Production

Ep.41: Using Virtual Reality to Grow Sales and Profits with Chris Katkish

Virtual reality creates immersive environments in real time. For remodelers, that means your clients could preview and even “walk-through” their projects to see if they like what they’re seeing. 

Guest Chris Katkish says VR can help remodelers streamline their sales and design process, trim the length of the sales cycle, and boost production efficiency by reducing change orders. All of which leads to more sales and more profit.

In this episode, Chris talks to Victoria and Mark about using VR technology to help clients confidently make decisions more quickly in the sales and design process.

Chris is the general manager of InSite Builders and Remodeling in Bethesda, MD. The three owners of InSite have partnered in a company called Limitless Virtual Reality, which enables CAD designs to be viewed in VR.

InSite uses VR as a visualization tool to get concepts across to homeowners. Even if you’re using 3D modeling, they’re still viewed in 2D, and seeing it on screen isn’t the same. VR immersion allows clients to experience the space and see what they’re buying before its built. Chris talks about the ways remodelers can use VR in their businesses, including:

  • When to bring VR into the sales process
  • Building in the charge for the VR design
  • How your 3D model becomes a VR environment
  • The equipment you’d need — and how much it may cost
  • Real-world examples of how VR speeds up client decisions
  • How to use it with Project Managers and Trade Partners
  • And more…

Victoria and Mark also spitball ways to use VR in your marketing. The pace of technology is fast — and VR is the newest tool on the scene. If you’ve got ideas or opinions on how VR may affect the remodeling business or your business, let us know in the comments below.
 

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Ep.33: The Sales-to-Production Handoff with Bruce Case

To many remodelers, a project works like a relay race, depending on good handoffs of the baton. The sales-to production-handoff is critical, and if you drop the baton, the race is over.

But there are ways to make it less of a hard handoff and more of a continuum, says Bruce Case. Bruce joins Victoria and Mark to explain how to break down the barriers and bring Sales and Production together as a team.

Bruce Case is the president and CEO of Case Design/Remodeling Inc., one the largest full-service remodeling firms in the nation with more than $60 million is annual revenue. Focused on the Washington, DC, metro market, the company provides a unique mix of design/build and home improvement services. Over the past 15 years, the company has extended its reach across the US through a network of licensees and franshises working under the Case Handyman & Remodeling Services banner. All these initiatives is focus on inspiring team members and clients.

Involving Production from the beginning of a job makes the projects more seamless and collaborative, creating a process that empowers employees and keeps them all focused on the bottom line. Bruce tells you how Case handles this team approach, including:

  • The need for accurate estimating
  • Why Project Managers get to sign off on a contract before the client does
  • Structuring compensation for Sales and Production based on gross profit
  • Who goes to what meetings and why
  • What to do when you need a tie-breaker
  • And a whole lot more…

Bruce talks about how to lead this process, and your team, with empowerment and accountability. For more about Case Design/Remodeling, check out their website. And we’re looking forward to Bruce’s AskAnything Fireside Chat at the Remodeler’s Summit on Sept. 26 — his fourth time sharing his expertise with us.

 
 

Ep. 22: How to Make Huge Profits Without Clients with Andrew Schroeder

Many remodeling companies buy an office, rent it to themselves, and hold it — and that’s where their real estate investment stops. Andrew Schroeder, a second-generation remodeler and Remodeler’s Advantage member, takes real estate investment farther.

In episode 22, Victoria and Mark talk to Andrew about how to use your remodeling experience to grow your business by profitably flipping houses, minimizing the risks and maximizing the benefits, and the challenges of acting as your own client.

Andrew, a Mentor-level Roundtables Group member, bought his ownership stake in Schroeder Design/Build with the money he made flipping houses on the side. Now, as the general manager of the northern-Virginia firm, he’s expanded on that experience to bolster his remodeling business. He’s also the youngest to receive the Master Certified Remodeler designation and is also a Universal Design Certified Professional.

Victoria, Mark and Andrew discuss how to develop key strategies to incorporate real estate investment into your business model, and how expanding into real estate can propel your business forward without needing to acquire new clients.

This episode includes:

  • Where to invest your time and money to get your best returns
  • How to fill your production pipeline without getting new clients
  • Determining your profit margins in real estate
  • The benefits of hiring your own Realtor
  • The secret sauce of pricing for flipping
  • And more…

Like that time Victoria saw Andrew in a diaper. Even without that detail, it’s a high-energy look at a business extension that you, as a remodeler, are already well-equipped to handle.

Spread the Word about PowerTips Unscripted!

As always, if you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

Don’t Miss the Chance to Be a Part of Our LIVE Audience
on Friday, June 22 at 11:00am ET

“How to Build an Award-Winning, Successful, Profitable Remodeling Company With Jeremy Martin”

Join us LIVE as Victoria & Mark talk with Jeremy Martin about the secrets of his success as an award-winning, successful remodeler.

  • Get your questions answered
  • Hear Q&A from the LIVE audience
  • Exclusive access to this episode that airs late-Summer
  • Free Download of our new Lead Aging Report ($20 value)

https://www.remodelersadvantage.com/live

 
 

Ep.20: Constantly Improving Your Business Using Kaizen with Michael Sauri

Kaizen means (literally) “Change for Good,” and that can mean REALLY good things for your growing remodeling company. This process of constant improvement, with every team member participating, allows your company to constantly raise the bar on its target metrics.

In Episode 20, Victoria and Mark learn more about the Kaizen practice of process improvement by welcoming Michael Sauri, CEO of TriVista USA, to the show.

Michael and his wife Deborah started TriVistaUSA in 2005 with the goal of providing an outlet for creativity and a Ritz Carlton-level client experience. “Our Thoughtful Design Builds Fine Living,” is their mission statement and their mantra as they bring phenomenal, award-winning design to the Design/Build community in the Washington DC area.

The Kaizen practice focuses on improving existing, standardized processes by eliminating waste and was first practiced in Japanese businesses after the World War II.

Michael provides some great insight on how TriVista has adopted Kaizen throughout his business and includes:

  • The background of Kaizen and how TriVista got involved
  • Hiring and developing a team within the Kaizen structure
  • The differences between Kaizen and other process improvement practices
  • 3 metrics of measurement to measure client satisfaction
  • What a Kaizen Event is and what the goal of the effort is
  • Issues and examples where Kaizen improved their business
  • Managing team buy-in into the process
  • And More…

To learn more about TriVistaUSA, visit their website at https://www.trivistausa.com/

 

Tell everyone you know about PowerTips Unscripted!

As always, if you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

 
 

Ep.12: Growing a Strong, Successful Family-owned Remodeling Business with Dolores Davis

Building a business can be both a challenging and fulfilling adventure; Hard work, long hours, doing the little things behind the scenes to help grow the business, etc.

Many remodelers out there have not only built strong and profitable businesses, they have done so with the help of family, often spanning multiple generations.

Episode 12 covers both topics as Victoria and Mark talk with Dolores Davis, General Manager of CG&S Design-Build, a very successful family-owned remodeling business in Austin, TX.

The CG&S success story spans three generations of the Guerrero family. Dolores has been with the firm for 25 years, starting as a Production Assistant, learning the business from all areas and working her way up to her current role of General Manager. Dolores is a R/A Roundtables Member and is very active in industry associations such as NARI.

Victoria and Mark discuss 3-4 keys to success with Dolores and delve further into what has made CG&S so successful, not only a remodeling business, but also some of the challenges that working in a family-owned business can bring.

If you are a remodeling company that wants to take their business to the next level, this episode offers great insight into how to get there.

How about showing us some love?

If you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

Ep.10: Higher Profits Through LEAN Process Improvements with Doug Howard

If there is one take-away from more than 30 years of working with R/A members, it is this: Successful remodeling companies are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and subsequently are able to achieve a higher net profit.

In our 10th episode of PowerTips Unscripted, Victoria and Mark welcome back Doug Howard, Director of Consulting for Remodelers Advantage, to talk more about his experience with LEAN process improvement.

LEAN is a system aimed at continual process improvement. Born out of the Toyota Production System, it became a common tool used in manufacturing and over the past 20 years, it has found its way into government, healthcare and service industries, including our remodeling industry.

Since joining R/A last year, Doug has worked directly with several Remodelers on using LEAN to improve their businesses and will lead a Masterclass on LEAN For Remodelers coming up in April.

Victoria, Mark and Doug dig further into the benefits of LEAN process improvement and along the way uncover:

  • Examples of using LEAN in Remodeling
  • Driving profit through process improvement
  • Identifying instances of waste in remodeling production
  • Implementing change resulting from LEAN results
  • Doug’s Process of working directly with companies to implement LEAN within their organizations
  • How LEAN impacts the client and their ultimate satisfaction

Where Can You Learn More?

As stated above, Doug will lead a Masterclass on LEAN in April and that class is filling up now.

We have a website dedicated to LEAN For Remodelers, called LeanRemodeling.com and as Doug mentions in this episode, there is a FREE download available on the website; a Process Mapping Template that will help you get started with your own effort to improve.

As always, Doug is available to answer any questions you may have and is looking forward to working with more companies this year. Doug@RemodelersAdvantage.com

Ep.09: Seven Steps to Earning Positive Online Reviews with Bryan Sebring

Online reviews can be the “Lifeblood” of any remodeling company’s business and marketing strategy and in Episode 9, Victoria and Mark speak with Bryan Sebring a very successful remodeler who has mastered the art of collecting online reviews from his satisfied clients.

Bryan is the Owner of Sebring Design Build in Naperville, IL and has quickly become a valuable resource and thought-leader for R/A and our Roundtables members.

According to Bryan he is a self-taught marketer who jumped in with both feet following a website re-design project that went sideways.

Bryan’s 7 Step process for driving positive reviews is more than just a marketing strategy. As Bryan describes, his firm’s process of asking for reviews and earning them with hard work, great design and a client-first attitude has become more of a company culture.

As Bryan, Victoria and Mark discuss the 7-step process, we learn more about:

  • Strategies around specific websites such as Houzz, Angie’s List and Yelp.
  • Infusing the review process into your sales/lead intake process
  • Dealing with bad reviews
  • How to encourage and educate your clients to read and provide reviews
  • Setting expectations with clients at project kickoff
  • How to work with client on project completion and walk-through

Free Resource

As Bryan describes his sales and lead intake process, he mentions that he provides his clients and prospects with information to educate them about online reviews: what to look for, good signs, red flags, etc.  Here’s the blog post he share’s with them, which also includes his free Remodeling 101 ebook.

…And Speaking of Asking for Reviews

We are receiving great feedback from our listeners and we have more great episodes like this one coming. If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word by rating our show and commenting on iTunes, Stitcher, or whichever platform you use!

Ep.08: Zero Punch List Production with Tim Faller

If you are going to have a podcast about the remodeling industry, it’s a no-brainer to have Tim Faller on your guest list, and I suspect he will be a frequent contributor to PowerTips Unscripted.

For the past 17 years, Tim has worked with remodeling companies, large and small, to help improve profits by creating smooth, efficient production systems. As a Senior Consultant and “Master of Production” for Remodelers Advantage, Tim’s field and business ownership experience is vital to his additional role as facilitator for Owner and Production Manager Roundtables Groups.

In Episode 8 Victoria and Mark welcome Tim Faller to the show as he covers a topic that he has been working on for the past 5-6 years as he tours the US & Canada, providing on-site production consulting – “Zero Punch List Production.”

Tim provides a great overview of the zero punch list strategy and describes in detail how he has seen companies successfully implement this process. According Tim, all-too-often remodelers put the onus or responsibility of completing a punch list on the client, thereby creating the perception that the job is being presented as incomplete.

As they explore the zero punch list theory and strategy, Victoria, Mark and Tim discuss:

  • Steps to successfully implement this within an organization
  • How this effects sales process, contracts, payment draws, etc.
  • Production Techniques & Checklists
  • How to handle Backorders
  • How to handle the final walk-through
  • Getting rid of Head Trash

…And then a Big Announcement!

As they wrapped up Episode 8, Tim announced that he and R/A’s Steve Wheeler have launched their own podcast, The Tim Faller Show … Episode Zero is online now and they will post new episodes starting on Monday, March 26thGo Check it out!