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We spoke with Gordon Reese, owner of Gordon Reese Design Build, about the educational webinars the company offers, how they’ve navigated and learned from COVID-19, and the importance of adapting to current conditions, whether it’s a pandemic or an ever-changing online landscape.
Increased interest in home renovations
Due to the global pandemic and the rise in HGTV’s popularity, more and more homeowners are interested in renovating their space. However, home remodeling projects are often overwhelming, expensive, and time consuming, which is why many homeowners aren’t sure who to turn to for expert advice or who to hire for their project.
Gordon understands the importance of creating close connections with homeowners in order to get solid leads and build a reputation as an expert in the building and remodeling industry.
Establishing a reputation as a reliable source of easily accessible remodeling expertise is highly valuable, as homeowners increasingly turn to internet research and online reviews.
To that end, Gordon Reese Design Build offers free educational webinars via Zoom to local homeowners to guide them through the remodeling process.
These first started out as in-person seminars, about three years ago. Gordon saw other remodelers hosting seminars and webinars and decided to try it out too. The very first one was a seminar and neighborhood walk-through in collaboration with a real estate agent. Gordon was surprised to be speaking in front of 45 people; attendance had exceeded his expectations.
On average, webinar attendance is about 15 people, and each webinar results in one or two very strong leads, due to the trust built and information shared during the webinar.
“We’re the trusted advisor…there’s a level of trust that’s built through this.”
How the webinars work
Gordon starts out with a basic Zoom tutorial, so everyone understands how to use it. Then he goes through his presentation, which includes slides, Zoom polls to find out more information about the attendees’ projects, and questions both for and from the homeowners.
Two Gordon Reese team members join him on the webinar to manage the Zoom chat and offer additional explanations, elaborating on Gordon’s points. It takes about an hour and a half to get through the slides.
The focus of the webinars is general remodeling information, rather than selling the company. Gordon helps homeowners understand the design process, different approaches to remodeling projects, how to pick a good contractor, and how to check reviews. Homeowners want to make the right decision, and that decision should be based on a variety of factors, not just cost.
Gordon has discovered that the key to success during these webinars is to engage attendees and ask questions about their projects or remodeling ideas. The more they are engaged with the presentation, the better the experience is for the company and the homeowners.
“The more engaged that people can be during the webinar, the more they’re going to get out of it.”
What makes each webinar unique is the homeowners participating, the questions they ask, and the topics they are most interested in.
Two types of attendees
Gordon pointed out that there are two types of attendees for these seminars and webinars: those who have remodeled before and those who haven’t. These groups have different concerns and questions.
Gordon asks the homeowners who have gone through a remodeling project before what advice they would give a friend who was considering a remodeling project. The comments they’ve given in response to this question have been eye-opening and valuable to all who have attended.
The webinars aren’t just educational for the homeowners, either. For the company, finding out more about the homeowner’s perspective or hearing a unique question that they haven’t encountered before is highly useful. Gordon is able to dig a little deeper, ask more questions, and find out exactly what a homeowner means.
Learning from homeowners
Similar to how Gordon uses GuildQuality to find out how the company is performing, these webinars help the company learn more about what homeowners want from a home remodeler.
“We use GuildQuality to help us understand how we’re doing and to help our prospective clients understand what type of service we offer.”
Honest and candid homeowner feedback from GuildQuality surveys and from these low-pressure webinars give Gordon an understanding of what homeowners expect, what their goals and anxieties are, and what concerns should be addressed when guiding a client through their project.
Low cost, high reward
Other than time, these webinars don’t cost the company anything to host. While the presentation did take time to put together, now that it’s set up, they only tweak it between sessions to highlight the information best-suited for the attending homeowners.
By positioning themselves as an expert providing trustworthy and valuable information to homeowners and engaging them with questions about their ideas and goals, Gordon Reese Design Build is establishing a strong reputation in their area at no cost.
Navigating the Pandemic
Like every business and individual, Gordon Reese Design Build has had to learn how to navigate the global pandemic in a rapidly changing environment.
Gordon feels fortunate that his business is considered essential, so he and his employees can continue to work during this time.
“We’re just trying to adapt and keep the business moving forward. We’re really fortunate that we’re considered an essential business in our area.”
Precautions and communication
On the Gordon Reese Design Build website, they have a video about the health and safety precautions and practices they have in place right now. They communicate these guidelines with their clients and trade partners on every job.
In California, as in every state, there are certain requirements for job sites. The company has been keeping up with these while communicating updated precautions and practices to clients, employees, and trade partners.
The biggest challenge has been communicating and adapting to different comfort levels of employees and clients, keeping everyone feeling safe while continuing to work.
One aspect of ensuring clients’ comfort is figuring out how to work in the client’s home in a way that works for both the client and the team, while ensuring that the client feels safe. The company also offers virtual consultations for those who want them.
Communicating and adapting to new information and client comfort levels has kept them up and running through this really challenging time.
“We’re just learning as we go.”
Adapting and Growing
Adapting to today’s business environment requires flexibility and creative thinking. Trying out new things, such as seminars and webinars, can open up all sorts of opportunities and connections for your business.
Remodeling is a complex process, and many homeowners need help navigating it. Positioning yourself as a trusted expert advisor will benefit both you and the homeowners you educate, especially in today’s competitive world of online marketing and reviews.
How can you offer your expertise to homeowners in your area to create strong connections and engagement?
About Gordon Reese Design Build
Check out a few images from their recent projects: