I know it’s counter intuitive to think that the real estate market collapse and the debacle on Wall Street has been good for the Home Staging Industry, but if you really take a closer look, you’ll find that it has. If you’ve been in the market long enough, since it was prosperous and growing unchecked, then you may remember what the staging industry was like.
Only a few short years ago there was a bitter battle brewing over training companies. Things were getting pretty nasty on the internet and cease and desist letters were flying all over the place. Some even referred to followers of one organization as “koolaid drinkers”.
With so much money pouring into the training industry, anyone could become a home stager for just a few hundred dollars. While there were some great programs out there (including ours) there were also some shady ones where you could actually get your certificate with your training material. Another prominent one advertised on TV, duping thousands into a $1000 online course with the promise of guaranteed jobs, before going bankrupt and leaving a very sour taste in their student’s mouths.
The flood of new home staging professionals in a market that had not yet established our need or worth left poorly trained individuals out there to flounder and fend for themselves. Unfortunately, because they lacked proper training all they managed to do was give the staging industry a bad reputation. Rather than figuring out how to run a successful home staging company, they determined that price was king and began slashing.
The dramatic shift in economy and the housing market has led to the loss of many home staging businesses and a significant revenue loss for home staging training companies – putting some of the brink of closing their doors. What this has done, however is provide an opportunity for the cream to rise. Have you noticed how many super successful companies are showing up these days? Have you noticed a pattern of business and operations?
The shift in economy put most bad stagers out of business. It put most bad agents out of business. It forced staging training providers to compete for a smaller money pool by putting out better products. Sure, there are a couple out there who were large enough that they thrive on just dropping their pricing structures but they are feeling the impact and without a shift soon, they too will be gone.
Now what we have in the industry is a road map. We can see what it takes to build, grow, and thrive – how to run a successful home staging company. Training companies compete for less money and continue to increase the value to the new stager, increasing the odds that they will succeed. The successful stagers build products that make us better and more profitable.
The economic crash has been devastating in so many ways, but for our industry, it’s almost been the light at the end of the tunnel. In the end we have become less vicious, more united and more BUSINESS LIKE. And that’s a Good thing!
PHOTOS are from Craig Schiller’s Active Rain & My Pretty Blog. To view the actual blog they were taken from, click on them. Also all of the highlighted links are from previous posts by other industry stagers that captured the sentiments of the industry at that time. They are interesting historical references to the growth of the industry.