Posts Tagged ‘showhomes franchise’

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 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.

Leaving Corporate America for a “Dream Come True”

May 6th, 2014

ivan-pokusaIvan Pokusa relocated to the US from the Czech Republic after moving to Spain during a time when his home country was being ruled by Communist leaders. Although he was armed with a Master’s degree in Industrial Technology, Ivan worked various low paying jobs while perfecting his grasp of the English language.  In 1992, Ivan got his first job in the corporate world as a senior engineer, and continued in various engineer-related roles at large US corporations for the next 20 years of his life. Most significantly, while working as the Director of Engineering at Telegen, Ivan was one of the pioneers of flat panels for flat screen TVs. 

 Ivan and his wife Silvie, who also originates from the Czech Republic, began flipping houses in 1995 as a side job. The couple educated themselves on investments and remodeling, and Silvie, who is a certified designer, was responsible for staging the homes.  With Showhomes, Silvie will be the primary stager while Ivan will be responsible for marketing  and business development as well asHome Manager placements . While the couple purchased the four-year-old territory in August 2013, they are still diligently working to land contracts and staging opportunities.

 How did you learn about Showhomes?

I was thinking about leaving corporate America, and my options were to either start a business from scratch or get into a franchise. A franchise was attractive because it was an established model. A friend sent me information about Showhomes, and then I got in touch with a franchise broker, who also presented Showhomes to me, so the concept was already in the back of our minds.

Why did you choose an opportunity with Showhomes?

The idea of Showhomes was like a dream come true but we were skeptical about the concept as a business idea; staging houses seemed like a hobby because we had only experienced staging our own houses. However, the more we investigated and spoke to other franchisees, the more the business appealed to us. Also, we had been thinking about moving out of California and liked Utah the most out of all the places that we considered relocating to. Coincidentally there was also a franchise available in the area.

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.

 

 

 

6 Seller Secrets For This Spring’s Real Estate Market (Forbes)

April 9th, 2014

Each year, it seems the housing market takes on a different tone – and whether it’s going to be a sellers’ market with inflated prices and bidding wars, or a buyers’ market with tons of choices and low prices – there’s no denying that the 2014 spring housing season is upon us. So what does it have in store? Well, if you’re thinking of listing your home, that’s an important question.

Here are 6 market insights that will give you a head start!

Right Now = A Great Time To Sell
The winter home selling season was crippled by the polar vortex, especially in the east and northeast, so there’s pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been waiting for better weather to brave the house hunt. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, so buyers ARE poised to buy and ready to hit the streets.

Michael

Know Your Numbers: 60%
Sixty percent of all homes in 2014 will be bought and sold from May to August. Putting your home on the market at the beginning of the selling season will help your chances of snagging a winning offer before buyers turn their attention back to school starting in September.

Price It Right
Many metros in the country have seen double-digit price increases in the past year. But this last quarter, prices started to slow nationally – and pricing is a critical component to getting your house sold. With this fluctuating market, you need to look at comps of similar homes in your area, and recency matters: make sure you’re looking back no more than 60 days. The sale price of homes that sold recently paints a much better picture of what to expect than the price of homes that sold six months ago (or of homes that have yet to sell).

Bidding Wars Aren’t Back (Phew!)
Bidding wars were common in the summer of 2013, but we’re hearing less about them right now. So don’t bank on fielding two or three offers at once. There is, however, a good chance that you’ll still get the one that will be a win/win for both you and the buyer.

Trying to get a jump on the competition? Right now we’re on the cusp of prime selling and buying season, and if you list soon, you’ll have less competition than you would if you put your house on the market in May or June, when more homes will flood the market. Since it’s still early, your home can have its ‘moment in the spotlight’ more than it will when inventory increases – and the buyers who are braving the cold to house shop are clearly motivated.

Make It Pop Off The Computer (Or Smartphone) Screen!
GettyImages_170411281In this new mobile era, a huge percentage of buyers use smart phones (and Trulia’s top-rated apps) to start their home search online. And that percentage is expected to rise this year as more buyers take advantage of easy access to the wealth of information online. Get in on this trend by making sure your home pops on those computer screens. Great homes with mediocre quality photos will be quickly discarded and ultimately get less showings. Sellers should insist that their agent take the time to beef up their online listing so the quality of the home jumps off the screen and gets buyers’ attention.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2014/03/21/6-seller-secrets-for-this-springs-real-estate-market/

Stage Your Entryway to Sell Your Home

April 8th, 2014

Here is a great blog on the importance of staging to capture the buyer right away:

“Ask a potential homebuyer what three rooms matter most in a property for sale, and you’ll likely be told the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. The importance of making these three rooms feel fresh and inviting cannot be emphasized enough. Today however, I’d like to talk about another part of your home that make or break a sale – the entryway.

Sophie Allsopp, who worked as an estate agent and as a relocation agent in London before becoming a presenter for HGTV, says, “Most buyers decide if they want to buy a house within the first 90 seconds.” Take a minute and a half, or 90 seconds, to think about that. It’s not a lot of time, but it is enough time for buyers to assess how your home makes them feel, and if it seems properly cared for.

Staging your entryway communicates the feelings you want potential buyers to have as they walk through your home.

Quick bit of expert real estate advice: Decorating is about creating a home that fits your lifestyle. Staging is about getting potential buyers to see your home for sale as fitting the lifestyle they want to live.

It’s good to take a look at what other people are doing right. Here are the entryways  of two homes listed by Smith & Associates Real Estate agents:

porch-hyde-park-home-for-sale825 South Delaware Avenue, Tampa

The Wall Street Journal chose this remodeled bungalow in Historic Hyde Park as a “Home Run Home” because there is so much to love. For now, let’s talk about that gorgeous front porch! The sellers highlighted this feature with rockers and a porch swing. By adding three pieces of furniture, they’ve made it easy for potential homebuyers to picture catching up with loved ones on balmy evenings.

entryway-bayshore-blvd-home-for-sale6220 Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa

When buyers step inside your home for sale, you want to capture their attention and give them an idea of what to expect from the rest of the house. In this entryway, Todd White’s Someone’s Pretty Baby juxtaposed with an 18th century lowboy immediately speaks of the playful elegance found throughout the rest of this home.

Both homes for sale are clean and freshly painted. Yours should share these traits. A house that is cared for is a home worth caring about.

http://www.smithandassociates.com/blog/2014/04/home-selling-tips-stage-your-entryway-to-sell-your-home/

 

Showhome Featured on CBS Philly

April 7th, 2014

 

Some Realtors Suggest “Staging” Homes To Appear More Appealing To Prospective Buyers

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An increasing number of area realtors are discussing the importance of “staging” the homes of their clients to make the surroundings more appealing to prospective buyers and there is a new area business that provides this service for sellers who are not sure how to go about it.

(credit: Showhomes)

Co-owner of Showhomes in the Philadelphia market, Ally Piccolomini, says her inspection of the property begins the minute she pulls up.

“We start at the curb and really look at what the home looks like on the exterior because when the potential buyer first drives up you want to get them out of the car.”

If you are selling your home, there are three key things you can do.

“We want to declutter, depersonalize and deodorize. No one wants to come into a home that smells of pet odor or cigarette smoke. You want to depersonalize because the potential owner needs to come in and visualize themselves in the space. And then just make sure everything is clean. We want it to be military clean.”

Piccolomini says that can be a challenge with children in the home, but if you can pick up each day; you can stay ready for that potential buyer who could show up at any moment.

(credit: Showhomes)

(credit: Showhomes)

Ally’s Additional Tips for those selling their homes now:

  • Curb Appeal: Paint your front door and it can really make a good impression. If you can’t paint, power wash the exterior.
  • Any interior room that features a bright color, consider painting to a neutral to emphasize the architecture of the home, which is what you are selling.

For more information, visit: http://www.showhomesmainline.com/

How to make your home more appealing to buyers (Philly.com)

April 2nd, 2014

If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, there are things you can do to spice up your property to attract potential buyers.

Spring is the best time to sell a home, says Ally Piccolomini, co-owner of the Philadelphia branch of the home staging company Showhomes.

philly-default-header-logo“Everyone wants a new change,” Piccolomini says. “It’s a lot easier with the [seasonal] transition and before the new school year.”

Showhomes, a national company, opened its first office in the region last month in Radnor. Piccolomini, who has worked on homes in Kennett Square, West Chester, and Glen Mills, says the company’s mission is to assist sellers with sprucing up their homes by focusing on three things: decluttering, depersonalizing, and deodorizing.

Piccolomini recommends removing excess furniture, accessories and personal items, such as family photos.

“Take away family photos so that a new buyer can come in and visualize the home with their family,” she says.

Plus, sellers should make an effort to rid the home of bad odors. Cigarette smell and pet odors can turn potential buyers away.

Other simple things that can be done to make a home more marketable include painting the front door, painting the interior a neutral color, and highlighting architectural features. For example, painting the fireplace mantel white for big impact.

“It gives a calm, peaceful feeling to the room,” Piccolomini says. “It gives it some balance.”

The outside is just as important as the inside, so don’t forget to take a look at your home’s curb appeal.

“When people drive up that’s the first thing they see. You just want to get them in the door.”
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/philadelphia-real-estate/How-to-make-your-home-more-appealing-to-buyers.html#M3yjW93MJrwibAwo.99

Wanna get happy? Forget therapy and put your money into staging

March 31st, 2014
Bancroft Place Houston inner loop development in the River Oaks area June 2013 living room dining room
Those who have remodeled or redecorated in the last two years say they are happier (74 percent), more relaxed (51 percent) and tidier (35 percent) at home. 
4321 Travis living room
Big windows and comfortable furniture top the list (74 and 70 percent, respectively) of what makes people happiest about their homes. 
Kitchen at 3801 Normandy in Dallas
The happiest rooms of the home are common areas such as the family/living room (42 percent) and kitchen (15 percent). 
Dallas midcentury redo by Durham Builders
Men prefer comfort overall, whereas women like for a room to be neat. 
We love to flip through shelter magazines and browse design blogs to behold beautiful houses and inspired interiors. Although we may suffer some heartache (only because our abodes often pale in comparison), according to a new study by Houzz, those well-designed homes are the key to their owners’ happiness.

In its Home & Happiness Survey, the home remodeling and design site discovered that people who recently remodeled or redecorated are happier and more relaxed. Of the more than 6,000 homeowners surveyed, a whopping nine out of 10 agree with that statement. Nearly one third (31 percent) also entertain more often post-reno.

People who have renovated or remodeled in the last two years say they are happier, more relaxed, tidier and entertain more often.

How long this happiness lasts has yet to be determined; perhaps it’s only until the bills arrive. Still, a happy home is a renovated one, apparently.

The study also shows that most homeowners are happier at home than away (65 percent). These findings were consistent across men and women, and across home locations in urban, suburban and rural areas. That percentage was as high as 71 percent for people in newly built homes, but it dropped to 51 percent for those who describe their home as “in need of work.”

So what is it about these newly remodeled homes that make people jump for joy? Big windows and comfortable furniture top the list (74 and 70 percent respectively). The happiest rooms of the home are common areas such as the family/living room (42 percent) and kitchen (15 percent).

People who responded that their homes need work, however, say that they are happiest in the bedroom (23 percent). At least there is still magic there. Glass half full, people!

If you can’t afford to renovate or redecorate, there are still ways to live a happier lifestyle. According to the study, homeowners are happiest in rooms that are clean and organized (72 percent) and comfortable (68 percent). However, there are gender differences. For men, comfort is king, while women favor rooms that are neat and clean.

Why a Top 10 Remax Realtor Uses Showhomes

March 21st, 2014

Andrew Duncan from Tampa, Florida is one of the top Real Estate agents in the country.  He recently was ranked 10th out of 90,000 Real Estate Agents for Remax nationwide.  He has used Showhomes Tampa for years and recently saw first hand how we can make a major impact by utilizing our services for his personal home.  Check out this testimonial to learn more about how Showhomes can help you with the transformation of your home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXrV2bWd3hM&feature=em-share_video_userDuncan Duo