SHOW ME THE MONEY! The number one career growth opportunity today is in Home Staging. “Everyone wants in!” They see it on TV, looks fun; “everyone” can decorate- it is […]


The number one career growth opportunity today is in Home Staging. “Everyone wants in!” They see it on TV, looks fun; “everyone” can decorate- it is easy… and voila there beats the heart of a stager! Right?

Wrong! When staging is executed correctly it involves much more than simply decorating. Even so, every day somewhere in North America (indeed the world) people with a decorating mindset decide to “opt-in” to this business opportunity- many of them blindly, without realizing the work they seek will entrust into their care the largest investment most people have!

I realize as the President of CSP International Staging Business School I may be a tad prejudiced regarding professionally trained stagers, however when you put into perspective what is at stake (securing seller equity) you can see why I believe the value of effective training is vital.

Caveat Emptor

In a world with choices bombarding us day and night how can anyone make a right decision? My guidance to potential students is always, listen to your heart- don’t think with your pocket book. Everyone will tell you they are the best, the biggest, the only choice; only you know what resonates in your heart. Questions to ask yourself are:

  • Is it important to you that the person training you actually has a staging business? (Not used to have one, it didn’t work, so now they teach). CSP Trainers are in the field staging every day they are not in the classroom.
  • Is it important the depth and experience of the writer of the curriculum?
  • What happens after the class, are you left to your own devices?

At CSP International™ every day we strive to maintain our reputation for excellence in education, a destination for solid information and actionable knowledge as well as superlative support and follow up. We are a whole approach to building the best business you can be, support continuous learning and certification that means something.

Photo courtesy of Lori Pedersen, CSP

Photo courtesy of Lori Pedersen, CSP

Why Does Certification Matter in a Non-regulated Industry?

It matters because even though staging industry is non-regulated we actually work in the regulated industry of real estate – not decorating. Staging Certification in a non-regulated industry offers quantifiable evidence you have received education and training, allows you to charge your value, separates you from your peers, provides an edge when applying for work as well as gives you confidence and pride in achievement. How can you establish trust and demonstrate competency without proof an independent body has assessed you and found you credible? CSP International™ is an accredited institution; graduation from the academy illustrates a level of seriousness about professional development and is one indicator you have achieved a certain level of knowledge and skill competency ESPECIALLY in an industry where anyone can print a card and say they are one! The CSP® certification program is not an easy walk in the park, everyone passes sort of training. The students voluntarily submit themselves to examination& invest a considerable amount of money to make sure they come to you, their client, well equipped, knowledgeable, serious and credible. The in-classroom hours are the equivalent to a semester at college and they complete a practical exam too. We secure real houses about to go onto the market where the trainer can assess ability as work progresses. One such event took place in April 2017 in Toronto. The photographs illustrate the difference between what the seller thought was ok and how it was prepared for the photos and buyers. A key learning for novices is the agent and/or the seller do not have to like the finished staging because a competent stager will style for the future buyer. An understanding of how demographics affect final showcase is a key to being a great stager.

The seller of the property was ecstatic with the results!!! Here is what he said:

“In April we agreed to have the graduating class of staging professionals from CSP International™ Staging Business Training Academy to stage our property. Our agent had already told us to pack extra belongings, so on the morning the students arrived, honestly, to us our home looked fine for buyers to see. Working with what we had and a few accessories the agent brought for the stagers to use, in less than a day, the team transformed our humble home into a dream house worthy of the front cover of Better Homes and Gardens!

Our property is a detached bungalow on a big lot in a circle of semi- detached properties; we were hoping to sell around $650,000. The market is very hot in Toronto and inventory low, so our own perception was ‘why bother to stage when it will sell anyway’. Turned out to be one of the smartest moves we could have made!

The agent was so impressed with the “new” look she listed it higher than any of the other two agents we spoke to would, and it sold in a few days firm at $850,000 !!!!!!
We firmly believe the CSP professionals’ efforts contributed greatly to the value of the offers we received.

We would not hesitate to recommend CSP International Certified Staging Professionals to any homeowner looking to maximize the value of their property in any real estate market!
Thank you CSP International!”

Christine Rae is founder, President and lead trainer at CSP International.
Best-selling author, multiple award winner and humanitarian.

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About Christine Rae

Christine Rae blends her passion for the staging and decorating industries, her desire for helping people develop their potential, the thrill of training to the presentation of the CSPâ„¢ workshop. She has honed her skills and built her knowledge through extensive training in a variety of disciplines. During the last five years Christine has trained over 1600 people and in 2004 was recipient of an International Staging Award. Christine believes a crucial part of success as a trainer is to keep your hand in the industry you speak and teach about. This is why she continues to work (outside of training sessions) at building her own staging business, and works with a select group of Realtors® . The best business anyone can have is from a referral - it is an honor and privilege to work with you and your sphere of influence. Wellness with Essential Oils: