How to Build a Home Staging Business
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Home staging is an important step in the process of selling residential properties. Creating an attractive and welcoming setting helps prospective buyers see the full potential of a house and estimate its value more accurately, leading to more sales. For those looking for a new pathway to make a living in the real estate industry, home staging is an excellent choice.
Home Staging Is Booming
Now is a great time to get into the home staging business for several reasons. First and most importantly, home stagers are always in high demand. National surveys show that 80% of real estate agents find it easier to sell a staged home, which means there will be no shortage of business opportunities.
The reason why real estate agents prefer staged homes is that they spend up to 50% less time on the market, which allows them to increase their sales volume. Staging can also lead to significant profit increases for the stager and the agent, as staged homes can sell for up to $40,000 higher than the original listing price.
Home staging is also more important than ever because 99% of millennial home buyers start their searches online. Showing off pictures and videos of a staged home online makes a strong first impression and directly influences buyer decisions. A start-up home staging business can make an immediate impact in a local market.
Based on all of these factors, it’s clear home staging is currently a booming sector of the real estate industry where entrepreneurs can find great success. These tips will lay the foundation for a home staging business and allow it to hit the ground running.
1. Calculate Start-Up Costs
Home staging might be a lucrative business, but launching a start-up is going to be expensive. Calculating start-up costs is crucial for setting an accurate budget and managing expenses in the first few months. These are the main start-up costs the owner can expect to pay:
- Business License
- Business Insurance
- Website domain name
- Website design tools
- Marketing materials
- Home decor and furniture, plus delivery fees
- Courses and certifications
Although there aren’t any required certifications or credentials to start a home staging business, it’s good to get some background knowledge of the real estate industry and interior design. Taking some online courses will build expertise and help with legitimizing the business early on.
2. Make the Business Official
Next, owners need to make the business official by registering a name that will appear on bank applications and promotional materials. They also have to choose a business model. Most home staging companies are legal liability companies (LLCs), which protects them from their business’s financial setbacks such as debts and lawsuits.
Establishing a business as a legal entity is also necessary for filing taxes and finding a good insurance plan. There are many opportunities for personal injuries and equipment damage in the early stages of home staging since most of the work falls on one person’s shoulders.
3. Research the Local Market
After taking care of the logistics surrounding the business, it’s time to start researching the local housing market. Look at the performance of each listing and try to notice any patterns. Are certain locations doing better than others? Which design features do buyers prioritize the most?
For example, the garage door makes up 30% of the front facade on many houses. That means stagers need to make this feature stand out by coordinating it with the style and color of the rest of the facade. Similarly, open-concept floor plans are more desirable to buyers because they make the interior feel bigger, so stagers need to organize the furniture accordingly.
4. Promote the Brand
Learning about the local market helps businesses promote their brands more effectively. They need to grow public awareness of their business before reaching out to potential clients. Most of the promotional efforts will take place online through a website and social media accounts. These platforms are the perfect places to show off the company’s staging style.
Another good idea is to attend real estate networking events and create a referral program so agents can give a recommendation to potential clients. Home staging businesses often join forces with real estate agents for marketing efforts such as open houses.
5. Develop a Pricing Structure
Small businesses often experiment with several different pricing structures during their infancy. According to Realtor.com, most home staging companies charge $300-$600 for consultations and $500-$600 a month for every room they modify. They also charge different rates for larger homes, studio apartments, and other types of housing.
6. Start Getting Home Decor
Now it’s finally time to start getting home decor to expand the business’s staging capabilities. A great way to save money is by using multipurpose furniture to easily change floor plans without buying more stuff. The furniture will also need a storage solution and inventory management software, so try to save money on used purchases and rentals whenever possible.
7. Build a Portfolio
After getting the first client, the business can start building its portfolio and showing off different design skills. Take plenty of snapshots of each project and demonstrate various styles to appeal to a wider range of clients. Be sure to post all client reviews on the website and social media. Testimonials go a long way in the real estate industry.
Turn Your Passion Into Profits
Aspiring real estate professionals who have a passion for design and decoration should strongly consider home staging. They can turn their passion into profits by making houses on the market stand out to buyers and helping agents get more sales. There’s a lot of money in real estate, and home staging is currently one of the most promising sectors.
For more insightful articles and actionable tips about finance and business, check out Capital for Business’ The Working Capital and Financing Blog.
Did you enjoy this article? Here’s more to read: The Ultimate Guide to Fast Business Capital for New Business Owners
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-
founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.
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