At Pro Remodeler, we love to be everywhere we can: trade shows, conferences, and even your offices, jobsites, and company outings.
Most recently, I ventured out to Hinsdale, Ill. to spend time at Normandy Remodeling, one of the area’s—and one of the country’s—largest design-build remodelers.
If you know nothing about Normandy, let me fill you in on a few quick details: The remodeler will earn nearly $35 million in revenue this year with about 12 superintendents running anywhere from six to 12 jobs at a time, depending on size. Roughly 95% of Normandy’s clients remain in their homes during the remodeling process. The company offers a five-year warranty, free estimates, and employs 20 designer salespeople along with a separate design support department. (I think that covers it all.)
With that behind us, let’s move on to some standout themes I observed from my time at the office.
The Power of the Showroom
The showroom may be one of Normandy’s greatest assets. It’s where designers bring clients for selections, view Normandy’s craftsmanship, and touch and feel materials. The display space also helps streamline the process. Those are just the basics, though.
Two things stood out most about the showroom to me: the impact of location and workshops.
Normandy has two showrooms, one in Hinsdale, Ill., and one in Evanston. Both are affluent Chicagoland suburbs.
Though Evanston was in Normandy’s service area before the showroom was built, the north shore suburb is 30 miles from Hinsdale, where the company is based. Clientele thought it was too far to travel, and it became a tough sell. To capture the north shore market more effectively, Normandy opened an Evanston showroom in 2019. This skyrocketed the share of north shore projects.
Another important use of these showrooms is Normandy’s workshops. Before COVID, workshops occurred monthly, and 40 to 60 people typically attended.
Here, designers share design trend insights, walk through the remodeling process, answer questions, and act as an educator and advisor. Attendees leave with a solid sense of trust in Normandy, and these workshops are a major lead generator.
Show, Don’t Tell (Numbers-wise)
As I sat in with Normandy’s production and sales meetings, I noticed a trend: numbers.
Production kicked off with positivity, with Director of Production Chris Beck sharing the month’s closing numbers so far and comparing it to the year and year prior. Beck didn’t tell the project managers that business was doing well. He told them exactly how much revenue was earned due to their work.
Beck also celebrated the shortening of job time to reflect the return to normalcy of supply chains and labor and shared about a dozen job timelines to support it.
It’s all about showing, not telling.
Executive Vice President Troy Pavelka did the same with the designer salespeople.
In today’s market, the theme is caution, and potential clients can be trigger-shy. This became a discussion with the team, and solutions were presented. Pavelka didn’t leave it at setting a goal to minimize the amount of repeat visits, instead, he broke down the cost of all marketing efforts to show the designers that their first in-home meeting with a client cost X amount, and to ensure that number is top of mind when entering a home, or reentering.
Celebrate the Wins
Numbers like the above surely show a company or team’s win, but it’s important to celebrate individual wins. I saw this at Normandy in both the sales and production meetings.
In production, the meeting starts with any additions to the company’s GuildQuality profile that refers to a superintendent. These tally up and remain front and center to display the accolades of each individual.
In sales, designers were celebrated for large ticket projects, getting a contract signed, and other wins. These came partly from the knowledge of each job, but there were also smaller wins celebrated, which resulted from the team's consistent shared challenges and successes week to week. Everyone learned from their peers and supported each other.
Each of these meetings occurs weekly, so utilizing the hour well becomes an art. Normandy does it in a way that’s the right amount of impactful. Spending just a day with the company revealed many integrated concepts that lead the way for Normandy’s continued success.