Let’s talk about Credentials in the Home Staging Industry. 

What do these initials mean and do I really need them?

To answer that question, we need a little history lesson.

When the Home Staging industry began, it was birthed out of real estate as a way to make properties look and show better to prospective buyers.  Back when the industry began in 1972, there was no governing body established to regulate the industry.  Maybe it is because from 1972 to the early 2000’s, Staging was not really seen as a “viable” industry.  We were sort of considered the “ugly step-sister” of the Design Industry and as such were not seen as professional or necessary.  In the late 1990’s the first Home Staging Training Course was developed and launched by Stagedhomes.com.

The first Home Staging Business Course was the Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP®) Course. Because the Creator of Home Staging®, Barb Schwarz, was a REALTOR®, she understood Home Staging is a real estate marketing tool to help houses look their best when they come on the market, therefore making them more marketable to the target buyer. She developed the ASP® Course to educate real estate agents so they understood why they needed to incorporate this service as part of their standard process to list and sell houses. And she developed the first business course for someone who wanted to establish a successful Staging company.

Through the years, other entities have jumped into the education arena for Home Staging, with some offering better education than others. Most all courses issue “initials” or what is known as a DESIGNATION to their graduates.

Definition of Designation:

Noun: the act of designating or identifying something

Noun: identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from others

So when you see what looks like “alphabet soup” after the name of a professional on a business card or website, those letters relate to education that individual has received to enhance their skills and knowledge for their profession. In the Staging world, there are designations that identify the course a Stager has attended and education received, and there are niche specific service related designations as well. In real estate, REALTOR® is a professional designation issued by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR®), and REALTORs believe in education, they earn added credentials, and this is important because professional Home Stagers work with REALTORS. The credentials you earn DO matter to your clients. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Definition of Certification:

The action or process of providing someone or something with an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement.” A fundamental requirement for organic certification”

So let’s take a look at what “Accreditation Means” and who is eligible to provide Accreditations to individuals, Training Courses or Companies in the Home Staging Industry.

Definition of Accreditation:

The action or process of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity.

“The accreditation of professionals” official certification that a school or course has met standards set by external regulators.

Stagedhomes.com is recognized as a real estate SCHOOL by state and government agencies where we teach. This assignation provides us the ability to Accredit our Students. In addition, the Stagedhomes.com Courses are Accredited BY a third party entity: The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®), the world’s oldest and largest Home Staging Industry Association.

Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies; hence they are sometimes known as “accredited certification bodies”. The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance.


So what does all this mean for YOU?

When you attend one of the courses from Stagedhomes.com, you are:

  • Being educated by an Accredited school
  • Receiving the highest form of credentials in the Home Staging Industry – an Accreditation for YOU
  • Earning credentials that matter to your target clients who understand, appreciate and look for Stagers who are professionally educated and trained for success.
  • When you graduate, you have a Designation, you are Certified and you are ACCREDITED – you have all 3 of the forms of recognition.

WHY does this matter?

When you are competing for business with other Stagers, you will be able to share your credentials and knowledge, that you are professionally educated and trained, and have made an investment in your education and business success because you want to be able to serve clients in the very BEST way.

Your education is not only a SOLID FOUNDATION for SUCCESS, it is also a KEY MARKETING DIFFERENTIATOR for you professionally.

Jennie Norris – President & CEO, Stagedhomes.com, Author of “Marketing Made Simple: The Home Stagers Guide to Success.”