Archive for the ‘News Items’ Category

Showhomes Denver Featured on KRDO Radio

June 20th, 2014

This week George Hart from Showhomes Denver was feaured on KRDO radio in Colorado Springs, CO to discuss the benefits of home staging. They are experts in home staging and their clients are experiencing substantially faster sale times than the average in the Denver Metro market.  Click on this link Showhomes-George Hart KRDO KRDO Radioto listen to the interview and to learn more about what Showhomes offers our customers!

ABOUT SHOWHOMES

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.showhomes.com.

 

Even Dave Ramsey Loves Home Staging!

June 10th, 2014

4 Insider Tricks to Sell Your Home on a Tight Timeline

Selling your home can be stressful under normal circumstances. But add a deadline to the mix, and your blood pressure spikes just thinking about it.

Perhaps the clock’s ticking because your company transferred you to a new city or you’re following your dream to a new state. Maybe you’re selling your childhood home because your mom requires around-the-clock nursing care now.

Whatever the reason, you’re in luck: Now’s a great time to sell! According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors, 41% of recent home sales were on the market for less than a month.

If other homeowners can do it, you can too! Sell your home in record time with these simple tips.

Accentuate the Positive

Staging spotlights your home’s best features while downplaying its problem areas. It starts with cleaning and decluttering and can include painting and rearranging furniture, among other tasks. The goal is to create a welcoming environment that’s easy for buyers to see as their own.

You can hire a professional stager or do it yourself. Either way, it’s well worth your time and money. A recent study by the Real Estate Staging Association found that homes that were staged before being listed sold in an average of 26 days.That’s 87% faster than those that sat on the market for several months before being staged!

Use Knockout Photos

Today’s buyers rely heavily on the Internet in their search for the perfect home, and photos play a big role in capturing their attention. According to the Wall Street Journalphotos are the first thing buyers go to in the MLS listing and where they spend most of their time.

That’s why it’s important to put your best face forward. Save your smartphone camera for family snapshots. This job calls for a professional—preferably with a wide-angle lens! Schedule your photo shoot for a time of day when the sun casts the perfect light on your home and make sure every room looks catalog-ready.

Price It Right

This is no time to put your emotions in the driver’s seat. If you really want to move the needle, you’ve got to price your home to sell. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it eight years ago or what you owe on your mortgage. Your home is worth what buyers will pay, plain and simple.

Price it too high, and buyers will pass it up without ever stepping through the door. Price it too low, and you’ll give it away to the first taker. Work with an experienced real estate agent to find a happy medium so you don’t lose time or money. Your agent can help you set a competitive price by comparing recent sales of homes in your area.

Hire a Mover and Shaker

Don’t waste your time on an agent who only sells a handful of homes a year. It takes more than a sign in your yard to sell your home fast. You need a pro with a plan, and a short deadline calls for the best in the business!

A true pro knows there’s strength in numbers and brings a creative mind and a mile-long contacts list to expose your home to as many buyers as possible. Look for a high-octane agent who closes a minimum of 40 home transactions per year and has at least five years of real estate experience.

With the right agent, you can get top dollar for your home even when time is short. If you’re looking for the best of the best in your area, we can connect you to a real estate agent Dave recommends.

Leaving Retail For A More Flexible Life

June 10th, 2014

Marisa Salas was born and raised in Miami. Her family moved to the United States from Cuba in the 1960s and began a jewelry business. Marisa helped expand the business from one location to two and managed the second location for nine years. Marisa moved to New York where she met and married her husband. They were there for two years before moving back to Miami. Upon returning home, Marisa worked for Neiman Marcus/Carson’s for four years. She then decided to start a family and had two children. Marisa stayed at home for three years raising her two children, but soon decided she wanted to return to the workforce. However, retail was not the place for her as that involves working nights, weekends and holidays, so Marisa was in search of a career change. Her husband attended a franchise expo and discovered Showhomes, Marisa Salas 2014which was the perfect fit for Marisa.

 

How did you learn about Showhomes?
My husband found out about franchising through a friend of ours and was compelled to look into franchising so he attended a franchise expo in Miami. He came home with a few options that he thought would be good for me and I liked Showhomes the best.

Why did you want to work with the brand?
I liked the business model.

How has business been going?
We were the very first Showhomes in the area, so the first two years of business took us some time to ramp up, as with any business’s first initial debut, but we have grown and are getting lots of referrals and return clients.

What services are you performing the most?

We offer staging solutions for vacant houses and matching them with Home Managers. We have been doing a lot of staging, which involves only furniture rentals. We are hoping to get into the makeover business soon as well.

 Do you have any success stories?

We staged a home last week and sold it to the first person who came to see it. I have also staged numerous historic homes including those in the Coral Gables area as well as Alfred Browning Parker homes too. (He was a famous architecture who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright).

 Alfred Browning Parker was a Modernist architect who is one of the best-known post World War II residential architects. He gained fame for his highly published modern houses in the region around Miami, Florida.He was born in Boston, MA and moved to Miami when he was eight years old. Parker graduated from the University of Florida in 1939 with a degree in Architecture. Influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright but with regional touches, Parker’s designs have been published in many magazines such as House Beautiful, as well as in companion books.

See below pictures of house, designed by Alfred Browning Parker in the 1950′s, that I staged.  This was a large room that looked out to the pool and needed the definition of a dining and living area.  He used a lot of natural elements and repurposed wood for the ceilings, original Cuban wooden windows and doors, and coral rocks details which made it a very unusual house, especially when viewed without furniture.  It also had a unique layout, as it was a long rectangular house, unkind of like a train.  Once we staged it, it brought the house to life and buyers could envision its’ full potential and beauty leading to multiple offers!!

Marisa Staging 1

 

 

 

ABOUT SHOWHOMES

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.showhomes.com.

 

A Career Gamble That Paid Off

June 5th, 2014

Brenda Hendryx, 49, came to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend college at Oral Roberts University where she received a BA in social work. Upon graduation, Brenda became a licensed nursing home administrator and has been in the industry for the past 17 years. She most recently served as the Executive Director at Southern Hills Retirement Community.   Jean Brenda HendryxJean Hendryx, 51, was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended Oral Roberts University and graduated with a BA in Government and minor in German.  He even traveled abroad to Germany where he lived in Munich for three months while taking a language course at a local institution. After returning to the states, Jean dabbled in several different industries including U.S. Senate administration in Washington D.C., land fill management, and automotive engine re- manufacturing before finally landing on the decision to obtain his real estate license in the Oklahoma.

How did you learn about Showhomes?
The Hendryx family learned about Showhomes through their friends, who were realtors and owned the local Tulsa Showhomes franchise. When their friends went through a health scare in 2013, they were looking to quickly sell the business, so the Hendryx’s stepped in and traded their home for the franchise.  Brenda says, “That is how passionate we felt about the Showhomes business. We traded our home for one!” Their home was appraised at roughly the same price as the business, so it was an even trade.

Why did you want to work with the brand?

Through our friends (who owned the Tulsa Showhomes), we were able to receive personal insight about how good the franchise was and how relatable it can be to people. Also, we could cover the cost and I was able to use my creative gift of design and pursue my passion for home design/decor.  Showhomes also provided us with the freedom and flexibility to run the business mostly from home.  Jean really liked the business concept and that they could run the business from almost anywhere.

How has business been since the takeover? And when was the takeover?

We purchased the franchise in March 2013, but had to wait until July 1, 2013 to get it up and running while we received our real estate licenses in the state of Oklahoma. Since then, we have doubled the business.

Throughout the past year, the Hendryx’ and their daughter  have been acting as home managers themselves and have lived in two Showhome homes before recently purchasing their own home on two acres, which they plan on using to build a warehouse for their inventory of furniture. (They are currently renting storage space).  Also, they now have a new yellow Labrador puppy since they are no longer living in a Showhome, which for the most part restricts pets from the program.  “It’s really up to the homeowner, we find that the homeowner(s) are usually okay with pets if they had pets themselves, otherwise they are usually not okay with pets.”

What services are you performing the most? 

The core of our business is home managers. We currently have 20 homes being managed by Home Managers. We also are working on two home redesigns and then we usually have 1-2 homes we stage per month (these are unoccupied homes).

Are there any employees or contractors you work with regularly? 

We currently have one part time employee and one broker who we work with, but business is booming so much we are looking to bring on another full time employee.

Are you involved in any community outreach programs?

Jean serves on the Sales Associate Committee of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors.

Do you have any future plans for expansion? Future plans?

We are currently entertaining the idea of purchasing a second location in Oklahoma, possibly in the Grand Lake area.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I strongly feel that we are helping people with Showhomes.  I have gone through some personal hardships and because of it I care about others and know that some people in this industry may also be going through a difficult time while working as House Managers. Whether a financial hardship, a job change, a divorce or a death, these people are all coping with their own personal struggle and I think we are helping them get on a new path in life through Showhomes. We are helping people live in nice homes for sometimes a third or less of the cost of what the rent would normally be, which gives them the time and opportunity to focus on areas of their lives that need their full and undivided attention.

 

ABOUT SHOWHOMES

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.showhomes.com.

 

 

3 Myths About Home Staging

May 27th, 2014

There’s been a lot of talk about staging a home to sell these days because for the first time in a long time, sellers are getting above asking price offers! Making the most money on the sale of the house is the name of the game, and the agents who can do that for a neighbor/friend becomes the agent of choice.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few myths about home staging that need to be corrected…

Myth #1 – Staging is mostly “decluttering.”

FALSE! Staging is about “styling for the photo shoot.”

While removing the extraneous in a home in order to give the seller a view of the architectural details is a part of staging, completely clearing off the kitchen counters, dining tables, and coffee tables is most definitely NOT what a good home stager recommends.

kitchen_blankslateListing photos online often show kitchens, for example, with completely cleared countertops and that are overall lifeless.

But an expert home stager works with the home’s integrity to capitalize and merchandise the space into something that will resonate with the buyer online first — so they’ll then want to see the home in-person.

phpE47C4nAM

Photo credit: Karen Scovie of Staging Consultants, staging consultants.biz

 

Myth #2 – Staging is mostly for vacant homes.

FALSE! Staging is more critical in occupied homes because it costs a lot less and has a huge impact.

Consider this photo online originally for this room (another overly “decluttered space”).

june carter before living

Once June Carter of www.homestagecraft.com stages the space using updated accessories the photo and room is transformed!

june carter cafter living

Myth #3 – Staging is about neutralizing and painting all the walls beige.

FALSE! Staging is about working with what the seller has, so that the more expensive cosmetic changes don’t need to done.

For example, look at this dark bedroom. It likely would benefit best from paint.

schottBedroom2before

Debra Ostrus of Spaces Streamlined works first with the owner’s furnishings to inexpensively rearrange and photograph the space using the color scheme provided.

schottbedroom2after

The challenge for most real estate agents is finding the kind of home stager who understands that staging is an art form in merchandising. We are creating a space the buyer will fall in love with. When we do this, the demand for the product goes up and thus the price too.

What are some other myths you are seeing?

phpgKLtM0AMABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president of the Home Staging Resource, a RESA Accredited home staging training and certification company. Slinkey has personally trained over 3,000 stagers worldwide and is a bestselling author and international speaker. She also serves as president of the American Society of Home Stagers and RedesignersConnect with her on Facebook!

The Power of Gray in Staging

May 22nd, 2014

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Gray is a subtle color that can bring sophistication to interiors while also the neutrality that home buyer crave.

“It’s the hot new neutral, a sleek and sophisticated color option that adds refinement to almost any room,” says Debbie Zimmer, a paint and color expert with the Paint Quality Institute. “Walls that are painted gray are great backdrops for almost any style of décor, and gray is such a dignified color that it can elevate the appearance of even the most modest furnishings.”

Zimmer says that gray can be a great color choice for embellishments throughout interiors, such as a gray wash on wood furniture or the fabric in seating.

In her 2014 color forecast, she expects grey to be used more in homes. “We will even see gray’s flashier cousin, silver, used as an important accent color,” says Zimmer.

Zimmer also predicts “white” to stage a comeback in 2014, with white and off-white back in vogue.

“As with gray, the ease of coordinating furnishings with a neutral hue like white is appealing to almost everyone,” she says. “Those who are downsizing will favor white or very light-colored walls to make their new, smaller interiors look more spacious; and for those who may soon put up a ‘For Sale’ sign, white is the wise paint color to apply before listing a home.”

Breaking Free From Corporate America to Chase a Passion

May 21st, 2014

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.

 How did you learn about Showhomes and why did you take an opportunity with the brand?Karen Galler

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.

 ABOUT SHOWHOMES

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.

 

From High School Sweethearts to Franchise Partners

May 20th, 2014

Husband and wife team, Mike and Janine Callahan are using their background and their individual strengths to make their Fox Valley Showhomes a success. The Callahan’s are high school sweethearts who have been together for nearly 38 years. Mike was a former mortgage broker and Janine’s background is in design and décor. After Mike retired, he went back to school to pursue post graduate education and then back to work as a consultant. He began consulting for people who wanted to buy franchises, and after a Showhomes intro call to introduce brokers to the new company, it dawned on him that this would be a wonderful opportunity for he and Janine as it’s a perfect blend of their backgrounds. He called the franchise owner and two weeks later purchased their Showhomes franchise back in 2009 in the Fox Valley and have been working together ever since. Mike and Janine did not ever dream that their professional careers would merge, but this opportunity couldn’t have been a better fit for the two of them. Together they have built an award-winning location, earning awards including 2010 top decorating franchise, 2011 franchise of the year due to their triple digit growth year over year for 3 years, and in 2012 they become brand ambassadors.

Janine initially had fears about working together. But since their roles are so different in the company it has allowed them both to shine while supporting one another. Mike’s roll is more about interacting with the business and marketing end of the company. And Janine’s never in one place—she is out scouting properties, pulling furniture and decorating homes.  Janine is right brained, and Mike and left brained—it is the perfect yin and yang.

What services does your Showhomes offer?fox valley party

We can do anything from the front curb to the back alley to help sell a home.  If the home is completely vacant we bring in furnishings, hang art, bring in TV’s, and make it look like someone is living there. Janine loves the challenge of creatively staging quirky rooms and spaces, to give buyers an idea of what they could do with the space. We also stage from top to bottom and can bring in a home manager. The home manager’s role is to care for the house and make sure it shows well; anything from making sure to turn on music, mow the lawn, and make sure the sidewalks are shoveled to making sure that there is no water in the basement. If a person is still living there we can do a one day makeover where we lighten things up for example by moving existing furnishings to best accent the home.

 

We have a total of 10 employees including ourselves.  Janine is the lead designer.  And we have a fabulous staff with varied talents ranging from professional organizers to designers like Janine —Janine’s goal is to train herself out of a job. I want to teach each person on the team and empower them to be able to function without me.

 

What are some interesting stories about working with Showhomes?

The owners of a (doll brand) were the owners of a 14,000 sq. /ft. home in St. Charles, Illinois. It sat on 22 acres with pond, pool, guest house. The home was on the market for five years with no offers. We went in and staged it. We sold in a short time. The owners are such big fans they are now considering opening a franchise of their own. The homeowners liked what we did so much that they actually hired Janine separately to decorate another one of their homes in Florida.

 

Also, when Hollywood is filming in the area they use houses on the market for the stars to stay in. A studio once tried to get a famous Hollywood hunk into one of their homes for six months.

 

What groups or charities are you involved in?

We are very community-minded. We are also very involved in our church (Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL) and that has brought up a lot of charitable opportunities. When we started the business we decided that each year we would donate a portion of our earnings to a charity. We recently donated to Camp Reynolds Wood, and in the past we have given to the Fox Valley Pregnancy Center and most recently Fox Valley Food for Health.

Mike and Janine truly enjoy their association with the Fox Valley Food for Health. They were able to get one of their contract designers into the program after she was diagnosed with cancer for the second time this past year. Jeannie Harms, a professional organizer and longtime friend, has been working with Mike and Janine for three years, and has recently ended chemotherapy and is finishing radiation. She is doing well and is actually back working a light schedule.

 

ABOUT SHOWHOMES

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 visitwww.showhomesfranchise.com.

 

Showhomes Stages “Green Home” in Coral Gables

May 13th, 2014

‘Green’ spec home in Little Gables gets staging treatment

 

Developer of ‘green’ house turns to home stager to showcase his labor of love.

This new “green’’ home in the Little Gables was professionally staged for showing to prospective buyers. Showhomes, the staging company, provides an extra service: It moves a family into the the homes to help maintain them. Courtesy of Obeo Inc.

BY MARTHA BRANNIGAN

MBRANNIGAN@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Carlos Ruiz de Quevedo worked nearly two years to design and build a “green” home in a gentrifying section of the Little Gables, a labor of love for the architect and Realtor, with energy-saving features like energy-efficient impact windows, a solar-ready electrical system, and highly insulated walls and roof.

The two-story house has environmentally friendly details like cisterns that collect rainwater and air-conditioner runoff for watering the lawn, and it’s wired for an electric car charger.

So when Ruiz de Quevedo listed the 3-bedroom, 3-bath house at $625,000, aiming to tap into the peak spring/summer house-hunting season, he hired a home staging company to furnish the place.

“They even put in a make-believe family to live in the place,” said Ruiz, who bought the property at 4464 SW 11th St. in unincorporated Miami-Dade County in June 2012 with a run-down coral rock cottage that was beyond saving.

“There is a lot of competition, so you want your house to stand out,” said Marisa Salas, who owns the South Florida franchise of Showhomes. “We stage all the rooms so people can envision how spaces are meant to be utilized.”

In the current strong housing market, Salas said, her company is seeing growing demand for staging services. She furnishes the homes, places art on the walls and adds homey touches.

When Salas started out in the business during the downturn, “there were a lot of vacant properties,” which made home-management services particularly appealing to owners. Besides staying on top of maintenance, the property manager helps ensure that squatters don’t move in.

Staged homes fetch 5 percent to 15 percent more than those left vacant, according to Salas. The staged homes also sell faster than those that aren’t, she added.

“We create the emotional aspect of a house. When people walk into a vacant house, they don’t really appreciate anything,” she said.

Home sellers tap “stagers” primarily for higher-end homes, in “the $1 million to $3 million range,” Salas said. Fees typically run $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the home.

While some people have great visualization skills to imagine the potential of a room or a space, they are more the exception than the rule, Realtors say, so it’s helpful to spell out a home’s features and options.

“Many people are losing their ability to visualize. We want them to come in and visualize themselves living in the house. We know we’ve got you when you say, ‘Oh, the TV will go here,’ ” said Ruiz de Quevedo.

“I had a lady tell me her 50-inch TV wouldn’t fit in this space,” said Ruiz de Quevedo, gesturing at a wall with more than ample room.

At the Little Gables house, a home manager moved in late in April and plans to stay in the home until it sells.

The manager, David Hein, is from Ohio and living temporarily in South Florida so his son, David Hein, can train in a sailing campaign for the 2016 Olympics. The Little Gables stint marks his fourth house.

In exchange for managing the home, Hein gets to live there at a reduced rent — about one-third the market rate, Salas said.

That helps to reduce the holding cost for the seller. Hein will also have to pay the utilities.

“Here, you’ll be very happy with the electric bill,” Ruiz de Quevedo told Hein as the house was being furnished recently.

Ruiz de Quevedo expects the monthly electric bill on the 1,941-square-foot house to be in the range of $30 to $60 a month, “if they use as I do.”

“If they install solar panels for hot water and to generate power, this house can be energy-neutral or receive a check from FPL,” Ruiz de Quevedo added.

The water heater works on-demand. A high-efficiency air-conditioning system reduces humidity to make the house feel more comfortable without as much chilling.

Ruiz de Quevedo, a Realtor with EWM Realty International in Coral Gables, is hoping to find a young couple interested in the special features the home offers. He sounds like he’s looking more for a kindred spirit than just an average buyer.

For one thing, the features added to construction costs. And Ruiz de Quevedo is eager to monitor the home’s energy use to evaluate its performance. He built a second home next door and is mulling whether to sell that now or to hang on to it to monitor the performance of its energy-efficient features.

“I’m open to selling that one, too,” he said with a hint of reluctance.

The home manager’s responsibilities include keeping the home safe, clean and secure so that it is shipshape whenever prospective buyers take a tour.

“One dead roach on the floor can kill a sale,” said Ruiz de Quevedo.

The manager has to strike a balance: to make the home feel alive, with food in the pantry and refrigerator, but with everything as well organized as a Container Store display.

“We train our managers,” said Salas. “No toiletries all over the place. No dirty dishes.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/11/4111451/green-spec-home-in-little-gables.html#storylink=cpy

 

Showhomes Featured in Nashville Post

May 7th, 2014

 

Matt Kelton is chief operating officer of Nashville-based Showhomes Franchise Corp., the parent of home staging franchise company Showhomes. The company has 60 franchise offices in 20 states and is transitioning this year to provide expanded services.

Post Managing Editor William Williams briefly chatted with Kelton to get his take on the business.

WW: The company is adding various interior services, such as carpet and countertop replacement. And you are looking at exterior offerings. Where could this lead?

MK: Showhomes began as a home staging franchise and we have evolved due to customer demand over the years.  We have become a “one-stop shop” for any needs of the home owner in regards to the interior décor and updating of a property. We currently are only focused on the inside of homes but we plan to expand upon the curb appeal aspect, which would result in adding landscaping services. Instead of a home owner having to deal with four or five different vendors, Showhomes could be the sole source project management team to handle all of their needs.

WW: How were you first quarter numbers?

MK: Showhomes contracted 190 new homes with a total list price value of $134 million in the first quarter of 2014. Overall revenue (compared to  was up 25 percent for continuously operating operations.

WW: You added eight franchisees in 2013. How many do you want to add this year?

MK: [We] plan to add 20 new franchisees in 2014.

WW: Showhomes is based in Nashville but you spend a lot of time in Dallas. How does that work?

MK: We are a virtual company with operations staff in several cities including Dallas, Chattanooga and a few in Central California. All of our systems are cloud-based and with email, conference calls, Skype, Google Hang-outs, and more it really doesn’t matter where we are based. Our franchisees have online manuals along with our custom-based CRM system to run the business, which is all in the cloud. I spend lots of time on the phone and on Skype.

WW: Why is there not another company that provides home staging services and that is, at the least, fairly national in scope? The industry seems fragmented. Your thoughts? 

MK: There isn’t [a company] that I am aware of that offers staging on a national basis. There are some stagers with offices in different cities but no one that has a nationwide presence like Showhomes.  There are quite a bit of moving parts to the model and if you don’t have the systems, back-office support, and name brand like Showhomes, it can be difficult to get momentum. We have made many of the mistakes someone starting out on their own would make trying to figure out this business. That’s really one of the great things about franchising.