An Open Letter to Dave Ramsey – Home Staging IS a Viable Career and ASP Training is the best

Dear Dave, As the President of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP), I have been receiving emails of concern regarding a recent call on your talk show where a woman asked you about getting trained in Home Staging. Specifically you told this woman not to get trained from and the proceeded to criticize Barb Schwarz and the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) course. It leads me to believe that you have not done your homework on this subject. There are disreputable entities out there teaching classes on Home Staging, but is NOT one of them. First, Home Staging is a viable industry and like any industry such as Real Estate, training is important. Realtors earn designations – in fact REALTOR is a designation offered by NAR – as I am sure you aware. Barb created Home Staging nearly 40 years ago and is very well respected in the real estate industry. Her vision to create a professional designation for Staging was genius and has helped create professional standards for this industry. In addition to the numerous books she has written on Home Staging and Real Estate, she was a keynote speaker at the recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) Convention in San Diego, speaking to thousands of Realtors on the subject of Home Staging. I bet you also did not know that the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) Course has been around for over 10 years. It is the only legitimate accreditation for Home Staging and was recently approved by the Department of Defense (DOD) as a course offered through the MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account) program. If the US Government respects, Barb Schwarz, and the ASP Course I would imagine that you could do some research and come to the same conclusion. To just tell this caller not to get training and then to criticize the owner of the company – without even knowing her long standing credentials and all she has contributed to the real estate and Home Staging industries – is irresponsible journalism. If you want to check the archives of hundreds of articles featuring Barb Schwarz, simply go to If US News and World Report, Time, Newsweek, Kiplingers, Consumer Reports, Washington Post, NY Times, and more – if they find the time to feature Barb and ASPs and understand the value in education, standards of excellence and codes of ethics in running professional Home Staging businesses, I would think you would too. Barb has also been featured on ABC’s 20/20 and NBC’s Today Show, as well as PBS, FOX and CBS. In fact, she has been the ONLY national prime-time feature on Home Staging – and the TV networks do their homework. They would hardly feature a person, company or designation that was not of the highest standard. It would have been so easy for you to actually do some research instead of telling this caller not to bother with training. As the owner of a Home Staging company for the past 7 years, I can share with you what your poor advice will do for this caller. She will now try to compete in a business without any knowledge of how to get clients, how to price her business, how to market, and how to work with sellers. There are professional ASP Stagers making 5-7 figure incomes and sadly, she will not be one of them because you advised her not to get professional training from a company that can help her succeed. She will flounder and most likely fail because she will not be tied into an ongoing support for the Home Staging industry such as the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) of which I am President for 2009-2010. IAHSP is the ONLY professional Association serving this industry that monitors and guides members with standards of performance, education, and ethics and is like the NAR of the Home Staging industry. We network professionally through over 100 chapters established nationwide. This poor woman will not have any support locally and will probably be on to some other venture within a year. She also will not have access to the Staging University for ongoing learning and support – the Staging U is offered through and was the brainchild of Barb Schwarz. Instead of giving her good advice, you missed the boat on this one, Dave. I would be appreciative – as would all the thousands of ASPs successfully serving Realtors, Sellers, Investors, and Builders throughout North America, if you would have the courage to state a retraction. Better yet, why don’t you have Barb Schwarz on your program as a guest? She has been doing the “real estate thing” longer than most – and was voted the “Most Influential Person in Real Estate” a few years ago – by her peers in the industry. She has been a featured speaker at the NAR Conventions 4 out of the last 5 years. She has personally educated over 1.5 million Realtors about Staging and helped launch the careers of thousands of entrepreneurs in the past decade. Since 1972 she has dedicated her life to helping others with educating them about a service and tool that can help houses sell faster. Perhaps you need to educate yourself on her background, mission and vision for the future – as I am sure you would then see that her goals are to continue to help give opportunities for success to real estate agents and professional Home Stagers, as well as give the public a trusted resource for their needs in preparing their houses for sale. Please feel free to contact me for any feedback or direction on where to contact Barb. My email is [email protected]. Barb’s email is [email protected]. I would like to see you set the record straight for the many people that depend on you for accurate and responsible advice. Sincerely and Respectfully, Jennie Norris, ASP® Master, IAHSP® President International Association of Home Staging Professionals® Owner, Sensational Home Staging 916-768-1662 [email protected]
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2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Dave Ramsey – Home Staging IS a Viable Career and ASP Training is the best

  1. Hello Jennie, Barb and all! I am sad to see the public comment that Dave Ramsey made regarding Staged Homes and Training. I am currently with my husband in our successful Home Staging Business, trained by Barb herself! We love our job, and our life now, and the quality of life.

    Our CPA gave us tickets to see Dave Ramsey in Portland, and we are now both in the Financial Peace University training. According to our CPA, we have been operating in the black since we started our business, however our previous careers had left us in debt way over our heads. Being in the black in the business of Staging, or ANY business, is unheard of, so we just have our pasts to clean up and we’re doing quite well.

    Barb and Jennie, and Staged Homes and the Training we invested in as ASP’s and for our future’s, was necessary for us to take us seriously, learn from the pro’s, and also have a lifetime guaranteed backup of hundreds of hours of professionalism to have confidence in our finished product.

    I applaud and love Barb, Jennie, and, facing real estate agents without a safety net of the knowledge I gained and what we learned made us successful, the investment we made proved to us we were serious. To this day the confidence that I’ve needed is the backing of ALL the devoted members of

    Now on to Dave Ramsey. I love the phrase “Live like no-one else now to Live like no one else tomorrow”. If it means to work hard toward a goal of financial freedom and peace it is a good thing. I think Barb and have the same goal.

    Now Dave, apologize because my husband and I are graduates of Barb and successful, and we ARE living like no-one else to Live like no-one else and enrolled in the FPU…..and we’re happily serious!

    Respectfully to All!

    Sheila Reynolds, ASP, IAHSP
    Presentations Home Staging

  2. Jennie,

    Thank you so much for thoroughly explaining the viability of home staging to Mr. Ramsey and his network. Just as there are many people that have called into his radio spot screaming “I’m debt Free” There are scores of ASP stagers that can contest to home staging and its legitimacy.

    My husband and I are graduates of Financial Peace University and believe in Mr. Ramsey’s philosophies. As a matter of fact my husband facilitated Financial Peace University course at our very own church.

    Mr. Ramsey, just as you expect others to pay for your company’s materials, incur travel expenses and pay to attend your conferences, you need to understand that is just as worthy and the return on investment is just as high.

    Felicia Frazier, ASP, IAHSP
    Staging by DWELL

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