Archive for the ‘Franchisee Profiles’ Category

What Showhomes Is All About

January 8th, 2014

Mike and Janine Callahan owners of Showhomes Fox Valley in the western suburbs of Chicago just celebrated their 5 year anniversary with Showhomes.  As a former franchise of the year they are regarded as one of the premier staging companies in the U.S..  The Fox Valley team recently created an amazing video which features a number of Realtor and home owner client testimonials.  If you want to get a good idea showhomesfvabout what Showhomes is all about and how our value proposition works then check this out:

An Entrepreneurs Story-Donna Muelver

June 20th, 2013

Marty Barnes from The Entrepreneur Source recently wrote a great blog post about one of our long term franchisees Donna Muelver.  Great overview of the fascinating people that are part of the Showhomes family.

“Our Entrepreneur this month wasn’t looking for a franchise and had little interest in owning one. But sometimes the franchise just finds you. Donna Muelver answered the door when opportunity knocked and she is happy she did.

Donna Muelver 2013

Donna Muelver was a stay at home mom and foster parent and her husband Rick was a firefighter. One day a friend told them about a real estate sign installation company that was for sale. It was a struggling company with potential. Donna could run and market the business and her husband Rick and eldest son Wayne could help out with the installation of the lawn signs. They did this for over 10 years, increasing sales and adding real estate photography to their basket of services. And then, opportunity knocked again.

Donna and Rick were members of a video virtual tour organization. One of their friends from this organization had recently bought a franchise that staged homes. He was so impressed with this company that he kept telling Donna and Rick how great it was and that this was an opportunity that they shouldn’t pass up. Donna responded that she had never considered a franchise before and had little interest in buying one. But he was persistent and practically insisted that she check it out.
So Donna checked it out and found the company amazing. “I never knew there was such a thing. The company had about a dozen franchise owners at the time and has since grown to about 74. I saw a huge need, the cost was low and I already had connections in the real estate community.”  Within 6 weeks after her friend’s suggestion, she was at the corporate headquarters for Showhomes signing her franchise agreement. She purchased 7 counties in SE Wisconsin, including Milwaukee County and all the way down to the Illinois border.
Donna was looking for a healthy income for her family. She wanted to get her children involved in the business and build a legacy for them. “If wealth comes with it, we’ll accept it.”
Donna and Rick continued their sign installation business for about 2 more years before selling it. Donna jumped into the Showhomes opportunity with her usual enthusiasm and passion for what she was doing. She was the awarded “Best New Franchisee” her first year in business. In her second year, she was “Franchisee Of The Year.” As Donna told me, “I love the fact that I can transform a house that was smelly and unimpressionable to a warm and inviting home that peaks the buyer’s interest.”
So you’re probably wondering what exactly Showhomes does that excited Donna so much. It’s a known fact that vacant homes are harder to sell and often sell for less than occupied homes. Showhomes specializes in not only staging vacant homes, but also puts in a live-in house manager to give it that homey feeling for prospective buyers. Showhomes takes care of the lawn and snow, pays the utilities and the house manager always has the home “show ready”. The seller of the home pays Showhomes a fee when the house sells and the house manager pays a subsidized rent for taking care of the home. It’s really a win-win for everyone.“Most of my clients have moved out of town. My service provides them peace of mind. If anything comes up, I have a list of vendors to take care of every problem.”
Donna uses her passion for cooking to help her with her business. When a home is listed on the market, the listing agent will usually have what is called a broker’s open house. Once a week the local real estate agents will spend a couple of hours over the lunch hour touring all the recently listed homes. They can’t tour them all, so they often check out the ones that might be of interest for their current clients or perhaps the one that has the best food.
Donna works with the listing agent and puts together a home cooked buffet lunch that is well known in the industry. Her broker’s opens are well attended and they give the listing agent the opportunity to network with other agents that might have potential clients for the home. It also gives them the opportunity to get feedback from these agents of what might need to be improved for a quicker sale.
So what does Donna think of franchising now? “I think franchising is the way to go. You have people that give you the tools and give you what you need. It saves me a lot of time and effort. I don’t have to create the systems and brochures. As an entrepreneur, you have to do it all yourself.” She went on to say, “I enjoy the interaction and helpful attitude between fellow franchisees. Marty facilitates a local monthly Franchise Owner’s Group which I find very helpful. As franchise owners we have a kindred spirit to help each other succeed.”
Donna presently has 19 homes occupied with house managers. She’s had 29 homes sell in the past year with 3 more closings scheduled for September. She is presently on the Showhomes advisory council and she also mentors and trains new franchisees. She has had an active role in positive changes over the years.
Since 1986, Showhomes has helped sell over 25,000 homes worth over $8 billion.
Donna presently is a house manager in one of her listed Showhomes, but also has an office at 631 S. 70th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53214. She can be reached at 888-317-8122 X709 or e-mail her Or if you’re somewhere outside her territory, visit for your closest franchise office.
One last testimonial for Donna: Last year we put my elderly mother in an assisted living home. Her house had been neglected and there was years of accumulation of “stuff” that I won’t get into. I’ve worked hard to sort and sell all her belongings and get the house ready to be listed. I must say that I’m proud of how the house looks and the repairs that have been completed. But, it’s now an attractive EMPTY house in a tough market. So, I have hired Donna to find a house manager and stage the house and work with my agent to facilitate a quick sale. If you’re curious about the outcome, call me or send me an e-mail in about a month and I’ll give you an update. And if you know someone looking for a nice home in the Milwaukee suburbs, definitely give me a call.”

Thriving in Franchising After Leaving Corporate America

April 2nd, 2013

Showhomes Franchise Profile: Fred and Lorraine Pierson of Raleigh, NC

Fred Pierson’s path to entrepreneurship was anything but linear. Before becoming a Showhomes Home Staging franchise owner in Raleigh, N.C., Fred Pierson had two different corporate careers.

In college, Pierson earned a degree in aviation management and went on to manage corporate jet facilities across the United States. Due to the nature of his work, he and his wife, Lorraine, moved frequently. After years of packing and unpacking, Fred, Lorraine and their young children settled in North Carolina and Fred left the aviation industry and his first corporate career.

Fred then joined Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He felt that “hospitality was similar in nature” to his aviation work. For the next decade, Pierson worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually earning the title of General Manager. As the economy contracted during the Great Recession, Fred returned to work for a competitor at half the compensation of what he had been making.

“After doing corporate work for 25 years, my wife and I felt it was time to start working for ourselves,” says Pierson. “In life, opportunities present themselves occasionally, but what really made Showhomes the right opportunity for us was the timing,” he explains.

As luck would have it, a good friend of Fred’s was starting her own mortgage brokerage firm around the same time as his departure from the hospitality industry. Due to her encouragement, Fred became a national and state licensed mortgage loan officer — passing both tests on his first try.

“Old dogs can learn new tricks!” he says.

Working as a mortgage officer was very interesting to Pierson, though he soon realized it could put a strain on his relationships with friends.

“I refused to sacrifice my relationships with people to originate loans,” Pierson explains, “As such, my wife and I looked at opportunities that would provide me with a pipeline of loans without pushing me to use my personal contacts.”

A good friend led the Pierson’s to Showhomes, a business model they felt they would use as an “ancillary feeder” to his mortgage business that catered to those relocating to the Raleigh area.

“We quickly saw that the opportunities with Showhomes were far greater than within the mortgage business,” says Fred. “In a short period of time we saw impressive results that allowed us to walk away from the mortgage side of things and focus on Showhomes.”

The Pierson’s ultimately chose Showhomes over other franchise opportunities because it played to the couples’ talents. Lorraine enjoyed interior design and, as a byproduct of Fred’s aviation management days, was adept at staging houses and making them feel like homes. Fred, a self-described “turnaround specialist for companies,” easily brought in new business.

“Technically no one does what we do on a national level with the level of support and national branding that Showhomes offers,” Pierson says.

On what to expect when becoming a Showhomes franchisee Fred says, “You’re buying the right to a territory and what you do with that territory and how you manage it effectively is up to you.

As franchisees, Fred and Lorraine have learned a considerable amount about real estate and the effect staging has on the buying and selling process. The number one challenge to Showhomes as a business model, according to Fred, is demonstrating the value of a staged home to both the seller and to the realtor.  “Showhomes is here to stage, maintain, manage and protect your home. My job is to make someone fall in love with your home; it’s the Realtor’s job to find a buyer”.

With experiencing close to a 70-percent success rate of having homes sell within 90 days of being staged, the Pierson’s feel that the human elements—leaving slippers by the bed, The Wall Street Journal near the coffee maker– clearly make a difference and bring a human touch.

“To be successful it helps to be well-rounded and most people, because of their corporate careers, are specialists in a particular area, like sales, operations, or administrative. For this reason, it works best with a great team, similar to myself and my wife Lorraine.”

“I take great satisfaction in explaining Showhomes to business principals,” says Fred, “Smart people right away say, ‘That’s an amazing business model!’”

Showhomes of Fox Valley Featured in Daily Herald

February 28th, 2013

Showhomes of Fox Valley highly awarded



Ambassador Award, President’s Club, Circle of Excellence, Most Homes Sold

Vacant homes are hard to sell! They lack buyer appeal, languish on the market and receive low offers. Showhomes, a national home staging franchise, and their franchise partners have provided successful selling solutions for real estate professionals and homeowners in all economic market cycles for the past 27 years.

At the recent Showhomes Annual Conference, held at the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville TN, Showhomes Fox Valley was honored with the Ambassador Award. Owners, Mike & Janine Callahan of the Fox Valley area were presented with this award for unselfishly mentoring and helping others reach their goals.

“It is wonderful for our team to be recognized for our results. Our daily rule is; treat others as we would like to be treated. It works! Being recognized for doing this really affirms the value of that creed”, Mike said.

The Callahan’s have owned Showhomes Fox Valley since 2008.

Along with the Ambassador Award, the Fox Valley team also earned these top honors:

Most Homes Sold

Circle of Excellence, for excellence in Customer Satisfaction.

President’s Club, for highest level of market penetration.

Bert Lyles, Showhomes CEO said, “We are proud of our Showhomes family and especially the Fox Valley team. They operate a quality business based on integrity with outstanding home staging design and customer focus. These awards are well deserved.”

# # #

Since 1986, Showhomes has helped realtors and homeowners sell more than 26,000 homes worth more than $8 billion across the United States. Showhomes provides a turnkey package in home staging that includes whole-house furnishings, professional decorating, a live-in home manager and marketing support services.

If you would like more information about Showhomes Fox Valley, or to schedule an interview with Mike & Janine Callahan, please call Mike at 630/363-1301 or email

Showhomes Franchisee Featured in 1851 Magazine

February 27th, 2013

Thriving Under $100K



With today’s economic climate, it’s easy to be drawn to low-cost options to help make ends meet. In the world of franchising, however, this notion has its ups and downs. Just because an opportunity is low-cost doesn’t mean its the right choice, nor does it mean you will fail. There are a number of factors that play into owning a successful franchise, and these three franchisees know just what it takes to be successful with less than $100,000.


Wireless Zone is the largest independent Verizon Wireless franchise in America. With a foundation set on customer service and community outreach, it is no wonder this franchise has been able to reach over 460 units since its founding in 1988.

“I saw a business that I didn’t feel was going anywhere but up,” said Nate Bastarache, franchisee forWireless Zone. “I saw stability and growth of the Wireless Zone concept and knew that it was right for me. Additionally, a lower cost option allowed me to build a foundation for success more quickly”

The potential for growth was one of the primary reasons Nate got involved with Wireless Zone and one of the key factors that led to his success. After 15 years in the automotive industry working primarily as a general manager, Nate opened his first Wireless Zone location in Easthampton, Massachusetts in 2009. Currently, he is working on his fifth store with hopes to open more in the future.

One issue with a low-cost option is growing too big too fast. “If you have a number of locations but just one is under-performing, it can bring your entire operation down,” Bastarache said. A good way to curb this issue is to carefully plan out developments with respect to time and location. “As Americans, we often forget that our eyes can be larger than our stomachs, a personal affliction of mine.”

Another way Wireless Zone helps procure development is through community outreach.

“The wireless industry is extremely saturated with everyone having a phone these days,” said Bastarache. “The Wireless Zone model is extremely community oriented and we embrace that. The more community outreach we do in these communities, the more successful we are.”

Barbra Bliss-Modder is as passionate a franchisee as you will find in any system. For seven years, she has been a franchisee for Showhomes, a premiere home staging franchise that transforms vacant houses into life-filled, inviting homes that appeal to buyers.

“For most people, becoming a franchisee means taking a leap and investing your life into something new,” said Bliss-Modder. “Being passionate about your concept and investing more than just time and money is what makes a franchisee successful.”

Franchisee of the year for Showhomes in 2010, Bliss-Modder knows what she’s talking about. “I was a realtor for six years before purchasing my territory. I love homes and I love to help people visualize, so this was a perfect business for me.”

“When choosing a low cost franchise you have to be aware of the barriers to entry and how easy it might be for others to duplicate your product,” said Eric Patrick, a franchisee of Painting with a Twist. “This can lead to crowding in a market so it’s important to make sure you believe in your concept, truly enjoy what you’re doing and focus on what separates you from your competition.”

For Patrick, being in this business is all about giving a great experience to his customers. A self-taught painter, Patrick originally worked as a corporate artist for Painting with a Twist before purchasing his first location in Miami, Florida.

“What really separates us from the competition is our passion and having fun,” said Patrick. “If our customers don’t have a good time and leave feeling good, we haven’t done our job.”

Eric has recently opened his second location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“A low cost option allows someone without significant assets or a major loan from a bank to obtain their dream of business ownership in a relatively short period of time,” said Patrick. “With the state of the economy right now it’s difficult for people to find funding, so these opportunities are very important for building up local communities.”

From Bank President to Home Staging Franchisee

August 16th, 2012

After more than 20 years in the banking industry Steve Cook was ready for a change.   Steve had moved up the corporate ladder all the way to President of a Houston based Credit Union but was looking for a more satisfying career choice that helped him focus on his creative side.

Showhomes is pleased to announce the grand opening of the Central Houston market led by Steve Cook and his partner Greg Williams.  Greg is an award winning interior designer and together they plan on offering the variety of Showhomes home staging services to the Houston metro area.

According to Steve

“We both feel very fortunate to have purchased the franchise and more than ready to become the Number One franchise in the nation.”

For information on opening your own Showhomes franchise please contact us at 888-481-6742

Showhomes Adds 2 New Franchisees

August 14th, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN  August 14, 2012 — Nashville-based Showhomes announces the addition of two new franchisees to its network of more than 70 home staging franchises.

Two new Showhomes franchisees completed training recently and will soon be offering their services in Florida.

“Whenever a new franchise is added to our network a real boost of energy can be felt.   We have provided a real win-win service for the real estate community since 1986,” said Matt Kelton, COO of Showhomes. “We have a tight knit franchise family and we love to add to that community as we continue our nationwide expansion.”

Showhomes’ new franchisees are: Chase Greenwell, Orlando, FL and Natasha Payten, East Volusia County, FL.

For information on opening your own Showhomes franchise please contact us at 888-481-6742

Showhomes Franchise Profile-Donna and Rick Muelver-Milwaukee, Wisconsin

August 2nd, 2012

Donna and Rick Muelver have been top performing Showhomes franchisees for many years.  Showhomes has truly been a family affair for Team Muelver!  Multiple family members have been involved in their franchise and they continue to thrive in the Southeast Wisconsin market.

Q. Why were you interested in Showhomes, and what about it led you to purchase the franchise?

We were already in the real estate market servicing the agents with signs, photography and virtual tours.  Taking photos of vacant homes on a regular basis was difficult.  When presented with the Showhomes franchise it made perfect sense to us as something that would have a great affect on the local real estate market, was greatly needed and realized we had connections already with hundreds of real estate agents!

Q. Why should someone thinking about opening a business consider Showhomes?

Showhomes has the national footprint that makes someone interested in staging homes instantly have more credibility.  The business model is phenomenal!  If a person likes to help others this is one of the best businesses that I know of to give you the opportunity to do just that on a regular basis.  The help and support from other franchisee’s is outstanding.

Q. Who makes a good Showhomes franchisee?

A Great Showhomes Franchisee is someone that

1.  Is excited about transforming homes into a fabulous presentation for buyers!

2.  Enjoys helping people in need

3.  Is tenacious and determine

4.  Has vision and the ability to figure out how to make the vision a reality

5.  Engaging, enjoys people and connecting with them where they are

6.  Positive upbeat personality that enjoys challenges and changes in life

7.  Knows marketing/sales and is open to learning more

Q. What has Showhomes franchise ownership allowed you to do that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise?

The thing that means the most to us is the relationships we have with people of like mind all across the country.  Their willingness to share, support, be there when you are down to pick you up, drive several hours to come help you get a large job done or just to be there when you need someone to talk to has been awesome!  The Showhomes Family is a very caring and helping group of people.  Without them the road to success would have been lonely and much more difficult.  We have made friends from California to Florida, Minnesota to Texas.  I wouldn’t want to give that up ever.  I know that I can call text or email anyone of them and they will have feed back from a vantage point of been there done that and yet will give you advice or counsel on how they would handle any given situation.  They are there to cheer you on, encourage you and are interested in helping you where they can become as successful or more so than they are!  Thank you one and ALL!
Q.  What has it been like starting up and running a business with your spouse?

Knowing each other so well, being each others best friend has helped us with decision making.  Although we do not always agree we do know each other well.  That helps us know what the other is thinking and has created a communication level that wouldn’t necessarily have been there without it.  We enjoy spending time together even if that is on a project, staging a house or just working of details of the business.  Showhomes has allowed us to spend more time together and helps us both have the same motivation to succeed.
Q.  What has the experience of being a home manager been like?

Being a home manager has been exciting. We did not start out as Home Managers when we first purchased our franchise.  However, as time went on it made more and more sense for us to do so.  Now that we are Home Managers, we experience what the rest of the Home Manager Team goes through each day.  We know that there are things that happen that rub us the wrong way just like the rest of our team.  With that better understanding it helps us to relate to them, answer them questions and give them guidance on how to make adjustments to prepare for and handle those ‘hiccups’.  It also helps us be able to ‘test’ out new systems or strategies to help make our system run more smoothly.

We really enjoy the moving around and having a new home with it’s own challenges to overcome.  It is always amazing, even after 9 years, to see a house transformed to a fabulous looking property.  To be a part of the solution is energizing and exiting!

Q.  What’s the best thing about Showhomes?

Things like a project we just completed.  A home owner had sold their home within 4 days of it being put onto the market.  They moved to their new home and began getting settling in.  Through a series of circumstances the closing never happened and now they had two homes, two mortgages and furniture for only one.  Not long after that Mr Seller lost his job.  So now this family is really in dire straights.  We have been able to get their home staged quickly, find a Home Manager to occupy the home and keep it ready for showings, reduce the Home Owners monthly expenses and help the REALTOR get the home sold, a second time, as quickly as possible.  Again, to be a part of the solution is a fabulous feeling when you know how much you are helping others in a time of need!

Showhomes Franchise Profile-Janine and Mike Callahan-Fox Valley, IL

August 2nd, 2012

Mike and Janine Callahan are the 2011 Showhomes Franchisees of The Year.  Not only are they Showhomes franchisees but they are also home managers.  Over 50% of Showhomes franchisees are also home managers which allows them to enjoy an amazing lifestyle at a great price!  See how Mike and Janine have been able  to take advantage of the Showhomes lifestyle while building a leading business in the Chicago area.

Q. Why were you interested in Showhomes, and what about it led you to purchase the franchise?

As a retired mortgage banker and Janine as a decorator for 30+ years—this opportunity merged both our backgrounds; real estate and decorating. We didn’t ever really think our skills would have us working together, but this is a perfect match for us.

Q. Why should someone thinking about opening a business consider Showhomes? The Showhomes business model represents a clear ‘win’ for every party involved in the transaction. We provide lower cost, luxury housing to our home managers and faster sales with higher offers to our sellers and realtors. All of this at a very reasonable cost. Everyone wins. We can feel good about what we have accomplished for everyone involved.

Q. Who makes a good Showhomes franchisee? Willingness to put in the time and effort to succeed! There are no short cuts; after 33+ years in running and owning businesses I have learned that your efforts typically follow your results. If you are not the person to be out on the front line marketing your business to everyone you meet, you need to have someone in place that can handle that part. Nothing happens until someone sells something. That’s an old sales idiom and it is so true. Until we have a house to stage and fill we’re not providing our services. If we’re not providing our services to paying clients we are not generating income. It sounds simple, but it is interesting to me that so many people start a business and spend months developing tracking systems, customer tracking systems, social media campaigns and marketing their business is an after thought. We compliment each other. Janine is an extraordinary stager and decorator, I am willing to talk to anyone and everyone about our business until they say ‘STOP!” But, we also were wise enough to bring in a general manager that can fill in our skill gaps. This is not a passive opportunity and I think it is the rare owner that can succeed long term as a solo operator. The business model is gratifying and proven successful, but it takes effort and there many moving parts. It would be easy to miss something by running this business on your own. I wouldn’t say it can not be done, it would be much more challenging.

Q. What has Showhomes franchise ownership allowed you to do that you wouldn’t have been able to do

otherwise? We became Home Managers about a year after starting our business and we have been blessed to live in homes that are so far out of our lifestyle it is amazing! The home manager lifestyle is definitely not for everyone, but we have absolutely loved the opportunity to live in mansions AND to see the success of helping the homes sell.

Q.  What has it been like starting up and running a business with your spouse? As I mentioned before, we did not really see our skills blending into an opportunity to work together, but here it is. I can say that we totally enjoy working together and since we both have different areas of responsibility, we may work together but not even see each other until the end of the day. We recently celebrated our 36th anniversary and I can safely say at no time was the relationship ‘at risk’ because we are working together. If anything, we can both see how each other’s skills add value to our total business. While we have separate areas of responsibility we are both willing to ‘consult’ with each other. More input is a good thing.

Q.  What has the experience of being a home manager been like? We are currently living in a 12,000+ sq foot mansion. We could not afford the taxes on this home, much less to purchase it. We just had the wonderful experience of assisting in the sale of this amazing property 5 years on the market, we moved in just over a year ago and were truly instrumental in assisting with the sale. The owners are thrilled, the realtor of course is thrilled and the new buyers love how the home looks. In fact the buyers have put together an extensive list of items they would love to purchase from our inventory. I would be remiss not to mention that there is a certain amount of anxiety waiting for our next home. The true value has been that we can identify with our home managers. There hasn’t been too many situations that can come up that we have not experienced, so it is a great learning tool for us. 

Until you live the same life of your home managers it is very difficult to know when they have a legitimate concern or just a ‘minor’ bump in their road.

Q.  What’s the best thing about Showhomes? The company has a great story to tell; our business model works regardless of the economy and we help everyone along the way at very affordable options. The core values of Showhomes are based on integrity and excellence. My personal philosophy has been the golden rule; ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’. I don’t always make that but I do try. Showhomes values and our values are totally in line and that is both refreshing and affirming to us.

Showhomes Franchise Profile-Lisa and Chris Gulliver-San Diego North Coast

August 2nd, 2012

Over the years Showhomes has proven to be a great model for spouses to work together in their business.   Lisa and Chris Gulliver have been Showhomes franchisees since 2010 and were the 2011 Rising Star Award Winner.  Learn more about why they chose to leave Corporate America to become their own bosses with their own Showhomes franchise.

Q. Why were you interested in Showhomes, and what about it led you to purchase the franchise?
My wife Lisa and I became interested in a Showhomes franchise because we felt it was a great use of our 15+ years in corporate sales and marketing and experience owning a retail antique business. Lisa also has a natural ability in design having earned a B.A. degree in Architecture and has extensive experience designing and remodeling homes. Lisa and I were also attracted to Showhomes since we felt it allowed us the flexibility we need to spend time with our two, active teenage children.
Q. Why should someone thinking about opening a business consider Showhomes?
The investment in a Showhomes franchise is relatively low when compared to other franchise businesses. Showhomes is a very stable and well established company having been in business for over 25 years. Also, the financial model of a low furniture inventory investment (vs. most staging businesses) makes sense. Instead the focus of our franchise business is on obtaining and holding on to good home managers who provide the staging inventory and pay a monthly fee which provides a good cash flow. Finally, I think the recent corporate management team has integrity and is genuinely interested in helping the franchise system prosper and grow. Showhomes CEO Bert Lyles has made investments in the tools and staff needed to keep the Showhomes system successful.
Q. Who makes a good Showhomes franchisee?
A good Showhomes franchisee starts with the owners who must have a solid business background. Having experience owning and operating your own small business prior to purchasing a Showhomes franchise is also a big plus. The owners must also be able to create a team which is essential to longevity of the franchise.

Q. What has it been like starting up and running a business with your spouse?
A Showhomes franchise really lends itself well to being run by spouses, especially if you both are fortunate to have some of the keys skills needed to be successful. Starting and running a business has been fun for us. It is not without challenges however, and you occasionally need to work out your disagreements. The best advice I could give to anyone thinking about starting their own Showhomes franchise is: know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately in our case, we had six years practice owning and operating a retail antique store before we purchased our Showhomes franchise. In our previous business, we quickly learned what each other was best at doing and we split up the responsibilities along those lines. If you are lucky, one spouse’s strengths are the other spouses weaknesses and vice-versa. If you still have things that you are both not especially good at, you can (and should) hire good, talented staff to make up the difference.

Q.  What’s the best thing about Showhomes?

The best thing about Showhomes is knowing that we truly offer a value added service to our customers: the Realtor, homeowner and Home Manager. It is also very satisfying to see the final results of our hard work. Staging really does profoundly transform a vacant house. We are very proud of what we do and we have a great team to help us make it happen. It’s great when a job comes together and we’ve created a beautifully designed and staged home with very satisfied clients.