic foundation. Taking a professional business course such as the Home Staging Certification Course offered through Certified Staging Professionals is the key to having the foundation and resources in order to set you on the proper path.
The Certified Staging Professionals website as well as their expert staff and instructors provide a wealth of resources and knowledge as well as ongoing support to help make your home staging business successful.
* Introducing Columnist Cathy Hobbs
Certified Staging Professionals offers classes in Long Island, N.Y., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Nashville, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Miami, Detroit, and Fargo, N.D., just to name a few. If you’re interested in becoming a real estate stager, contact Certified Staging Professionals directly at (www.stagingtraining.com) or (1.888.STAGING). Good luck. And Happy Staging!
Five-time Emmy award-winning television personality Cathy Hobbs (ASID) is the founder of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes™, specializing in interior design, home staging, and model residences for luxury new developments. A nationally known design expert, Cathy has appeared on such programs as The Nate Berkus Show and HGTV’s Top Ten. Cathy was also a finalist on Season 6 of HGTV’s Hit Reality Series Design Star. Cathy Hobbs is an ASID, LEED AP (BD+C), CSP.