A home staging career is extremely lucrative. Clients will depend on your expertise to transform their homes, making them desirable to potential buyers.
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 can put your best foot forward and land that coveted home staging job!
What else screams, “I’m a professional!” than getting certified?
Home staging is unregulated, which means that there are no specific education requirements for staging homes. However, you should never discount the value of professional 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. Entering a home and knowing how to declutter, depersonalize, and generally improve the space will build your career in ways you’ve never dreamed of.
Once you graduate from your home staging course, you’ll receive a designation that you’ll be able to use after your name. Put it on your business cards, website, and resume to show potential clients that you’re a true pro. A staging certification separates the professionals from the amateurs, so get the proper training under your belt before you enter the job market!
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. Just beacuse you’re still in the early stages of your staging career doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about your portfolio.
Have you thought about staging your own home? Before you start buying those clean white towels to spruce up the space, document the “before”. Before and and after shots of your home will look amazing in a portfolio!
Another way to show off your work is to make your course assignments count! Many online home staging courses include a great deal of hands-on assignments. Instead of just writing about how you’ll stage a home, why not actually go through with your designs? It’s the perfect opportunity to pop those photos into a home design portfolio that will blow your clients away!
In general, treat your portfolio as the second vital step (second to training) to landing a home staging 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. To hit the ground running, be keen to take any design-related role that you find. But don’t be too hasty! Once you have your staging certification and have curated the perfect design portfolio, reflect on the type of career you want. You may not get your dream job right away, but knowing what your interests are, your working style, and your designer strengths will get you much closer to it!
Don’t forget to determine who it is you want to work for. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of working for an existing real estate company. Perhaps you’re better suited to self-employment. Many training courses will teach you how to start your own home staging business. Once you know your ideal client and the professionals you want to take the journey with, it will all fall into place!
Find a professional mentor
Finding a mentor who actually works in the home staging industry is a fantastic way to grow your career. Seek out a professional home stager who has a successful business and time to help you learn. 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!
Watch how your mentor interacts 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!
Start building your online presence
You should start with these four things:
- Building a professional website
- Create a strong social media presence
- List your services in an online directory
As a home stager, a professional website is absolutely essential. You need somewhere to direct potential clients! By listing your services, background, photos, and contact information in one location (a great-looking location that loads quickly), potential clients can get in touch when they need you. Think of it as your online portfolio. Clients will snoop through your portfolio to see what you’re capable when comparing pros. Don’t let your portfolio fall short!
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 to anyone. But it goes beyond just registering for those accounts…
Carve out time each day to post new content and increase your audience. Besides potential contacts, you can connect with other professionals in your local industry. Maybe a designer posted a call-out on their Facebook page. Your wide-reaching web of connections might lead you to be tagged and referred to this person! Let’s not forget the real estate companies on social media who are looking for creative new stagers to join their team.
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. When they conduct those Google searches, you’ll want to be one of the first listings.
Most directories will require a payment in order to host your listing, but memberships can have major 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.
Did we miss any crucial tips? Let us know!