How I became a home stager
If someone told me 13 years ago that I would be making a living as a Professional Home Stager, and teaching other people how to stage properties, my answer would have been:
- What the heck is a Home Stager?
- I have absolutely no decorating knowledge or taste
- NO WAY!
So, how did I get here?
My education and career were in the IT field, where I worked for many years in sales of IT products and services. At the time I started (in the nineties), I was a rarity in my city, as there were very few women in the IT arena. I was working part-time in one of the first Computer retail stores as a salesperson and people (men) walking in would ask for a salesman to assist them. I would offer to help and they would insist on a sales Man!
As the years went by, I came to realize that I had no passion for my work. The IT field progresses so quickly, that you need to constantly be learning new things to keep up with new technologies. And I had no desire to do that 🙂 Meanwhile, a crop of new and eager graduates was coming up every year, willing to do my highly paid sales job for half of my salary. I knew I needed to find another path for me, which would make me happier.
As a single mom of 2 daughters, I needed a steady income. One day I was flipping channels and I came upon a HGTV program called ‘Designed to sell’ (I think) and watched it. The concept of Home Staging blew me away!
It made so much sense to showcase your house for sale at its best, that I couldn’t understand why people would NOT do it. It was obvious to me that a house which looks and feels good, will sell faster and for more money! So, I went on the web and started searching for anything I could find on Home Staging. The more I read, the more I liked!
As home staging is a service, I started offering it part-time and with no major investment, perfect for me. I took a course from the www.stagingdiva.com in 2005 and learned how to create my website. I started to tell everyone I knew about Home Staging and contacting realtors (pretty much no one knew about it nor was interested in it). Slowly, and mostly thanks to the US media and TV, I started getting a few clients here and there, while still holding an IT job, which I couldn’t wait to quit.
Making it happen – becoming a Home Stager
Then a few things happened:
- I started getting a few clients. The first few times I was paid for staging someone’s house, I felt like a fraud and was terrified that I would have nothing to say….But, I realized, that I could see how to make their houses more appealing and they were always pleased and grateful for my advice.
- After a couple of years, I was still working a boring IT job, as home staging was not bringing enough money. But I was obsessed with building my business, and, I admit, I was taking home staging related phone calls during office hours… In 2008, I was called into the President’s office and informed that they were made aware by one of my coworkers that I was conducting another business and I had to choose. Not sure how I mustered the courage to do it, but I did. I told the President that I was choosing my Home Staging Business.
- A few months later, I received a phone call from a French realtor asking me if I could teach him how to be a Home Stager, as he heard about this American concept but wasn’t able to find any pertinent training in French. As I live in Quebec, Canada, I speak French, so I said YES. I had no training ready, but I had been staging for about 3 years by that point and I wanted SO BADLY to go to France to visit friends 🙂 I created a training for ‘want-to-be’ Home Stagers in France and, by some incredible serendipity, became on overnight success in Europe. Over the next 3 years, I went to France 4-5 times a year, training 20-30 people per class.
- I also offered a training program locally for about 5 years and trained hundreds of people, who wanted to either become home stagers or do it for their own homes.
A new path to fulfillment
And that gave me the confidence and the money to persevere and work on my Home Staging business full time. And that is how I became a Home Stager and never looked back!
One of the things which drive me and make me happy is helping people. While still loving what I do every day, I am now ready to expand and help lots more people around the world through my online program ‘Home Staging Step-by-Step Guide’ to staging your house for sale.
So, I encourage you to take the first step and take our Assessment Quiz, which will help you determine what YOU need to do to get your house sold!