Maida Korte comes from a long line of contractors, so it was only natural for her to end up in the remodeling field. She started Designs by Maida as a part time job, building her business into one that today deals with high-end clients with high-end expectations. “They want an excellent product in an excellent time for an excellent price,” she says. “Because there’s so many people, they can ask, why should they choose us?”
Korte answers that question by having a tight relationship with her subcontractors, ensuring that items like stone countertops arrive within seven to 10 days instead of four to six weeks. In order to keep that tight schedule, she looked at her operations at the end of 2014 and decided to modernize as much as possible. Utilizing cloud based commuting and programs that are easily understandable by clients, such as Microsoft’s Outlook 365, has helped her stay up to date with clients, but the biggest boon came when she redesigned her website.
“I cannot begin to tell you how worthwhile it was to invest in that. Instantly there were thousands saying they love the website. It’s all about the pictures,” Korte says. She also makes sure to personally post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. According to Korte, that personal touch—knowing that the owner is saying something—attracts more attention.
- While the period during the downturn was challenging, one unanticipated benefit is that more high-end jobs are available now since clients are tired of not changing anything for so long. “It’s not that they didn’t have the money, they were just holding on to it,” Korte says.
- Korte utilizes a system of seven steps, analyzing each project as if it’s a problem and she’s executing the solution. All seven steps—design, presentation, construction prep, construction, post-construction, punch, stage—are on display in her office.
- Working alongside her husband, Korte has noticed tangible benefits from having both a man and a woman as contact points. “There are times where a client loves being able to talk to me and understand there’s an issue with how the kids get the milk from the fridge. They also love that the general contractor is my husband and that we’re a team. They’re not worried anything will be lost in translation.”