How to Become a Home Stager in California

How to Become a Home Stager in California

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We often get asked how to become a home stager in California. If you’re wondering the same, you’ve landed in the right place. We have trained many professionals in the industry, and now they’re thriving with their own home staging businesses in California.

Each month people from throughout California sign up for our popular home staging certification courses to learn all they need to know about becoming a home stager, or starting their own home staging business. Take a minute to see if our certification course is right for you!

Home staging is critical in the real estate market today. Home stagers are essential as they offer expertise and professional advice to help sellers get the highest offers possible. Beautifying homes and producing well-staged properties help sellers give the best first impressions to potential buyers, ultimately leading to a higher sale price. 

Home staging is a thriving industry in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and elsewhere throughout the state. If you want to tap into this growing market, consider starting your own home staging business. Sellers are always looking to hire home stagers as they can raise their selling price by thousands of dollars.

So, how do you become a home stager in California?

We’ll look at this from the point of view of starting your own home staging business. If you want to get a start on building a career in home staging, read our articles on resume tips, how to get a home staging job, and our overview of home staging careers.

You can follow a general process to start a home staging career in California. It involves gaining an understanding of the local market, obtaining a home staging certification, researching competitors, starting the business, and developing a marketing strategy.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these steps below.

Steps to becoming a home stager in California

Becoming a home stager in California requires you to follow five steps, which are explained in further detail below.

The following steps are written from the perspective of a person who wants to start their own home staging business. Even if you’re not entirely prepared to begin your business, Steps One through Three still apply – just start searching for home staging jobs in California instead of information about starting a business.

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Check out the articles mentioned earlier in this post for help with these steps.

Step 1: Take a home staging certification course in California

There are a handful of options for home staging training in California, a few of which can award you a home staging certification upon completion.

Since 2007 the Home Staging Institute has been training home stagers in California. Many people who have been certified through the Home Staging Institute have gone on to run successful home staging businesses.

While you don’t necessarily need to be licensed to work as a home stager in California, getting certified gives you credibility in the industry while helping fine-tune your knowledge. These things are crucial for running a successful home staging business in California.

Step 2: Understand the local California market

Home stagers in California must gain a complete understanding of the California real estate market. For example, staging a house in rural California is entirely different from staging an apartment in Los Angeles. 

Another thing to remember is that when you’re working on a home in an upscale area, you must invest more money than if you were staging a more moderately priced home in an average area. There, your focus should instead be on making the home look appealing while keeping the budget on the low end. 

Step 3: Learn from other home stagers in California

It’s always a good idea to find other home stagers in California when you start a home staging business in the state. You should also research the current home staging jobs in California.

Joining a home staging trade association offers ample opportunities to attend various networking events where you can connect with other professionals in the industry. Home staging trade association members also receive industry updates and new opportunities to continue their education in related fields.

Connecting with other home stagers lets you get a better idea of which businesses are thriving and learn about the local niches they operate in, the various services they offer, and maybe even pin down some pricing strategies.

A quick online search for ‘home stagers in Los Angeles’ or ‘home stagers in San Francisco’ will pull up several competing websites for you to analyze. As you continue to research, think about the things you could do better than your competition and how you can help yourself stand out.   

Step 4: Start a home staging business in California

After you’ve completed a home staging course, researched the local market, and conducted some market research, you can begin planning the launch of your home staging business.

Starting a home staging business in California requires some essential tasks listed below. Before you can launch your business, you must:

  • Register your business
  • Set up a business phone number
  • Set up a business email address (We use Google Workspace)
  • Set up a business mailing address
  • Open a business credit card and bank account
  • Get liability insurance
  • Set up the software to track income and expenses (Xero is a popular choice)
  • Trademark your company name and logo
  • Design a website
  • Connect with service providers (storage and moving companies, furniture rental companies, etc.)

Step 5: Begin marketing

You must land many clients to call your business a real business and not just a hobby.

One of the most effective ways to get referrals is to connect with real estate agents. They’re in more frequent contact with potential sellers than anyone else in the industry.

A real estate agent and home staging professional partnership stands to benefit everyone involved. Fixing clients’ properties up to be more appealing eases the agent’s job, satisfies the client, and gets you more business.  

Reach out to local real estate agents in your area by contacting them directly, or look into becoming a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). When you reach out to them, explain how your expertise in home staging can complement their services as agents. NAR has over 1.3 million members, so it’s a safe bet that you’ll be able to gain access to new clientele.

Once you connect with some real estate professionals in your area, it’s unlikely that they will refer clients to you right away. You must build trust first, so keep in touch with them by contacting them regularly.

You can even include them in your email list and notify them of your portfolio updates with their consent.

If you don’t have enough work under your belt to build an impressive portfolio, volunteer to work on some properties or use some of the before/after shots you created as part of your home staging certification at the Home Staging Institute.

Other facts about becoming a home stager in California

How much do home stagers make in California?


Do I need a license to become a home stager in California?

No – you don’t need a license to become a home stager in California. While other industries, such as accounting and engineering, have an official body that oversees licensing, there is no such body in the home staging industry. 

However, while a license isn’t required, you can get a home staging certification by completing a course from experienced home staging professionals. A well-planned, educational home staging course can save you from wasting time and resources learning through trial and error.

Do you need a degree to become a home stager in California?

No – you don’t need a degree to become a home stager in California. However, you can complete college-level courses in related fields, such as interior design and real estate, to broaden your career and increase your credibility. You can also get a home staging certification in California to achieve the same.

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