With each passing week I receive emails with questions from stagers asking me how to approach and solve a myriad of issues and challenges facing them and in their staging business. Some of these are issues QUITE complex and take MORE than just a quick email response. Unfortunately as I work on growing my own business I do not have the time to reply. I would love to help, but I literally could have a career JUST answering the questions and solving the problems that new stagers are asking. But the realty of what has been going on got me to thinking... and asking the question, "Why are stagers having such a tough time creating successful staging businesses?" *
I have concluded that in order for individual home stagers to succeed, the home staging industry needs to look at itself and examine itself and correct that which it is doing wrong if it is to grow to its fullest and experience its greatest possibility.
This post (the first of a series) takes a tough look at one of the "stone cold" realities and dynamics many people who are entering into this industry do not take into consideration. These realities and dynamics compromise the possibility of owning and operating a successful staging business.
First, let me say I am NOT anti-education. However, as a whole, since the home staging training industry is not regulated in any manner, it makes it extremely easy for anyone to open their doors and start a home staging training program... and MANY have. With classes fetching anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 per student for ONLY one week's worth of training, it is not surprising to see why trainers and courses in home staging are popping up all over. The home staging training industry is a lucrative cash cow.
Home staging foundation training company's have a vested interest and are quite successful at advertising to and enticing people to take their courses. Just go to any company's website and you will see courses on home staging being offered all over the USA and Canada. Plus to make it even easier some companies are offering training in the comfort of the student's home... via the web.
Starry eyed students are buying into the dream that you can take a class in a week... and be a "professional" stager tomorrow. The home staging training industry is a resounding success.
Unfortunately, while home staging training companies have done a GREAT job at selling the dream of being a stager, they have not done an equally effective job at educating the real estate community and the home seller so that they want to invest in the services of their graduates. There is a huge disconnect in the market.... the consumer market is not educated enough to absorb the glutton of stagers that graduate weekly from the multitude of home staging foundation courses offered nationwide.
People who invested their time, money and hearts into these courses to learn how to be a home stager are finding themselves spending a considerable amount of time NOT STAGING, but trying to convince and educate realtors and home sellers on the virtues of home staging. Just becasue Home Staging works, does NOT make it an easy sell. (This totally baffles me... but it is true.)
This is not to say all hope is lost, as there are those who will train to become home stagers and go on to be quite successful. But, it is important for people interested in becoming home stagers to know the realities and dynamics they face.
It would be wonderful if the market for staging services was accepted and growing as fast as the market for training. However, these markets are mutually exclusive of the other! So please, do not make the mistake in believing they are one in the same.
Stage It Forward,
PS: If you are a Realtor reading this... please click on your answer in the Poll on the right. >>>>>>>
THANKS! ABC Orlando News for picking up this very important post on the Home Staging Industry.
*POST SCRIPT: The original opening paragraph of this post has been changed... I incorrectly stated that the featured Oprah Stager was closing her doors. This is not the case... I have learned she is EVOLVING her business.... but not closing. The original text can be seen below in a comment if you want to read it.