Marketing

Ep.116: Getting the Biggest Bang Out of Your Marketing with Susan Raisanen

If you have more than one salesperson, then odds are you have a round-robin policy of lead assignment. But that could be doing your sales team and your marketing department a disservice.

Susan Raisanen joins the show today to share how tracking and assigning leads, based on sales strengths, can make a difference in performance and in your bottom line.

Susan is the President of Profit Finder Pro Software and works with business owners and managers to help them understand that tracking just a few simple numbers in sales and marketing can make the difference between a company being profitable… or not.

Susan is also the Director of Sales & Marketing for TraVek Inc., an award-winning design-build remodeler in Scottsdale, AZ, and a long-term Roundtables member here at R/A!

In this episode, Victoria, Mark and Susan talk more about:

  • The difference between Marketing and Advertising and how it affects tracking
  • How much efficient marketing can add to the bottom line
  • What numbers should you be tracking
  • Once you get the numbers from tracking, what you do with them
  • Whether or not you should cut your marketing during downtimes
  • And more…

Mentioned in this Episode:
Susan’s Book: Track It To Crack It: The Ultimate Guide to Unlocking Your Company’s Full Profit Potential

Susan’s Phone #: (800) 972-6952

This Episode Sponsored by: Wellborn Cabinet

We are excited to have Wellborn Cabinet joining us as a featured sponsor for PowerTips Unscripted. Wellborn has been a huge supporter of Remodelers Advantage for years and it is great to have them involved in our growing podcast. Welcome, Wellborn Cabinet!

Ep.102: Developing a Sustainable Niche to Support Your Passion with Wright Marshall

One of the strongest ways to differentiate your business in your market is to have a niche. 

Wright Marshall’s company, Revival Construction, has always focused on one highly specific niche and is constantly refining its team and systems to be the leader in that segment.

In this episode, Wright will share his approach with Victoria and Mark, and why following his passion for historic architecture helped him create a successful remodeling business.

In May 2000, Wright Marshall formed Revival Construction Inc. in Atlanta, GA, dedicated to renovating and restoring Atlanta’s older homes. The company focuses on classically designed whole-house renovations, and additions to houses built before WWII in the intown areas of Atlanta. Revival’s mission is to build beautiful homes and lasting relationships. Wright’s also a longtime Roundtables member.

Wright minored in architectural history in college, and planned to build for a while before going to architecture school. He didn’t go. Instead he concentrated on remodeling and building additions on older homes, allowing him to follow his passion for classical architecture and run a successful business. While there were other companies doing it in his market, they weren’t doing as well as he thought he could. Wright concentrated on providing a better customer experience in that niche, as well as: 

  • Determining if your passion can be a sustainable business
  • Working with architects
  • Why design-build doesn’t have to be in one company
  • Building your reputation in the niche
  • Defining success in hiring
  • Investing in estimating
  • The importance of discipline
  • Setting smaller, realistic goals
  • The advantages of finding your niche
  • And more …

You can also learn why Wright chose the name Revival for his company, and also get to hear a little bit of an Allman Bros. song. Also, give yourself a little time to look through Revival’s Project Portfolio — there are some beautiful examples of Wright’s work.

Become a Master

Our MasterClass courses are two-day sessions of rich, interactive information with plenty of hands-on instruction. We limit our classes to 12-18 people, giving you ample opportunity to work one-on-one with the instructors. All our instructors are well-known respected industry experts and some of the best in their fields of expertise. Learn more about our MasterClasses in marketing, the design process, bookkeeping, and project management.

Ep.101: The Delicate Art of Qualifying Remodeling Leads with Chip Doyle

Leads! Lead! Leads! Business is good, leads are coming in. But are you over-qualifying, under-qualifying, or doing it just right? 

Chip Doyle’s got research that says 30-60 percent of business is lost because the initial phone call is handled incorrectly. So if you’re not doing it just right, you’re leaving money behind.

In this episode, Chip’s back with Victoria and Mark to break down the best practices for lead evaluation over the phone, and what to leave for the salesperson to handle in the prospect’s home.  

Chip Doyle wrote Selling to Homeowners — The Sandler Way, a best-selling industry book, and has been offering Sandler training for 20 years. He has worked with hundreds of remodeling companies across North America — including many of our Roundtables members and RA University members, and many other RA programs.

The most fundamental mistake many remodeling companies make — especially in this hot market — is mismanaging leads over the phone. Over-qualifying leads means you’re actually losing money, says Chip. He says the salesperson’s job is to go out and get “no”s. Getting into the home is key, but too many owners wear too many hats, and don’t have enough time to devote to sales calls. The result is being too stringent during the initial phone calls. Chip talks about how to qualify your prospects the right way, including:

  • Predictive qualifying
  • How long the initial call should take
  • Who should do the qualifying
  • Training the qualifier, or LIP
  • Why not to talk budget during the lead take-in
  • Ensuring that the homeowner has a positive experience on that first call
  • Finding out the client’s pain points while on the phone
  • Why the time frame of the job is a fair question
  • What a Volvo in the driveway or piano in the home can tell you
  • Making and confirming appointments
  • And more …

Let us know if you’d like to participate in Lead Intake Person training, send Mark an email at: mark@remodelersadvantage.com with LIP in the subject line. If we get enough interest, we’ll get Chip to teach the class.

Did You Know: Chip Doyle is a Featured Instructor with R/A…

We have Chip on our schedule for two upcoming programs. The SalesEdge program is for RA members who qualify, and the weekly topics will be tailored to the collective strengths and weaknesses of the limited number of participants for maximum results. See more about SalesEdge.

The Client Management Training for Designers, Architects & Project Managers is a program that will empower your team to lead your clients throughout the project, and not just take orders. It’s a multi-week course that can be taken in the comfort and convenience of your office using the phone, email and/or webinars. Get more information about Client Management Training for Designers, Architects & Project Managers.

Ep.95: Being Honest Online with Taylor Rennick

Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to your website and social media presence. In a sharing economy, your prospects want to know everything about your company before they even pick up the phone. 

We’re breaking down why transparency online is important, and how it can lead to more jobs.

In this episode, Taylor Rennick discusses the importance of being honest and transparent online with Victoria and Mark, and tells you how it can create more leads, and eventually more revenue. 

Taylor is an inbound marketing strategist at Builder Funnel — one of our partners here at Remodelers Advantage.

As part of her job, Taylor spends hours every day looking at remodeling company websites. Some are good, some not so much. And some seem a little shady, using project photos that aren’t theirs or lying about project pricing. Remodeling is intensely personal, and has to be sold as a service, not a product, Taylor says. Being transparent is the key. Taylor talks about the information prospects want to know, and how they want to find it, and why you’ll get more prospects, including:

  • Developing content to educate your audience
  • Explaining your process
  • Talk about cost on your website
  • What you should offer on your blog
  • What audience data can tell you
  • Positioning your company as a thought leader
  • Updating information to stay accurate
  • Reaching people where they are in their buying process
  • And more …

Taylor says you can find free resources to help you in all your online marketing on Builder Funnel’s site.

Ep.94: Improving Your Bottom Line with Green Upgrades with Doug Selby

Many of your customers will pay more for items that improve the health, comfort, and efficiency of their homes. As one of the few things that pay for themselves over time, green upgrades can also boost your average project revenue and make you stand out in your market.

In this episode, Doug Selby talks to Victoria and Mark about how green upgrades can improve your remodeling company’s bottom line.

Doug is a co-founder of Meadowlark Design+Build in Ann Arbor, MI, and recently graduated from the CEO role to to focus on long-term strategy and act as the company’s sustainability director. Doug is a building science expert and helped Meadowlark build a reputation in its community for quality of construction and leadership in ecological housing issues. 

Meadowlark was started with an ecological focus from its very beginning. Doug and his business partner, Kirk Brandon, studied primitive living and how to survive off the grid. While they may cost a little bit more upfront, green upgrades pay for themselves over time, he says, and focusing on ecologically conscious remodeling and construction can be a great business decision. He talks about what it means to Meadowlark’s business and clients, including:

  • How it helped the company grow during the recession
  • Getting media attention naturally
  • Losing less, using less, and then producing
  • Insulation and systems
  • Why solar’s literally the last thing he looks at
  • Air-quality issues
  • Talking to homeowners about green tactics and methods
  • Presenting it the right way
  • And more …

Including the benefits of going where other businesses aren’t, and how ecologically conscious building and remodeling can set you apart in your own market.

EP.91: [Unscripted Back-up] Expert Panel at Extreme Business Makeover Shares Insight

As we wrap up 2019, we’re looking back at some of our more popular episodes and this one was a huge hit.

For our 50th episode in January, we gathered a panel of industry experts and took questions from the audience at the Extreme Business Makeover event. It capped off an intense two days of learning, sharing, and networking among the remodelers attending and our Remodelers Advantage team.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark directed the lively discussions with our panel. Panelists included:

  • Michael Sauri of TriVistaUSA Design + Build and the 2018 winner of the Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
  • Doug Howard, RA’s CFO and Director of Consulting Services, a.k.a. “The Fixer”
  • Judith Miller, Financial and QuickBooks “Guru”
  • Tim Faller, RA’s Senior Consultant and “Master of Production”

We covered profits and payroll, cash flow, the owner’s role in a growing business, margins, staying top-of-mind in your marketing, smart lead qualifying, planning and making decisions on your job sites, and the power of asking “why?”

It’s an insightful and all-encompassing discussion of how to run your business to get bigger margins, more profits, and creating a real life/work balance. If you missed it back in January, you need to listen to this episode.

And Don’t Miss THIS Year’s Extreme Business Makeover Event;
New Content, Fresh Ideas

On January 28-29, 2020 we will gather once again at the BWI Westin and present 2 days of interactive presentations, breakouts and expert panels (like the one featured in today’s podcast). We have Super Early Bird pricing in place until 12/15/19 so Click here for more information and Register Today!

Ep.86: Connecting with a Few Good Realtors with Kathi Fleck

Working with just a few Realtors can bring additional jobs to your remodeling company. It’s not about appealing to the masses, but about developing relationships with several realtors who appreciate how you work, your quality, attention to detail, and exceptional client experience. 

In this episode, Kathi Fleck discusses working with Realtors with Victoria and Mark, and how to establish and maintain relationships that can get more jobs for your company, help them sell more homes, and take care of your shared clients.  

Kathi is co-owner of LoneStar Design Build in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, area, where she leads a team and their clients through the design-build experience. Kathi has a long-term relationship with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, and other Realtors who send business her way.

Realtors go out of their way to support the seller/ buyer experience, says Kathi. Helping their clients with remodeling and providing referrals is part of their daily routine. As remodelers working with realtors, understand how Realtors work and make them look good as they support their client. It can be challenging, but Kathi says a few simple tricks can pay off with easy referrals, including:

  • Finding partners who fit your company and market
  • How to make their lives easier
  • Getting the right referrals
  • Dealing with bad leads
  • Avoiding the bid process
  • How referrals can go in the other direction
  • How much to invest in marketing to Realtors
  • The power of free food
  • And more …

The best way to start is by contacting real estate offices and setting up a presentation, calling an agent who works in the same neighborhoods you do, and taking advantage of networking groups.

Building a Better Design Process

Kathi will be presenting on another topic as she helps lead our next MasterClass, Building an Effective Design Process, on Dec. 11-12, here in Baltimore. She’ll be joined by other experienced, award-winning remodelers who will teach you or your designers how to improve your design process and create an extraordinary experience for your clients. Get the details and register here.

Ep.84: Crafting a Strategic Marketing Plan with Mark Harari

It’s that time of year — it’s time to put together your company’s marketing plan for next year. If you don’t know where to start or what your plan should include, Mark’s here to help.

In this episode, Mark is on a one-man mission to get your strategic marketing plan into shape.

First thing to know — your marketing budget isn’t your marketing plan. It’s the most common error we see, and that’s just a list of ways to spend money, not a plan. You have to set goals, and create tactics to get there. It can run up to 40 pages for a small business, and should encompass branding, positioning, a SWOT analysis and more. But if you don’t have a plan yet, Mark tells you how to take small steps toward creating a larger plan by starting with a strategy, including:

  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Tactics
  • Setting time frames
  • Getting specific
  • And more …

This is the first step to creating a larger marketing plan — and something you should have complete before you start creating your marketing budget. If you need more help getting your marketing in gear, send an email to mark@remodelersadvantage.com. We’ve also got a MasterClass for marketing in December called I “AM” the Marketing Department that will kick-start your marketing strategy and planning.

Ep.83: Using Trade Area Analytics to Grow Your Business with Nick Ogle

There’s not much that’s more frustrating than missing out on business opportunities close to home. Understanding the numbers that surround your business’s trade area is critical to determining what may be flying under your radar. Through analytics, you can interpret those numbers and take advantage of what they tell you.

In this episode, Nick Ogle talks to Victoria and Mark about how using trade area analytics can help businesses with growth and strategic planning.

Nick is the Bath & Kitchen Buying Group’s executive director, and brings more than two decades of kitchen industry experience to BKBG, having previously served as director of strategic partnerships and national accounts for Masco Cabinetry. Nick received his degree in selling and sales management from Purdue University, and currently lives in Michigan with his wife and son. BKBG is also RA’s newest strategic partner in helping our members grow their businesses.

There’s so much information and data available, but you’ve got to pick the right numbers to analyze — and look at them the right way. Trade area analytics break down the numbers in your surrounding market and let you compare it to your own business model and services. It can be eye-opening, Nick says. He talks about how a remodeler can find the right data and how to use it, including:

  • Starting at your local library
  • Resources you can use for little to no money
  • What data to look for
  • Demographic and housing stock to analyze
  • What to compare your local data to
  • Setting benchmarks
  • Why it can help you grow your area or do better where you already are
  • How to identify the hot remodeling areas
  • Understanding your area’s history to predict the future
  • How to look at the numbers the right way
  • When to ask for outside help
  • Who to ask
  • And more …

Analyzing your local numbers can help you make the most of your marketing budget, reach the right people in the right places, and make more money. To find out more about BKBG, you can go to the website, or you can call Nick at 440-313-4275.

Ep.69: How to Protect and Grow your Business with Performance Testing with Corbett Lunsford

Physics and chemistry affect the interior of every home, every day. Performance testing can enable remodelers to predict and prevent health, safety, and comfort issues, earn more for your work, and predict and prevent callbacks, claims, and lawsuits.

As a remodeler, you have two choices. You can test for and design performance controls into your projects to predict and prevent side effects. Or you make assumptions and hope for the best.

You might make problems worse, and take the heat for it. 

In this episode, Corbett Lunsford talks about home systems, performance, and testing with Victoria and Mark. Home performance is the invisible “stuff” that happens inside a home — how it feels, smells, and sounds. 

Corbett loves investigating invisible dynamics using high-tech techniques and tools. He’s the co-host of the PBS series Home Diagnosis, the Building Performance Podcast, and the author of Home Performance Diagnostics: the Guide to Advanced Testing.

Every remodeling project will affect how a home works — for better or worse. Building inspections are about the static state — what’s there all the time. Performance dynamics have to do with all the actions of the house while it’s working. You need testing to be able to predict that. Remodelers deal with and interfere with these dynamics as part of their work — there will be changes. Corbett says the first tests to do are a blower-door test, using infrared cameras to pinpoint roof leaks and moisture detection, and other reasons why home testing can improve your projects, business and client satisfaction, including:

  • Tuning a home like an instrument
  • Taking the guesswork out of the home performance
  • How pressure issues can cause mold and mildew
  • Why home interiors affect health
  • Atmospheric draft, water heaters, and range hoods
  • Charging more for optimizing home system performance
  • Testing for the invisible dynamics
  • Load calculations and energy models for HVAC choices
  • Why testing also makes homes more energy efficient
  • The marketing opportunities for you
  • The power of statistics
  • And more …

Corbett warns that your clients may know about the importance of performance testing because they’re watching home-improvement shows like his — and you have to stay ahead of what the general public knows or lose credibility. As a first step, you can download his ebook, Proof Is Possible: How to Keep an Eye on Your New Home Construction or Home Improvement

You can also see his tiny house and more on his YouTube channel: https://YouTube.com/c/HomePerformance.

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