It is common for real estate professionals to encounter buyer objections where the buyer does not like the rooms, the layout, the walls, or the overall interior design. In this case, remodelers can help real estate professionals present the buyer with new ideas and design a layout that fits a buyer's tastes and requirements.
In this episode of Curb Appeal, Rachel Gombosch welcomes Jenny Rice from Icon Building Group, a Chicago-based remodeling company. Jenny and Rachel talk about the remodeling industry and the changes the industry has gone through over the past few years. They discuss the importance of cooperation between real estate professionals and remodelers for retaining a strong client base, what to look for in this type of partnership, and how to approach this market's current design trends.
💡 Name: Jenny Rice
💡 What she does: Jenny is the owner of and remodeling consultant at Icon Building Group.
💡 Company: Icon Building Group
💡 Noteworthy: Jenny's work at Icon resulted in a 300% increase in backlog in just two years, and on a day-to-day basis, she focuses on sales and design for the company's remodeling division, which she started from the ground up. Jenny has an artistic background, but she had no construction experience when she started the company over ten years ago with her husband.
⚡ The new construction side is slowing down, but remodeling is still very busy. Jenny and her husband founded Icon Building Group in 2008 where, in addition to the two of them, there was also a project manager. That year was not ideal for business, but they have persevered until today. Jenny notes that the market of construction companies and remodeling companies has changed compared to when they started. "The new construction side, in particular, is slowing down a bit, but like any market that has those big influxes and ups and downs, it's due to correct itself at some point. So, my thinking is we'll get back to more of a stabilized, much more predictable market. That said, we're still busy on the new construction side; it has slowed down. The remodeling side — still very busy, and I think we'll continue to be busy because it's a very different business model than new construction."
⚡ Interior remodeling expansion during COVID. COVID-19 has also changed our habits. It has influenced many industries and markets, including the remodeling industry. As Jenny explains, because of COVID-19 and the consequent online schooling and working from home, formal dining rooms and living rooms have become useless, and the most important thing is to make your home suitable for the new lifestyle. "It was an effort for all remodelers to try and keep up with this incredible influx of business that happened so quickly. The other thing that happened to remodeling during COVID was that people stayed home for two years and didn't really spend any money. So, suddenly, they had money. Not only did they have houses that needed stuff to do, but also they had some cash to do it."
⚡Trust is very important to the relationship between the realtor and the remodeler. Partnering with new construction or remodeling businesses can greatly assist real estate professionals in selling a home. Remodelers can help buyers visualize what a house could potentially be, and according to Jenny, they can also be helpful to real estate sellers who request remodeling to "hide" some flaws and attract a buyer. "[Realtors] need to have somebody whom they can call, whom they can trust, and who will handle this process for either their customer that's listed the house or their new buyer."