When Jeff and Heidi Ross stumbled across Showhomes, it was on accident. It happened when they were moving to their new home in Little Rock, Arkansas—they found themselves scrambling for a place to live in the short-term after their house in Mobile, Alabama sold in just 47 days. That’s when Jeff noticed an ad in the newspaper for Showhomes. The brand’s franchisee in Mobile was looking for a family that could use their furniture to help stage a home to get it off the market. So they decided to give it a shot.
To say that the husband and wife duo found their calling would be an understatement. Right off the bat, Jeff and Heidi fell in love with Showhomes’ home manager staging program. That’s why they moved into their second staged home in Mobile after the first one sold. Recognizing that this process benefited them, they decided to look into being home managers when they moved to Little Rock while they got settled. However, after doing a little research, they discovered that Showhomes didn’t have a franchise in the area. Sensing an opportunity for growth, they decided to invest in and open it themselves.
“Our decision to become Showhomes franchisees was completely natural. It was the perfect solution for us when it came to short-term housing, but we recognized that it could lead to something more,” said Heidi. “Jeff and I had also always wanted to go into business together, so this was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. And now, nearly 15 years later, we can say that taking the leap to become business owners was absolutely worth it.”
Jeff and Heidi opened up their first Showhomes franchise in Little Rock back in 2003, and started experiencing success right away through the home manager staging program that they once engaged as homeowners. But a few years later—after they won Showhomes’ Franchise of the Year award in 2007—they decided to take on more. That’s why they purchased the rights to open up a new location in Memphis, Tennessee in 2008, making them the first franchisees to buy another franchise in a different state.
Today, Jeff and Heidi still operate their Memphis location. And even after selling their Little Rock location to another franchisee after 11 years as its owners, they’re still seeing growth alongside the Showhomes brand.
“The home manager staging program has been incredibly profitable for us as franchisees. That’s really been our focus over the years—we’ve even been in 20 different show homes ourselves,” said Jeff. “But what makes the business model so exciting isn’t just its success rate. It’s also incredibly thrilling to help homeowners sell the biggest asset they have. When you pour love, furniture and energy into a staged home, you’re going to be able to sell it for a higher price. Knowing that we helped facilitate that is incredibly rewarding.”
With nearly 60 locations currently open for business, Jeff and Heidi are far from the only franchisees thriving alongside Showhomes. And by offering a low initial investment that ranges from $50,700 to $84,860, the brand is positioning itself for continued growth in key development markets down the line.
“What makes Showhomes so unique is the fact that it’s not only about staging. You don’t have to be a professional stager, designer or realtor to succeed in this business—being a Showhomes franchisee is really all about managing people,” said Heidi. “Through our Showhomes locations, we’ve been able to become a part of a strong team that’s always getting bigger. And by establishing strong relationships with the members of our local community, we’re confident that we’ll continue to grow down the line.”