When Megan Callahan moved with her oil worker husband from Houston, Tx. Back to her home in Newfoundland, she found herself looking for a new passion.
She used to be a business analyst at PAL Aerospace, and she had a background in accounting. However, she has now realized her talents are far more creative than she ever imagined.
“When we were living in Houston, I thought our house looked perfect. But the realtor told us we needed to stage the home. I learned about what staging was then,” she said.
“I began by doing it for friends and family when I moved home, and it was working really well. I’d always enjoyed interior decorating, and I really got to explore that.”
With three kids, her design company theoretically allows her to work her own schedule, and she loves helping people.
She discusses the difficulties of moving, and the various benefits home staging can have on clients in the world of buying and selling.
“The purpose of staging is to get homes sold for the highest dollar value with the lowest time spent on the market,” she said.
“When people are trapped in the hustle-and-bustle of buying and selling homes and the stress that goes along with it, we hope to be a breath of fresh air. We can maximize space, showcase the home and show its potential.”
For Callahan, she says the biggest part of the business is currently consultations, set up through real estate agents.
“I do a room by room walkthrough, explaining to the homeowner exactly what needs to be done to showcase the house,” she said.
But in an occupied home, the issue is getting rid of things and opening up the space, not adding to it.
“We work with the furniture there to make things look amazing. We declutter and streamline. The biggest part of my business is making homes look good,” she said.
“We catch the home-owners’ vibes, and if they’re willing, we roll up our sleeves and get to work. If not, we go for a measured approach. There’s a way to make staging work for everyone.”
Trim Design is an extension of the real estate agents they strategize with, and try to make everything work in tandem.
“Teamwork is an integral part of this business, from Trim Design to the real estate agent to the home-owner. We make sure we’re on the same page as the agents, and we all have the goal to get the house sold,” she said.
“I take it personally when a house sells. I’m excited if a house that’s been on the market for a long time sells quickly after our work. We hope our work helps get the job done.”
Everchanging but consistently part of the process are deadlines, and Callahan makes sure she gets things done in good time for the client.
“No matter how organized I am or how structured, timelines change and clients’ needs change. When people decide on staging, sometimes they decide they need it immediately. You need to help your client,” she said.
“We deal with short selling seasons here, and people need to get in to view homes. You must work hard through panic. Overnighters are not uncommon, and the job needs to get done fast and well.”
Whether it’s washing floors, dealing with clients, or doing walk-throughs, Callahan and her team are ready and willing to help every step of the way.
Reputation is everything, to the point that Callahan often gets asked about her formal training. She has none, but her business and reviews from clients allow her to draw on word-of-mouth. The future of her business depends on strong recommendations.
“This is a business, and if people aren’t happy, word will get around. I want people to be happy with their end result with Trim Design,” she said.
“There are some great staging companies. Your reputation precedes you out here, and my business comes on the recommendations of agents and homeowners who like my work.”
Trim Design accommodates those selling with full staging, partial staging and consultations. But Callahan takes great pride in affordability.
“The feedback I most often get is people are happy with the monthly rental costs. I have an inventory of furniture I use rather than renting furniture for homes. It makes for a greater selection that we can tailor to each space, and most importantly, the costs are lessened for the client,” she said.
Callahan hopes to gain more clientele in the future and grow her brand, but she also has some more immediate wishes for her business.
“Right now people may not want to spend the extra money, and the outlook for real estate isn’t bright. But the better the market gets in the future, the better it is for us,” she said.
“I hope the real estate market takes a jump up. Everyone benefits from a more lucrative market right now. Even with this current lull, the company is doing well. I can’t wait to just trend further upward.”
By Jordan Parker