Firm Focuses on Quality, Communication for Success
By John Filippelli
"[Marino and I] are in the listening and service business. Attention to detail and the highest quality level of craftsmanship is our highest priority," he offers.
In fact, Haas, who is immediate past president of the Metro New York Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) as well as a current chapter representative, cites communication as the key element of any successful design firm.
"I find that when we listen very carefully to our clients' needs, we have the ability to touch the sensitivities that they are concerned about [in their project]."
The firm which was established in 2001 caters to "clients who carefully pay attention to costs and budgets, but are not willing to sacrifice quality of design, installation and service for a lower price," according to Haas.
He believes the best way to satisfy clients is to allow them to make educated choices about their design. To that end, he notes that the firm which specializes in kitchens, bathrooms and multimedia design associated with kitchens and bathrooms purposely makes the client an active part of the design process through comprehensive qualifying interviews and meetings, a process that lasts some seven weeks.
In fact, it is this type of commitment, combined with the firm's design, installation and alterations services, that have led to such a strong client base, he believes.
"Eighty percent of our business is word of mouth," proclaims Haas, who notes that the business has tripled since its inception.
Also noteworthy, he believes, is the way projects are completed.
"Marino and I have very specific areas of responsibility. He handles running the jobs and supervising the crews and I handle the designing, sales and management of the company," he explains.
He adds: "But we have the same philosophy quality comes first.
Therefore, even if it costs us money, we will do the right thing.
[As a result] I feel we will not only earn the money back, but get
the referral as well."
Show and tell
From the moment prospective clients enter the 1,600-sq.-ft. showroom, they are afforded every opportunity to make the right choices about their project, Haas says.
To accomplish this, the firm's showroom manager greets each customer and offers an initial tour of the showroom, which features four full kitchen displays, three bathroom vanity displays and a den display. It is during this process that the showroom manager gets a feel for customers' needs and briefs them on available products, he says.
The company, which is an authorized dealer for Kountry Kraft Cabinets and Omega Cabinets, also carries granite, marble, Zodiaq, DuPont Corian, LG-Hi-Macs and Silestone counter surfaces; Sub-Zero, Asko, and Best appliances; and Franke and Jado plumbing fixtures.
"The showroom displays reflect all of the different cabinetry features and options in proper design usage, reflecting a good base for clients to evaluate if it is the best selection for them," he offers.
"[Once clients are introduced to our offerings] they can bring in their dimensions and meet with me for an hour at no charge.
In that time, I project what the ballpark figure of their
project will be. When they walk out of the showroom they get a very
comprehensive figure [as to the cost of their project]."
While focusing on budget allows the firm to handle both large and small projects, Haas notes that he implements a specific design process one that consists of meetings over a course of seven weeks designed to help clients make educated design decisions.
During the meetings, clients discuss cabinetry, color and species of woods, appliances, countertops, backsplash options, ceiling and task lighting and sinks and faucets.
"Clients come for the function and they lean on themselves for the color or door style. That is 40 percent of our business. The other 60 percent is us doing everything from soup to nuts," he describes.