If you are deciding whether or not a career as a home stager is right for you, then you have some HW to do. The internet is the perfect place to begin your search. Make sure you have some paper and a pen ready to take notes. A nice cup of coffee would work well, too! Take your time because you are considering starting a business and these things take time.
The first thing that will jump out are the numerous home staging training companies. Research them carefully to find out which one works best for you, your needs and your budget. Please note that professional home stagers do not need to be 'certified' or 'accredited' in any way. It is still an unregulated field. Any certification essentially becomes a big part of your marketing...that's it.
Organizations, such as RESA and ASHSR, are great ways for newbie stagers to network with more experienced stagers in their geographical area, regardless of training background. Take advantage of what they have to offer!
An important thing one can do is to research the NEED for a home stager in your targeted market. If you find your market is already flooded with home stagers, you can guarantee that you'll be working your butt off to market your newbie staging business in the shadows of the other established companies. You aren't Starbucks...and even they realized they didn't need to open up shop on every other corner! The area you target should have plenty of room for you. A healthy competition is good for everyone's business.
The second most important thing is to consult with real estate professionals that you know. Do it BEFORE you start up...not AFTER. There's no pressure involved! Limit your time to ones that are good at what they do.
- Pick their brains...see how they feel about home staging.
- Do they currently use a home stager?
- If they do, find out all that you can about their experiences.
- Ask them how they feel about home staging services for your target market.
The last suggestion is actually one of the first things I did when doing my research prior to starting my home staging company here in Atlanta. My husband and I met with his friend Dave and his wife LuAnn. LuAnn is a well-known agent in Atlanta's luxury-home market and Dave is a corporate consultant. LuAnn was gracious enough to give me honest answers to all of my questions and as a result thoroughly encouraged me to pursue my home staging business.
Ironically, LuAnn is staging realtor (ASP, I think) although she does work closely with a top stager in Atlanta (and, no, it's not me! lol) She truly believes in the power of home staging which I'd guess answers why she's so successful. As a result, she's become the go-to person from her colleagues regarding home stagers. At a recent caravan one agent asked another agent if she knew of a stager who conducted Home Staging Consultations. The agent said no but referred her to LuAnn, stating she'd know of one. Now, that's networking...gotta love it!
And, thanks for that referral, LuAnn. =)