How to Build a 6 Figure Home Staging Business in 6 Months
In this blog , founder of The Thought Leader Method™, Liv Conlon reveals how to build a SIX FIGURE home staging business in just SIX MONTHS. Liv has been working in the home staging industry now for over five years and has built a 7 figure business, ThePropertyStagers, by the time she was just 19. Today, she touches on how to start a home staging business with no start-up funds, how you can get started immediately, and how she managed to scale to seven figures. Liv shares with you the ups and downs of her journey, the lessons she learned and the steps that you can take to get going.
What is home staging?
Home staging is where you take an empty space (a property) and give it a show home effect by transforming it with furniture, soft furnishing, lighting & accessories, essentially showing it in the best light possible.
Structuring a home staging business
There are various ways that you can structure your home staging business in terms of the services that you're offering.
The service that most home staging businesses provide is renting the furniture/staging to their client, giving the client the time flexibility needed when selling their property.
Once that property is staged and sold (kerching!), you then remove the furniture out and transfer it to the next property that you’re staging.
Another key market for any home staging business is the AirBnB market. These clients purchase the furniture as this furniture is going to be used by many guests and won't be returned to you.
For my business, we initially offered just that staging service. However, once our business grew and we broke into the rental market, we began manufacturing furniture for the service accommodation market.
Starting with just one service, DOESN’T mean that your business can’t evolve and your offering can't increase at a later date. You just need to look at what the market requirements are and service those markets if they align with your overall goals.
My home staging story
I started my home staging business when I was 16.
There were very few home staging companies in the industry in the UK at the time. I was going to property networking events and I was trying to tell investors, middle aged men who had been in the industry for decades, that cushions and artwork were going to make them more money. They were open to the idea, but they didn't fully believe in it.
From the start, it was an uphill struggle due to my age but I also had to struggle with the fact that the industry was in its infancy.
On the flip side, you've got an advantage s you don't have much competition. The challenge, therefore, is trying to raise the profile of that industry.
In our very first year, we turned over £30,000, which is equivalent to around $40,000. I thought I had made it, and that my business had reached its peak already.
Shortly after, I started to write down my goals and started aiming for a bigger income and things almost immediately started to change for me.
By the time I was 19, at the end of only our second year, we had turned over £1,000,000.
My goal for that year was £40k, and we unbelievably hit £1m.
It wasn't an overnight success, and it was a combination of three to four years of 18 hour days and hustling to get where I wanted to go. I wore all the hats in the business, as I'm sure many entrepreneurs can relate to. I was literally doing every part of the process.
After 18 months I brought on my first team member, which was actually my mum. She left her business to join me because we were so busy, and then the team grew from there. We started bringing on other designers, stagers, a delivery team, and we now manufacture our own furniture, furnishing over 300 properties per year in the process.
It was a massive growth spurt for the business in a short space of time. There was so much learning, and I am going to share how I got there with you.
creating a strategy
When I started ThePropertyStagers at 16, I had no startup funds and I had no job. I had literally just left school.
Getting that first client seemed like a huge challenge, but I came up with the solution to how I could start the business with no money.
Let me walk you through the structure that I created to enable you to start your home staging business with no funds.
Once you’ve secured your first client, give them a price which is fair to both parties. Make sure they're happy with the price & ensure you can also cover your expenses.
My first installation was a two-bedroom property for sale, and I charged the client just over £1000.
I used that money to buy all of the furniture for that first installation. I took no wage for myself and managed to purchase all the inventory I needed.
The property looked fantastic, so I accepted that on that first installation I was not going to be making any profit. It was literally covering my expenses and get some experience under my belt.
When I got to my second installation, I transferred the furniture from the first property to the new one. I didn’t have to buy any new furniture and I was able to maximise my profit for that job. My only expense was paying a removal company to transport the furniture between the properties.
You can see how, after one installation, you can quickly start to increase your profit margins.
If we start to multiply how many jobs we get and how many furniture packs we can move between properties, each time doing six-week rentals, you can start to make a lot of money quickly.
For whatever your income goal is, you need to work out how many packs you would need, and how many installations you would need to secure to keep everything moving.
That is the winning formula that brought me to achieving seven-figures over the space of three years, all before I turned 19.
Getting your first client
Now that you know how to financially structure a deal and how to structure your staging business, you now need to work out how to get your first client.
The way that I managed to secure my first client was through networking and, what I love about business, is that we have the opportunity at our fingertips to meet like minded people and our ideal clients.
Thus, my first port of call would be to ensure you have your online profiles set up, and that you're posting consistently while providing valuable content to your audience.
Business is all about online reputation, and we can start to build up relationships with key players in the industry.
Make a note of all the networking events in your area and make sure that you're attending. Get in touch and be friendly to the organisers, and push to get yourself a presentation slot to sell your business.
Use these opportunities to educate people so that they can’t afford NOT to stage.
Build relationships with local real estate agents and build partnerships that you think will benefit both your business and their business. These relationships can take months or years to build, so why not start building them right from the start.
Make sure that whenever you're networking, you're asking to be connected to the people that you're looking for. Make sure you’re reaching out to people on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on Instagram, and asking if you can come and talk to them. Educate them on what you're doing, and also let them know what's in it for them, their business, and their clients.
If you start your home staging business today, with the mindset of falling in love with your dream client and not your product, you are setting yourself up for success. One of the most common mistakes that I see is home staging business owners falling in love with staging and the concept, instead of thinking about their ideal client and having them in mind.
In every interaction that you have, from here on in with a potential staging client or partner, keep in mind that they are all looking for the same outcome; to sell the property at a higher price in a shorter space of time. And I love the saying, give them what they want, but sell them what they need.
If you'd like to learn more about how to build a 6 figure Home Staging Business in 6 months, join me on my FREE Online 90 Minute training HERE