If you love interior design and have a knack for creating fabulous spaces, a career in property styling might be for you. Property styling, or home staging, is the process of preparing a home for sale. By highlighting a property’s best aspects through styling, you can help your clients to attract buyers, and hopefully achieve a quick sale for the right price.

So, where do you start?

  1. Education

Property styling means much more than simply rearranging furniture. A foundation in design skills will start you off on the right foot for a career in home staging. Courses such as those in interior design will give you a sound knowledge of design principles, trends, colour and lighting.

Knowledge of the property market is essential, in order to know how to meet the expectations of buyers and understand the targeted demographic. It’s also important to build on your project management, teamwork and communication skills, so you can deliver a high level of professionalism.

  1. Follow a business plan

A business plan will help you stay on track to achieving your property styling goals. This should include everything from researching the market and ascertaining the demand for your services in your target area, to branding, and how you will do your books, and run your day-to-day operations.

If you’re a newcomer to small business, it helps to chat with a consultant or seek advice from small business advisories, in order to establish any funding needs, tax implications and other obligations, so all the right boxes are ticked from the beginning.

  1. Join your industry

Initially, the best way to learn is to surround yourself with members of your own industry. Got to networking and industry events. Finding a mentor isn’t as hard as you think, and the practical tips and tricks you can learn from someone with experience are often ones you won’t find in any book.

In this way, you’ll also start to make valuable contacts, who can help in a number of ways when you’re building your business. For example, when you’re just starting out, you might not have a large inventory of stock, but an established property stylist might offer furniture rental that you can take advantage of.

  1. Build your props

In the beginning, it makes sense to arrange furniture rental through a staging company. This way you’ll get exactly what you need for each property, without the added expense of buying and storing your own props. You’ll also gain a superior working knowledge of what you need, without risking a huge outlay at the outset of your business.

With knowledge of your market and clear insight into the minds of buyers in your area, you’ll be able to begin carefully building your own resources a piece at a time, to enhance your business towards further growth and profit.

  1. Market your business

Marketing will be essential to promote your business directly to sellers, and also to the real estate agents who often engage property stagers.

A website with professional images of before and after projects is an effective way of showcasing your services. On top of this, business cards, use of social media channels and a blog, and fostering word of mouth reviews from satisfied customers can all help you get the ball rolling and build your business.