Designing a new career with home staging
Pam Fieber has grown her business, Edit Home Staging, into a full-time career
Turning an interest in home decor and real estate into a career was an intriguing possibility, but a daunting one as well for Pam Fieber. She wanted to explore her options without leaving her job in journalism and publishing, so the Home Staging Certificate of Completion at Mount Royal was a perfect fit.
“The courses didn’t take me away from my regular life or commitments. I could do the educational aspect on the side while deciding if I wanted to pursue staging further,” Fieber says.
In 2015, she enrolled in Introduction to Home Staging, one of two courses that make up the certificate. It took place over a weekend, “perfect for me with my schedule,” she says.
“Once I was in the group, it was great. The instructor, Morag McLellan, was wonderful. It was all very convenient and low pressure. It wasn’t a huge investment of time or money.”
That course whetted her appetite, so Fieber dove into the Home Staging as a Business course, which featured “the nitty gritty questions you need answered” when it comes time to go out on your own.
“These courses were essential to going forward and making this change in my life. . . I would never have done it if I had to quit my job and commit full time to a course load. It would have been impossible.”
“I felt like I had learned so much and I wanted to keep learning. I thought, ‘Why not? It’s still convenient. It’s still something I can do on the side while working.’ I decided to take the second course so I would be really ready if I did decide to take that next step.”
Fieber launched her business, Edit Home Staging, on a part-time basis two years ago and has grown it into a full-time career that offers her the flexibility she needs as a mother of two. The business course has really come into play now that she has a warehouse to store a full complement of items for staging, from trendy accessories to couches, on-point artwork to bedroom sets.
“I love helping people and that’s what I do. Staging isn’t just about making rooms look pretty: it’s about making people money,” she says. “My favourite thing is when people walk in to their home after I’ve staged and say ‘I don’t want to move now.’”
Her end goal is to get the client’s home — whether it’s a vacant infill in the inner city, a million-dollar condo or a family home in the suburbs — to sell quickly and for top dollar. Studies show staged homes achieve those goals. Fieber created a menu of services that tailor her offerings to the client’s needs and budget, from a consultation and report for DIYers with an eye for design to a half-day “Power Stage” to fully showcasing the possibilities of a vacant home.
“Owners no longer see the things that buyers see. It takes a fresh eye to come and identify those obstacles to selling,” she says. “People don’t realize how selling faster saves them money. The cost of staging will always be far less than the cost of your first price reduction which is caused by the house sitting on the market. You save mortgage payments. And you save yourself stress by having a quick sale, especially in an occupied home.”
She’s had to add a service due to demand: once a client sells their home, Fieber stages their new home with their existing pieces. Looking back, she says the decision to enrol in Continuing Education courses at Mount Royal University was the right one.
“These courses were essential to going forward and making this change in my life,” she says. “The fact that I could do them on the side was crucial. I would never have done it if I had to quit my job and commit full time to a course load. It would have been impossible.”
For more information on Mount Royal’s Home Staging Certificate, visit mru.ca/Home.
March 21, 2018 — Ruth Myles