We love it when people follow their passions. Well known Takapuna identity Barb McLean has done just that over the past 18 months with the launch of her new business, Grace Home Staging.
After over 30 years in the risk insurance industry, the active grandmother decided it was time for a change. To have her own gig, combining her passion for homes with a more flexible lifestyle that would enable her to spend more time with her family, particularly her much-loved grandchildren.
“Kev goes to golf while I go to open homes,” explained Barb when describing her passion for lovely homes when we visited her own lovely home located close to Takapuna Beach in June. The home she shares with golfing husband Kevin.
Barb is a real Shore local, having attended St Joeseph's Primary and Carmel College. Her dad was a partner in Franchi and Ion, a business that built many of the brick and tile units on the North Shore. As a kid she and her siblings spent time checking out homes and understanding the market with their father. He always said “buy north facing, by public transport and the worst house in the street”. That upbringing lit her passion for real estate and Barb just loves going to open homes, as well watching pricing and properties. It’s in her blood.
"Ever since I can remember I have been passionate about the way a home feels. After years of buying, renovating, staging and selling my own homes – and helping others – I decided it was time to put my passion to work. The Grace Home Staging name was created and decided on by my four grandchildren, developed around creating a graceful home.”
As she was setting up the business Barb’s first project was for a work colleague who was struggling to sell his home. Enter Barb, with her home-staging flair and the home ended up selling for 15% more than expected. That success, along with the encouragement from Kevin and her family provided the impetus for taking the plunge. Giving up the corporate job of over three decades to be her own boss. And she loves it!
"I know that one of the most important aspects of getting the best price for a home is ensuring it looks inspirational to buyers,” says Barb. “I work with the clients, and their real estate agent to ensure the style we create for a home will result in getting the best price. I love interior design and get a kick out of adding value for people.”
Barb is keen to point out that Grace Home Staging is a boutique business that’s all about relationships and understanding that smaller details are important. As well as Barb there is a team she can call on that ensures they are always well resourced.
“In the short time that we have been going, we have built up a very good clientele who appreciate what we offer,” adds Barb. “Our clients come via recommendations from real estate agents and via referrals from satisfied customers. There is not doubt that the market is changing, but as selling times for homes stretch out a bit, the skills of good home stagers become more important. Smarter touches make a real difference.”
If you are looking for one of the Shore’s very best home stagers for your property, you’ve found her. Contact Barb McLean at Grace Home Staging by visiting www.graceyourhome.co.nz or or phone 021 284 4661.
What Barb’s customers are saying…
"Thanks for the great job you did dressing our fathers unit for sale. After all his furniture was removed the unit looked a bit tired.. You dressed it up to be the bright cheerful home we knew it to be, and helped Sue achieve the result we wanted at auction.”
"Barb was excellent. She was able to quickly get a feel for the house and knew what would work well for our particular house inside and out. She’s an excellent communicator and made the process very easy.”
"Barb has a real eye for detail, her ability to pull a room together and make it stand-out is amazing. She makes the process easy and her high-quality looks and knowledge of creating great flow in a house definitely added huge value to the overall sale.”
"We called on Barb to do some titivating, or minor staging, for our home when it went on the market. We wanted it to look stylish but still lived-in, and not overly staged. Barb brought her ideas that were fresh and personalised to what we wanted and to our home."