Showhomes representatives spoke to NPR about their Home Manager program and the success the franchise has seen in home-staging, especially with the real estate market on the rebound. Home Managers at Showhomes live in unoccupied houses in order to make the home more lived in, warm and welcoming. They also take care of grounds keeping, utilities and bill paying. These managers are actively recruited and vetted and can live in a luxury home for a fraction of the price while it's still on the market.
"To sell a vacant house, you're going to see a home that takes longer to sell. It's going to show the flaws of the homes right away," says Matt Kelton, chief operating officer at Showhomes. "Something about having food in the pantry ... it's hard to put my finger on it, but there's some kind of emotional connection that happens."