Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earn Quick Money: Cleaning/Staging Homes

 Do you watch HGTV and DIY Network 12 hours a day? 

Do you love to clean and decorate living spaces?  

Do you hang out at Lowe's and HomeDepot?  

Do you have Real Estate Agent/Broker friends?

Why not combine these things and create quick money staging and cleaning houses for sale?

The most successful Home Stagers know that the goal is to  de-personalize a property so that visitors can envision themselves "living" there - yet, at the same time, make the home attractive, clean and homey.  A seemly impossible task.  But it's done all the time by professionals that love to rearrange furnishings and household items to make the best impression -- people like you.

Your eye for design.  Your professional assessment.  Your creative & decorative touch can earn the seller thousands of dollars more and speed up the selling process for a home on the market.  This is important work! Do you realize that for $100 spent to stage a home, the home seller/real estate agent can realize $7,000 more on the asking price of the home?  That's a pretty nice return!  And you can make that happen.

So, what do Home Stagers do exactly?

1.  They clean the property or supervise the cleaning of a property

2.  They make sure that the property appeals to all the senses  (sight, smell, touch, sound)
for the visitor and/or would-be-buyers
3.  They know the proper place to put furniture for better sight-lines, traffic flow and profit gain for the seller and real estate agent.

4.  Curb appeal and landscaping that draws the visitors and would-be buyer into the property.

5.  Eliminating clutter and de-personalizing the home to make it more appealing to the buyer.

7 Things you need to do to begin making money as a "home stager"

1.  Read everything!

Read every article you can find on "Rules for Staging Homes", study the books and articles almost religiously. You know you love having the excuse to dig deep into the topic of home improvement and home design -- so enjoy it.  You now have a viable excuse to spend hours and hours on the topic.

He's so resources to get you started:

Wiki-How's: How to Start a Home Staging Business

21 Staging Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

Staging Diva's Free Course - 12 Tips for a Successful Home Staging Business (Course) - Staging Homes for Sale - The Basics

2.  Show them what you can do!

Put together a portfolio of homes you staged.  How do you get a portfolio set up, easy. Ask your friends and relatives if you can borrow some of their rooms for a weekend, stage their room.  Take before and after photos.  Have those friends write a testimonial up for you. Now you have a portfolio of work!

3.  Put your portfolio online.  

Quick tip: You don't have to create a website. Social media sites are wonderful!  You can use Pinterest or Facebook to feature your work.  Easy, quick and free!
For an example of a portolio of before and after staging shots check out: 

4.  Talk to the pros
Talk to other Home Stagers and Real Estate Agents outside of your area.  Talk to them about the best practices of the business, rates that they've charged, marketing tips, etc. There is nothing like good advice to really springboard your business.

5. Order business cards
Make sure your business card design reflects what you can do for your client --  keep them simple, clean, appealing but elegant and modern. You can get professional business cards for $20 bucks.

6. Get business/Talk to your contacts
Talk to your real estate friends, family and acquaintances letting them know that you are available to help them.  These will be your first clients.  Talk up your expertise, let them know you can help them make more profits.

7.  Get even more business. 
Go to open houses and place your business card there when you encounter an empty house that needs staging. Talk to the Real Estate Agent (if they are not talking to potential buyers).

Understand that this little side-line business can develop into a full-fledged business that would require much more investment of time and resources. I would suggest that if this is the type of work you would like to do full-time that you should research the possibility to developing a full-fledged business plan and develop this idea into something bigger.

What should you charge?
Most Home Stagers do their work beginning in the range of $50 an hour.  Many also provide cleaning service as well.  When people discuss your rate, understand that for $100 you are charging a client in home staging improvements, they will/can realize $7,000 or more on the selling price. 

You may wish to read this book.

Book:  Home Staging for Profit by Barbara Jennings

PERSPECTIVE: The quick money series on Telecommuting Millionaire? is to help you find funding so you can take your first steps to following your dreams.  After you read a few of my Quick Money articles, you will realize that Money is Everywhere. Don't use these quick money ideas, unless you understand that you are using these ideas  . . . not to pay off debt, not for extra salary, not for "fun money" . . . but as a stepping stone to financing the first steps of your dreams.  Dog-gone it, we are going to gain our financial freedom together! Read: Money is Everywhere to get the proper perspective.

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