Innovator: Bobbie Ayers

By Beau Denton Photography by Alex Stafford June 30, 2012

Bobbie Ayers; Founder, Showoff Home Stager (Alex Stafford)Last February, Bobbie Ayers, founder and CEO of Sarasota company VisApp, LLC, released the home design app, Showoff Home Stager, a digital platform for visualizing how a home will look after renovations, interior decorating or new landscaping designs. Do-it-yourselfers use the platform to picture the effect of renovations, real estate agents use it to help clients see beyond the outdated features of their prospective homes, and homeowners upload photos and then wait for contractors to send digital versions of potential renovations. Ayers says the product is already nearing 120,000 accounts, with an average of 2.5 pictures uploaded per account.

The Home Stager, which is free for consumers, earns revenue from three sources: real estate agents who install the widget on their online listings, contractors who pay for potential leads and suppliers who pay for their products to be listed in the Home Stager’s showroom. The app earned recognition last April at the DEMO Spring 2012 Conference in Santa Clara, where VisApp was one of six companies (out of 80) awarded for best product presentation and business model.

The DEMO award led to invitations to similar conferences in New York and Boston, and Ayers will be a guest speaker at a prominent real estate expo in San Francisco next month. She hopes all that exposure will lead to investors who can help take her product to the next level. With enough funding, Ayers believes VisApp will more than double its staff size, from 10 to 21, within a year.

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