Handholding as an art form: That’s what this remodeling company specializes in. Abbie Sladick’s one-room studio holds cabinet displays, an ample storage closet for product samples, and a long white conference table. Most clients are renovating a second or even a third home—about 90% don’t live in Naples year round—so they need to rely on someone who will take firm charge of what they need. Sladdick designs the project; husband Paul manages the company’s field operation.
Every year, Abbie Joan Fine Living throws a party for about 100 clients. It’s a theme party that includes valet parking. The invitation goes out in a box. And last year, the company introduced a concierge service for tasks like opening or closing the house for the season, and cleaning windows or drapes. It’s all subcontracted, with billing at a cost-plus management time fee.
- Every year, Abbie Joan Fine Living throws a party for its clients. The first one was a brunch at the The Ritz Carlton but “eight years ago I started doing it in my home,” Sladick says. A hundred or more people may be there. It’s a theme party, includes valet parking and the invitation goes out in a box.
- Last year the company introduced a concierge service. “They can call and ask for anything,” Sladick says, “and we will get it done.” That might be opening or closing the house for the season, cleaning windows or drapes. All subcontracted, with billing at a cost-plus management time fee. “They’re so happy when someone takes care of it for them when they’re not here,” Sladick says.
- Maintains excellent relations with subcontractors via a subcontractor board of advisors. That board was created when the company drafted a strict subcontractor agreement (example: no facial piercings or head tattoos) in return for the promise of prompt payment. The concept has evolved to a monthly meeting in which Sladick presents sales projections and scheduled jobs, “so they can plan the coming 12 months.” The meeting also provides a networking opportunity for subcontractors. “They often have great resources, and there are people they’d like to work with,” Sladick says. “Let’s say my pool person has a need for landscaping? I can bring them together to help them build their businesses.”
Listen: Abbie Sladick discusses her business on Big50 Bites, our podcast on remodeling leadership and best practices.