There is a lot of misunderstanding about what the purpose of home staging is, and unfortunately, most of that misunderstanding seems to come from INSIDE the industry. Home Stagers don’t seem to understand what their business is.

To borrow a term from Melissa Marro of Rave Home Staging, most stagers use “pretty talk” when describing and marketing their service. Spend five minutes scrolling through the social media pages of any home staging company and you’ll find that the focus is almost entirely on showing pretty rooms in magazine-style photos.

Don’t get me wrong, those ‘pretty’ photos are absolutely critical – the photos on are often the sole determining factor in whether a prospective buyer attends an open home or keeps scrolling. But the ‘pretty’ photos are an outcome of what we do as home stagers.

Home stagers don’t make houses pretty, we make them marketable. Again, I’m going to borrow a quote from Melissa Marro:

“Home Staging is about creating a MEASURABLE, MARKETABLE difference in the PERCEIVED VALUE of the house. That’s all done by understanding basic human buying habits, body language, and silent signals that our brain perceives without our knowledge. It’s not about design or decorating.”

Home staging is about real estate marketing. It’s about the presentation of a property in a way that makes a marketable difference in the perceived value to a buyer.

I believe many stagers get it wrong in this regard, and it stems from the fact that there are almost no barriers to entry to the industry. For clarity, building a significant home staging ‘business’ DOES take a huge amount of time and capital. But with the many options to outsource parts of the business, as well as hire furniture, it’s very easy for someone to call themselves a home stager and start speaking to agents and home sellers immediately.

What this means is that many new home staging businesses pop up, based entirely on the owners’ love of décor. Let’s be clear – if your entire reason for being a home stager is a love of décor and design, you’re probably in the wrong industry.

A passion for customer service, and more importantly, an understanding of both marketing and real estate, is crucial. And an understanding that home staging, more than anything else, is about real estate marketing. It’s time to ditch the ‘pretty talk’.

– Jake Shorter


You can listen to our full interview with Melissa Marro from Rave Home Staging here – Foxy Property Chat Podcast – Melissa Marro Episode


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