If you’ve recently completed a home staging training program, congratulations! Obtaining your home staging certification is a huge accomplishment, although it is only the first step in your career. As you venture into the industry and work towards starting your own home staging business, there are a few items to keep in mind. You’ll also need to brand your services, budget properly, and attract the right clients.
Read on for some helpful tips on where to start with your home staging business, and be prepared to hit the ground running!
Decide on your brand
If you’re new to the design industry, the first order of business is to establish your brand, as well as a solid online presence.
Reflecting on your own skills and interests as a home stager, as well as what you can offer clients, will help you design your brand. Along with branding, you’ll need a business name that will resonate with and entice clients to use your services, so take your time brainstorming and researching potential names.
Logos play a huge role in creating your brand as a home stager, and a good deal of research should go into this aspect of your home staging business! You want to ensure that your logo is memorable and lines up with the values of your brand. Don’t be shy about hiring a professional graphic designer to reach a high level of quality.
Time to budget
As you’re just starting out in the home staging industry, you may not have a clear idea of your area’s real estate market, or what your clients need. It is vital to do market research ahead of creating your business plan—this will help you understand what the current need is for home stagers, and how you should run your business.
Holding your own stock of furniture and décor items, instead of renting them out for each individual project, is an option for home stagers. Buying your own furniture sets to stage all your clients’ homes allows you to be totally familiar with what you have in your inventory, and you’ll have the option down the road to rent your furniture out to increase your income.
There are a few things to consider though—holding your own stock requires storage, which can be costly, as well as insurance and high upfront costs. Holding your own home staging stock is a great goal to aspire to once your business is established, but if you’re just starting out, a great option is to partner with another home stager and split the start-up costs—you’ll have more money in your budget to grow your client base and market your services!
Keep in mind that any new business can be expensive at first—you’ll need to create your website, advertise, and design business cards to get your business off the ground. Budget even more than what you think is necessary for the first six months. Even though your finances may be tight, you’ll want to have that extra cushion to help your home staging business take off. Over-budgeting will allow you to feel secure if you spend a little extra here or there.
Get out there and network
You can research, plan and budget for your new business, but at the end of the day, building your client base is key! We recommend networking as much as you can, and that means showing up at industry events. Be ready with both your elevator speech and business card!
Being aware of what’s going on the real estate market is extremely important for home stagers, so attending open houses is a fabulous way to learn about your competitors, become inspired, and get to know real estate agents, other home stagers, and decorating enthusiasts!
In addition to open houses, seek out networking events to attend regularly and sign up for mailing lists that will help keep you updated on what’s happening from month to month. Networking events will allow you to get to know local design professionals who would want to work with an up-and-coming home stager.
Tradeshows are another excellent way to be both inspired by the latest décor trends and also meet vendors and make industry connections. You never know who you might meet at tradeshows—fellow stagers may even know of clients they are unable to take on, but could refer you to!
Starting your own home staging business as a trained professional is such an exciting time! Be sure to enjoy the journey and don’t be afraid to be ambitious! You’ve worked hard to achieve your home design certification, and now it’s time to build your hands-on skills and pursue your dream of being a home stager.
Clients depend on home stagers to prepare their homes to sell quickly, so your services will always be in demand. The skills obtained during your online home staging course have prepared you to entice buyers by highlighting a home’s best features. The more time you spend with clients and real estate agents, the more your home staging business will benefit down the road.