Karen Galler grew up in Green Bay and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management information systems from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1990. Following her graduation, Galler joined Carlson Companies, a franchisor in the hotel, restaurants and travel industries. She started as a programmer in the marketing division and made her way up to Director of IT before leaving the company in 2013. Over the course of her career Galler also worked as a consultant for Whittman-Hart/marchFIRST from 1996-2001.
After more than 16 years of working for Carlson, Galler decided it was time to become the owner of a business that related to her passions; real estate and design. She has previously custom-built two cabins, and has owned and renovated multiple houses as well as a commercial property. Moreover, Galler has experience in running a business through supporting her husband in his boating accessories manufacturing business, Regal Connection, which opened in 2000.
Galler also recently received her real estate license, which is required in Minnesota for the property management component of Showhomes. She is currently listed as a licensed real estate agent with ReMax Preferred. Since taking over the territory, Galler has maintained her rank as number one in revenue in the franchise system four out of nine months.
I had been a director for six years at Carlson and was ready to own my own business. I started looking at different businesses with the help of a business broker. I was looking for a franchise company because I had experience with the franchise system while at Carlson, and I liked the concept of a franchisor providing support.
The Showhomes territory became available, which was perfect timing. I’ve always loved real estate, design and project management. Also, it wouldn’t be just me – I have 5 people in the team; a recruiter for our home management program, an operations manager, two certified stagers, and I’m also certified in staging.
What changes are you making to the business with your takeover?
I’m focusing on improving our project management and operations. From an operational standpoint, we will be a lot more thorough; if we say we’re going to do something by a certain time we will do it. We want clients to trust that we will do what we say we will do.
We’ve also expanded to more of a full service menu with a wider variety of services. The previous owner didn’t offer home makeovers and impact staging.
What are your most popular services?
I would like to have more Home Manager projects; we currently have 10 properties that we manage. Impact staging, where we do 5-6 rooms, is kicking up.
Where are the majority of your clients from?
From repeat real estate agents and a quarter come from builders, flippers and renovation people.
Are you involved in any community outreach programs?
I just joined The Women’s Network and I am a member of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
Founded in 1986, Showhomes has helped Realtors® and homeowners sell more than 25,000 residential properties worth more than $8.5 billion, by transforming high-end vacant houses into fully-furnished, inviting, valued Showhomes. Currently serving prominent communities in 20 states, Showhomes is a rapidly expanding franchise system with 61 offices nationwide. Boasting the expertise of long-time real estate and interior design professionals, Showhomes is a one-stop-shop for home staging, home redesign, “One-Day Makeover’s” for currently occupied homes and its proprietary Home Manager program – a proven model to get upscale vacant homes off the market, faster. Every major national media outlet in the U.S. has praised the work of Showhomes, the company’s work has also been featured on Oprah, HGTV and the Travel Channel. For more information or to learn about franchise opportunities, please visit www.showhomesfranchise.com.