Are Real Estate Agents Allowed to Own a Home Staging Business?

Are Real Estate Agents Allowed to Own a Home Staging Business?

by Jennie Norris, Chairwoman for The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®)

The Home Staging Industry is growing and is the perfect partner with the Real Estate Industry!  In fact, Home Staging is a REAL ESTATE TOOL – not decorating or design.  Yes, there are crossover elements with our sister industries:  Interior Design, Home Decorating, Professional Organizing and even Feng Shui.  However, at its core, Home Staging is a Real Estate Service – because the goal of Staging is to help a property SELL at the best price and in the fastest time!  Our sister industries have different goals – none of them focus on SELLING a HOUSE as the primary goal of their business.

Now – Real Estate Agents – can you own and operate a Home Staging Business?  The answer is YES! 

The industry is a free market industry.  There are no rules from the REALTOR® side that say you cannot have a business in Home Staging, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  A Home Stager serves the real estate industry, so if you did decide to ADD Staging as a business option for your overall income, you would have two businesses – one where you work with Buyers and Sellers of properties, and the other where you help make those properties look great for photos, showings to help them sell faster and for the best price!   

In FACT, the Home Staging industry was STARTED by a REALTOR® – who saw the need to help houses look better for Buyers.  In 1972, the phrase, “Staging” was coined by Barb Schwarz, The Creator of Home Staging®.  As a REALTOR® she knew houses would sell faster if Sellers were willing to do some basic things to prepare their houses for sale.  The industry has evolved greatly since then, but its birth was rooted in Real Estate!

Your first step is to set up a professional Home Staging Business and to do that you need to understand HOW to make that happen.

First, get some education.  Earn an approved Industry Accreditation or Designation.  Go to www.iahsp.com to see the list of approved courses and make your determination about which one is best for you.  Courses are comparably priced, and there are options for live, in person courses, live webinar courses, and self-paced courses.   IAHSP®, the International Association of Home Staging Professionals®, has approved courses listed on their site.  Our membership is comprised of industry professionals that have education in the industry, which sets us apart from other associations that do not have the same membership standards.  INVEST in your education from the start so you do not struggle and guess at how to be successful.

A quality course will teach you the ins-and-outs of owning a business from marketing, pricing, strategic growth and what to do for various industry services from consultations, hands-on Staging, and vacant property staging.  Staging is not just adding a few plants and towels to a property.  It is a process and when done properly and professionally can be lucrative for a business owner who understands the potential from the start.

RESOURCES:

There are resources available to Home Staging Industry Professionals including rental resources, discounts on purchases from retailers and the ability to establish wholesale accounts.  The Training Company you choose and the Home Staging Association you belong to should provide industry resources and discounts to you.  Not all Home Stagers have huge warehouses and invest in inventory.  There are many very successful Home Stagers that run businesses utilizing 3rd party industry resources for the furniture and décor needed to Stage properties.  You can also focus on consultations and hands-on Stagings where you use the Seller’s things only – that is a large market segment and one that does not require acquisition of any inventory.  Again, how you grow your business and the services you decide to provide are up to you.

HOW DO YOU MINIMIZE CONCERNS?

You would essentially be working with your colleagues/competitors.  This can present a sticky situation if you are in an area where competition and possible distrust exists.

You bring up the concerns your potential clients will have about you being BOTH an active Real Estate Agent or REALTOR® and a Professional Home Stager – before they do.

Top Concerns:

  • Will you steal my client? The trust factor with this relationship is key.  Let your prospective colleague clients know that their clients will never know you are a REALTOR® when you are working with them in Stager mode.
  • What if my client finds out you are a REALTOR®? You need to let your colleague client know that if their Seller figures out you are a REALTOR® and asks you to take on the listing, you will decline.  That shows integrity.
  • What about Leads? If a lead comes to you from the Staging work you did in the house, and the potential client does not have a listing agent selected, you will pass that lead on to the colleague client that brought you in as the Stager (or refer the lead at an agreed %).  See, if you had not Staged that house for the listing agent colleague client, that person that needs a REALTOR® to sell their house would never have found you.  That shows ultimate integrity.

 

Is it WISE to DIVERSIFY in Business?  YES.

Depending on your market and your financial goals, having more than one income stream is wise.  There are many agents that focus solely on Real Estate. Taught to put all their eggs in one basket, it is sink or swim for their success.  There are also many that diversify and are licensed appraisers, lenders, title reps, business coaches, trainers – they have other sources of income outside the industry.  It is your life and your financial goals are yours – and doing what is necessary to reach those goals is your decision.  Home Staging provides you with another option for income.  You do need to have an “eye” for placement, understand spatial arrangement, color, industry trends, so getting education is key.

 do what you love

BOTTOM LINE:  If you want to have a Home Staging Business and you’re a REALTOR® you CAN do both.  Depending on where your passion lies, you will most likely end up gravitating towards one as your primary business.   As the saying goes, “Do what you love and you will never WORK a day in your life!”

On the 9th Day Before Christmas IAHSP Gave to Me . . .

On the 9th Day Before Christmas, IAHSP gave to me . . . 23 AMAZING industry Speakers coming to share with YOU at the 2018 IAHSP Conference & EXPO – Oct 18-20, 2018 in Charlotte, NC!  Here is a look at a few more!

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Margaret Gehr, one of the nation’s foremost leaders in the real estate staging industry, is the founder and co-owner of Chicagoland Home Staging in Illinois. Margaret, a multiple national award winning professional, has designed and merchandised thousands of  resale properties in Chicago’s western suburbs since 2005. Her, and her partner Kathy Lobkovich and their team have been featured in national media ranging from the Wall
Street Journal to ABC News to the Chicago Tribune. She co-authored Amazon’s Best Selling book, “Home Staging: The Power that Sells Real Estate” and is a Technical Staging Editor for Aspired Home Online Magazine.
Margaret, is also a HSR Home Staging Mentor, RESA PRO, IAHSP member, and studied at
Harrington Institute of Interior Design. She was among the first members of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), and currently the Illinois State President.  Chicagoland Home Staging, has been involved in the sale of nearly one billion dollars worth of staged properties, and has established strong bonds and lasting relationships within the real estate community. They are actively involved with area boards of realtors and other real estate groups.

Hamaty Speaker Promo

Founded in 2006, Setting the Space has become a leading resource for staging and design in New England. CEO, Blair Hamaty, leads a team of over 25 who provide innovative and leading-edge services to realtors, developers as well as design clients.

Setting the Space prides itself on its ability to bring fresh, unique and bold designs to their clientele. With a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Plymouth, MA and six retail design centers, the Setting the Space empire is growing at an impressive rate. On average, Setting the Space has over 100 properties staged within the Boston / New England area. Additionally, the design team completes multiple projects monthly including new construction, remodels, room make-overs, model homes, apartment complex and corporate office design from New York to Florida and beyond.

Hansen Speaker Promo

Scott Hansen is a high performance coach, sought after speaker, and renowned pod-cast host. He’s helped numerous business owners increase their number of  clients, become more productive; while ultimately helping them substantially increase their overall revenues. Scotts work has been featured on: ABC, NBC, FOX,  INC,  and Six Figure Coach magazine labeled Scott as one of the top business coaches in the country . In addition, Scott is a contributing writer at Entrepreneur.com, an international Best Selling Author and creator of Success Hackers; one of the most listened to business podcasts on Itunes, downloaded in multiple countries.
Scott’s not your typical speaker.  Hi speaking style is dynamic and electric, engaging audiences to participate during his presentations.  You’ll come away empowered, informed and ready to crush it!  

Earn Your Buyer Trends Specialist (BTS) Designation – June 20

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Earn the newest industry designation offered by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) and taught by Stagedhomes.com, the World Standard in Staging Education…

Buyer Trends Specialist (BTS) on June 20, 2017 – 4PM-7PM MST – $175 investment

Your BTS Designation will allow you to speak confidently with Sellers to advise them on what to do to prepare their houses for sale.  Not only will you be able to share what they need to do based on the target buyer for their house, but also be able to advise them on any modifications/updates based on trends that are buyer and budget friendly.

Topics:

  • Population Demographics – 5 generation groups and who comprises them
  • Understanding who is buying what type of property
  • Understand how to appeal to specific demographic groups
  • Current trends are for property interiors
  • Current trends for furnishings
  • Current Color Trends to use for paint recommendations

 

To register go to http://www.Stagedhomes.com or call 800-392-7161.

IAHSP Business & Marketing Bootcamps now at 6 PM MST – Sign up NOW for your POWER HOUR to Success!

You shared, we listened.  Our Bootcamps are now moved to “after hours” so that our members that are productive in their Staging businesses or cannot attend during the daytime can now attend at POWER HOUR from 6 PM – 7:15 PM MST (except for the Business Planning & Goal Setting sessions that is a double session from 6-8:15PM)!  We have 11 different Bootcamps created to help YOU succeed, grow and thrive in your business!  Sign up for the Bootcamp Bundles and save $$!  We are developing more topics that will be rolled out soon!

To register go to www.iahsp.com or call 800-392-7161!

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Bootcamps! Marketing & Business

You completed your Basic Training in Home Staging – and now you may need some added education on specific topics to help you grow or get back on track for success!

Business & Marketing Bootcamps are quick Power-Hour online sessions focused on a key topic that will be offered twice a week so that you have the opportunity to attend them all!  We have more in the works and our goal is to provide ongoing education opportunities for our IAHSP Association Members.

For more information on the Bootcamp topics and what is covered in each one, and to register to go to http://iahsp.com/bootcamp/

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Earn your IAHSP-CB – Color Basics Designation! Come to IAHSP-ConEXPO 2017! The Getaway with a Takeaway!

Earn your IAHSP®-Color Basics Designation by coming to the 2017 IAHSP® Conference & EXPO – Feb 10-12!! Not only will you be learning from industry experts on many different topics, but we will be issuing a NEW Designation to all attendees!   It is your GETAWAY with a major TAKEAWAY – more EDUCATION and more INITIALS you can promote with your business!

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Color experts, Kristie Barnett and JoAnne Lenart-Weary will be sharing on color including:

  • How to select best colors for selling
  • How to work with existing colors in a property
  • How colors impact us (and buyers) emotionally
  • Best neutrals and how to incorporate in a property for selling or living
  • And much more!

 

Go to www.iahspconexpo.com to register now!  We still have openings for the Meet N Greet and Photo Session with KEYNOTE Speaker, Jeff Lewis!!

See YOU in Fort Lauderdale in February!!

 

IAHSP Conference & EXPO Featured Speakers – check out who we have so far!

Jeff Lewis, Star of Bravo TV’s Flipping Out, Designer and Real Estate Expert

JEFF LEWIS is widely regarded as America’s most well-known house flipper through his role in Bravo’s docu-series Flipping Out.

After renovating his own properties for 20+ years, Jeff launched a design firm in 2009. By 2010, Jeff was asked to design the House Beautiful Magazine Kitchen of the Year, displayed in Rockefeller Center.

In addition to client design work, Jeff launched a line of paint with handcrafted colors in 2013, a line of rugs in 2015, and will launch collections of tile and barn doors while expanding Jeff Lewis Paint to 52-colors in Zero VOC in the Fall of 2016. All products are available exclusively at The Home Depot. The 9th Season of Flipping Out airs from July to September of 2016.

Yvette Michelle Booth

Yvette Michelle Booth

Mere Image ProductionsTopic: Using Photography to Market & Brand Your Business

With Staging, the visual is critical to get the Buyer’s attention. The same is true of our marketing brand. Our image precedes us in all we do and understanding the power of creating a strong brand with photography is key to our longevity.

Yvette Michele is the owner of Mere Image Productions and has developed over 55 creative campaigns since its inception. Her company portfolio boasts over 60% entertainment industry creative and 40% traditional business. Yvette Michele specializes in Brand Campaign, Design, identity systems, logo design, print ads and Internet presence.

 

Blair Hamaty

Blair Hamaty

Setting the SpaceTopic: Staging Business Growth – Adding Services That Add Mega Dollars

Did you know your business has the potential to earn MEGA dollars? By adding services you add revenue to your bottom line and diversification is a smart business strategy. In this session you will learn from one of the industry’s TOP Staging experts and highly profitable business owner.

Setting the Space is known as New England’s Premier staging and design company. Founded in 2006, CEO, Blair Hamaty has built the multi-million dollar design empire with his team of top talent designers by his side. President, Will Hayward, heads up the creative team working directly with Lead Designer, Sue Shockley. Setting the Space prides itself on its ability to bring fresh, unique and bold designs to their clientele around the world.

 

Kevin Htain

Kevin Htain

Identity Home StagingTopic: Design Trends For 2017 and Beyond

 This session will be highly informative as Kevin Htain is known for his in-depth research on topics he is presenting. We need to be on top of Design Trends to properly advise our clients for resale or remodel. Learn from industry expert and HGTV fan favorite what we can expect moving into the future.

Recognized amongst Staging and Design aficionados for creating lavishly imaginative spaces that sell… Kevin Htain, ASPM®, is a Home Stager who is rabid for Staging!  Graduating with an Interior Design Degree, top of his class in 1999- Kevin quickly gained opportunities to work with Design companies that created solutions for model homes, clubhouses and leasing centers. Seeking a stronger more direct connection with Clientele that the home building industry seemed to lack, Kevin formulated his own company, Identity Design Group in 2003. The ASP® Certified Staging component was quickly added and the Design component was quickly dropped. Kevin’s company name eventually changed into Identity Home Staging.

 

Sandra Holmes

Sandra Holmes

Home Staging Concepts, IAHSP.com, StagedHomes.comTopic: Purchasing Wholesale and Partnering with Artists for Profit

When you want to add inventory to your business, being able to purchase wholesale provides a fiscally smart strategy for business growth. Sandra is an expert in resourcing inventory, buying locally and nationally and will share her knowledge on how to best navigate the often complex world of purchasing. Sandra has also partnered with artists throughout the country that ship original artwork that is used and often sold in her high-end Staging projects, which in turn brings in added revenue for her business.

Sandra Holmes is Accredited Staging Professional Master® (ASPM®) and the President of Home Staging Concepts, the Premiere Home Staging Company in South Florida.  Sandra and her team have staged over $1 Billion dollars in real estate since she created her business in 2005. She continues her education in real estate and in the staging industry to keep current with the trends of today’s market.

 

Jennie Norris

Jennie Norris

IAHSP, StagedHomes.com, Sensational Home StagingTopic: Raise The Bar In Your Business

We all need to be working to increase our productivity and success and stretch ourselves to be the best business owner and person we can be. This session will inspire and motivate you to Raise the Bar in all areas of your life, and provide you with inspiration and ideas to take back with you to help create added success in the future.

Jennie Norris is the Chairwoman of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP® ), helping to guide the Home Staging industry and provide leadership worldwide. She is President of the Denver IAHSP® Chapter. Jennie is also President & CEO of Stagedhomes.com and for the past 11 years has been a Certified Course Trainer, presenting the Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP®) & ASPM® Course throughout North America.  She is also a professional ASP® Master Home Stager and has been included in Staging features on ABC’s 20/20, NBC’s Today Show and HGTV television and online segments, national and local publications, and radio. She is the only 2-Time Winner of the Staging Award of Excellence and the IAHSP® Spirit Award, voted on by peers in the Home Staging industry.

Jennie is also the owner of Sensational Home Staging serving the Denver area, and oversees a team of Accredited Staging Professional® Stagers that provide the creative set up for all projects. Since 2002, Jennie and her team have Staged nearly 4,000 properties and over $2 Billion in real estate helping both sellers and Realtors® achieve their goals of a fast and profitable sale.

 

David Peterson

David Peterson

Synergy StagingTopic: Home Staging Contracts: How To Protect and Represent Your Company

Whether you’re brand new to the industry, or have a well-established staging empire, ensuring that you have a proper and up to date Home Staging Contract is vital to your business and every single project. Learn what you should include in your contract and why. Learn how to ensure that you get paid, your furnishings are protected, the property is stage ready, and much more. You’ll walk away not only with important tips for your contract, but numerous ideas about how to run your business more effectively and profitably.

David Peterson is the co-owner of Synergy Staging, an award winning boutique staging company based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2007 with his partner Nik Murrow, Synergy Staging was named the Top Staging Team in North America at the 2014 RESA Convention. As one of the premier staging companies in the Northwest, they specialize in vacant home staging and have merchandized hundreds of properties with their unique design aesthetic working with Realtors, investors, builders, and homeowners.

 

Mary Scalli

Mary Scalli

North Houston Blinds, Simple EleganceTopic: Inventory Management Application and Using Quickbooks To Your Fullest To Run Your Business

This session will share the importance of having the right resources and systems to run your business that can make or break you as your business grows. Since we all have the same amount of time in a day, putting processes in place to help track and manage inventory, and systems to track business growth and revenue will streamline your time and create efficiency, and ultimately make you a more successful business owner.

Mary Scalli is the President & Owner of North Houston Blinds, LLC dba Simple Elegance which specializes in window treatments, shutters, blinds, interior decorating services and home staging to sell and to live. She is an Accredited Staging Professional Master® and was personally trained by Barb Schwarz, the Creator of Home Staging. Mary is dedicated to excellent customer service and making a positive difference in each of her clients’ and team member’s lives.

 

Theresa Thomas

Theresa Thomas

Stage Right! Home Staging LLCTopic: Correctly Pricing Projects: How Fear Keeps Us From Charging What We’re Worth & How To Create Value in Your Business and Yourself

This session will help us to know how to price our services and get paid what we are worth. Pricing is an art and science and many Stagers are fearful of losing an opportunity that they price lower than they should or don’t realize they could have charged more for Staging. Just as we advise sellers not to leave money on the table by not Staging, we need to not leave money on the table as a professional Home Stager. Pricing strategically helps create value in your business and ultimately yourself.

Theresa Vallier-Thomas is the CEO, Founder & Principal Stager of Stage Right! Home Staging, LLC, which is headquartered in Wilmington, DE.  A published author, Theresa’s core education, experience & trained eye are the keys to her ability to transform any home into a showcase which prospective home buyers routinely fall in love. Since 2007, she has grown her staging company from a few accessories in her basement to a expansive warehouse with enough furniture and accessories to stage dozens of homes at a time.

Stage Right’s client list includes hundreds of Realtors, dozens of home builders and real estate investors and thousands of individual home sellers.

Home Staging Training – NY- NJ area – Oct 11-12-13

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NYC – NJ area!  We are coming for you!  Are  you a REALTOR that would like to add Home Staging as a key listing service, learn how to get every seller to say “YES” to Staging and make added income?  Or are you a person that would like to be a professional Home Stager and learn how to earn great income from your creative talent?  Sign up NOW for the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) Course – Oct 11-13 – and earn the highest form of training in the industry!  Go to REGISTER FOR THE NY – NJ COURSE to register and make sure to look for any special discounts off your tuition.  You can also call 800-392-7161 and speak to the Stagedhomes.com team!  Realtors attend for 2 days, Stagers stay for the 3rd day to learn how to establish, market, manage and maintain a successful Staging business!