When Mary Klocek’s elderly aunt-in-law was ready to move to a memory care facility, there was a laundry list of things Klocek and her ex-husband – her aunt’s power of attorney – had to accomplish.
Her aunt, a lifelong Batavia resident, had lived alone for years with her dogs and accumulated many possessions. Her house needed to be cleaned out, spruced up and sold before she could move to a safe place that would provide her better quality of life, said Klocek, 57, of North Aurora.
“We had to have income before we could move her into this facility, which had limited availability,” Klocek said.
Fortunately, Klocek was friends with Lisa Stover, who founded The Finishing Touch, a full-service real estate company in Naperville that specializes in relocating seniors.
“I told [my ex], ‘I’ve got the answer to our prayers,’” Klocek said. “[We can] call Lisa; she can handle everything.”
Stover got right to work, hiring professionals to empty the house and appraise potential valuable materials while doing so; clean it; install new carpet; paint; and, finally, get it listed to sell.
“She put it on the market and sold it very quickly, and it was enough money to move our aunt into a nice memory care facility,” Klocek said.
A personal story
Stover started The Finishing Touch after helping her mother transition to an assisted-living community.
“Through the course of navigating [through that process], it took a lot of time from my own family; it took a lot of time from my work; and it was one of those things that was uncharted territory,” Stover said.
As a Realtor, Stover had a leg up on selling her mother’s home. But when it came to packing up her mother’s belongings, figuring out what to donate and what to keep and then moving everything to the new location, it all proved to be an ordeal.
“I realized when it was all done, ‘I can’t possibly be the only person in need of this type of service,’” Stover recalled.
In 2011, she opened The Finishing Touch as a service company; in 2015, she left her real estate job and used her trademarked name to open her own real estate agency that focused on senior relocation.
Today, Stover works with licensed, insured professionals to help customers find a new home; organize important documents; donate or sell items; repair the current home for sale; sort, pack and move belongings to the new home; sell the old home quickly; and connect customers with estate planning and related professionals.
“What I’ve realized is this model translates really well to anyone needing to make a transition or move,” Stover said. “Anyone who needs to relocate can use our services … . While most real estate agents are happy to refer [outside resources] … we are completely different. We’re very integrally involved with the client and what their needs are.”
Klocek, a health care liaison at The Holmstad in Batavia, works with a population going through circumstances similar to those of her and her aunt.
She believes the services offered by The Finishing Touch are ideal.
“I work with Baby Boomers who are putting their parents into facilities, and that’s the first thing they say to me: ‘I don’t even know where to begin,’” Klocek said. “Begin with Lisa. She’ll take care of everything. You don't have to find movers and a company that can clean and appraisers – she’ll do it all. And when she’s done, she’ll sell your house. Because who has time to do all that?”
“This is our generation’s best answer to help us out with our aging parents,” Klocek said.
Join her team
While Stover doesn’t have a business background, she said she has been successful because she provides solutions for those overwhelmed with relocating.
She’s also found great satisfaction in the new venture.
“Real estate … [was] a great vocation,” she said. “But the way I do it now gives me fulfillment far beyond what my real estate career gave me.”
Stover is actively looking for regional agents to join her team.
“I’m looking for people that are self-starters, and they have a desire to care for seniors,” Stover said. “It really is a helping business. The money is there, and you can make a good living, but you have to be committed to helping people. It is the primary characteristic I’m looking for in someone.”
Learn more at finishingtouchhomes.com.