CRYSTAL LAKE – When Sue Adams and Cindy Wasielewski banded together in 2001, they went after real estate companies first, branding themselves as a move-in and move-out cleaning service.
But that was back when the housing market was booming. Times have changed, and On The Move Cleaning and Decorating has changed with it.
Over the years, the company has added home staging and cleaning consultations to its list of services.
"We have contracts with some big real estate companies," Wasielewski said. "A lot of our business now is still move-in, move-out cleaning, some staging. What kept us afloat is we started doing consulting."
The two always had a vision of adding staging. In 2004, they took advantage of an opportunity to buy furniture from a designer who was moving out of state.
They've added more furniture through the years, which they keep at a local storage facility when not in use.
Home staging works how the name suggests: Wasielewski and Adams use their own furniture and other items to change the look and feel of a house. Staging helps potential buyers visualize themselves within the home.
"They'll have less time on the market by doing that," Wasielewski said. "We literally just did a home for a Realtor who was going to lose the listing. We went in, rearranged furniture. We bought some new accessories. They had an offer in seven days on that house after a year.
"It definitely plays for itself."
Wasielewski said many Realtors believe in staging as a way to set their homes apart in a cluttered market.
Still, some sellers instead spring for a consultation, On The Move's cheaper option. Adams and Wasielewski offer tips for cleaning up and arranging the house in a way that will best appeal to a buyer. The flat Crystal Lake fee for a consultation is $100.
The two are continuing to look for ways to diversify the services they provide. They're in the process of finding avenues into foreclosure cleaning.
"We've been in contact with a few banks, and done some foreclosures," Wasielewski said. "We've been working hard to get our foot in the door with some banks to start doing that."
They're also looking to bring their current services to a wider customer base.
"Our goals for 2013 would be to expand our staging, and to add some commercial cleaning accounts to our schedule," Adams said.
Twelve years since On The Move opened, the two are enjoying the job as much as they did initially.
"Every day is different for us, so we never know what house we're going to, what you'll design, how you're going to do it," Wasielewski said. "We love it."
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On The Move Cleaning and Decorating:
What: Company specializing in home staging and cleaning consultations
Where: 583 Cress Creek Lane, Crystal Lake
Information: Call 815-382-8593, or visit onthemovedecorating.com