As we’ve grown here at the Home Staging Institute, more and more people are asking us how to become a home stager in Canada. These people are typically from the larger centres of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, but in our 15+ years of being business, we’ve trained home stagers in nearly every corner of Canada.
Although we’re founded in the United States, each week we now welcome people from Canada into our home staging certification courses. Our content isn’t country-specific, although it does relate best to people in North America. We use examples from throughout the United States and Canada within our courses.
So, you want to learn how to become a home stager in Canada?
Great! That’s what we’ll explore in this article. It is rather similar to other countries, but with a few little things to note here and there.
Exclusive for Home Staging Institute Students:
Look in your course dashboard for more in-depth information on this topic.
The general process of starting a home staging business, or becoming a home stager, will be outlined below.
- Steps to becoming a home stager in Canada
- Other facts about becoming a home stager
Steps to becoming a home stager in Canada
Below are the four mains steps to becoming a home stager in Canada. This is just an overview, so if you need to dive deeper into this topic just follow any of the links on this page, or dive deeper into our blog which has dozens of articles on this topic, albeit not specific to Canada.
Step 1: Take a home staging certification course in Canada
This can be a tough one, since there are few home staging courses designed specifically with the Canadian market in mind.
However, there are some in-person courses such as Seneca College, and online certification courses such as those offered here at the Home Staging Institute. We’ve trained hundreds of home stagers in Canada throughout our 15+ years of offering our online home staging course, so you’ll be in good company!
If you don’t want to take a home staging certification course, you don’t need to, as there is no certification required to become a home stager in Canada. However, the benefits of the courses when compared to the low costs, make it a no-brainer in our (slightly biased) opinion.
Step 2: Understand the local Canadian market
When exploring starting any business, it’s always a good idea to study the local market. You can read all the articles you can find online, but nothing beats heading to Google and searching for local home staging companies in Canada, and browsing all the pages on their website.
This will give you a great insight into the number of competitors, what sort of clients they are targeting, the quality of their work, how much they charge for home staging, and what form their staging packages take.
After a couple of hours of local research, you’ll have a good idea of where you plan to position your business in the market, what will set it apart, and how you will be better.
Our experience is that there are typically two or three ‘stand out’ home staging businesses in each city, and many ‘average’ ones. Identify the leaders in your city and ask yourself what are they doing well?
Hint: It’s normally a mixture of a professionally designed website, a great portfolio of work, and great photography.
Step 3: Start a home staging business in Canada
Now you’ve completed a home staging course, studied the local market, and researched other home stagers in Canada, you’re ready to make a big decision (if you haven’t already!)…
Do you want to become a home stager and work for another home staging company?
Or do you want to start a home staging business?
If you want to start a home staging business in Canada, then there are a few steps you need to take. These steps aren’t specific to home staging business – every business typically needs to go through this process.
- Register your business (You can do it online in Canada here)
- Set up your business phone number
- Claim a business domain name (We use Namecheap)
- Set up your business email address, once you have a domain name (We use Google Workspace).
- Set up a business mailing address (Optional – you can use your home address)
- Open a business bank account
- Organize liability insurance
- Set up tools to track income/expenses and manage invoicing (We use Xero)
- Build your website (Squarespace and Wix are popular choices, but we use WordPress)
The next steps are more specific to home staging, which we won’t cover in detail here. Check out the following articles which relate to starting a home staging business, or take one of our courses to dive deeper into this topic.
- What’s In A Home Staging Business Plan?
- How To Start A Home Staging Business Without Buying Furniture
- Where Do Home Stagers Get Their Furniture?
- How To Charge For Home Staging
Step 4: Begin marketing
We typically suggest our students focus on three areas when marketing their home staging business:
- Networking with other professionals that can give you referrals (Real Estate agents)
- Optimizing your website to get organic (free!) traffic from Google
- Doing paid ads on Google to bring leads to your website
When you’re first starting your business, networking is a cheap way to get clients. Real Estate agents have access to hundreds of people that are selling their houses, and it is very easy for them to recommend to their clients that they stage their homes before putting them up for sale.
Do a quick search for real estate agents in your area and take a look at their current listings. Are the homes staged? If so, that agent could be a source of potential leads. It can be uncomfortable, but consider introducing yourself via a quick email or phone call.
In regards to optimizing your website for organic traffic, the main things to focus on are good quality content (written content works wonders), and targeting the right keywords. Be sure to make it clear where you offer your services. If you are in Toronto, state this multiple times throughout your site. Then when people search for “home stagers in Toronto”, your website will be listed!
Other facts about becoming a home stager
There are three more common questions we get about becoming a home stager in Canada, and we’ll address these below. If there are any more questions you have that we haven’t answered yet, feel free to head to our Contact page and send us a message, or sign in to your Members Dashboard and ask us a question there (if you’re a Home Staging Institute member).
How much do home stagers make in Canada?
Data coming soon…
Do I need a license to become a home stager in Canada
No – you don’t need any sort of home staging-specific licence to become a home stager in Canada. Of course, you’ll need to follow local laws in regards to incorporating a business and ensuring your taxes are paid, but in regards to the art of home staging itself, you won’t need a licence.
There are a number of home staging certifications that you can take, such as those offered here at the Home Staging Business, but these are optional and not a legal requirement. The benefits of becoming a certified home stager in Canada are numerous:
- You’ll learn a lot about becoming a home stager and starting a home staging business, so you’ll avoid a lot of basic mistakes that could otherwise prove to be expensive.
- You’ll earn a certificate and be able to call yourself a Certified Staging Expert™
- You’ll earn a badge for your website to help with marketing
- You’ll be able to prove to clients that you have formal training in this area of expertise.
Do you need a degree to become a home stager in Canada?
No, you don’t need a degree to become a home stager in Canada. Unlike other fields such as accounting or engineering, there is no formal training required to become a home stager in Canada. However, home stagers typically benefit from taking a home staging certification course, or other real estate-related courses, to boost their knowledge in this industry and stand out from other home stagers.