Posts Tagged ‘showhomes franchise’
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.
Ivan 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.
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.
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.
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!
In 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
“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
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_user