Trained as a civil engineer, David Heaney takes a straight-up approach to running his remodeling company. Many of the company’s systems and procedures deal with prequalifying clients, educating them and making them feel comfortable from the beginning.
"Being an engineer, I like to have details worked out up front. It saves you that much time throughout the process," Heaney says.
The remodeling profession still carries a bad reputation, one that scares clients into believing their project will take twice as long to deliver and come in 50 percent over budget. Heaney’s goal is twofold in addressing these concerns: presenting Rockland as professionally as possible, and educating the client on the value of design/build. The company has initiated a dedicated marketing communications campaign, which included the hiring of a public relations professional. The campaign consists of newsletters, trade show exhibits, special events, newspaper/magazine coverage and educational material, such as flyers titled "A Dozen Tips you Need to Know Before Remodeling" and "The 14 Aspects that Every Professional Design Should Include."
In 2001, Rockland secured a 9,000-sq.-ft. office building that now serves as the company’s high-end office suite and design center. It serves the workstation needs of Rockland architects and designers, and also provides a conference table for clients and potential clients. The layout was designed to be interactive, showcasing architectural details such as coffered ceilings, mouldings, a central fireplace and finishes.
"This was a big investment. It takes so much time to make selections and pick details. This facilitates that process and makes the client comfortable. We don’t have to go everywhere across the tri-state area to visit showrooms," Heaney says. It’s also a benefit to have the architects and designers literally across the room, he notes.
This design center also is crucial to one of Rockland’s best practices. Effectively qualifying prospects is a key ingredient to Rockland’s success, according to Heaney, and the design center helps facilitate this process. Prospects come to the office for a design consultation and have the opportunity to meet with staff and experience the facility and the company’s resources. The process helps potential clients feel comfortable and decide if Rockland is a good fit for them. It also helps Rockland determine the same of the potential client.