June 2006 Remodelor™ of the Month

Remodelor™ of the Month

Kirk Morris, CGR, CAPS
Morris Builders Inc.
Rockford, Mich.

Kirk Morris of Morris Builders Inc., Rockford, Mich., has been named national RemodelorTM of the Month, by the RemodelorsTM Council of the National Association of Home Builders. Morris, whose firm is celebrating its 20th year in 2006, has been extremely active in local, state and regional association activity since joining the HBA of Greater Grand Rapids in 1989.

In that time he has served as chairman of his local council and has been a trustee of the state and local board of directors. He has also been named Remodeler of the Year four times by his local association. But his biggest achievements remain in the area of remodeling success, particularly in customer service. In March, he was awarded the 2006 Integrity Award by the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan, an area that spans 37 counties.

“I’ve grown my company now, and I am teaching our people the personalized service aspect,” says Morris. “It is not just about price. It is about service and what you get out of that. We have a lot of clients who are very proud to have us in their lives because of the personalized service we give. We give tender loving care to these projects, and we get to know their kids and their dogs and their lives. Remodeling is more about relationship building and personalized service than it is a job anymore.”

A long list of business best practices have also helped the company earn the respect of its peers. Billing, on average, $1.2 million per year, Morris Builders has moved from smaller, hard-to-do jobs 20 years ago to 90 percent residential design/build work. Today the firm employs an office manager, an estimator/CAD specialist, and three lead carpenters. Kirk and his wife Joy do the sell in a team approach.

The company offers in-house design services and 3-D CAD drawings. To help set proper customer expectations, the company also uses proprietary selection sheets — complete with color photos of the items chosen by the client. In addition, Morris or a team member writes progress notes to the client each day as a way to keep in touch with the homeowner. The company also e-mails photographs of progress to clients who are out of town.

“I am very analytical, right down to the last detail,” says Morris. “There are no loose ends. We have decision worsheets that aid in the design process. It is kind of like a funnel. At the first meeting we start with a wide range of information; then we trickle down to contract signing. So the expectations are set upfront. From there it is ‘rock and roll and let’s have fun.’ ”