Many aspiring home stagers who live in small rural towns worry about whether or not their area can support a home staging business. Here expert home stager, Debra Gould, shares some practical advice for anyone in that position.
Home staging is not reserved for city slickers
The decision of whether or not to start a home staging business isn’t always an easy one to make. One of the key factors in making this important decision is whether or not the town you live in will support your business.
Many rural areas are ideal for home stagers while others aren’t. Whether or not a home staging business will work in your town depends on many things. To figure out whether or not you can successfully grow a home staging business in your small town, you have some homework that only you can do.
Before you take the plunge and start to learn home staging, home staging expert, Debra Gould, encourages you to find the answers to the following questions:
- How many home stagers are working in your town? If there are other home stagers in your town, how hard did you have to look to find them? Finding out that there are other stagers nearby should not discourage you. If you pick up the phone and call them, pretending to be a home owner looking for their services, you will probably discover you don’t have much to worry about. Not all home stagers hold up the same standards of professionalism and not all home stagers know how to market themselves.
- How many homes sell in your area each year? If you contact your local real estate board, they can tell you how many homes sold in the past year in your town. It’s important to understand that a small percentage of those sellers would likely use your home staging services. Coming up with a ball park number from that statistic will give you a good idea of how much potential business you would be looking at and whether or not you can earn enough to support your financial goals. Since home staging pays so well, you might earn enough with as few as 50 to 70 clients doing mostly consultations and few full staging projects.
- How many homes are listed in an average year? When you’re speaking with your contact at the real estate board, ask how many homes are listed per year, on average. You’ll find that number differs quite a bit from the number of sales because not all homes that go on the market stay there until they sell. If there are quite a few more homes listed than sold, you can use the percentage for the difference in your marketing materials. Presumably, if some of those homes that went off the market had been staged they would have sold faster.
- How many real estate agents are there in your town? Find out how many real estate agents serve your area. Your town probably has many more agents than stagers so aligning yourself with one or two of them could help you bring in some clients until you educate local home owners about how home staging could benefit them.
- How far are you from the nearest large city? You must determine how far is too far for you to travel for a home staging project. If you’re a one hour drive to the nearest city, are you comfortable driving that far a couple of times a week to stage homes? If so, you can market to home owners in that city as well as your own smaller town, and neighboring ones, to supplement your income.
- How much do I need to earn from home staging? The great thing about home staging is that you’ll be paid very well for your time, if you’ve learned how to price your services correctly which is a topic covered in Course 2 of The Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program. While you may have fewer homes to stage in your small town then if you lived in a big city, your cost of living is lower and you’re living in a place where wages as an employee are normally lower. Since what you can earn as a stager from even a 3 hour home staging consultation is often more than you’d earn in a full week in most local jobs, running your staging business can be a part-time business that earns you a full-time income!
The Staging Diva® says, “One of the great things about home staging is that it’s such a low-cost business to be in. You don’t have to invest in inventory or find a storefront like many other business owners deal with. You operate your business from your home office and you can do it as a sideline business while you enjoy the steady income of a job.”
Home staging can help you supplement your income, or on its own can be a way to earn a very nice living. Part of this will be determined by how far you’re willing to travel for projects, how many projects you really need to support yourself, and how much time and energy you are willing to invest in educating your market in your local community as well as neighboring cities and towns.
If you dream of being a home stager but are doubtful that your small town will give you enough projects to sustain you full-time, you can still set up your business and take whatever projects you can get, doing them around your regular job’s work hours. The important thing to remember is that home staging does not have to be all-or-nothing.
About the author
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 thousands of home stagers to start and grow their own businesses.