You have decided that you want to set up as a homestager and you can’t wait to get your teeth into a project but where do you start?
As you may or may not know I was lucky enough to have an established property development background so I knew a thing or two about property before I started. Homestaging fitted in well with what I was already doing and my coaching background meant that I had a good basis to support people through the journey of their house sale.
You will learn that homestaging is not just about ‘fluffing cushions’ but about supporting your clients with one of the biggest events in their lives both practically and emotionally, it’s a big task to take on.
Today’s post is intentionally sounding as though starting a business was straightforward and a conscious decision, a kind of ‘if I were going to do it again this is where I would start’.
In truth, my own journey was not exactly like this, I can be wise in hindsight though! So read this with the voice of the Irishman in your head who, when asked for directions, puts his head on one side, strokes his beard and says ‘Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t be starting from here…….’
Top tip no 1: And a great piece of advice I was given by an estate agent friend at the start; Firstly, understand your target market. Who do you want to aim your services at?
Actually, what he said to me was ‘Elaine, if you want to sell your service to high-end property owners – everything about your business has to scream high-end, from your website, your advertising, right through to the handbag you take into client properties…..More later about how my beautiful, cream Mulberry gets used 5 years on!
Once you decide on your market you can begin to build up your client base and grow from there. Create your website, social media channels and branding. Be consistent! Once you get a couple of projects under your belt create a portfolio with examples and testimonials to support your business.
Top tip No 2: Don’t compromise when it comes to photography. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is that that however beautiful the property, is or how well-staged, if the photos are poor, all your efforts will be for nothing when the property listing looks disappointing on Rightmove. Building a great relationship with a photographer is a stager’s best investment.
Top tip No 3: Hire a business coach. This was one of the positive choices I made on my staging journey. Bizarre really when my other, much more established business is providing executive coaching and coach training into businesses, big corporate businesses and public sector organisations!
So why did I hire someone in? Having a business coach gives you an external perspective and the time you book out of the day-to-day operational stuff to talk through your plans and reflect on your decisions will keep you on track and heading towards your goals for the business. It is very easy to lose sight of the big picture and get bogged down in cushion choices!
There are so many directions a staging business can turn at the moment, it is an exciting time to be on the staging journey in a UK market where everything is relatively new. It is also easy to get sidetracked into business decisions which are for the short term and don’t necessarily move towards your longer term goal. A coach will be your critical friend along the way and keep you on track – or a least make your articulate, out loud, in a reasoned way, why things need to change!
Having a coach myself has also allowed me to ‘practise what I preach’. All coaches should be coached! I can now confidently begin to offer business coaching back to home stagers, not only with 30 years experience of business coaching and all the coach training and professional qualifications I have gained along the way but also from the inside perspective of knowing where I have most needed help in my staging business journey!
Our coaching and mentoring packages are structured around helping you develop three aspects of yourself and your business – mindset for success, operational and financial strategies. We offer three specialists to support your journey of learning as your business grows. You will find our Coaching and Mentoring packages on the HSHQ website so do take a look.