Keeping Communication Standards High

Today we found our design team presenting to homeowners in their dining room with coffee and breakfast treats spread across a table. The homeowners told us they were excited to see us and were anxious to see their project which was presented using an LCD projector, table-top projection screen and laptop.

Attending the meeting was the general contractor, designer, cabinet designer and homeowners. Our designer/draftsman joined our meeting live via the Internet and a cordless telephone. The design team started to present the project by visually walking the client through his fully restored home.

We started our presentation with his new home theater room. The husband was in a state of amazement but not because we were planning to mount a 72-in. plasma screen TV on the wall. He was in awe of how we were presenting the project. He told the design team that his company works with architects all over the world and he had never seen anything quite like this. The design team continued to present the project but the homeowners had some concerns with a few of the proposed ideas.
The team asked our virtual designer/draftsman to move a few walls, reconfigure roof planes and then show us the changes in a 3-D view. The homeowners had their immediate needs met and the design team solved the problem. We presented over 6,000 sq. ft. of new living space in two hours and we all had a fun and relaxing time. As we were leaving the meeting, the husband was interested in the presentation system and inquired how he might use our presentation process for his own company.

Our second design meeting commenced one week later. We invited several more members of the team to help us address potential issues and provide creative solutions that would meet the homeowners’ needs while providing added value to their home. Many of you will read this and perhaps think this is too good to be true. You may ask yourself, “How do they work together as a team vs. separate individuals who tend to have type A personalities? How can a person from a different location be part of the meeting in real time and incorporate the entire design team’s ideas and concepts in minutes?” A few days after the second meeting, the entire design team received an unsolicited e-mail from the homeowners that read as follows:

Ladies & Gentlemen. Just wanted to let you know how absolutely delighted we are with the Mason Street team, process, progress and quality of design. The whole experience has been nothing short of excellent since day one, and we are very fortunate to have this group to work with. Your advice and guidance is greatly appreciated by Jeannie and me, and we truly feel that you have our best interests at heart.

Yesterday’s design ideas are awesome: powder room, the hot tub, pavilion, walkways, etc. Your Web-based design review process has even inspired me to adopt a similar initiative for our own business. We look forward to the next stage of design refinement, finish level planning, lighting design, etc. Thank you, sincerely, John Martin

The general contractor was pleased with his design team’s performance and sent out an e-mail to the entire design and build team. The e-mail praised the team for performing such great teamwork and generating an overwhelmingly positive response from the homeowner. He also reminded the team that now the expectations are set high so the performance level should continue through the end of the project. He added that this type of positive feedback is what they need to stay competitive in a slow market.

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