If the Owings name looks familiar, it’s because sister company Owings Brothers Contracting was named Big50 in 2001. But Owings Home Services is a separate beast that specializes in kitchen and baths. “Our niche is bathrooms and kitchens,” says managing partner Joseph Smith. “I think the reason people call us is we can do more than the kitchens. Our niche is as a service provider.”

To earn that reputation as a service provider, Smith likes to promote design. He currently employs two interior designers and is incredibly happy with their work, but understands that design doesn’t always encourage customers, at least initially. “The average customer, in a bid contest, they’re not going to pay for design. I’ll give them 50% of the design fee back if they sign up for design. We find that once design is involved, the homeowner gets involved.”

Owings is also fully dedicated to online marketing and showcasing its work through photos and videos. The company has been working with Houzz for some time and has seen dividends by tracking leads and seeing how many actually produce jobs. “We’re all in for digital,” he says. “We track everything: where leads come from, how many jobs sold. We think videos will be better. We try something new every year.”


- Owings utilizes Co-construct to track leads and integrate with Dropbox and phones and tables. “We started out with doing daily logs and photos. It’s 24/7 access for clients. It’s accessible as long as you’ve got internet,” Smith says.

- Smith utilizes several different methods to find quality employees. He estimates Cragslist is his number one source for finding people, but vendors and suppliers are a close second. “Our kitchen designer was actually from our cabinet rep—originally hired as needed, but now full time. I lean on those people because they know our culture.”