Showhomes Philadelphia-Area Franchisees Monica Estes and Allyson Piccolomini Attribute Major Growth to Careful Planning and Relationship Building



Aunt-and-niece duo Monica Estes and Allyson Piccolomini had one goal in mind when they decided to open a Showhomes franchise in the Philadelphia area in 2014, and that was to have fun. They certainly have had their fair share of fun since then, aided by the immense professional success they've generated. Their franchise is one of the most successful in the entire Showhomes system, and they have set up processes that will ensure even more success in 2020. 

Before franchising with the full-service home staging, management, update and renovation franchise, Estes spent several years working for large corporations. Her niece Piccolomini, who had just graduated from college three years prior, had experience working for a furniture manufacturer in customer service, marketing and e-commerce. What's more, Piccolomini had a vision for what a community business should be, and Estes had the capital. Together, the two had the combined experience, means and vision to achieve personal and professional success through franchising. 

The past two years have been especially rewarding for this dynamic duo and their Showhomes of the Main Line franchise. Estes and Piccolomini, who opened Showhomes' first franchise in the Philadelphia area, a market where the brand was completely unknown, attribute their most recent successes to careful planning, building relationships and, above all, caring about their work and leaving no detail untouched. 

Their success has not gone unnoticed, either. Estes and Piccolomini were showered with well-deserved recognition at the brand's annual conference in August 2019. They received the Top 5 Revenue Generators in Home Updates award, the Top 5 Most Homes Sold award, the $300K in Revenue Milestone award and the President's Award for Market Penetration. They were also recognized among franchises open for 36 months or longer that attained the largest year-over-year increase in sales revenue for 2019. 

"It feels so validating because when you're building your business you're just climbing up and up and you never bother to look at the view," Estes said. "The conference really just gave us the opportunity to enjoy the view for a minute." 

The Showhomes leadership team is certainly thrilled to have Estes and Piccolomini as part of the franchise family. 

"Allyson and Monica are a great example of how successful Showhomes franchisees can be, especially when they adopt all of our suite of service offerings," COO Matt Kelton said. "They also show a high level of care in everything they do, including customer service, which has greatly contributed to their success." 

As much of a success as 2018 was for Estes and Piccolomini, they knew they weren't quite where they wanted to be just yet. The spent the beginning of 2019 planning and creating a roadmap for what the rest of the year would look like, all of which has prepared them for the position they currently occupy and plan to further improve upon in 2020.

"We relocated our warehouse, expanded storage capabilities and hired more staff members," Estes said. "We also acquired a better grasp of inventory and management processes, which has enabled us to do more with the same amount of infrastructure. Last year was truly a good transitional year for our franchise." 

Estes and Piccolomini do a lot of home staging in their market, so it was critical they get the inventory part of their business under control. This includes taking excellent care of the products they put in the homes. 

"We take very good care of our furnishings, and because of this, we get the most use out of them," Estes said. "When they're not in use, they are always wrapped and protected from the elements. We also make sure any soft goods we use are freshly laundered because that is crucial in helping create that emotional bond between a for-sale home and prospective buyers." 

Then there is the relationship-building aspect of the job. From real estate agents to their fellow franchisees, Estes and Piccolomini are adamant about building long-term relationships. 

"From the beginning, we built good relationships with up-and-coming agents and helped them grow their businesses as they became bigger and better," Piccolomini said. "We also have great relationships with investors in the area, and this has all given us a good reputation in our market. We're very customer-focused and we also just pride ourselves on having a good quality product and being there to help real estate agents as much as we can." 

They both also attribute their success to the brand's support. 

"The Showhomes leadership team is really focused on the quality aspect," Estes said. "They follow up with and survey all of our clients, and Allyson and I always know we're going to get that good feedback. It's validating knowing that a client enjoyed a successful sale of the home on which you worked so hard." 

Estes is thrilled she made the switch from working for large corporations to owning and operating a franchise. One of the biggest draws of Showhomes, she said, is the brand's sense of community. 

"At Showhomes, there are more resources for goal-setting and for sharing successes and from learning from each other," Estes said. "Allyson and I also enjoy the franchise model and how the entire infrastructure is set up for us. If we had had to do that on our own it would have sapped our energy. Thanks to Showhomes, we can simply focus on serving customers in our geographic location. And we can have fun." 

Estes also credits her niece for her having such a strong vision. 

"It's on her shoulders entirely, in my opinion," Estes said. "She's the one who built it from nothing in this market. We didn't buy an existing franchise. It was all her vision about what our brand was going to be locally. She had the vision to create that emotional connection that kept people coming back for more." 

The startup costs for a Showhomes franchise range from $60,500 to $100,300. The franchise fee is $39,900. To learn more about franchising with Showhomes, visit 

https://showhomesfranchise.com/.