"I believe each house has a soul, an essence that one connects with. I have a passion for decorating and designing which began when I was a child. I would drive my parents …
“It was the business side of staging that I needed help with. I am gradually getting the various tasks done and feeling more confident about going forward. One thing I was concerned about was building an inventory of home staging props and I don’t have room to store them. Now I know I don’t even need them!”
“The Staging Diva Program gave me many more ideas of how to proceed than I expected.”
~ Joan Kennedy, Sandy Hill Home Staging (Ontario)
Wondering how you can start a home staging business without buying rental furniture?
In order to attract clients, many home stagers assume they must build up their own home staging furniture inventory. When this topic arises, Staging Diva Debra Gould often shares a cautionary tale about Kimberly, a home stager who found herself $100,000 in debt after purchasing furniture inventory for her clients’ homes.
Kimberly had been staging high-end condos with her own home staging furniture and accessories. She was a talented decorator and home stager, and her work looked like it belonged in a decorating magazine.
To put her creative vision into action, Kimberly bought everything she needed during several “don’t-pay-a-cent” events that defer payment for two years. Every time she had a new condo to stage, she would buy all the furniture and accessories for that particular condo. Then another project would come, and she’d go out and do it again. Kimberly believed that since she didn’t have to pay for her home staging inventory for a couple of years, she could make a small fortune in the meantime.
Kimberly made the mistake of setting up her contracts so that people could have her home staging furniture and accessories for up to a year for a fixed amount. This meant there was no ongoing revenue stream if the items remained with the same client month after month. She assumed that if her home staging customers only needed the items for a few months, she would be able to re-rent the items 3 or 4 times in a single year, and that by the time the debt was due, she would have made enough in home staging rental fees to pay for it.
Because Kimberly’s contracts were open-ended and did not ensure that she had a steady cash flow coming in, she had nothing to protect her when the real estate market slowed down. Her clients’ luxury condos were not selling, and she had all her home staging furniture and accessories tied up for at least a year with no other income coming in.
Unfortunately, Kimberly didn’t approach her home staging business with a business focus. Instead, she was obsessed with how lovely she wanted to make all her clients’ condos look. Creating beauty was her driving force rather than making money. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your desire to decorate beautiful spaces to be what keeps you inspired, but unless this is a hobby, it’s also critical to remember that you’re creating a home staging business that’s supposed to make money!
Facing a financial crisis, Kimberly hired Debra Gould for one-on-one business coaching. Debra helped her restructure her pricing strategy and develop new terms for future furniture rentals. Together, they also developed a strategy to maximize the value of Kimberly’s current inventory and turn some of it into cash to pay down her debts.
Debra Gould has run her own home staging business since 2002 and staged many vacant and occupied homes. During this time, she has not invested in her own inventory. In the Staging Diva Training Program, Debra teaches home stagers how to manage their own inventory, but she also teaches them how to work without it so stagers do not have to take so many financial risks.
For additional information, visit Staging Diva today!