Cheryl Lynn Thomas of Kansas City Showhomes Shares Her Expertise in Home Staging

Home staging expert dives into how staging can aid in selling a home, even in a booming real estate industry.

The real estate market is extremely strong at this point in time, and therefore most homes sell at asking price in a relatively short period of time. Because of this, it’s important that sellers take every step they can to stand out from the pack. Cheryl Lynn Thomas with Showhomes of Kansas City has found a way for the seller to sell their homes even quicker and at higher prices -- home staging. She shares details about her background, the staging industry and design trends.

How did you get started in the home staging industry?

Previously, I worked in marketing, coming up through the creative services side producing television commercials, therefore the visual arts are part of my profession DNA. When I was faced with the decision of moving to a new city during a career transition, I came across Showhomes’ Home Manager program. Once my family relocated permanently, I approached the franchise owner about working for the company because I was so impressed by the concept. Additionally, Showhomes is one of the few companies that provides home staging certification as part of their onboarding process, which added to my credentials.

How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated by focusing on how home staging helps the end user. In addition to helping homeowners stage their homes to get a higher selling price in a shorter period of time, I also help homeowners who just want to update their home’s functionality for themselves and their families.

Do you have any advice for up and comers in home staging and design?

The best advice is to stay informed on trends while understanding fads so you aren’t misled. Some things you’ll see aren’t going to endure time, therefore it’s not a good idea to invest in that type of inventory. Also, when you are staging or designing, it’s a good idea to keep the house itself in mind. You will get a more harmonious result.

Is there a designer or style that you look to for inspiration?

I get my style inspiration from magazines, catalogs and websites. Whenever I have a free moment, I’m putting beautiful visuals into my mind so when I’m out shopping, I know when I see a great on-trend piece that is priced right! Designers that inspire me mostly come from the fashion world, like Coco Chanel and Betsey Johnson. I’d be lying if I didn’t say Joanna Gaines, especially as she continues to evolve.

How do you spread the word about your business?

I have done quite a lot of online marketing. On top of that, networking with realtors is so important. This will lead to referrals from the community.

How do you make yourself stand out in a saturated market?

Showhomes is not a hobbyist in this space. We’ve been doing it for over 30 years and our company is backed by resources most home staging companies simply do not have. It allows us go beyond the single service offered by most home stagers. We have a traditional home staging service, but we also offer home manager staging, home updates and home makeovers. These products allow us unique pricing options that help us stand out from the crowd.

What is the biggest challenge your industry is currently facing?

A huge challenge is the fact the real estate market is good right now. What seems to be something that would help Showhomes actually leads people into thinking they don’t need staging. Trust me – staging will still get you a quicker sale no matter the pace of the market.

What's exciting about the future of home staging and design?

I believe that we are bringing value using beauty. Staging a home that is for sale will eventually be commonplace because it removes a potential buyer’s questions and lets them see how they could live in that home. In total, it will increase the value of the home in their mind's eye when they decide which house to buy. As for design, the fact that people are creating spaces for themselves that enrich their day-to-day lives brings a non-monetary, but equally important value.

What are some trends are you seeing in home design for 2019?

Color-wise, I think black, terracotta and greige (a neutral color that blurs the gap between gray and beige) are currently trending. I see a return of southwest in décor (for some, it’s never left) and terrazzo coming back from the 80’s, which is used to replace marble.

Where can people find you?

Showhomes of Kansas City.