DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen of Orland Park

by Emily Blackburn
Glen Borkowski

Orland Park, Ill.
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 99%
GQ 2021 Recommend Rate: 100%
Number of Jobs in 2021: 15
Type of Firm: Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Glen Borkowski

Business technology and business software are offering new ways for remodelers and home improvement professionals to improve client experience and customer satisfaction. In what ways are you using software or technology to improve client experience?:

Early in our process, we determine the client’s preferred method of communication. We have several systems in place to help our prospective and existing clients communicate throughout our remodeling partnership. We utilize an online chat service and leads from our website are forwarded to us. We have phone messages routed through our email after hours, as well. We rely on technology to keep the lines of communication flowing, but we email, text and call clients as THEY prefer. We have also implemented BuilderTrend into our daily practices. In this platform, we can streamline every correspondence with our clients and keep all of our communication and project receipts in one place. We use Zoom and YouTube to produce and post educational videos so that people feel empowered to make sound decisions throughout the remodeling process. We also use Guild Quality as a tool to close out the client experience and make sure they are satisfied.

Rising costs for labor and building materials along with higher inflation on everything else is forcing remodelers and home pros to raise prices dramatically. Tell us about the most effective ways you are passing along these rising prices to your clients?:

Most of our clients are well aware that the cost of EVERYTHING has gone up in the last 2 years. We emphasize that we are their teammate and are here to guide them through the remodeling process in order for them to get the most value for the money that they are spending. One of the ways we are helping to save them, and us, money is by purchasing certain materials and fixtures that we frequently use on most projects in bulk quantities. we command volume discounts by doing so, inventory those commodities and then pull them from stock as we need them. By buying in large quantities it also saves us from frequent price increases.

We also let our clients know that the price increases from manufacturers are happening frequently and usually without much, if any prior notice. Therefore, it is in their best interest to move through the design and selection process as quickly as is practical. We order all specialty items immediately upon them signing an agreement which locks in pricing from our suppliers; even if it means we will have to inventory some of their selections. We have negotiated with some of our trade partners to lock in their pricing by giving them a deposit in order to avoid a price increase in the future when our clients project may actually start.

Supply shortages have required you to ask clients to go back and pick another finish or building material. What are your tips for handing these product trade-off conversations?:

Our clients pick a first, second and maybe even third choice and we explain to them why this is necessary in today’s climate. If they select something that we know its availability is going to be problematic, we let them know that up front, as well as any specific history we have had with that product. If they don’t have a strong preference regarding certain items and ask for our suggestions, we don’t specify or even show them anything that we know or suspect we are going to have any issues getting. Honesty is the best policy. We let our clients know what the PROJECTED availability is for their selections and then tell them that this means almost nothing in today’s world. You have to keep them informed of any back orders and what that could mean and their project’s start time being delayed. That way, they can make an informed decision as to whether or not it’s time to move on to their second or third choice.

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