By the time the world was about six months into the pandemic, we were already trending upward with inquiries for home improvement projects. Demand for home remodeling and construction was about to take off. Families with disposable incomes felt increasingly confident about their financial health, and employers proclaimed that work-from-home was here to stay. As people spent more time in their homes, their need for space and other upgrades became crucial to their everyday lives.
The summer of 2021 is experiencing a significant increase in business and is easily our busiest construction season since 1978 when I founded Cipriani Remodeling Solutions 43 years ago. The high demand for remodeling and construction is not localized or regional; it is trending nationwide.
There has never been a market like this one in recent history for the construction and remodeling industry. The nation is grappling with labor shortages, supply chain deficiencies, fluctuating lumber prices, and delays. The builders and home remodelers that are meeting consumer demand, hitting deadlines, and overcoming unprecedented hurdles are the ones that had healthy infrastructure strategies and processes in place before the pandemic hit.
Having a skilled team is always essential. But in an era where there is a labor shortage across the skilled trades, and that problem accelerates when a global pandemic hits, your in-house carpentry team is paramount. Cipriani Remodeling Solutions only focuses on building in the South Jersey region, but we employ 31 full-time employees, including nine project managers who help us meet the demand of our ever-expanding client base.
Our designers and project managers implemented a communications process to get ahead of ordering vital materials to keep our projects on schedule. This type of communication system coupled with a talented workforce already existed before the pandemic. We only needed to make minor adjustments to overcome the unforeseen obstacles presented by the pandemic and subsequent hurdles beyond our control.
We listen to our customers and understand that peace of mind is a top priority when embarking on any remodeling project. Long before the pandemic, we started offering customers a unique payment structure for our homeowners. Cipriani Remodeling Solutions only requires a 2% down payment from homeowners and then we facilitate a pay-as-you-go structure throughout a remodeling project. We made no changes to this policy while other builders and contractors still ask for large upfront deposits. As we come out of the pandemic, there is so much uncertainty. We want our customers to feel at ease with the payment structure. I always say, “Whoever has control of the money also has the power”.
We’ve invested heavily into providing our customers with technology they will not find at our competitors. For clients who prefer a more interactive visual format, we offer access to this sophisticated technology that allows homeowners to choose and swap the finishes in a 3D rendering of their kitchen or bathroom. This allows them to visualize an accurate representation of their color and material choices.
We can even use technology to customize our initial discussions remotely with homeowners through an app that allows them to scan rooms in their homes using their cell phone cameras. The app then shares the scans with our design team, who can start the initial design process immediately.
These tools assist us with clear and faster communication with our clients from the beginning of the home renovation process. This level of collaboration considerably improves the service we can deliver to the homeowner and exceed their expectations.
Life is too short to learn from your mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes of others. I acquire a lot of knowledge from my participation in national remodeling network groups. We love to share ideas amongst ourselves. I also allow local smaller contractors to come and learn from us. I have a strong sense of community and believe that we are all better when we help each other. Education should come from more than just schools and workplace training. We should also learn from our peers in our community and within our industry. When the unexpected happens, you can lean on each other and share ways to navigate these unusual times. These collaborations and relationships will ultimately benefit the consumer in the long run.
About the Author: Jay Cipriani is Founder and President of Cipriani Remodeling Solutions. Since 1978, the NJ-based home remodeler has completed over 3,500 renovation projects throughout South Jersey. Learn more at CiprianiRemodelingSolutions.com.