Couple overcomes hearing barrier in building business - Albuquerque Journal

Couple overcomes hearing barrier in building business

As owners of a Showhomes home staging franchise, Elisa and Brandon Macomber of Santa Fe make a living off their eyes.

Their business depends on their ability to redecorate private residences to make them more appealing to potential buyers. Their revenue has grown each year since they started the franchise in 2016, according to Brandon, and they now employ two individuals in addition to themselves. At a recent Showhomes conference, the couple won several awards including “Fastest Average Sale Time.”

But it is her hearing, not her vision, that Elisa said has colored much of her professional journey. A bout of meningitis as a baby left her with profound hearing loss. Brandon, too, is hearing-impaired, the result of a premature birth and an episode of pneumonia.

“Not being able to talk on the phone has been a huge hindrance in my career, and that drove me to start my own business,” said Elisa in an email (the Macombers provided written responses to questions). “I knew I could help people in so many ways via text and email, and in person, of course.”

Now Elisa, who can lip-read, takes Brandon or another employee with her to meet clients to ensure she doesn’t miss out on conversations while taking pictures and walking around the home.

“It can be a challenge, because I need to be able to look at the people while they’re talking, but at the same time, I need to look at the house and take everything in visually,” said Elisa, who handles most of the staging while Brandon handles the business side.

Brandon said their answering service has been invaluable for collecting names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of the people they interact with.

Asked about their top home-staging tips, Brandon said it’s important to “remove yourself and your personal preferences from the process, and neutralize the property.”

“By putting yourself on the market, you are trying to sell the house, not your style or your things,” said Brandon. “Buyers need to envision themselves living there.”

Elisa suggested removing all pictures and sentimentals from the home before it is photographed in order to protect the privacy of the homeowner.

“With (real estate listing) pictures being online all the time now, you want to protect your privacy,” she said.

The couple said their work is filled with surprises. Elisa said she once found a black widow spider hiding beneath a client’s rug. Brandon mentioned an even stranger experience.

“We found one of our faux apples with a bite mark in it,” said Brandon. “That was pretty funny.”

Home » Business » People » Couple overcomes hearing barrier in building business


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
CYFD cover-up alleged in boy's death
ABQnews Seeker
Lawsuit: Investigator pleaded to remove 4-year-old ... Lawsuit: Investigator pleaded to remove 4-year-old from dangerous environment
2
Allegations of cover-up at CYFD spark AG, DA inquiries
ABQnews Seeker
AG Balderas promises an evaluation of ... AG Balderas promises an evaluation of whether any laws were broken
3
Crews gain 50% containment on Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire
ABQnews Seeker
Fire crews on Saturday gained 50% ... Fire crews on Saturday gained 50% containment as they continued to make progress on the massive blaze in northeastern New Mexico. The Calf Canyon/Hermits ...
4
Detectives look for man in East Central homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Detectives are looking for a man ... Detectives are looking for a man accused of gunning down an acquaintance during a dispute last weekend at an apartment off East Central. Tayven ...
5
Feds caused Calf Canyon Fire
ABQnews Seeker
Forest Service admits fault in both ... Forest Service admits fault in both parts of record-setting blaze
6
APD provides details of two shootings
ABQnews Seeker
The incidents took place in the ... The incidents took place in the last two months
7
Race to be Dem candidate for BCSO boss gets ...
ABQnews Seeker
A former sheriff and an ex-legislator ... A former sheriff and an ex-legislator are among the contenders
8
In ABQ, two GOP contenders compete to take on ...
ABQnews Seeker
Incumbent has a sizeable financial edge ... Incumbent has a sizeable financial edge over the challengers
9
What a meeting, man!
ABQnews Seeker
Dave’s not here, but Cheech and ... Dave’s not here, but Cheech and Chong were
10
Map shows NM residents near oil, gas facilities
ABQnews Seeker
Environmental groups say data shows the ... Environmental groups say data shows the need for health protections in such areas