Hal Janeway and Sam Taylor in the Property Experts showroom (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press)
Sam Taylor and Hal Janeway, co-owners of The Property Experts, agree that their business provides them the opportunity to do what they enjoy while working alongside their best friend.
In 2009, the two men founded the business, which is located on Boone Street. They specialize in real estate, remodeling and interior design.
Since the business opened its doors, it has grown to include furniture, accessories and, recently, a 15,000-square-foot showroom, with more expansion planned in the future.
Janeway worked with the Johnson City Press for more than 20 years before getting into the real estate and design-build businesses.
“I grew up thinking, even as a kid, that I wanted to be a journalist. I still think there’s ink in my blood, but you change with the times,” Janeway said. “I feel like I’ve had to reinvent myself, and I’m very pleased with it.”
For Taylor, the furniture and design business runs in the family. His family was in the furniture business for more than 100 years and the family business, Taylor Furniture, was located in the same location that The Property Experts now resides. He represents his family’s third generation in the business.
“I went to work for a build-design firm, and that’s where I met Hal,” Taylor said. “He also worked for a construction, build-design firm. I was the sales manager and he was the project manager.”
The two became friends and discussed the possibility of “bringing something different to the market,” Taylor said. After forming their business, Taylor and Janeway started by completing real estate, remodeling and design projects.
In the business’ early days, most of what now makes up the showroom area was office space and services offered by The Property Experts were by appointment only.
Around nine months ago, the business expanded to include displays of furniture, lighting accessories and gift items.
“We were doing remodeling and design, and people wanted to see the products,” Taylor said. “We were suggesting products, furniture, to go into the design, and people want to sit down on it. They wanted to actually see them.”
“We got to the point where we had to make a decision: ‘Are we going to do the retail or not. We’re dabbling in it,’” Janeway recalled. “We’re either going to do it or we’re not — so we did.”
Since the expansion, Taylor said he and Janeway have worked to increase foot traffic at the business.
“We’re getting, now, anywhere from 20 to 25 people a day coming through here, which is great,” Taylor said.
“Walk-in traffic has definitely increased, and that’s been a good thing,” Janeway added. “It’s been consistent and it’s getting better.”
Taylor and Janeway had the opportunity to locate the business on State of Franklin Road, but opted to keep the business downtown and make an investment there.
“We’re off the beaten path here, but we’re OK with that,” Janeway said. “We want to be part of downtown. We want to be part of what grows and what happens, and I think we’ve been received that way.”
There are also plans to expand the showroom by another 2,500 square-feet, which will give The Property Experts a total of 17,500 square-feet of showroom and store space.
Taylor said the process of bringing the visions of homeowners and commercial clients to fruition is a rewarding one.
“It’s my dream come true,” Taylor said. “I’ve wanted to do this my whole life. It’s very rewarding. It’s very gratifying to work with a client and you help them and transform their home. I love talking to people and seeing what they want, and transforming it to what they’ve got in their mind and beyond.”