Qualified Remodeler Magazine

FEB 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/1082079

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Page 26 of 70

Prepare for the Future Qualified Remodeler's "Remodel of the Future" survey asked: Do you consider yourself/your company to be an early adopter of new business process technology? Findings indicate that 61 per- cent of reader respondents list themselves in the "yes" column, while 39 percent say "no." In the interest of full disclosure, each of the remodelers we interviewed fall into that "yes" group, but that's not to say their paths toward integrating busi- ness technology haven't been without deliberation, testing different products, and in stages or scaled implementation. Yet, it might be easy to presume that any changes to remodeling business processes are being caused by homeowners. A clear example of this is the evo- lution of client communication, notes Greg Kraus, Assoc. AIA, project director at Vujovich Design Build in Minneapolis. "The golden rule a few years back was you never really text homeowners be- cause it was such an informal way to communicate; and now, in some sense, it's almost replaced email or even replaced phone calls," he says. "I don't think that face-to-face relationships—as much as brick and mortar stores are kind of going away—people still want that human connection and interaction, especially when they're dealing with something as intimate as a home renovation. [But] I think there could be a comfort level in doing things more dig- itally than face-to-face; I think there's going to be a convenience factor. I think people's lives are get- ting busier and busier, so it's 'Give me the critical information now, and we'll deal with everything as it goes along.' And I think that's just kind of the mentality of how people are evolving." Kraus explains that Vujovich Design Build is dedicating considerable efforts toward moderniza- tion, starting with working with outside business consultants to help expand the company's reach when it comes to marketing, advertising and so- cial media. Within the last year, the company has undergone a rebranding effort with a new logo, colors and tagline, and Kraus notes that the results of these efforts have been immediate. Facebook," he says. "We get calls all the time where when we ask how they heard about us, the answer is through the Facebook page 'What's happening in Birmingham.' To me, that's a referral; it's just a different kind of referral. And then the power of the review is still pretty strong, which we've known about that from Angie's List and things like that—but now it's Houzz, Facebook and Google. It's something we focus on every day." Dawn Dewey, senior vice president of mar- keting and business development for Dreamstyle Remodeling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, echoes the importance of reviews, explaining, "It's all about motivating your happy customers to ad- vocate for you on third-party review platforms because that's where consumers find reviews to be credible. A consumer is not going to value a re- view posted on our own website or some unknown home improvement website with the same weight they would value a review on Google or Facebook." She adds that motivating happy customers to share their positive experiences is a challenge, especially relative to those who may have a poor experience. This is an area Dreamstyle is continu- ing to refine, especially because company presi- dent Larry Chavez Sr. says, "The most important marketing consideration we have is reviews." Another area Dreamstyle Remodeling contin- ues to focus on is its use of lead aggregators like HomeAdvisor, because Google tends to rank such sites highly, which can be key to reaching potential clients during the research phase. "We do a lot of business with lead aggregators. We're continuing to grow it and find ways to be successful. They have the power to change the landscape and the sales cycle in very impactful ways," Dewey says. "One of those things Larry (Chavez) brought up to me recently is HomeAdvisor is now advertising 'Find out what your neighbor is paying for their home improvement projects.' So they're offering people the ability to get an average price range, which will become a challenge for us—we don't necessarily want to be going into an in-home consultation with someone already having in mind their neighbor paid half of what we're going to be pitching them. Challenges like that are going to become more and more important for us to find ways to work around. Additionally, finding ways to automate the sales process more is something we are cognizant of and focusing on as the demographic shiƁs, and even as the existing demographic becomes more technologically savvy. "The winner is going to be the one who figures out the way to overcome changing consumer de- mands when people become too impatient to wait for you to come out and give them a long pitch be- fore providing them with a price," she adds. "I think we've got to find opportunity in every challenge." "THE WINNER IS GOING TO BE THE ONE WHO FIGURES OUT THE WAY TO OVERCOME CHANGING CONSUMER DEMANDS." Dawn Dewey, Dreamstyle Remodeling Who we talked to: LARRY CHAVEZ SR. President Dreamstyle Remodeling Albuquerque, New Mexico DAWN DEWEY Senior Vice President Dreamstyle Remodeling Albuquerque, New Mexico LARRY GREEN CEO System Pavers Santa Ana, California SPECIAL REPORT 26 February 2019 QualifiedRemodeler.com

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