Are you considering taking the plunge into the fabulous world of home staging but are unsure whether you want (or need) a home staging certification? To help you make an informed decision, here’s an overview of the pros and cons of getting certified!
PRO: Builds Confidence
Novice stagers can view certification as a highly valuable tool for their home staging tool belt. A home staging certification is particularly important if you have little or no previous experience in the field. Professional training helps to ensure you are a well-rounded stager. Most programs are comprehensive and cover a wide range of topics that you may not be exposed to otherwise.
Although there are ample opportunities in this field, it is also highly competitive. As a budding stager, you’ll have competitors who have been in the field for many years, are well-known within the industry and already have a strong client-base. Having comprehensive training backed by certification will help you burst onto the scene with confidence. You’ll enter the field feeling prepared and accomplished, ready to take your competition by storm!
CON: Unregulated Field
The home staging industry is largely unregulated world-wide. What this means is that there is no legal requirement for certification in order to work in the field. If you have prior experience staging homes, a strong portfolio and a well-developed client-base then you may not need the certification. It could be more beneficial for you to use the money you would have invested in certification to polish your portfolio and ramp up your marketing efforts!
PRO: Preferred by Clients and Employers
Although the field is unregulated, a certification is definitely preferred by clients and employers. For both parties, a certification is indicative of more than just a solid foundation in home staging. It also denotes the ability to follow through on commitments, manage deadlines and meet pre-determined goals! In many ways, your physical certificate is a symbol of your passion for the industry and your drive for success.
Additionally, clients need to be confident in the stager they choose for staging their home. Being certified helps gain their trust and gives you that edge of being an “industry expert.” Your certificate makes you more marketable for exactly this reason. You can use it as an additional selling feature to help set you apart from your competition!
CON: Ongoing Fees to Maintain Certification
While QC Design School does not charge annual fees to remain certified, there are schools and associations that do. If you are researching your school options, you will want to find out if there is an annual cost for maintaining your certification. This will help you determine the long-term cost of Home Staging Certification. You can do this by multiplying any annual fees by the number of years you estimate you’ll work in the field, then adding the course cost for a grand total.
PRO: Membership with Professional Associations
Many associations will only accept members who have a home staging certification from a reputable school. Membership with a professional association lends credibility to your business as well as providing access to many exclusive industry benefits!
Each association will provide slightly different benefits. In general, you can expect a business listing on the association’s website, opportunities to network with your peers, access to member discounts and continuing education, newsletters, resource libraries, annual conferences and more!
Keep in mind that membership will come at a cost. Associations charge annual fees for the privilege of membership; however, most do offer discounted rates to students!
CON: Diverts Focus
Sure, having a certification and being a member of a professional association will help boost your credibility with clients but some stagers rely too heavily on these aspects. It is equally important to spend time putting together a solid portfolio, doing market research, building relationships (like with real estate agents!), networking within the industry and establishing a client-base.
Do not assume the certification is either a shortcut to success or a guarantee of employment. It definitely doesn’t replace the legwork required to get your business off the ground.
Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of a Home Staging Certification you can make an educated decision about whether becoming certified makes sense for you!