INDIANAPOLIS, IN — We’re all familiar with the saying “image is everything,” but at Steve Gray Renovations, it is a rule. It has taken the firm a mere four years to make its mark via a unique marketing plan – all geared toward easing the design process for clients.
According to Steve Gray, president of the firm, based here, the marketing plan features an award-winning Web site and monthly eNewsletters – as well as print initiatives and strategic alliances – to best reach out to targeted clientele and spread the company’s message of honesty, integrity and quality.
The firm caters to an affluent clientele, with house renovations totaling nearly $100,000 and kitchens and baths playing key roles.
The firm partners with many suppliers throughout the area, which means it has access to the majority of product lines the customer wants for any renovation project, Gray notes.
“There is a drive here to offer something unique to each client and to challenge each party involved with the project to ‘show off’ their craftsmanship,” he stresses.
Spreading the Word
Gray notes that a variety of platforms comprise his marketing approach. The company’s Web site, which includes back history and photos of past projects, and the monthly eNewsletter, are particularly effective, he observes.
“We have also established a partnership with our local NBC affiliate, where we showcase our preferred partner companies for area home-owners to contact for their needs,” he explains. “We’re expanding a Web page on their site that is a valuable resource for area homeowners.”
Gray reports that his company has also launched a new division, the ‘SGR Handyman Division,’ which is designed to help its customers maintain their homes after the job is completed.
Gray combines his 20-plus years of experience in the industry with strategic alliances with vendors, a majority of whom are certified, in order to buttress the firm’s message through referrals.
“Our clients’ satisfaction means more referrals, continued business and a positive reputation in the marketplace,” he stresses.
Gray also uses his fleet of vehicles – which feature the firm’s logo, telephone number and Web address – to drive traffic to the company’s Web site.
The firm is also involved with its local Chamber of Commerce to keep its name out there, and is active in silent auctions for charity. In addition, it offers sponsorships, donates time and provides services for the local Little League.
Gray and his team also employ a very direct design process.
“Once we enter into the design retainer, we generate a conceptual drawing, not only laying out the future renovated space, but also including detailed sketches of finished wall sections and cabinetry. We’ll go through this process as needed until we get the customer’s dream on paper,” he says. “Once the drawings are approved, a detailed set of construction drawings are created. These are the plans needed for the building permits and the construction.”
He adds: “Our specifications eliminate the grey area. Clients know what they’re getting with us.”
The firm’s contractors then visit the site during the pricing exercise to review the project.
According to Gray, doing this allows him to determine costs for any unforeseen challenges and to become better equipped for the upcoming project.
“We find ‘set expectations’ keep the job running smoothly and add to the overall job satisfaction,” he states.
As a construction management firm, Gray does not operate a showroom. Instead, he works with homeowners to find out what types of selections and details they’re looking for in their projects.
“We encourage them to bring us pictures to show us their ideas,” he offers. “Once we agree on what will fit the space and their vision, we have our conceptual designer prepare a rendering.”
He concludes: “At that point, we will connect them with the right showrooms to make their selections.”
As an example of his firm’s design process, Gray shares the results from a recent kitchen remodel.
“A large family wanted to convert a galley kitchen into an eat-in and incorporate the kitchen into the family room. They wanted a grand space for family and guests to enjoy each other’s company,” he explains.
While the owner selected the cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances, the company moved walls and reconfigured the space. The result was a large kitchen for socializing, with three times the previous cabinet space.
That kitchen design also featured two different granites, three different cabinet faces and accessory and hardware detailing that the owners refer to as “kitchen jewelry.”
“The result was a kitchen with Old World charm and new conveniences,” he remarks.
“The project went well because the team kept open lines of communication with the homeowners and applied our strict performance expectations with contractors and subcontractors.”