Any home stager must be prepared to ride out the many natural ups and downs that come along with having a home staging business. This is the reality in most businesses but it’s especially when you’re in a seasonal business like home staging. There is less demand for home staging services in December, for example, but that’s just because it’s not a popular time for people to list their homes to sell on the real estate market.
“The other reality is that not everyone who calls you will actually hire you,” says home staging expert, Debra Gould.
Gould adds, “Even though I’ve been staging homes since 2002 and I’m well known, not everyone who calls me to discuss their staging project actually hires me. This is a reality of the business and one that you can’t take personally. I know it is hard not to take this as a personal rejection, especially when the prospect sounds so interested at first.”
It may happen something like this: A homeowner calls and says they’re interested in hiring a home stager. It feels like you’ve really connected with the prospective client on the phone. They sound excited about your staging services and how you can help. Then at the end of the conversation they say something like, “I’ll have to check with my husband and get back to you.”
Debra Gould, founder of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program says there are 11 common reasons why not all project leads turn into actual home staging projects and that you can’t take every lead that goes nowhere as a sign that you’ve failed.
The 11 reasons are as follows:
- Home sellers are being told by friends or relatives that, “your house looks fine you don’t need staging.” Sometimes the husband or wife wants to go forward with home staging, but the other partner disagrees. A large percentage of homes are sold because people are divorcing so there is often no way around this challenge.
- The agent who initially contacted you didn’t get the listing, or lost the listing if they already had it.
- There will always be “tire kickers” who ask for information about staging but never actually follow through. (That’s why you need to know how to avoid the free estimate trap.)
- They get an offer and take that as a sign that staging isn’t needed (even when the offer doesn’t result in a sale).
- Home sellers end up being talked out of hiring a stager by their real estate agent.
- The seller takes the house off the market instead of staging it (which means they might still contact you to stage their home when they decide to sell it later).
- Sometimes an “urgent” project get delayed because the client’s priorities change. As a stager you may not know this, and when you think all is lost they finally call you again in 3 or 6 months ready to hire you to stage their home!
- The prospect is calling a bunch of home stagers just looking for the lowest price (trust me you don’t want this client anyways).
- The potential client may not be impressed by how the stager deals with them on the phone, or after viewing their website/portfolio they decide that particular home stager isn’t the right person for the job. This might be because the stager actually did something wrong (not projecting the right image) or it could also be that they simply didn’t emotionally connect with the stager (that’s human nature and happens to everyone including me). Not all potential clients are actually the right clients for you!
- Some home stagers don’t follow-up, preferring to sit around waiting for the client to contact them again after the first “get to know you” conversation. Meanwhile the potential client assumes the home stager isn’t really interested or available.
- Many aspiring and established stagers make up bogus projects to check out the competition in their area. This is normal practice and you just have to realize that someone who calls you and seems interested might not really be a potential client.
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 in over 20 countries 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.