FEBRUARY 1, 2018Meet Kristine Vowles of The Luxury Look in Scottsdale
VOYAGE PHOENIX STAFF
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristine Vowles.
Kristine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
At a very young age, I expressed an appreciation for beautiful things, I would be occupied for hours as I discovered every little detail of whatever caught my eye. Some of my first words were “That’s Pretty” and “Don’t Touch”. I have begun decorating and arranging furniture as early as seven years old and my sweet grandmother and mom never seemed to mind. Anytime my mom took me with her to visit with friends, I would take any opportunity to play house with their things and move them all around. And at 16, I began developing my love of Interior design, decorating, painting, making crafts, redesigning and fashion design.
During high school I would spend my summers working in my Uncles Architectural firm. Upon graduation I went to UNLV for business management and Law. Shortly, after that I entered Interior Design School.
Because I had accomplish all this at such a young age, it was proving to be difficult in securing clients because of my age. So I made the decision to obtain my Real Estate License, as it would give me many opportunities to be in front of potential clients and incorporate my design knowledge all while working to sell their homes. I immediately started Staging my properties for sale and seeing great results, early in the 1980’s before “Home Staging” was even a term.
My mother and I joined together to form our own real estate team in the mid 80’s and after a couple years I was offered a position with Prudential Real Estate. That one job began my 35+ year career in managing Real Estate offices. After 2 years with Prudential, I then I moved over to Westar Development, from there Relocation Director for Coldwell Banker where I became their top Relocation Director in the Western Region. After I moved to Arizona, I wanted to figure out the lay of the land in regards to the Real Estate industry, so I made the decision to start my own Real Estate Temping agency, It might sound extreme and it was, but it gave me the front row seat in learning all the front and back office operations for multiple real estate firms, information about the market, and so much more. After a few years assisting real estate companies and teams in every capacity you could think of I landed a 6-year contract to run a mega real estate team that specialized in Luxury Homes, Investment Properties and Commercial Development, so it was an easy decision to close the temping agency. Later in 2004, I made a major change and joined Keller Williams Realty’s Leadership team and served as a CFO, Assistant Team Leader. Operations Manager and a percentage owner in various Keller Williams Realty offices where I spent the next 8 years.
In 2012, I created a company where the Keller Williams Southwest Region was my main client. I assisted in the training of their leadership and staff. And enjoyed and thrived in restructuring, organized and setting up systems in most their 28 offices, which was my last role prior to opening the Luxury Look at the end of 2013.
Since opening our doors in September of 2013, we are extremely proud of our accomplishments, thus far, Kristine is currently serving as the Arizona State and Chapter President of the Real Estate Staging Association “RESA”, Voted as one of the “Top 10 Stagers” in the US, Voted as one of the “Top 10 Home Staging Teams of the Year” Voted “Best of Houzz” in Customer Service, Voted “Best of Scottsdale” in Design and Staging” for 2016 and 2017, and inducted into the Business Hall of Fame for the City of Scottsdale, and serves on the Sherwin Williams Pro Advisory Board. We were also contacted too be a contributor to the book “Startup Entrepreneur” written by Gia Heller and a Key note speaker for the “Femargent Launch Party” in Beverly Hills.
Vowles maintains membership in Southeast Valley Regional Board of Realtors, Scottsdale Association of Realtors, the National and State Associations of Realtors, and a proud member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing,
Has it been a smooth road?
Starting any company has its own set of challenges. But having the opportunity to create a business around your passion, you tend to have the motivation to just keep pushing through and grinding it out.
The biggest struggle is in educating the public on the significant difference between hiring a hobbyist designer/home stager versus skilled professionals. The results are certainly measurable and in the long run the cost will be much less when hiring a professional that is knowledgeable in the various styles and how to mix them appropriately, space flow, size and scale, current trends, understanding the importance of Buyer Demographics, color consulting, architecture and design verses a hobbyist that loves what they do, but has no real life experience in why or how we do what we do or qualified to explain it to their clients or formal training in the industry.
“I liken Home staging to your Social Media status, what message are you trying to convey”
And no we don’t always use rugs, especially patterned ones or pillows of many colors, like you see in all the photos in the MLS. There is science behind good design, and knowing when it applies is key!
Kristine’s diverse background and unique combination of Design and Real Estate sets The Luxury Look apart from the norm.
We have successfully staged or Redesign over 150,000,000 Million in Real Estate.
According to NAR and other Industry Icons – Home Staging is becoming the real estate industries number one marketing tool and we should be treating it as such. When making your decisions about which staging company to use based solely on pricing, you may be throwing good money away when you consider how much longer the properties will be sitting on the market versus enjoying the results that are achieved when you hire a skilled designer/home stager that focuses their attention on the details that fit your property and that your particular buyers can relate to.
Incorporating a Top Home Stager as part of your real estate team or brokerage is one of the best business strategies you can invest in, in 2018. It can be the one marketing tool that you can quickly experience and measure the results…
Home Staging and Redesigning is a growing trend and working with a company that stays on top of current trends and designing spaces that are impossible to ignore while creating client experiences is a winning combination.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
After 25+ years working as a manager with various Real Estate companies, I discovered the most common compliant that Home Sellers were having with their Realtors was that their main solution to solving the problem of their home not selling was reducing the asking price. But in all actuality, the price wasn’t necessarily the issue in many cases. However, the appearance and condition of the home was, the interiors, room arrangements, photos, etc. we’re not appealing nor capturing the attention of home buyers.
There is a huge gap in how properties are listed for sale, from placing a sign in the front yard to analyzing the interior to the exterior and making sure that the home is show ready long before the photos are taken.
The Luxury Look was created, to fill that gap. I knew that if we wanted to succeed, we needed to raise the bar.
Our company offers Interior Design, Color Consultations, Home Staging for homeowners, realtors, investors, and new construction, as well as Redesigning – home staging for occupied homes, stylizing, furniture and accessory shopping.
We not only specialize in being a Transformational Space Planner, but we also offer unique private and corporate events for our clients. And The Luxury Look as taken the standard Broker Opens from drab to fab by created (VIP) Events by creating memorable experiences that your guest will never forget.
In 2018 we will be expanding more into Training, Coaching, Product sales and development for Home Stagers and the Real Estate Industry.
As the Arizona State President for RESA and it is my goal to work with real estate related organizations to add an additional layer of education, awareness and benefits of Home Staging locally and nationally.
Vowles is also a Partner and Exclusive Designer for HDomes Group, where she will be designing, building, and staging unique Luxury Boutique Dome Hotels, large subdivisions and private homes throughout the world. Projects are currently slated for Nicaragua, Hawaii, Bahamas, and African as well as Palm Springs and Florida.
Vowles will be a guest speaker at the upcoming International Home Staging Conference RESACON2018, as well as The Play Big event in North Hollywood and for the upcoming Home Staging Summit.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
With over 35+ years in the Real Estate and Design Industry, Kristine is combining her knowledge in both arenas and bringing game changing products, courses, training’s and event’s for Realtors and Home Stagers a like. With her keen sense of design, and ability to transform any space along with her knowledge of how to create the perfect environment to ensure offers faster, she is the perfect person to create such unique array of courses and offerings.
This month The Luxury Look is releasing a new Magazine that will be focused on the 6 most Powerful Design tools and Concepts that the Realtors and Home Stager’s need to incorporate into any property that they are marketing, staging and/or selling.
We are very excited for this launch, it has been a year in the making. We know from experience that by incorporating these key elements in every home, that it will increase your earnings, sell homes faster, and raise the bar in the industry.
We need to up our game and offer more as an industry and 2018 will prove be that year. And we certainly want to be a huge part of that.
As Kristine strives daily to broaden The Luxury Look’s brand she continues to create new offerings for her clients and the industry in which she serves. In addition to The Luxury Look Magazine releasing for Realtors and Homes Stagers, Kristine’s been extremely focused on designing a new Certifications for Realtors and Home Stagers, which will be launching in February. And keep your eye out for information on this and other announcements coming soon.
If you wish to subscription or advertise in The Luxury Look Magazine or receive updates on course and product launches, or discuss how The Luxury Look can assist you with Home or business needs – send an email to Kristine@theLuxuryLook.com to be placed on the list.
Shane Baker Studios and The Luxury Look
4 Profit Killing Mistakes Made By New House FlippersBenefit from the mistakes of other first time home flippers.No one is perfect. When it comes to real estate investing, even the savviest investors make mistakes their first time around. While we do our best to guide new investors through the process, there are still several mistakes we find new investors making that can cause a deal to go from profitable to break-even or worse.
New House Flipper Mistake #1: Not Assembling Your Team
You might be a superstar, but flipping a property is a team sport. At the very least you’ll need a real estate agent to help you sell the finished product, a real estate attorney to protect you and ensure the transactions go smoothly, and of course a source of funding to allow you to leverage your capital. As we mentioned before, if your flip includes any rehabilitation to the property your team will also need a trusted general contractor who can do the work on time and on budget. Many real estate investors also benefit from having a trusted CPA on their team to advise them on the complex accounting sometimes involved in these deals, as well as an insurance agent that can guide them through the world of liability protection.
New House Flipper Mistake #2: Not Vetting the General Contractor
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong during the course of a property flip. After over 700 deals, what we’ve found is that the majority of issues new investors have during their first flip are the result of contractor issues. Delays, underestimation of costs, and generally unprofessional behavior are the most common source of headaches for new flippers. In order to counter this, we ask our borrowers to thoroughly vet their contractor and follow some best practices for selecting the right one to do the job.
Local real estate investor associations are a great place to find referrals for companies that others in your situation have already vetted.
Always see their work for yourself by physically visiting at least two of their projects in your area.
Get bids from a few contractors. This will not only give you a better opportunity to find the right fit, but give you a better idea of what your proposed scope of work should actually cost. Make sure to ask for an itemized scope of work.
New House Flipper Mistake #3: Not Staging the Home
Yes, hiring a professional service to stage your home increases your out of pocket expenses by around $1500 to $1800. However, like everything else about your deal – staging the home is an investment. On the surface, potential home buyers can more easily relate to a professionally staged home because it is not only clean, but decorated in a way that allows the buyer to imagine themselves living there.
The National Association Of Realtors polled their members and found that an incredible 96% of Realtors believe that staging has a positive impact on a potential buyer’s perception of the home. Additionally, studies prove that staged homes sell up to 2.5 times quicker than non-stages homes and for about 17% more. When you consider the costs saved from flipping the property quicker plus the higher sale price thanks to the improved perception of the property, home staging is an easy decision.
New House Flipper Mistake #4: Holding on Too Long
You probably do great work, and the value you’ve added to the property is incredible. However, this sense of pride and accomplishment new investors have regarding their first finished flip can sometimes cause unrealistic expectations for how much money they’ll sell it for. The truth is, the quicker you flip the property the better off you’ll be. Holding on to the property in hopes of a higher offer leads to an increase in soft costs; everything from interest expenses to taxes and utilities that will ultimately eat into the deal’s profit. Additionally, the quicker you flip the property the quicker you’re able to re-invest your money into the next deal.
Whether you’re new to real estate investing or simply looking to build your team and maximize your return on investment, Asset Based Lending would love to be your hard money lending partner. If you have a deal in mind, fill out our quick pre-qualification form and our loan officer in your area will reach out to discuss it with you.
Kristine Vowles the Founder of The Luxury Look still enjoys after 30+ years being involved in the Real Estate Industry as a Leadership Trainer, Investor, Mentor as well as the world of Design and Renovating. Now it is about building relationships, good design, assisting others in achieving their goals and having fun with family, friends and colleagues.