Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category
Minneapolis, MN – The popular design network HGTV will feature Minneapolis home staging expert Cindy Montgomery, franchise owner of Showhomes Minneapolis. Montgomery is starting the complete interior design project of a new showhome that will be featured by the prominent national network, which produces and airs popular shows such as House Hunters and Design Star, focusing on aspects of decorating, entertaining, up-and-coming designers, and more.
Montgomery is doing a complete home staging for the recently renovated property, including all furnishings, artwork and décor. The current project will be the second time HGTV has featured Montgomery’s interior décor work. A home she designed and staged was featured recently on The DIY Network, a branch of HGTV featuring renovation projects of all kinds. The show was seen by millions of households. “Many people called me from around the country asking about the furnishings, artwork and accessories we used,” said Montgomery.
“Any good designer has to design with the class and style of the house in mind,” continues Montgomery. “Inspiration comes from every single vacant space. When I view a home, I take into consideration the placement of windows, doors, wall color, flooring, and the atmosphere of the home. Presentation and attention to detail is everything in my world.”
Montgomery has been with Showhomes for close to nine years. “Any house can benefit from beautifully designed spaces, whether it’s for sale, for rent or for living,” commented Montgomery. “Anytime you stage or design well, that home benefits. One of the mottos I live by is ‘Design, Inspire, Sell.’”
Showhomes Minneapolis, which has closed on over 65 homes a year for the past two years, was awarded for its success at the recent 2012 Showhomes Annual Conference. The franchise won awards for being in the top five franchise locations for Most Move Ins, Fastest Sell Time, Fastest Average Fill Time and Most Homes Sold. The location also won the coveted highest revenue award, and has been number one in revenue for four years in a row.
An eye for detail and aesthetic such as Montgomery’s is important to the Showhomes business model. “I’m sold on Showhomes,” says Montgomery. “We’ve grown year after year, in both good and bad economies. A well designed space is always an advantage to the homeowners we serve.”
Showhomes is a member of the International Franchise Association and the Real Estate Association, and has been a top-ranked franchise by the Franchise Business Review. The company has been featured in such media outlets as: CNN, Oprah, HGTV, Travel Channel, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Money Magazine to name a few.
For more information on Showhomes Home Staging, visit www.showhomes.com or call (615) 292-0892.
Nashville, Tennessee – For the fourth year in a row, Showhomes Home Staging is ranked as one of the Top 50 Franchise Companies by the prestigious Franchise Business Review, a national franchise market research firm that surveys thousands of franchise owners per year and evaluates the comprehensive findings to reveal overall franchisee satisfaction.
“It is not surprising that Showhomes ranked again as a Top 50 Franchise,” says Lorelie Brown, franchise owner of Showhomes Charleston. “The opportunity provided through Showhomes is not only a unique and distinctive service, but it also offers flexibility for franchisees to meet the needs of their individual markets, as well as in their personal lives.”
Those franchisees surveyed for the findings answered questions regarding training and support, the overall franchise system, the franchisor relationship, financial opportunity, and much more. The survey is now the largest survey of franchise satisfaction in existence.
Franchisee satisfaction is something the Corporate team does not take lightly. “Showhomes is dedicated to giving its associates the support they need to thrive,” says Matt Kelton, Chief Operating Officer of Showhomes. “A strong training and education structure is one of the most vital elements of the Showhomes Advantage. “
The ranking comes on the heels of another honor – a spot on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Showhomes ranked high in several categories, including best Home Based Franchises and Low Cost Franchises for the second year in a row.
“Showhomes is solidly supportive” continued Lorelie Brown. “The entire network feels like one big family. We knew that these aspects were critical for franchisee success and satisfaction, and we consider ourselves privileged to be part of the growing Showhomes story.”
Since opening in 1986, Showhomes has become America’s largest homes staging provider and currently has a network of more than 70 franchise locations nationwide. Despite the tough housing market, the company continues to add new, successful locations by focusing on quality customer service and staging design. Having surpassed its franchise expansion goals for the past two years, Showhomes is experiencing continued growth in 2012 with its many successful franchisees.
Showhomes is a member of the International Franchise Association and the Real Estate Association. The company has been featured on such media outlets as: CNN, Oprah, HGTV, Travel Channel, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Money Magazine.
For more information on Showhomes Home Staging, visit www.showhomes.com or call (615) 292-0892.
Showhomes Home Staging was recently recognized for being a Top 50 franchise in The Franchise Business Review. Cindy Montgomery, franchise owner in La Jolla, Calif. was recently featured in The La Jolla Light. Read more about why Showhomes is a franchise to be a part of in the article below.
Showhomes among top franchises
For the third year in a row, The Franchise Business Review ranked Showhomes Home Staging one of the Top 50 franchise systems based on franchise owner satisfaction, according to Cindy Montgomery, franchise owner for Showhomes – La Jolla.
The Top 50 ranks only companies with excellent fundamentals, a great financial position and high franchise owner satisfaction.
Showhomes – La Jolla uses live-in home managers to occupy and help stage vacant houses so they are kept in perfect show condition, according to a press release.
If you’re interested in your own Showhomes home staging franchise or for more information about the Showhomes home staging franchise, visit www.showhomesfranchise.com.
Many homeowners are turning to Showhomes Home Staging, a Nashville-based franchise company that specializes in staging high-end vacant houses. Realtors and homeowners who use Showhomes report promising success stories. Homes that have languished on the market for years routinely sell quickly and at or close to market value.
Elayne Wooding, owner of Showhomes St. Petersburg, is one of hundreds of examples. Wooding’s franchise recently staged a home that had been on the hard-hit Florida market for three years. The distressed property sold at list price for over $600,000 in less than 90 days. Not only that, there were competing offers.
“In this market it’s critical that you use every available option to enhance the marketability of a home,” Wooding says. “Showhomes knows how to put a property in the very best possible light. Not only can we make home staging impeccably beautiful, we offer something no one else does – a live in Home Manager to occupy the home and make sure it’s in perfect show condition.”
Homes need to be in top-notch shape to get attention. Consider the latest headlines: Bloomberg reports that U.S. homes in the process of foreclosure sold at an average of 27 percent discount in the first quarter and purchases of distressed properties fell to less than half the peak set two years ago. At the current pace, it will take three years to clear the log jam of distressed properties, according to Realty Trac, a leading authority on foreclosures.
Using live-in Home Managers sets Showhomes apart and gives it a critical edge, says Matt Kelton, Showhomes COO. “The service is highly attractive to the homeowner because Showhomes picks up utility bills, handles minor maintenance and takes care of cleaning,” Kelton says. “Just as important, having a home that’s warm, inviting and lived-in creates a whole new level of desirability.”
Showhomes Home Staging has 75 franchises in 24 states and 2011 marks 25 years in business. “We are going stronger than ever,” Kelton says. “There’s a vital need for our comprehensive home staging services. In any economy homeowners want a great return on value for their homes.”
Last year of the estimated 130 million housing units in the United States, 11.3 percent or some 14 million stood vacant according to the U.S. Census. A large portion of these houses are vacant and for sale, leading to a glut of vacant houses crowding the market.
“Given the vast oversupply of homes currently on the market, only the jewels will sell. If a house is vacant, it must be updated, remodeled or staged if it is to have a chance of selling,” said Nancy Osborne, Chief Operating Officer of Erate.com, a Santa Clara CA-based financial information publisher and interest rate tracker. Showhomes Home Staging confirms that trying to sell a vacant house adds obstacles to the sale and depresses the sales price.
Showhomes Home Staging is a franchised business with a twist: the company uses live-in Home Managers to manage vacant houses while they are on the market for sale and offset a homeowner’s expense to stage the home. Its unique model has proven effective for 25 years.
Here are five reasons a vacant house is hard to sell from Showhomes Home Staging:
1. People don’t simply buy houses; they buy the next chapter of their lives.
This is an emotional experience and emotion influences what people buy and how much they will pay. Vacant houses are devoid of life, and the chance to make an emotional connection is lost.
2. Vacancy distracts buyers from looking at the house itself.
They wonder: “Is this a divorce? Why did they move out? Are they selling because they have money problems? Is this home hard to sell?” They’ll make a low-ball offer, thinking the owner is desperate.
3. When a house is vacant, buyers focus on flaws.
They look at nail holes, carpet wear and gaps in the molding rather than how the space works. In a vacant house, floors, walls and ceilings are all buyers see. This drives the price down.
4. People can’t visualize how furniture fits.
An empty bedroom might appear awkward or a living room might seem cavernous. Some spaces might confuse buyers because a use is not obvious. Buyers are derailed and move on to the next house.
5. Vacant houses don’t show as well as staged and occupied homes.
Without people, even the best house quickly looks and smells vacant. Dust settles, leaves scatter, and stale odors spread. These cues often shorten the showing time, leading to fewer sales.
“Homeowners don’t realize how much harder a vacant house is to sell,” says Matt Kelton, Showhomes’ COO. “In today’s market you have to win the beauty contest to sell your home.”
“Staging your home is no longer an option,” says Barbara Corcoran, real estate expert for the Today Show and star of Shark Tank.
Staging a house for sale with furniture is nothing new. Putting real people in the picture is another story.
Spacious four-bedroom executive home in upscale Nashville neighborhood. Monthly rate: Too good to be true.
The catch? You have to keep the house spotless and be ready to disappear with 30 minutes notice.
It’s home staging taken to a whole new level. Instead of simply decorating a vacant house or condo with nice furniture, a couple of rugs and some art, this staging includes actual people.
It’s a win-win, as an otherwise-vacant house seem more like home to a prospective buyer, and tidy, disciplined caretakers get a great place to live at a fraction of going rate.
“They told me the whole process, and it just seemed like a good deal,” says one such “Home Manager’, a Centennial Medical Center physician who, following a divorce, relocated from Oak Hill to a property in Green Hills. For him, the monthly rate for a 4-bedroom home was well worth the offset of a potential sale.
“They ask you to do as much as you can to furnish it, and they will help you if you’re missing a few pieces. They gave me a few weeks to get situated, and it has worked out fine,” he adds.
He moved into the property in January and says it’s shown on average one to three times per week. Realtors give him a day’s notice, but even if a call comes for a same-day viewing, he’s ready.
“I have to keep it presentable, so I have a maid come in one and a-half days a week,” he adds. “If my kids have been here, I make sure they pick up after themselves, and I keep the place pretty neat.
“I’m not decorating it a lot, because it could sell at any time, but it’s given me a good place to be while I’m transitioning between selling my home and looking for something else.”
It’s a formula that seems to work for Nashville-based Showhomes, which proclaims itself “America’s largest home staging company” with 75 franchises in 24 states.
“There is an increased acceptance that staging is hugely critical in order to get the best sale price for your house, and so people are more receptive for it than they might have been in the past,” says Bert Lyles, Showhomes’ CEO and a former adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
“It was just a growing trend for a long time, but it’s much more the norm now. And a service like ours can really add to – and change – that landscape.”
Staging has become big business, complete with certifications (Accredited Staging Professional) and organizations such as the Real Estate Staging Association. Placing actual people in homes is is not new but is catching on.
Showhomes works with banks, Realtors and owners to find Home Managers for empty properties. These “home managers” are tasked with keeping the property spotless at all times and must have high-quality furnishings. They also have to clear out within a half hour if a potential buyer is en route to view the property.
In other words, they have to be willing to live open to scrutiny.
“There is an increased acceptance that staging is a hugely critical in order to get the best sale price for your house, and so people are more receptive for it than they might have been in the past,” Lyles says. “It was just a growing trend for a long time, but it’s much more the norm now. And a service like ours can really add to, and change, that landscape.”
For Lyles, the time is right. He sees the thousands of vacant properties in the Middle Tennessee area, many of them foreclosures, as blank canvases. And he’s got the paint box.
“If you walk into a house and see furniture in one room, or maybe two, you know it’s vacant,” he says. “If you walk into a home that looks well cared for, with food in the fridge and clothes in the closets, then you can see how effectively you could utilize that space. Buying a house is a big financial decision, no matter what the economy’s like. Even if it’s a good deal, you’re still going to be uncertain if you’re not sure what a sofa would look like over by the fireplace.”
The concept isn’t yet a solid hit with every Realtor, but its success does show that many are willing to color outside the lines in a tough environment, says Kenneth Bargers, a Realtor with Pilkerton Realtors’ Brentwood office.
“Listing agents want homes off the market as quickly as possible, and if the owner is willing to cooperate with something like this, and everyone’s working as a team, there’s nothing wrong with trying something different to stage a home,” Bargers says.
“I think with a service like this you’re talking about larger-square-foot homes, but this would be something to do just like working with clients to look at the lighting, the windows, all the features that might need some attention to help make the sale happen more quickly.”
Lyles says his business model allows him to price Showhomes’ staging services lower than more traditional, furniture-only competitors.
Like his screening of “home managers,” Lyles is also careful about potential franchisees. It’s more important to find a good fit than just a willing business person, he says.
“It’s really important that you find that good local business owner who’s plugged in, but that the market also has the right type of homes for us,” he says.
“Put those two things together and we have seen a franchisee ramp up some very high volume in a short time. Nobody’s going to confuse Los Angeles and Orange County with Little Rock, but the principles for our business work the same on each market, and our franchisees in each location have done quite well.”
Next up is more growth, but across the country and in Showhomes’ own backyard.
“We’d like to be in more than 100 markets within a year; that’s kind of a magic milestone for us,” Lyles says. “But we’re also paying attention to things here at home. We’ve built our business very effectively in Davidson County, particularly in the Green Hills area, but we’re looking to expand southwards and increase our presence in Williamson County and some of the neighboring counties as well.”
Showhomes live-in home staging services popular with increasing number of banks
Foreclosed homes may be an opportunity for buyers and investors, but for banks they are a mess with no end in sight. Foreclosures cost money to maintain, create insurance problems, invite vandalism and devalue neighboring homes.
Showhomes home staging, a nationally franchised network of home stagers, provides an increasing number of banks with a tidy solution: Showhomes places a live-in home stager, called a Home Manager, who occupies the home and keeps it in show condition until it sells.
“Once a home is foreclosed, banks want it off the books as soon as possible, but too often just the opposite happens,” said Matt Kelton, Showhomes COO. “So many distressed properties, especially the high-end houses, sit empty and deteriorate quickly. They don’t stand out and they attract low-ball offers that lower property values.”
Distressed real estate sales accounted for about 48% of all U.S. home sales in 2010, according to Campbell’s Surveys, a strategic research firm. A recent RealtyTrac report estimated banks repossessed more than a million homes last year, not including up to delayed 250,000 foreclosures. The four largest U.S. banks alone hold $7 billion in foreclosed houses on their books, RealtyTrac says.
Showhomes is working with bankers and asset managers to help them preserve foreclosed listings, minimize costs, reduce insurance exposure and sell homes for higher prices. The service is attractive because Showhomes picks up utility bills, handles minor maintenance and takes care of cleaning. Best of all, banks don’t pay don’t pay monthly staging fees, making it an inexpensive staging option for banks handling foreclosed homes.
“We got our start 25 years ago helping banks stage foreclosed homes and today, our service is just as valuable,” said Kelton. “Nationally, banks can save millions by using Showhomes. It’s a no-brainer for any sized bank.”
Since its founding in 1986, Showhomes has helped U..S Realtors and homeowners sell more than 26,000 homes valued at more than $8.5 billion by using live-in Home Managers. The Showhomes business model is based on the fact that well-furnished homes kept in show-to-sell condition sell faster, and for higher prices, than vacant houses. For information and franchise opportunities, please visit www.showhomes.com.
Home staging franchise company up 25% for 2010; sixth record-breaking year since 2004
Despite a sluggish economy, the Nashville-based home staging franchise company posted a 25 percent gain in individual franchise revenue for 2010. Showhomes has posted record revenue growth in six of the past seven years.
“The fed says the recession is now over but we missed it – we’ve posted positive gains throughout,” said Matt Kelton, Showhomes’ COO. “There are more vacant houses than ever before and we are a great solution to a difficult problem. Recession or not, vacant houses are going to continue to be a problem for years to come.”
Showhomes has gained national media attention for its “home staging with a twist” business model. Focusing on vacant houses, franchisees recruit and train live-in Home Managers to help stage and maintain the home while it is on the market and for sale. The service is popular with home owners and Realtors because it lowers insurance costs, creates a model-home atmosphere and makes a vacant home far easier to sell.
“The timing for Showhomes is especially good right now when you look at the value it offers,” said Kelton. “Home owners have less money to spend on home staging even though it makes a difference. Because our fees are mostly pay at close, we appeal to a much larger group of home owners and that’s helped drive up our numbers.”
Showhomes home staging has expanded its franchise system this year as well, adding 24 franchise units.
Since 1986, Showhomes has helped Realtors and home owners sell more than 26,000 homes worth more than $8.5 billion across the U.S. by transforming high-end vacant houses into valuable homes using live-in Home Managers to occupy and stage homes so they sell faster and for higher prices. For information and franchise opportunities, visit www.showhomesfranchise.com
Home staging franchise ranked highly in all categories
Entrepreneur magazine has been evaluating the top 500 franchise companies for 31 years and examines important criteria such as financial strength and stability, growth rate and system size to determine rankings. The list is highly competitive and dominated by large, well known franchise brands. This is Showhomes’ fist ranking on the annual list.
“We are well positioned to be a top player in real estate-related franchising, and for good reason,” said Matt Kelton, Showhomes ‘ COO. “We have low entry level costs; we are a home-based business; we are in a hot category of small business and we have a very high potential return on investment.”
Showhomes has gained national media attention for its “home staging with a twist” business model. Focusing on vacant houses, franchisees recruit and train live-in Home Managers to stage and maintain the home while it is on the market and for sale. The service is popular with home owners and Realtors because it lowers insurance costs, creates a model-home atmosphere and makes a vacant house easier to sell.
“I’m not surprised by Showhome’s ranking,” says Joe Mathews, franchising expert and author of the top-selling book, Street Smart Franchising. “This is a franchise that ‘gets it,’ meaning they concern themselves with the sales, profitability and relationships with their franchisees.”
Amy Cosper, VP and editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur, called the 2011 Franchise 500 “a must-see list for anyone searching for the right business.”
Since its founding in 1986, Showhomes has helped Realtors and home owners sell more than 26,000 homes worth more than $8.5 billion.The Showhomes business model is based on the fact that staged and occupied homes kept in show-to-sell condition sell faster, and for higher prices, than vacant houses. For information and franchise opportunities, please visit www.showhomesfranchise.com.
Showhomes Home staging helps solve squatter problem for vacant homes
As the number of vacant homes for sale in the U.S. spirals higher, so-called “mansion squatting” is on the rise, too, especially in large metro areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Consider these recent incidents: A woman was arrested in Seattle for living in $3.3 million home that wasn’t hers. A squatter in Chicago moved his furniture and big screen TV into a vacant $700,000 home and introduced himself to the neighbors as the new owner. His scheme worked for several months before the police closed in. Actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, got busted for squatting inside a $1 million property they previously owned in Southern California.
Matt Kelton, COO for Showhomes, a nationally franchised network of home stagers, says a home owner who allows a home to sit vacant is “playing with a grenade.” That’s because most insurance companies refuse to insure vacant homes, leaving homeowners with few options for coverage. Damage and vandalism done by a squatter is often not covered by home owner’s insurance if the home is vacant.
“Major carriers cancel policies on vacant homes after 30 or 60 days, often without warning, leaving the home uninsured,” Kelton said. “Some companies underwrite vacant home policies which don’t offer full coverage and cost up to 400 percent more than a traditional home owner’s policy.”
Showhomes has a tidy solution to this messy problem. The national franchise uses live-in home managers who help stage the home, keep it prepped for Realtor showings and act as on-site caretakers. Because the home is occupied, owners qualify for steeply reduced insurance rates with far better coverage than vacant home policies provide. The live-in home managers also help homes sell faster and for higher prices and best of all, keep squatters from moving in.
Vacant homes remain a stubborn problem in the struggling housing market and increased to 19 million in the first quarter 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and record numbers of homes for sale are now vacant. Left untended, many of these homes are going to continue to be targets for squatters — unless Showhomes gets to them first.
For information on a Showhomes Home Staging franchise, visit www.showhomesfranchise.com