After experiencing the sheltering at home phase of the pandemic, people are putting more emphasis on their homes and their surroundings. Some are upgrading and remodeling, while others are selling and moving to more quarantine-friendly quarters. City dwellers are looking to the suburbs for more comfortable living spaces. In May, the number of views on properties with suburban ZIP codes increased 13%, according to realtor.com data. Because of the increased demand, home staging services have seen a boom in activity.
Home sellers look to staging services to help sell more quickly and for a higher price. Any professional Realtor will tell you that a beautifully-decorated home will move faster than a vacant or cluttered one. Showhomes, a franchised home staging company, offers four different services to help home sellers get top dollar and create more interest from buyers.
The company started in 1986 with its home manager service and grew to offer four key services including staging, redecorating and updating. All four services are extremely valuable to Realtors, who are the biggest referral sources for their franchise owners. Franchisees can offer all or focus on just one service area.
The unique home manager service offers a fun perk for franchisees: they can choose to live in the homes and serve as caretakers while the house is on the market. Not all Showhomes franchisees take on that role themselves. Most enlist professionals to reside in the homes and maintain a lived in—yet presentable—atmosphere in exchange for a reduced rent.
Showhomes franchise owners come from all walks of life, including designers, builders and corporate refugees. Many are husband-and-wife teams who run the business along with a staff of decorators and stagers. Here, Showhomes franchise owners share their experiences with the brand.
Nancy & Robbie Jones, Showhomes of Triad, NC
With different skill sets, Nancy and Robbie make a great team. Nancy focuses on sales and design work and Robbie on renovations and the financial end of the business. In time, the couple has built a solid foundation in the community and has established strong relationships with local Realtors. “So much of what we do is referral-based,” says Nancy. With nine employees, the Joneses have grown their business over time. “If you’re passionate and willing to put in the work, you can make a great business for yourself with Showhomes,” says Nancy.
Michael & Janine Callahan, Showhomes Fox Valley/Suburban West, IL
With a career in franchise sales, Michael Callahan knew about many different types of franchises. “Showhomes was really unique and was a perfect fit for Janine and I,” Michael says. “We sold our forever home and jumped right into property management. We’re living in our 14th Showhome as property managers since we launched the business in 2009.”
“We love being creative and helping people. We get to do both with our business. With most of our referrals coming from Realtors, we set up fun events to market the business. Recently, we rented a trolley and took agents to several of our open houses for a tour. At each stop, we served food and drinks. We were able to invite other suppliers like insurance companies and real estate photographers to help sponsor the event,” says Michael.