Many newer real estate agents are struggling to make money in this slow real estate market. Debra Gould, The Staging Diva® explains why there’s money to be made as a home stager for real estate agents looking to recession proof their careers.
Recession Proof Your Real Estate Career
There isn’t enough work for all the agents in today’s real estate market, especially when you consider that there is one licensed REALTOR® for every 90 Americans, according to the 2007 Real Estate Trends Report.
With such a saturated market of real estate agents, it’s hardly surprising that many are making less than they would managing the local McDonalds®.
According to The National Association of Realtors, the median salary for a sales agent in 2004 was $37,600 and for 2008 that number was down to $31,000. For newer agents, salaries can be as low as $13,000 a year.
By contrast, a manager at a fast food restaurant earns $30,000 to $35,000 per year and doesn’t have to work 24/7. If you have any talent for decorating and you’re not making the money you hoped for as an agent, consider a career in home staging.
As a real estate agent, you already know the real estate market and you’re probably used to giving home owners tips on getting their homes ready to sell. Hopefully though, you’re not making the fatal mistake of staging your vendors’ homes for free as an added service.
You could actually be making more money on giving staging advice than you do right now in real estate commissions.
“In my second year as a home stager I was making up to $10,000 a month staging my clients’ homes and that was starting from the ground up without a real estate license,” says Debra Gould, founder of the Staging Diva® Home Staging Business Training Program. She adds, “It’s interesting to note too, that the majority of these home sellers hadn’t chosen their agent yet when they hired me. Had I had a license I would have had many of those listings myself rather than recommending them to other agents.”
If you’re a real estate agent accustomed to driving around all day showing properties and not getting paid until you actually sell something, the income you can make as a home stager may surprise you. For example, $300 to $600 is close to industry standard for a home staging consultation, depending on where you live.
Assuming the low end, at $300, if you were to do four of those a week, that’s over $60,000 at the end of the year. At the high end you could be making $124,800 a year and that’s just doing home staging consultations where you walk around the client’s home and give them staging advice so they can do the rest of the work themselves.
Let’s assume a quarter of those consultations turned into full blown staging projects. You’ll earn another $4,000 to $8,000 per month, or between $48,000 and $96,000 a year on top of the consultation fees you were already making! And you don’t have to share any of that income with a broker.
If you’re making less than the average fast food restaurant manager and you’re tired of being on call for your clients 24/7, isn’t it about time you started looking at other options that leverage the real estate knowledge you already have while allowing you to make double or triple what you’re earning now?
Consider the current economy and slow real estate market your wake up call. Maybe you should recession-proof your real estate career by enrolling in a home staging training program and start earning the kind of money that lured you into the real estate profession in the first place!
About the Author, Debra Gould
Entrepreneur and Home Staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, knows how to make money as a home stager. Discover her secrets to business success in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. Free quiz to see if a home staging business is right for you.