St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


It's so easy a ----------- could do it!

This seems to be the philosophy of so many new staging training providers that are popping up in the industry these days.  Have you noticed how many there are?  Because many businesses are struggling, and of course staging training is a 'cash cow', they have decided to throw their hats into the ring - at least that is perception. 

In truth, courses that are properly prepared, written and presented are not 'cash cows'.  They have high levels of overhead and expenses.  They have industry professionals teaching the course who are taking time out of their busy schedules of running their own successful businesses to teach.  What they earn per student per day is typically less than what they make in their actual staging professions. 

Before signing with a training provider, there are some basic questions you should be asking:

  • how long have you been in business?
  • how many staging classes have you taught?
  • what is your training background?
  • how many pages is your training manual?
  • how many hours is your course?
  • how many students have been taught?
  • do you offer an exam at the end of class, or does everyone pass?
  • If you offer an exam, what's the ratio of students who pass?
  • What happens if they don't pass?
  • Do you offer hands on training?
  • what is the instructor's actual staging experience?  Do they own their own staging businesses?  What is their success like?  (how many homes a week/month/year do they/their company stage?)  Are they still in business?  If not, why did they get out?
  • can you give me references of students you have taught who have successful staging businesses?
  • do you have a portfolio of some of your class projects?
  • Do you have an outline of what I'll learn & receive in class?
  • What kind of after class support do you offer?
  • Do you offer any ongoing or continuing education so I can learn as my business progresses?
  • What additional business tools do you offer?
  • If I take your class are there any trade discounts with industry partners that I'll be able to use in my business?

These are the basic overall questions you should be asking - at a minimum.  Don't assume that all courses are created equal.  Just because they are both similar in number of days, price, etc that they are the same.  Also be mindful that courses that are significantly less expensive are that way for a reason!  Remember, just like everything else, you typically get what you pay for. 



If you would like to be taught by CSP's Executive Director, Melissa Marro, see her class dates below and call 1-888-STAGING to reserve your seat. To learn more about becoming a Certified Staging Professional, visit

  • July 8 -9 CSP Elite Instructor Training - St. Catharines, ON
  • July 28-30 CSP Certification Course - Charleston, SC
  • August 4-6 CSP Certification Course - Jacksonville, FL
  • August 11  CSP Elite Agent Training - Charleston, SC
  • August 13 CSP Elite Agent Training - Columbia, SC
  • August 25 - 27 CSP Certification Course - Nashville, TN
  • September 10-12 CSP Certification Course - Atlanta, GA
  • September 22-24 CSP Certification Course - Denver, CO
  • October 6-8 CSP Certification Course - Charlotte, NC
  • October 20-22 CSP Certification Course - Baton Rouge, LA
  • November 10-12 CSP Certification Course - Tampa, FL
  • December 1-3 CSP Certification Course - Jackson, MS


First Impressions Home Staging & Interior ReDesign is a nationally award winning company owned and operated in Summerville, SC a suburb of Charleston, SC.  We provide high quality staging for both occupied and vacant homes in the greater surrounding areas and beyond!  For more information please visit,  If you are interested in learning about making Home Staging your profession, please visit, for more information.


 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 7 commentsMelissa Marro • June 25 2009 03:44PM


I do not find it easy....and  I've tried!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) about 10 years ago

Cindy - That is exactly the point!  You want a stager who has had years of professional experience in the business to teach the new stagers.  They should be active in the field and running their own staging companies.  How else can they tell someone else how to do it?

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 10 years ago

Melissa -

Great post! I wrote a blog last year asking for feedback on which courses stagers would recommend and got more rants than good reviews for a certain home staging training company. I completely agree - you get what you pay for and if it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

Staging is hard work and the training needs to prepare you for that reality. Staging isn't a cute hobby, its a dynamic profession requiring business sense and know how, creativity, versatility and adaptability!

Posted by Heather Cook, Quality Home Staging (Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc.) about 10 years ago

Great post Melissa...Common though...It's so easy I can do it with my eyes closed :-)

Posted by Kimberley Hawley, Hawley Interiors & Staging (Hawley Interiors & Staging) about 10 years ago

Melissa when I saw your title I immediately thought of Sabrina Soto on TV because she frequently says..."anybody can do this" and boy do I bristle. 

Good point on the training and experiences needed.  My original instructor had very little experience with staging (she did mainly redesigns) and it hurt to find that out, after I had paid my fault for not asking. 

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) about 10 years ago

Melissa, Interesting that the questions that should be asked about a course or an instructor are much like those that should be asked by Agents or homeowners of their stagers.

As you know Linda spent a lot of time researching before choosing which courses she wanted to be involved with training.  Her thought was that just like her own staging business, the training that she would be involved in needed to represent quality and a sound reputation because her name would be associated with that training. 

I think we have a mixed bag of training in our industry today.  We have some that is just plain horrible (Buyer beware), we have some that are just OK but have not adapted well to the changing needs of the staging industry (Buyer be Informed) and we have some that are quite superior due to the depth of training that is being provided and the experience level of those that are doing the training (Buyer be completely trained).  As it turns out this staging stuff is a real living, breathing business that is part art and part business skills.  You cannot be successful unless you are trained in both skill and business.  Very good points

Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) about 10 years ago

I posted about staging training not long ago after reading yet again about a book that claims it teaches everything you need to know about the business and saves you thousands of dollars in the process.  I compared it to learning how to drive a semi truck by reading a book.  Maybe not as dangerous but scary all the same.  You have to invest time in learning and that means paying for someone else's time to teach you the ropes.  Learning by doing is a time honored and proven way to develop any skill, and staging is a skill.

Posted by Pam Faulkner, Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA (Faulkner House Interior Redesign) about 10 years ago

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