Marisa Salas spent most of her career managing the jewelry business that had been in her family for three generations and working in retail for Neiman Marcus and Carson’s before taking some time off to start a family.
After spending three years at home with her two young children, Salas was ready to return to work, but she knew she needed something that would give her the necessary flexibility to care for her family and spend quality time with her children.
Salas invested in Showhomes in Coral Gables, Florida, in 2009 after her husband discovered the brand at a franchise expo.
“I really liked the business model and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be creative while filling a true need for homeowners in this area, and I’d control my own schedule, which was important,” said Salas.
When Salas opened her location of the savvy and chic home-staging business, her unit was almost solely focused on Showhomes’ Home Manager model for staging.
“Greater Miami is a really transient community and for homeowners that moved to a different area, having someone in the house (a Home Manager) who could keep an eye on things and catch something like a leak or downed tree for example was a concept that was extremely well-received,” she said.
Salas says she has grown more confident in her decision to invest in Showhomes.
“The business has evolved, and presented me with new revenue opportunities as the needs in the marketplace have shifted. Whereas in the beginning, I staged only with Home Managers, now I have my own warehouse with inventory and a significant portion of my business also comes from traditional staging, and I’m also in the early stages of starting to offer home updating in my market,” she explained.
“When I first saw with my own eyes the impact staging can have on the sales process for a homeowner, I was hooked on this business, and being able to help homeowners and Realtors get through the process with less stress and more profit has continue to provide me with the satisfaction that I am truly helping people in this community,” Salas said.
Salas recently worked with a top-notch area Realtor and staged a house that had been vacant and on the market for more than nine months. Salas was able to come in, bring the home to life and stage it to reflect its value. Within two weeks, the homeowner had multiple offers and the home sold for $2.1 million. Salas says she has a laundry list of examples like this, and that’s what motivates her.
Salas continues to be happy with the flexibility her Showhomes business offers her. “I am still able to spend time with my kids, take them to their activities, be a soccer mom in the afternoons,” she said. ”That was really important to me and I’ve been able to achieve it with Showhomes.”
Many aspects of the business have shifted as Salas has become more established in Coral Gables. Whereas marketing was one of the biggest challenges in the beginning, the combination of referrals and the weight the Showhomes name carries have alleviated that challenge.
“I don’t have to place as much emphasis on outbound marketing now, because the phone rings,” Salas says. Today Salas says her focus is on expanding her staff to keep up with volume.
“Showhomes is great at developing new revenue streams and providing the model that can be replicated in our markets, so I find that once I implement a new service, volume picks up pretty quickly,” she said.
Eventually Salas says she’d love to expand her business north into Miami Beach because she already receives calls from the area, but for now she’s focused on serving the Coral Gables community and tackling the full rollout of Showhomes’ Home Updating services in her existing market.