In 1995, the former telecommunications giant, MCI, along with radio and record label partners, ventured into a new concept of music sampling and digital ordering called 1-800 MUSIC NOW. The pioneering venture engaged my expertise as an enthusiastic product manager and the highly talented Hollywood screenwriter, Meridith Baer, to bring the next chapter in music history to light. I (having great project management skills and an aptitude for technology and the customer experience) partnered with Meridith (having the gift of masterful storytelling and the knowledge of the entertainment industry) to create the virtual music shopping experience and tell the story of the brand. Our dynamic duo collaborated to create the voice of the service through an automated voice platform and developed what would become the virtual store that was branded with the iconic “You Call. You Listen. You Like. You Buy.” tagline.
Fast forward 20 years – a lot has changed. iTunes, Amazon, and Pandora have benefited from and catapulted the innovations in the music industry, and Meridith and I continued to develop our respective careers in other areas. However, twenty years later, we have found that we are both still reinventing common concepts. Once it was the music retail experience, and now it is the concept of home. We complement each other’s talents once again and have partnered to bring our respective clients the expertise for which we have become known. You see, Meridith Baer is the Founder and CEO of Meridith Baer Home, the world’s premiere home staging company. After 20 years of being a marketing executive for leading global brands, I am once again focused on my true passion and have founded and serve as the Chief Concierge of Home-Build Concierge.
The company Meridith started in 1998 is now a $150 million home-staging and design business with 200 employees. Though Meridith transitioned professionally from traditional storytelling as a screenwriter, she continues to tell a story through her work. She helps prospective buyers imagine life at their new home through visual design instead of written words. She and her team want to appeal to different emotions in home buyers – to make them feel a reaction to the space.
Becoming a home stager, happened “by accident” for Meridith. She needed to quickly vacate her home and asked a friend if she could move all of her furniture (including 250 potted plants) into an empty home he was selling. When the home sold for more than the asking price, brokers began pursuing Baer for her home-staging skills.
In those years since, Meridith Baer Home has been featured on countless networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Bravo, CNBC, The Discovery Channel, etc.) and has been written about in New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Daily Mail UK, Los Angeles Magazine, Wallpaper Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal to name a few. In 2013 HGTV premiered Staged To Perfection, a docuseries following Meridith and her team of designers staging multimillion-dollar homes, bringing the company to international attention.
On average, the company installs 150 properties per month and those sell in less than 30 days. Homes undergoing the Meridith Baer transformation sell 80% faster and for 20% higher prices than un-staged homes. The volume can be achieved via the support of the 250,000 square feet of warehouse space worldwide overflowing with furniture, artwork, rugs, lighting, plants, and accessories. As if that wasn’t enough, they even design and manufacture our own signature furniture.
Most children draw flowers, animals, cars, and stick figures when they first develop their artistic skills. I, on the other hand, started drawing houses and home designs as a small child. Starting with the purchase of my very first home, when I was in my mid-twenties, I learned quickly that when you build a new home, you should build it for your specific needs and decorate it with your sense of style. When the time came to sell that house, I realized that a well-built, unique house with well thought-out decor commands a much higher price than the "market price". That's when my passion for creating beautiful homes started. Since then, those principles coupled with my business sense, allowed my work in custom homes to raise the bar for communities throughout the nation’s capital, consistently resulting in record-setting increases in community home values.
In subsequent years, my success and love of managing custom home projects and renovations could no longer be contained and fulfilled with personal home projects. Puzzled by my constant buying and selling of homes, my friends and family began to question my very frequent moves. I explained that when you're good at what you love to do, it is not stressful – it is fun. I am now very excited to share that skill and passion with my clients through the innovative Home-Build Concierge services.
When consumers consider the notion of building a custom home after an exhaustive search for the “perfect house”, they often panic in fear from the tales of stressful home construction or renovation projects. At Home-Build Concierge, we turn even a production home experience into a custom build. Our full service approach helps to coordinate the work of the builder, designer, project manager, and the owner. Though we work for the buyer, builders love working with us because we are an asset to them. We save builders time and money, and help them turn out homes faster since we reduce change orders and errors.
Most people simply don’t have the time to properly build a house or do a major renovation. That’s why you really need a Home-Build Concierge. Our team knows the questions to ask and how to avoid issues. Believe it or not, it is actually fun to build a custom home or do a renovation if you know what you’re doing.
As founder and Chief Concierge of Home-Build Concierge, I am excited to share my success and love of the custom home process with my clients.
Why the Home-Build Concierge partnered with Meridith Baer Home
At Home-Build Concierge, we are enamored by the design work of Meridith Baer Home. The staging work for our clients’ properties for sale as well as the design work for new homes is stunning. But the relationship goes beyond that.
Both Meridith Baer and I help tell the stories of our clients’ homes through our work. Meridith masterfully creates a story about a home through the furnishings and functionality. Whether staging a home for sale to let home buyers imagine how life can be in the house, or designing a Hollywood celebrity mansion, the work of Meridith Baer Home is all about making that fantasy lifestyle a reality. The Home-Build Concierge helps to bring the homeowner’s story to life as they undertake a major home renovation or custom home build to create the space of their dreams.
Both companies help buyers and sellers fulfill the possibilities of a dream home and take the stress and project management responsibilities off the homeowner. Everyone has a vision of their dream home, but few have the courage to pursue that dream once faced with the daunting challenges of home design, construction and staging. Through our years of project management, relationship building, storytelling, and bringing abstract ideas to light, Meridith and I create and transform homes and lives for our clients. It’s a natural fit to bring these talents together again.
We are proud of our partnership and our respective companies’ work to reinvent the process of making a house a home.