How a DreamMaker remodeling franchise owner won the repeated business of a local family by doing terrific work with honesty and integrity
For Glen Borkowski, a DreamMaker remodeling franchise owner in the Chicago metro area, it’s no surprise his customers call him over and over again for home improvement projects.
For one family in particular, Glen has become the go-to business owner for all of their home improvement projects, recently completing a total upgrade to their kitchen. This project marked the seventh time the family had hired him, which he attributes to his commitment to conducting his business with honesty and integrity.
“At this point, I’ve done everything I could possibly do for them,” Glen says. “But that is what I wanted when they hired me, or when anyone hires me for that matter — I want to be your remodeler for life.”
The success that Glen experiences as a DreamMaker remodeling franchise owner is a direct result of the philosophy he brings to his business. When he first meets a potential customer, he stays focused on listening to what they hope to achieve with the remodel. He isn’t concerned with selling a particular package, because customization is inherent in the DreamMaker system. That allows Glen to find solutions tailor-made to bring his customer’s wishes to life.
“If you don’t have repeat customers, you’ve done something wrong,” Glen says. “If you exceed your customers’ expectations, which honestly is not that hard in this industry, you get welcomed back. I say that it’s not that hard because people have a negative association of contractors who show up in a pickup truck and don’t act professionally or do professional work.”
From independent contractor to true believer in the DreamMaker model
Glen was a local contractor for 15 years before deciding to convert his business to a DreamMaker remodeling franchise. His decision, at first, was met with skepticism by the local development community, who couldn’t understand why Glen would choose to pay franchise fees after spending so long developing a loyal customer base. But that choice, he says, helped him stay afloat when the bottom fell out of the housing industry.
“I am 99% certain that if I had not partnered with DreamMaker, my company would have been wiped out during the Great Recession,” Glen says. “The transition over to DreamMaker was perceived by my peer group as a lateral move, but we are far more successful now than we were when we were on our own. DreamMaker has given me everything it promised me and more.”
DreamMaker provided Glen with something he never had when he was in business on his own: the sense that he had proven partners working full-time to make him successful.
“Marketing always wore me out,” Glen says. “I was concerned about it all the time, and it was really maddening. The transition to a company with a full-time professional marketing department was really appealing to me. I no longer had to go it alone.”
Glen also found support in other DreamMaker remodeling franchise owners, whom he is regularly in touch with and gets to interact with every year during the franchise reunion.
“There is a local group of contractors that I’m friendly with here,” Glen says. “We go to lunch sometimes to talk shop, but being that we’re competitors, we can only go so far. With my fellow owners at DreamMaker, we can talk about anything. They have a vested interest in keeping your business successful because it makes the company stronger overall.”
What Glen tells potential DreamMaker remodeling franchise owners
The success that Glen has had as a result of joining DreamMaker has made him passionate about spreading the good word to others.
“I talk to a good amount of potential franchisees,” Glen says. “I emphasize the fact that joining DreamMaker means you’re on a team, and that you get so much training that it’s hard to imagine DreamMaker profiting off of you when you first start. I make them aware of the benefit to having a brick-and-mortar showroom in their communities. It is important that your customers know that you’re a part of their community, and that they have a place where they can find you if they need to. It makes them feel more comfortable. I also caution new franchisees that they have to be comfortable being a part of a team. If you’re the type of person who wants to do everything your own way, DreamMaker will not be a good fit for you.”
By being such a committed part of his community, Glen has enjoyed the benefits of repeated business. On every job that Glen is contracted to complete for a customer, he donates any usable items to his local Habitat for Humanity. He also encourages his customers to pitch in to build Habitat for Humanity houses or contribute materials of their own to the cause. That Glen is so focused on not only exceeding his customers’ expectations but also on helping his community thrive, has won him a reputation as an honest and forthright community contractor.
“With the family that I’ve worked for seven times, I have seen their children grow up,” Glen says. “That might be what I enjoy most about this business, in contributing to my community and by getting the chance to have long-lasting relationships that are meaningful.”
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