Posts Tagged ‘Top 500 Franchise companies’
Fred Pierson’s path to entrepreneurship was anything but linear. Before becoming a Showhomes Home Staging franchise owner in Raleigh, N.C., Fred Pierson had two different corporate careers.
In college, Pierson earned a degree in aviation management and went on to manage corporate jet facilities across the United States. Due to the nature of his work, he and his wife, Lorraine, moved frequently. After years of packing and unpacking, Fred, Lorraine and their young children settled in North Carolina and Fred left the aviation industry and his first corporate career.
Fred then joined Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He felt that “hospitality was similar in nature” to his aviation work. For the next decade, Pierson worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually earning the title of General Manager. As the economy contracted during the Great Recession, Fred returned to work for a competitor at half the compensation of what he had been making.
“After doing corporate work for 25 years, my wife and I felt it was time to start working for ourselves,” says Pierson. “In life, opportunities present themselves occasionally, but what really made Showhomes the right opportunity for us was the timing,” he explains.
As luck would have it, a good friend of Fred’s was starting her own mortgage brokerage firm around the same time as his departure from the hospitality industry. Due to her encouragement, Fred became a national and state licensed mortgage loan officer — passing both tests on his first try.
“Old dogs can learn new tricks!” he says.
Working as a mortgage officer was very interesting to Pierson, though he soon realized it could put a strain on his relationships with friends.
“I refused to sacrifice my relationships with people to originate loans,” Pierson explains, “As such, my wife and I looked at opportunities that would provide me with a pipeline of loans without pushing me to use my personal contacts.”
A good friend led the Pierson’s to Showhomes, a business model they felt they would use as an “ancillary feeder” to his mortgage business that catered to those relocating to the Raleigh area.
“We quickly saw that the opportunities with Showhomes were far greater than within the mortgage business,” says Fred. “In a short period of time we saw impressive results that allowed us to walk away from the mortgage side of things and focus on Showhomes.”
The Pierson’s ultimately chose Showhomes over other franchise opportunities because it played to the couples’ talents. Lorraine enjoyed interior design and, as a byproduct of Fred’s aviation management days, was adept at staging houses and making them feel like homes. Fred, a self-described “turnaround specialist for companies,” easily brought in new business.
“Technically no one does what we do on a national level with the level of support and national branding that Showhomes offers,” Pierson says.
On what to expect when becoming a Showhomes franchisee Fred says, “You’re buying the right to a territory and what you do with that territory and how you manage it effectively is up to you.
As franchisees, Fred and Lorraine have learned a considerable amount about real estate and the effect staging has on the buying and selling process. The number one challenge to Showhomes as a business model, according to Fred, is demonstrating the value of a staged home to both the seller and to the realtor. “Showhomes is here to stage, maintain, manage and protect your home. My job is to make someone fall in love with your home; it’s the Realtor’s job to find a buyer”.
With experiencing close to a 70-percent success rate of having homes sell within 90 days of being staged, the Pierson’s feel that the human elements—leaving slippers by the bed, The Wall Street Journal near the coffee maker– clearly make a difference and bring a human touch.
“To be successful it helps to be well-rounded and most people, because of their corporate careers, are specialists in a particular area, like sales, operations, or administrative. For this reason, it works best with a great team, similar to myself and my wife Lorraine.”
“I take great satisfaction in explaining Showhomes to business principals,” says Fred, “Smart people right away say, ‘That’s an amazing business model!’”
Franchise of the Year, Circle of Excellence, President’s Club and More
Vacant homes are hard to sell! They lack buyer appeal, languish on the market and receive low offers. Showhomes, a national home staging franchise, and their franchise partners have provided successful selling solutions for real estate professionals and homeowners in all economic market cycles for the past 26 years.
At the recent Showhomes Annual Conference, held at the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville TN, Showhomes, America’s Largest Home Staging Franchise celebrated the achievements of their top franchisees.
- Showhomes Jacksonville – Franchise of the Year, President’s Club, Circle of Excellence & Most Homes Sold.
- Showhomes Raleigh - Rising Star Franchise of the Year, Circle of Excellence & Most Move Ins.
- Showhomes Memphis – President’s Club, Circle of Excellence, Shooting Star & Most Homes Sold
- Showhomes Fox Valley – Ambassador Award, President’s Club, Circle of Excellence & Most Homes Sold.
- Showhomes South Bay – Best in Staging Design, Most Homes Sold, & Fastest Fill Time.
- Showhomes Houston – Rising Star Best in Staging Design & President’s Club.
- Showhomes Coral Gables – President’s Club & Circle of Excellence.
- Showhomes Tulsa – President’s Club, Most Move Ins & Fastest Fill Times
- Showhomes Kansas City – President’s Club, Most Move Ins & Most Homes Sold
Other award recipients were: Denver, East Valley, Little Rock, Mobile, N. Pinellas/Pasco Co., Naperville, Nashville, North Shore-Barrington, San Diego & SE Wisconsin.
Bert Lyles, Showhomes CEO said, “We are very proud of our Showhomes family and all award winners. Each business is built on integrity with a customer centric focus and outstanding staging design & services. Each award is well deserved.
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Since 1986, Showhomes has helped realtors and homeowners sell more than 26,000 homes worth more than $8 billion across the United States. Showhomes provides a turnkey package in home staging that includes whole-house furnishings, professional decorating, staging, a live-in home manager and marketing support services.
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.