Leanne Gemma Followed Her Entrepreneurial Spirit to Franchise with Showhomes
Showhomes, America’s largest home staging company, often finds franchisees like Leanne Gemma who apply a background in real estate to a new, rewarding business opportunity. Gemma went to school to prepare for her early career as a software developer, though much of her professional experience was centered around product management—the area where she felt her skills truly shine. These skills eventually led her to franchise with Showhomes.
In addition to her career in software project management, Gemma always had a passion for real estate. “I’ve been investing in real estate for 15 years,” said Gemma. “I’ve always wanted to have a career in real estate, but I could never find quite the right fit.”
Gemma had been looking into franchising on her own when she discovered Showhomes and inquired to get more information. “I found Showhomes to be a good fit for bringing my two worlds of experience and other aspects of my personality together,” said Gemma. “The product and customer service aspects from the product management jobs, my personal passion for DIY home improvement and design projects ad my interest in real estate management all came together.”
One of the things that stood out to Gemma about Showhomes was the potential for several diverse revenue streams. “It’s not just a staging company where you’re doing vacant home staging — there are all kinds of possibilities.” Showhomes also offers home restyles, updating, and staging with a home manager who prepares your home to sell for you.
Gemma, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, opened her doors on March 1, 2020, and she is in the early stages of marketing her services. “I have hired a salesperson, and she is ramping up here and will be full-time starting in April. We’re having some early meetings with real estate agents to work through the details.”
According to Gemma, Raleigh, which is in an exciting period of growth, is a perfect market for a business like Showhomes. “There are a significant number of people moving to Raleigh every day,” said Gemma. “It’s definitely a growing area and a vibrant market. Real estate here is very diverse. You have a lot of executives for large companies in the area and a lot of starter homes, but there are also homes that have been around for 30 to 40 years that could use some updating. The programs that Showhomes offers can update your home for you, and help with staging for occupied or vacant residences, meaning we have something for every situation.”
While a real estate shortage may impact other cities, Gemma says that Raleigh has remained particularly resilient.
Gemma, who is also a married mother of two young children, says that the flexibility that comes with business ownership is also a perk for her. “Certainly being able to have more flexibility is a benefit, and I’m looking forward to it very much,” Gemma said. “Being completely in control of all aspects of running a business is something that I find really challenging and invigorating. I’m very excited to see what the future holds with Showhomes.”
“Leanne is a great example of how successful Showhomes franchisees can be, especially when they incorporate previous skill sets into their new career,” COO Matt Kelton said. “It’s truly inspiring knowing that Leanne was able to follow her dreams and get into the real estate business because of Showhomes’ franchise opportunity.”