My answer is... EITHER. NEITHER. BOTH.
Cindy Lin, a new stager here on AR commented on one of my previous blogs. Cindy summed up her desire for training and her training experience well when she said, "granted the talent of staging is not teachable, but business models and skills are. i went through the asp course myself, and recently iris. what it gave me was support, business model, skills, knowledge about the industry and testing my waters as a stager. moreover, you learn tricks of the trades which may take many more trials of errors for me to personally go through."
So if you are interested in learning staging...There are a number of entities that now teach staging skills(To date I have found about 20 different training entities on the net).
I do know that I have checked out some of the work featured by their students who have LINKED their personal sites back to Debra's and Audra's main site and training-entity linking maps like Debra's and Audra's. SOME of their graduates work is AWESOME others well... not so good. But this is NOT a reflection on Debra, Audra or any other trainer... this is where the INDIVIDUAL STAGER’S TALENT comes in.
BUT(notice it is a big "but" too) I will say this and I will say it until I am blue in the face... with so many entities now training staging... the ALPHABET SOUP OF CREDENTIALING means NOTHING. It does NOT designate skill... it JUST means the person sat in a class.
If Realtor or seller's KNEW to view these credentials as basically an acronym for the SCHOOL they attended I would be thrilled. But THAT is not what is happening... and that is NOT the message going out to the public. And it is the reason for much "bickering & bitchiness" that is happening within the staging industry.
ANYONE can go to school and study Accounting.... but the credentials of “CPA” that an account EARNS is acquired ONLY WHEN the accountant is tested and passes STANDARDS developed and maintained by an individual independent body.
MOST IMPORTANTLY... all this Alphabet Credentialing dilutes and convolutes what constitutes a TRULY good stager from another… REGARDLESS of where they received their training. It puts too much responsibility back on the Realtor or seller to figure out if one is truly better than the other. When in reality… they just might be equal.
THANK YOU CINDY for the inspiration for this blog... and more importantly WELCOME to AR!
NOTE: I do happen to personally know that Debra Gould agrees with me on the accrediting issue, therefore she trains stagers... she does NOT certify!