When it comes to home staging, this branch of the professional design industry is extremely lucrative. Clients will depend on your expertise to turn their home interior into one that is desirable for potential buyers, and you’ll build trust (and a strong reputation!) by helping clients sell their homes.
But finding home staging jobs can be tough. It’s a competitive market and a highly visual one, so you’ll need to set yourself apart quite quickly. Don’t fret – we’ve put together some expert tips so you put your best foot forward and land that coveted home staging job!
Home staging is unregulated, which means that there are no specific education requirements for staging homes. However, you should never discount the value of home stager training (or any design training, for that matter). Employers and clients will want to see that you have a foundation of knowledge in staging, and a home staging class will do just that. Coming into a home and knowing how to de-clutter, de-personalize, and generally improve the space will build your career in ways you’ve never dreamed of – putting you on a successful path.
Upon graduating from a home staging course, you’ll receive a certification that you’ll be able to use after your name, on your business cards, and various other places to show potential clients what you’re capable of. A staging certification separates the professionals from the amateurs, so be sure to get the proper training under your belt before seeking employment in the field!
Visuals are everything
You don’t need us to tell you that the design industry is extremely visual. The reality is, no matter how strong your resume is, most homeowners won’t give you the time of the day if you don’t have a professional design portfolio on hand. Think of your portfolio as a showcase of what you can do – you may be thinking that you can’t assemble one yet, since you’re currently looking for work, but that’s simply not true!
Designing and staging your own home is a fabulous way to document your home staging skills, and before and after shots of the transformation will look excellent in a portfolio! Another way to show off your work is by using your course assignments! Many online home staging courses include a great deal of hands-on assignments, so this is the perfect opportunity to pop those photos into a home design portfolio that will blow your clients away!
In general, treat your home staging portfolio as the second vital step (next to your home staging training) to landing a design job. Your education, experience, and visual showcase of your work will speak volumes to future employers, so make sure those two pieces are in good order before starting your job search.
Do some soul searching
Yes, finding a job in the design industry is tough – especially as a home stager who is just starting their career. As a result, you’re keen to take any design-related role that you find. But don’t be too hasty! Once you have your staging certification and have spent time curating the perfect portfolio, take some time to reflect on the type of career you want. You may not get your dream job right away, but knowing what your specific interests are, your working style, and your designer strengths will get you much closer to it!
It’s also very important to determine exactly who you want to work for. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of working for an existing real estate company – is that where you want to be? Perhaps you’re better suited to self-employment, and that’s an excellent choice, as many staging courses will teach you how to start your own business. No matter where your interests and talents lie, it is essential to have an understanding of where you’d like to be in the future – setting goals will only propel your career forward!
Find a mentor
You may not have considered this option before, but let us tell you – it’s a fantastic way to grow your career as a home stager and learn more in the meantime! You’ll want to seek out a professional home stager who has been in the industry for a few years and has a successful business. Once you’ve done your research and narrowed down your options to a few individuals, reach out to them and ask if they would like to be your mentor. Their answer may surprise you! It is incredibly rewarding for an established home stager to share their expertise and experience with you. They can also add teaching to their repertoire, so it’s a win-win!
So what does this involve? You’ll want to offer your services to a potential mentor free of charge, and observe them closely in the process. Watch how they interact with clients, how they run their business, and which home staging elements they employ on different projects. You’ll gain a strong understanding of home staging, gain valuable experience, and could find yourself employed either by the mentor themselves or one of their clients!
Creating a strong online presence, building a professional website, and listing your services in an online directory all fall under this umbrella.
Let’s start with your online presence. As a home stager, a website is absolutely essential no matter your level of experience. By listing your services, background, photos, and contact information in one location (a great-looking location that loads quickly), potential clients can find you and get in touch when they need you. Think of it as your online portfolio –clients will want to see what you’re capable of, and this avenue is an excellent way to show it.
Your social media presence goes hand-in-hand with your design website. Be sure to get Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts in an effort to be visible by anyone, and carve out time each day to post new content and increase your audience. You never know which designers you may connect with on a social network who are in need of a home stager, or which real estate company is looking at professional stagers on social media before making a decision.
Finally, don’t be afraid to list your services in public directories! There are many homeowners who are in the market for certified home stagers to work their magic, but they don’t know where to look. Be sure that when they use a search engine to find home stagers in their area, your services are visible to them! Most directories will require a payment in order to host your listing, but membership can have a ton of benefits (the most obvious one being that you’re more likely to get hired!). Do your homework before committing to any directory, of course, but know that this is a great way to get your name out there.