2. Willingness to change. My firm focused on large scale whole house renovations running anywhere from 500k to over two million dollars each. Those jobs dried up completely. We had a small handyman division and we refocused on repair and maintenance and "preserving" the value of our clients homes. That has kept us in business
4. No. We remain committed to customer service and standing behind every job. That is the core responsibility of every good remodeler and that doesn;t change.
5. There are pockets of wealth or certain lifestyle aspects that people will hang on to. In our area, the ski resort 2nd home market has hung in there. We recently opened a second office in a resort north of Boston and are doing well with this serving 2nd homes.
6. Frankly it's a lot smaller. Look back at 2001-2003 Top 500 lists....... To really answer your question though; We are leaner, wiser and little tougher than back in the days of six month lead times and name your price attitudes that prevailed a few years ago.
All Aspects Waterproofing
I think my response will be broad and reach into several of the questions you have posed.
The remodeling industry has changed. I believe we have weathered the worse and things will be brighter in the future. Although, our company has continued to grow and succeed each year that we have been in business we are relatively a new player. The differences, that I see, between contractors that have succeeded and those who have failed is related to how they operate their business. The old contractors not willing to change their business model or adapt to new types of social media marketing are going to fail. The dinosaur or antiquated mentality of putting out sub par work and not backing up that work is over.
People are able to report or review your your company in a matter of a few key strokes. I have personally seen companies go from one of the best to dissapearing in a few years. They are trying to keep their head above water and don't believe in social media, therefore they will ultimately die a slow death.
All Aspects being a new player with the willingness to change has helped us grow. We believe in strong customer service and quality. Having working owners that care about their customers and their employees, keeping control of growth to be sure it is managed. By being involved asking your employees what they see, having direct contact with customers and being able to understand. With social media today that can make or break a company in months. You can't say we have been in business for twenty years we are your best choice.
Kopke Remodeling & Design
St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Here's my take, from a Detroit suburb point of view.
1) The business of remodeling homes has not changed much in the last several years. We add up materials, labor, and sub.s - then we add mark up to cover overhead and profit. We sell the job, install the job, and collect payments from clients. In most respects that will always be the same.
There is a definite up and down in our industry, mostly related to the weather, as we are in a northern climate.
The 2 items that have changed our business the most are the lead RRP rules, and the lack of access to good financing for clients. Also, the negative media about the housing mortgage crisis has sent the homeowners into the wait and see mode, which has created a pent up demand for remodeling. Once the fear subsides, and confidence rules again, there will be a boom to those remodelers that have weathered the storm.
The future looks bright for remodelers that adjust to market conditions, keep their overhead in check, and most of all, attract and keep good talent.
Since the downturn has been so long (more than a year or two), many of the trades workers that would usually have waited for a year or two, have left the field all together, and moved on to another more stable field of work.
So, when the remodeling industry comes back strong and grows rapidly to handle the pent up demand, there will be a severe shortage of qualified talent to do the work.
In 1987, if we put out an ad for installers, we would have a line out the door and down the sidewalk of young men ready to fill out an application. Today we are lucky to get one or two semi-qualified applicants for a field worker job opening.