Home staging expert Debra Gould, aka The Staging Diva explains how new home stagers get into business trouble building up their own furniture inventory to rent to clients. She suggests ways to avoid these home staging business perils.
Home Stagers Own Furniture Inventory at their Peril
There are two situations where real estate stagers will want to have furniture inventory to put in their home staging clients’ homes:
- For a vacant home on the real estate market.
- To supplement what a homeowner has for a resale home that is not vacant.
Many home stagers mistakenly believe they need to carry their own inventory of furniture to do this and sadly, many of these stagers end up with nothing but a warehouse full of furniture and a pile of debt.
New stagers get so caught up in what they think other home stagers are doing, they forget to look at home staging as a business and consider where and how they will make a profit.
They buy truck loads of furniture on credit believing that’s what home stagers need to do. Then, to add insult to injury, they don’t mark up the price properly and never recover their costs.
Their inventory sits in a warehouse racking up storage fees and often when it’s not in their warehouse it’s sitting in a client’s house on the real estate market that may not be selling as fast as they hoped.
One Boston stager made the classic mistake of renting out her furniture for an indefinite period without even making sure that she would collect rental fees along the way.
With each new assignment to stage a vacant house, she’d go out and buy more furniture, lured in by those “don’t pay a cent events” where you can buy furniture now on credit and pay for it in a year or two. Before she knew it, she owned enough furniture to fully furnish 10 vacant homes and that inevitable day when she’d have to pay for it all was fast approaching!
Some stagers believe they need to carry their own furniture inventory because they live in a small town where there isn’t a large furniture rental company.
If these stagers would think outside the box, they would see several alternative means of sourcing furniture without going out and buying it themselves just to rent to their clients.
In this economy, it’s not difficult to negotiate with retailers savvy enough to recognize an opportunity to earn additional revenue. Approach retailers and offer to rent some of their showroom furniture for staging projects. Don’t forget to consider used furniture stores and antique shops as well. Home buyers don’t expect to see all brand new pieces in a home they’re viewing— in fact, some previously loved furniture will help to make the home look less staged.
There are many pros and cons to owning your own furniture inventory that are discussed in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, created by home staging expert Debra Gould.
The first question a new home stager needs to consider is whether they are going into home staging to be in the furniture rental business.
Because make no mistake, the furniture rental business is it’s own business, it is not just a service provided by stagers. Just because many stagers build up their own furniture inventory doesn’t mean it’s always the best business decision, or that it has to be that way to grow a successful home staging business.
There are 12 more free tips to having a successful home staging business covered in a new e-course created by internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and has taught more than 1000 others to do the same. The author of three home staging guides, Gould has been featured on HGTV, CNNMoney, The Wall Street Journal and others. Learn more at http://www.stagingdiva.com.