If there are no home stagers in a certain area, aspiring stagers often take it as a sign that there isn’t a demand for the service locally. But there are others who feel that because there are already home stagers where they live there will be too much competition in the marketplace.
In both cases, these notions are nothing more than excuses for not going forward. With the right arguments you can talk yourself out of anything, but you may just be jumping to conclusions that aren’t necessarily true. Anyone with a real dream of becoming a home stager owes it to him or herself to verify these negative assumptions before simply giving up based on assumptions.
Staging Diva, Debra Gould says, “If there are no home stagers in your area and there are also no homes for sale, then you’re right there is probably no demand for home staging in your area. You need to live in (or within driving distance of) an actual real estate market for there to be any potential demand for your home staging services. I also guarantee that your market isn’t saturated with home stagers, I don’t care where you live. Just consider the number of real estate agents there are in the same area!”
Gould suggests that after you figure out how many agents are in a given area that you then research how many homes sell in your real estate market in a year. How many of these properties will you have to get as clients to make a living? An incredibly small percentage if you learn how to price your staging services correctly which is something Gould covers in detail in course 2 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
“If you fear there is already a lot of home staging competition in your area, you need to find out if this is really the case. More importantly, you also need to find out the caliber of the competition. I don’t mean how well they arrange furniture (though this is important), I mean how well they market themselves,” says Gould.
The following are questions to ask about local home staging competition:
- Do they come across as real professionals?
- Are they easy to speak to?
- Are they able to explain what they do for clients in a compelling way?
- Do they listen well?
- Are they likeable?
- Do they sound confident about what they do?
- Are they easy to find when you’re ready to hire a home stager?
Gould advises stagers to not simply look at the home stagers’ websites and assume they’re amazing at what they do just because it’s a nice site. She says, “The competitive picture might look a whole lot different if you actually pick up the phone and speak to them. There are a lot of ‘home stagers’ who aren’t actually serious about their businesses. It’s more of a creative hobby for them, and you’ll be able to spot them as soon as they open their mouths to explain what they do!” She adds, “If your “competitors” have unprofessional, do-it-yourself-and-I’ve-never-done-it-before-websites, you’ve learned you don’t need to worry about competition from them as long as you market your own home staging business the right way.”
One of the first homework assignments Gould gives Staging Diva students is an assessment of their competition. This is not homework to be submitted for marking, it’s homework any aspiring stager should be doing as part of starting up a business, which is why Gould make it homework. It’s the Staging Diva’s way of nudging new home stagers to focus on the tasks that will be the biggest boost to their businesses.
So what if the competition does look tough?
According to Gould, “Then you have to resolve to step up to the plate and give it all you’ve got if you truly want to make money as a home stager. I’ve learned from experience over the years that a lack of serious competition can make you a bit lazy. It’s human nature to start taking it easy once we’ve mastered something. One sharp competitor and it’s amazing how much better you get at boosting your own home staging business! I always fine-tune my own game when I look at what others are doing. And if you’re in the lead, it pays to look over your shoulder occasionally to see what the newcomers are up to.”
The good thing about the home staging industry is that it’s in a great growth phase and the sooner you jump in and establish yourself as THE local expert, the better you will stand up to any competitors coming up behind you.
Gould has taught thousands of students and they consistently discover that the home staging competition is not as intimidating as they first thought. If you’d like more tips on how to measure the need for home staging in your local real estate market, download Gould’s FREE report, Ask Staging Diva: Can I Grow a Home Staging Business in a Depressed Economy?
About Staging Diva
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained over 4000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses.
Debra has gained international recognition through features in major media in the US and Canada including: This Old House, HGTV, CNN Money, CBC National News, CBS Radio, Global TV, City TV, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Day, Reader’s Digest and more.