Johnson County Premier Specialist
Story by Ann Butenas | Sponsored Content
Crystal Gatewood, an independent real estate consultant for RE/MAX Best Associates, has definitely helped a variety of satisfied clients buy and sell homes throughout her career. However, her talents also extend themselves into a deeper level of the real estate process. One of the most impressive elements of her professional resume is her ability to effectively stage and design homes in preparation for selling them. Her extensive background in design, remodeling and staging easily sets her apart from the pack. As a result, clients are better positioned to sell their homes faster and for higher prices, maximizing the value of their home.
Gatewood, who has a degree in Psychology and a background in social work, began her career in real estate in Dallas, Texas in 2005 before making the move back to her Kansas City roots. A native of Harrisonville, Missouri, Gatewood appreciates the friendliness of a small town atmosphere, and that approachability is evident in her presence. Connecting with people is what she does best, and she will always place a premium on relationships above all else.
“To me, this job is more about the people than the price,” noted Gatewood, who assists clients in all price ranges and often works from referrals. Integrity and core values are everything to me and run deep from my roots. My top priority is my client’s happiness and helping them achieve their goals.
Putting her design skills to work, Gatewood completed a 1,700 square foot basement remodel in a 37-year-old Johnson County home. Custom-finished by Gianni Custom Homes, Gatewood provided all of the design work. Among the highlights include a custom bar with top-of-the-line appliances, beautiful stonework, barn doors, a guest suite with heated tile in the bathroom, and even a delightful play nook under the stairs, complete with shutters, window box and a porch light.
Gatewood’s design work can be seen in other parts of this residence as well. Over the course of several years, she targeted different areas of the home to bring its design style current, yet classic.
“Except for the kitchen, which had been updated in recent years, the rest of the home was outdated and in need of a change,” noted Gatewood, who even whitewashed the fireplace in the family room and darkened the box beams in the great room with a gel stain. She also applied the same stain to the wet bar and tiled the sides of it to enhance its overall aesthetics.
“There was a lot of honey oak in this house before we remodeled it,” said Gatewood, who also tore out all of the old carpet and replaced it with engineered hardwood flooring on the main level, in the basement and in the upstairs hallway.
In remodeling parts of the main floor, she knocked a wall out between the family room and the kitchen and installed stone pillars for balance and effect.
For another recent example of her design prowess, Gatewood advised her clients on remodeling their house to sell, incorporating her knowledge of design coupled with her knowledge of buyer wants and expectations tailored to that specific neighborhood in the current market. Gatewood guided her clients through the process, including contractor referrals, new interior and exterior paint, new carpet, refinishing the hardwoods, and new lighting. Gatewood also helps clients choose finishes, the selection of new floors, assists with paint color recommendations, and updated lighting fixtures.
“On average, two out of three houses I sell go over list price due to the design influence, staging and remodeling I provide,” said the naturally artistic Gatewood.
“I have had influences in my family,” she expressed. “My dad’s brother, my Uncle Steve Mitchell, had a real estate license and also has an eye for design. He taught me a lot. I also lived in Dallas, which tends to be very design-forward with established neighborhoods where the homes are continually updated. I learned a lot about design while living there.”
Gatewood’s design approach usually depends on both the personality of the home as well as on the target buyer.
“If the house backs up to trees, for example, the prospective owner might like nature, so I try to incorporate that influence into the design,” explained Gatewood, who is an expert at communicating lifestyle through her staging. “I will put margarita glasses on a table on the deck to show potential home buyers how they can live in the home. A big challenge for a lot of buyers, is lack of vision. That’s where I come in.”
Gatewood invests her time wisely, not only in her design efforts, but also in the way she represents each client.
“I am passionate about design and relationships,” she smiled. “I also wear the stress for my clients so they don’t have to worry as much. I want the process to be as seamless as possible for them, while achieving their real estate goals.”
In her free time, Gatewood enjoys spending time with her family and is a supporter of music and the local live music scene. A singer/songwriter and performer, she is a part of two bands: a two-piece acoustic duo called Beauty and The McBeest, sharing the stage with fellow longtime KC performer Scotty McBee; and KC Prime, a four-piece ensemble.