I often hear form aspiring home stagers who say, “There are no home stagers in my area, so there must not be a demand for this service.” Just as often, I am told the exact opposite by others, “There are already home stagers in my area. I'm sure there will be too much competition for me to enter this market.”
In both cases, these notions become excuses for not going forward. You can talk yourself out of anything with the right arguments, but you may be jumping to a whole bunch of agreements that are not justified. If you really have a dream of becoming a home stager, you owe it to yourself to verify these negative assumptions before just giving up.
If there are no home stagers in your area and there are also no homes for sale, then you're right there is probably no demand for home staging in your area. You need to live in (or within driving distance of) an actual real estate market for there to be any potential demand for your home staging services.
I guarantee that your market is not populated with home stagers, I do not care where you live.
Compare for a moment how many real estate agents there are in the same area! Then research how many homes sell in your real estate market in a year. How many of these properties will you have to get as clients to make a living? An incredibly small percentage if you learn how to price your staging services.
If you fear there is already a lot of home staging competition in your area, you need to find out if this is really the case. More importantly, you also need to find out the caliber of the competition . I do not mean how well they arrange furniture (though this is important), I mean how well they market themselves. For example, do they come across as real professionals? Do they sound confident about what they do? Are they able to explain what they do for clients in a compiling way? Are they easy to find when you're ready to hire a home stager? Are they easy to speak to? Do they listen well? Are they likeable?
Do not just look at their websites and assume all these great qualities if it's a great site.
The competitive picture may look a whole lot different if you actually pick up the phone and speak to them.
There are a lot of “home stagers” who are not actually serious about their businesses. It's more than a creative hobby for them, and you'll be able to spot them as soon as they open their mouths to explain what they do!
And if your “competitors” have unprofessional, do-it-yourself-and-I've-never-done-it-before-websites, you've learned you do not need to worry about competition from them as long as you market your own home staging business the right way.
One of the first homework assignments I have students complete during my home staging courses, is an assessment of their competition. This is not homework they have to submit for marking. It's homework that should be doing as part of starting up a home staging business, which is why I make it homework. It's my little way of nudging new home stagers to focus on the tasks that will be the largest boost to their businesses.
I've taught thousands of students and they consistently discover that the home staging competition is not as intimidating as they first thought. And so what if the competition does look tough?
Then you have to resolve to step up to the plate and give it all you've got if you really want to make money as a home stager . I've learned from experience over the years that a lack of serious competition can make you a bit lazy. It's human nature to start taking it easy once we've mastered something. One sharp competitor and it's amazing how much better you get at boosting your own home staging business! I always fine-tune my own game when I look at what others are doing. And if you're in the lead, it pays to look over your shoulder sometimes to see what the newcomers are up to ..
The cool thing is that home staging is a growing industry and the sooner you jump in and establish yourself as the local expert, the better you will stand up to any competitors coming up behind you.