Article of interview with John Gillette in Qualified Remodeler Magazine Feb 2017
Technology Improves Service
John Gillette recognizes that gaining trust is a key ingredient in producing a better project.
QR: When and how did you choose this career?
JG: When I was 14 years old, I found a builder that would let me sweep out houses and as I worked there, I became intrigued by how things went together. As the years passed, I took other jobs but I always came back to construction.
QR: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
JG: “Do it now. Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today?” That has to be the best advice that I have received.
QR: How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?
JG: Now there is better technology to help us provide better service and increase our efficiency. We use tablets in the field, which allows us to communicate quickly. They are a great help with keeping everyone on track. We use 3-D design software which allows our clients to visualize their projects during the planning phase. This is a great benefit as the client can make and see changes while the project planning is in process.
QR: What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you?
JG: It means that I have a great opportunity to have an affiliation with colleagues and as- sociates. The NAHB Certification Programs help me provide better customer service and to stay up-to-date with important issues in the industry that may affect my company and clients.
QR: What is your focus as a remodeler— more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability?
JG: Both. We want to continue growing and, of course, want a greater profitability which we can accomplish because employees have a great potential here. And if you pair that up with the system we have in place, well then there’s really nothing we can’t accomplish.
QR: Many remodelers are reporting in- creases in their average job size; are you seeing this as well?
JG: Yes, we are. Because many of our clients are repeat clients or referrals, there is an auto- matic trust factor. New clients see the quality of our work and our commitment to service, become comfortable, and realize how much more we can do for them.
QR: Are you hiring this year and how are through vetting and trial work periods we have found the right people for us.
JG: We are hiring and it is a challenge, but through vetting and trial work periods we have found the right people for us.
QR: What is your No. 1 source of leads right now, and why is it working?
JG: That would have to be word-of-mouth. Most of our leads are through referrals from people we worked for and even people that we ended up not working for but who were impressed by our process.
QR: What is the most unusual project your company has completed?
JG: We actually have two very interesting projects. One is a new build, and a challenge with that project was the shape of the lot. The goal was to get the maximum amount of homes built on a triangular-shaped lot. So, we created the house at the tip of the triangle in a triangular shape to maximize square footage. This created some unique challenges with the project (creating a variable pitch gable roof to have the ride at the same elevation, creating rooms to fit in the space, fitting a kitchen with non-45-degree walls, entry location, etc.). The interesting challenge with the other project is it had to be within the footprint of the house and fit everything into it. It’s a three-story home with two extra stories—one is a mezzanine and one is an attic/balcony.
QR: Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments?
JG: I went from a one-man operation to a well-respected company that has won numerous awards throughout the years.