How to Start a Home Staging Business in 5 Easy Steps
Home stagers prepare homes for sale and their value to their clients is in improving the appearance of a home so that it sells more quickly. Home staging is far more work than cleaning a home and putting flowers on the kitchen counter, though those are commonly done by home stagers. Here are the five steps necessary to become a home stager.
Pick a Company Name
Your company name can be your name or a business name. Select a business name that isn’t used by anyone else in your jurisdiction and that clearly indicates what you do.
Develop Relationships with Service Providers
You need a list of reputable service providers to do the work you can’t do yourself. For example, you need several reputable painters, carpet cleaners, plumbers, movers, house cleaners and electricians. Remember that curb appeal is as important as the interior of the house, so have at least one good landscaping company on your list.
Introduce yourself to each service provider, gather quotes for their services and learn the process of scheduling services with them. Research the reputations of each business and build a short list of companies you can call as soon as you secure a home staging job.
Business cards and a professional website are the first steps in marketing your home staging business. Offering your services to real estate agents and people who’ve been unable to sell their home for months will get you the first jobs that will lead to word of mouth referrals. Consider co-marketing, where your name and business shares a flyer or business card with another service provider.
Develop a Client Base
Home stagers need a steady stream of clients. One of the ways to do this is to cultivate relationships with real estate agents. Consider working with home builders to stage new homes so that they sell more quickly. Don’t forget to talk to real estate management companies that would hire you to stage apartments for rent or condos for sale.
Create a Schedule for Your Services
A price schedule lists how much each service you provide would cost. For example, you may charge a low rate if the job is simply a matter of moving existing furniture and freshening up the house. Conversely, a job that requires bringing in a yard and a cleaning crew could cost several thousand dollars.
You have to set rates that cover your costs, both your living expenses and the cost of subcontractors. While you can estimate these costs for your first jobs, a formal price schedule should wait until after you know how much service providers charge you and how much the market will bear. The fact that some home stagers can get paid $5,000 per job doesn’t mean you will, especially not at the start of your career. Setting a high formal price up front may prevent others from hiring you, while formally underbidding your competition at the onset will make it hard to raise prices later.
Start marketing your business and begin cultivating the relationships that will lead to a steady stream of clients.