Erika Taylor is the director of content for Professional Remodeler. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972.803.4014.
Recently, my husband ordered a set of steak knives from a family-owned company called Dalstrong. The knives were insanely, almost laughably, expensive, but after reading their oddly addictive website and stellar reviews he actually increased his spend, stepping up from the Gladiator Series to the Shogun Series X.
The Shoguns arrived and we sat down for a formal unboxing. Dalstrong takes its packaging seriously, with a beautiful box that serves as a sort of stage for the knives to make their debut. Just the act of sliding open that sleek lid communicates how special the product is and how lucky you are to own it. Then there’s the marketing material. A letter, on high-end paper of course, congratulates you on your wise choice in culinary equipment and then reiterates why Dalstrong knives are amazing. “A ruthlessly sharp scalpel-like edge is hand-finished to a mirror polish at 8-12° per side using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method,” the letter says.
Why does all of this matter to remodelers?
Because I’ve spent some time out in the field with different companies and have seen my share of estimates discussed, designs presented, and contracts signed. Often, the homeowner is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and will probably not make another investment like this for many years, if ever.
Yet just as often, the exchange is treated like it’s no big deal. The remodeler is certainly professional, but the homeowner is never told—either verbally, or through the presentation of materials—that they are special and have made a wise decision.
There is a bit of ritual, theater almost, that goes into presenting a product, and that experience feeds a customer’s impressions about a company. In many cases they aren’t even conscious of it.
It’s true that creating a thought-through presentation becomes more difficult for remodelers in the digital age. Most people prefer a digitally signed contract over an elegant vellum document signed with a fountain pen. Yet there are still ways to capitalize on the human need to mark a moment and make it feel important.
Maybe it’s a thoughtful gift delivered to a new client’s home with a note of congratulations. Or maybe there’s a way to personalize the different stages of the project so that they become positive emotional markers for homeowners. Taking time to give those moments more meaning will also create more goodwill from the homeowner at the beginning of the project. This can come in handy later, if things go awry.