Software is much easier than what’s used by the rest of the industry, longtime remodeling salesman says
Before Kevin King started working for the DreamMaker remodeling franchise in Springfield, Illinois, last year, he had spent 25 years working to accurately forecast the cost of remodeling projects — first as an insurance adjuster and later as a salesman for another remodeling business.
It was a tedious job, until now.
DreamMaker recently unveiled a new software system that makes it easier to create estimates and price quotes, as well as manage projects. Kevin, who is a salesman for DreamMaker franchisee Curt Trampe, says DreamMaker’s new software makes it much easier to price design options for clients and create accurate estimates.
He had been using Xactimate, a popular tool in the industry, but which has sprawling sub-menus and generates a “Scope of Work” that can be confusing to clients, Kevin says.
DreamMaker’s software “is much more focused,” Kevin says. “It incorporates our products and supplies and is organized so that it’s just a matter of double-clicking to make selections, and it then prices everything for you. There’s not 500 pages of materials to hunt for to design a kitchen. It’s two or three pages of scrolling, and you can have the whole kitchen designed.”
The Scope of Work generated by DreamMaker’s software is also easier for customers to understand, Kevin says. Rather than 15 pages of documentation about the price and labor to install each fixture, the Scope of Work covers broad categories of the remodel to make it easy to understand the major details, while allowing customers and the salesperson to drill down to the finer details with ease.
Kevin says the new system is also very easy to learn — much easier than what he was using before.
“It gets stronger and easier as we go,” Kevin notes. “If we start using a new type of countertop, we can quickly add that to the database, and then it’s just a double-click the next time a customer wants it.”
DreamMaker President and Chief Stewarding Officer Doug Dwyer says by making the system powerful, yet easy to use, he desires to make it easier for DreamMaker franchisees to hire salespeople and get them up to speed. Since a lot of knowledge about materials and price points is built into the system, even people without extensive remodeling experience can be trained to create accurate price estimates much more quickly. The new software also is expected to provide a powerful boost to entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a DreamMaker remodeling franchise, but who don’t have extensive building or remodeling experience.
Lee Willwerth, co-owner of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is confident the software will have a tremendous impact, and Kevin King is just one example. Willwerth, a former software engineer, designed a more primitive version of the software along with his business partner Bob Ender, using DreamMaker’s existing systems as a template. They were recently named, once again, as one of the Top 500 remodelers in the nation by Qualified Remodeler magazine. Neither of them had significant remodeling experience before joining DreamMaker, but their software advancements helped them become top-producing franchisees in the system.
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