Posts Tagged ‘showhomes’

Showhomes Featured on Marketplace

July 24th, 2014

Humans make a house for sale feel more like home

 
(Eric Mennel/Marketplace)

Cora Blinsman pays $1,100 a month on a $430,000 home. But she can be forced to move out at a moment’s notice.

A home for sale in Newport Coast, occupied by real live people.

About a year ago, Cora Blinsman’s mom passed away. Needless to say, it was a really hard on her. She started taking stock of her own life. Blinsman had been a full-time, stay-at-home mom for 20 years, and she was feeling burnt out. She needed space.

So she got a lot of it.

Blinsman applied to be a home manager with Showhomes, a nationwide home staging company. Basically, she pays a monthly fee to live in a really nice house for sale in one of the nicest upscale communities in Chapel Hill, N.C. Her latest is currently going for $430,000. It’s got four bedrooms, two baths. The kitchen has two cooking surfaces; gas and electric. The backyard has three descending layers of gardens.

The idea behind Showhomes is that when someone lives in a home, it just feels warmer. More attractive to buyers.

“You’ve got your slippers by the bed,” Blinsman said. “I mean, I kept it very neat, but you could tell somebody lived there.”

Fred Pierson is the franchise manager for Showhomes in the Chapel Hill area. Pierson says the home manager method is the company’s most effective service. Seventy percent of the homes with managers living in them get an offer.

“Buyers are smart. They can tell when they’re walking into a staged home,” said Pierson.

These are not always easy homes to sell — they’re often worth more than $1 million. The home Blinsman is in had been on the market a year before she moved in two months ago. Now, she pays $1,100 a month for a home that would normally have mortgage payments two or three times that amount. So, it’s a good deal. But there are drawbacks.

“If home managers are doing this just for the savings, it will not work,” said Pierson. “It has to be a lifestyle they are willing to compromise.”

For example, Blinsman only lived in her first home for five weeks before it sold. Some managers can move up to five times a year. And there are rules.

“They’re very basic,” said Pierson. “You make your bed every day. Towels are not hung up over the shower, they’re placed in the dryer… You know, pick your stuff up and make sure it looks nice… The stuff I was always telling my kids,” said Blinsman.

Also, home managers can’t keep anything too personal lying around. No religious insignia. No family photos. One of Pierson’s homes had a mural of the Dallas Cowboys up on the wall. Showhomes needed to remove it because there’s always the chance someone looking to buy a home might love the house, but hate the Cowboys.

Blinsman says the rules haven’t been so bad. On the contrary, she says, being in this kind of home at this kind of time has been really good for her. Living in a wealthy community has opened her eyes to an entirely different lifestyle.

“I can be a part of the community and I can fit in pretty well,” she explained.  “But if I had a little broken down car, I could never drive through this neighborhood. I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, they’re gonna want to throw me out.’”

This is the real trick behind Showhomes. It’s not just about giving those looking for a home a look into someone else’s life – it’s about doing the same for the home manager. Giving them a chance to be someone else, if only for a little while.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/humans-make-house-sale-feel-more-home

 

Fast Company Features Showhomes

July 18th, 2014

To Sell Houses, People Are Used As Props In McMansions They Don’t Own

A poignant story from the Tampa Bay Times follows one family that lost everything in the recession and has found a peculiar way to hold on to the trappings of wealth. It sounds like the plot of some long-lost dramatic version of Arrested Development, but this is real.

The Mueller family invested in real estate, which was a very good idea until all of a sudden it wasn’t. Their bank accounts drained, their livelihoods gone, the Muellers figured out a way to maintain a semblance of their former lifestyle. A staging company called Showhomes allows them to stay in expensive, McMansion-type homes for exceedingly little money, only $1,200 a month–with the caveat that the house must remain in perfect, Showhomes-dictated selling condition at all times. They can place some of their own luxury items in the house, but their entire living situation is controlled by Showhomes, down to the pictures they hang and the books they show. And they may have to move out at a moment’s notice.

To see the entire article in Fast Company please go here: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3032751/fast-feed/to-sell-houses-people-are-being-used-as-props-in-mcmansions-they-dont-own

Fear running short of cash in retirement? What to do

July 15th, 2014

Rodney Brooks, USA TODAY

One of our biggest fears is that we haven’t saved enough for retirement.  It’s time to stop worrying about it and start doing something. The fact is, there are a growing number of options.

Sharon Duncan USA Today

The answer may not necessarily be working in your current job through retirement. Many of us don’t realize it, but we may not all be healthy enough to do that. In fact, According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 47% of retirees left the workforce sooner than they had planned.

“I think that when people are in this position, they need to try not to worry and panic, because they have options,” says Sandy Franks, executive director of the Women’s Financial Alliance in Baltimore. “They get too worried and panic.”

But, as with anything, you need to first look at you

“Knowing what your expenses are can go a long way in making sure you can have a comfortable retirement,” says Herb White, president of Life Certain Wealth Strategies in Denver.r budget to find savings and ways to cut costs.

But after that, there are other ways for retirees to actually earn — or save money — many that you probably haven’t thought of.

Some options:

 1. Can you turn your hobbies into extra income?

White says one client, a former engineer, now teaches the clarinet, bassoon and saxophone to children and adults. Another client, a former nurse, became a substitute teacher.

Sean Lee, founder of SPL Financial in Salt Lake City, says among his clients is a married couple who knew they would need supplemental income in retirement, but did not want to work. She’s already retired and he’s planning to retire in January. “They didn’t want to go to Walmart or work part-time at Home Depot,” he said.

Both turned to their hobbies. He was a pencil artist who did Western-style drawings. She created Western-style glasses and purses. “They’ve turned these hobbies into profitable businesses,” Lee says. “They’re to the point of that they don’t have to use their retirement funds.”

Another option, says Franks, is website Udemy.com, which offers online instruction. If you have any skill — plumbing, baking, cooking or even how to use an Excel spreadsheet — you can turn it into a course and offer it though Udemy.com. People pay to take the course.

She says one woman created a cake decorating course. “She has 554 students paying her $39 apiece. “That’s about $21,000, an excellent way for a pre-retiree to create extra income.”

 2. Embrace the “shared economy.”

Franks says a growing trend is people renting rooms like a hotel or bed and breakfast. “Retirees can rent out rooms of their house for as much as $100 a night, Franks says. “One room rented out two nights per week is about $10,400 a year in extra income. You can rent out spare closets.

“You can rent out rooms in your house through HomeAway.com, Vacation Rentals by Owners.com or Airbnb,” Franks says. “It’s almost like a mini bed-and-breakfast style way to make extra money. It’s perfect for making extra retirement money. Usually the kids are gone so most people close to retirement have spare rooms.”

If you don’t want to rent rooms, consider renting kitchen appliances or even tools, she says. “You could rent out your camera for $40 a day. The possibilities are endless. One person was able to rent his car out to folks who needed to run errands. He was making about $1,000 extra per month. That’s an extra $12,000 per year.”

Another option, take care of pets when their owners are on vacation. DogVacay co-founder and CEO, Aaron Hirschhorn, says he got the idea for his company when he and his wife left their dogs at a kennel.

“We had left our dogs in a kennel for a 10-day trip and cost was $1,400 and one of the dogs was hiding under my desk for two days,” he says.

DogVacay founder Aaron Hirschhorn with Rocky(Photo: DogVacay)

The couple started keeping dogs in their home, first for friends and later for others. DogVacay was born.”It turned out to be a way better experience,” he says. “The dogs are in a loving home, they get to be out of a cage. Also, it’s more affordable than kennel, because there is no overhead.”

In a little over two years, the company has grown to 1,500 hosts across the country, a good portion of them retirees,” Hirschhorn says. The hosts set their own rates, and DogVacay gets 15% for infrastructure support, including customer service.

Hosts can keep up to three dogs at a time and the average is $30 per night for a dog. “You can be as active as you want,” he says. “You can do it just weekends or full-time. A few retirees who do it full-time earn $5,000 or $6,000 a month. One who watches dogs every weekend may earn $1,000 a month.”

3. Sell or rent your home and move into a luxury home.

Showhomes in Nashville offers an unique opportunity for Baby Boomers and empty nesters. The company “stages” homes for sale. The theory is that homes look better and are easier to sell if someone is actually living in them. “People have trouble visualizing a home when it’s vacant,” says Matt Kelton, chief operating officer.

“We’ll match that vacant home with someone with nice furniture, like an empty nester. They can live in a home with their own furniture. They pay 30% to 50% less (than the market rate). They can live in a golf course gated community. But they have to leave when it’s a showing and they have to keep it in good condition.”

Showhomes will pay to move you in, and then pay to move you out when the home is sold.

Sharon and Brent Duncan, ages 51 and 56, are empty nesters living in a $1.75 million home on a golf course in Asheville, N.C. She’s been there for almost six weeks so far. Duncan, who now works for the Showhomes agent in Asheville, is living in her third property. They sold their 5,500-square-foot home in Franklin, Tenn., after their kids left.

Sharon Duncan, right, and Cindi Stringer, go over paperwork in a $1.6 million home in Arden, North Carolina. Duncan currently lives in the home while it is on the market.(Photo: Davis Turner for USA TODAY)

“It was either go to a 1,600-square-foot loft or go into a show home where I could use all my furniture and save money on our monthly rental,” Sharon Duncan says. “We went with Showhomes.”

“You get to live large for less, actually,” she says. “You get to live in these beautiful properties. With this particular community, HOA covers lawn care and maintenance. You are living in these gated communities, a pretty maintenance-free situation. If the water heater goes out, that is the homeowner’s cost. You get to have a more relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle while you are saving money.”

“It becomes a win-win for everyone,” says Kelton. “Homes sell faster. The home manager is able to live at a highly reduced rate. “They stay on average five months. “They don’t move until the house moves. I’ve had people in for 30 days and some people for 18 months.

“It’s not for everyone,” he says. “But if they are flexible they can live a lifestyle, a lot of times, they couldn’t afford.”

 

 

The Today Show Features Showhomes!

July 8th, 2014

‘Model families’ live like human props to help sell luxury homes

The Mueller family once owned seven homes and a bed and breakfast. Today, they work minimum-wage jobs — but they’re still living large. The Today Show

The family from Tampa, Florida, is part of a growing real estate trend in which people move into empty luxury homes for sale and essentially act as a “model family,” human staging props used to turn a house into a home — for someone else.

“The home will sell faster and it’s gonna sell for more money, and it sells for more money because it looks more valued and it’s cared for,” Kim Magnuson, the sales and marketing director for Showhomes Home Staging Tampa, told TODAY on Tuesday.

Working with Showhomes, the Muellers live in a luxury house for about half of what it would cost to rent. One catch: They have to keep the home immaculately clean all the time in case a prospective buyer stops by.

“Never any dishes in the sink, always in the dishwasher, laundry never on top of the washing machine or the dryer,” Dareda Mueller told TODAY’s Gabe Gutierrez.

The family also has to leave the house at a moment’s notice if a prospective buyer is coming to see it. Once the property is sold, the family usually has about a week to move to another luxury property.

“It gives you a two-week window that is very challenging,” Bob Mueller said. “So you have like a week to pack up all your things, and then you have five days to unpack all those boxes.”

“It’s a lot of fun,” Dareda said. “It’s very adventurous.”

“Through, you know, the struggle of having been wealthier at one time and not as wealthy now, has really just helped us all pull together and draw closer,” Bob said.

The family loves living the transient life, and celebrates every time one of “their” houses get sold.

“We sold the home, and then it’s on to the next place,” Dareda said.

— Gabe Gutierrez and Scott Stump, TODAY

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter and Google+.

http://www.today.com/home/model-families-live-human-props-helpsell-luxury-homes-1D79899234

 

Ad Exec Switches Career Path to Pursue True Passion

June 27th, 2014

Larry Taylor, 63, has lived in Texas all his life. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied journalism. Upon graduation, Larry entered the ad industry where he started and sold his own ad company Taylor Spier to Young and Rubicam, the largest ad company at Larry Taylorthe time. He then moved to Chicago to work at Young and Rubicam. In the mid-90’s Larry decided make a career change and began consulting in strategy, culture and communication. He later wrote three books: “Be an Orange” (which discusses differentiation and taking a different point of view), “Softside Engineering” (which discusses transforming organizations and change management) and “The Simple Truth” (which discusses really understanding the business that you are in). Larry was in the ad industry from 1973-1993 and consulting from 1994-2014.

 How did you learn about Showhomes? 

I learned about Showhomes through my friends who are realtors that use Showhomes for their business.

 Why did you want to work with the brand?

I chose Showhomes because I was interested in the real estate industry and the Showhomes branch in Houston is the largest in the country, so it seemed like a good fit. When I worked in the ad agency industry, I was using my strategy side. What the Showhomes brand allows me to do is take a strategy and execute it creatively through interior design. I am able to use my work experience and match it with my passion for design, something I have always had an interest in, but never pursued it, until now.

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

We took over May 1st and business has been going great so far. We had 2-3 contracts already in motion when I came on board, but I was also able to sign 2-3 on my own in the past two weeks. We are really aiming to gain some momentum in June when we begin our marketing efforts.

 What services are you performing the most? 

We primarily stage vacant homes and resident homes. We have over half a million dollars of furniture that we store in a warehouse to use since many of the homes we work with are higher end properties.

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.

 

Setting the Stage: Showhomes Franchisee Marisa Salas

June 23rd, 2014

Setting the Stage: Showhomes Franchisee Marisa Salas

BY ASHLEY MARTENS
June 19th, 2014
 

Born and raised in Miami, Marisa Salas has a knack for business and a keen eye for detail. After helping expand her family’s jewelry

Marisa Salas

business, she was entrusted to manage the second location and successfully did so for nine years.  After finding her husband and starting a family, Marisa was ready to get back into the workforce, but was not quite sure what she wanted to do.

Marisa’s husband came to her one day with a handful of franchises that he discovered at a local franchise expo in Miami. After reviewing the options, Marisa was drawn to theShowhomes business model and immediately fell in love with the brand. 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.

When asked about her most memorable success story, Marisa explaines, “I have staged numerous historic homes, including those in the Coral Gable area as well as Alfred Browning Parker homes as well.” (For those of you who do not know, Alfred Browning Parker studied under famed architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright).

Below are photos of a house that Salas staged that was originally designed by Browning in the 1950s. Salas said, “The natural elements such as repurposed wood, original Cuban wooden windows/doors and coral rock details made a very unique house, which made it difficult for buyers to envision the full potential of the house.” Once Salas staged it, the house came to life and the full beauty and potential was revealed, leading to multiple offers.

Before Showhomes

After Showhomes

 

After Showhomes

Currently serving prominent communities in 20 states, Showhomes is a rapidly expanding franchise system with 65 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. Learn more about Showhomes franchising opportunities.

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!

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.