Greymark Construction mails its “happy every day” card to 100 homes near a current jobsite whose address is listed. The “bang for bucks” card mails a few months later.
Greymark Construction mails its “happy every day” card to 100 homes near a current jobsite whose address is listed. The “bang for bucks” card mails a few months later.

Glossy marketing and scripted testimonials can only go so far. To show remodeling in action — and to provide proof of clean jobsites and professional crews — Greymark Construction adopted a novel strategy of extending an open invitation to homeowners to drop by a few of the company’s current jobsites.

Addresses are listed under “current jobs” at GreymarkConstruction.com in targeted mailings to 100 neighboring homes. No notice is required.

“Transparency is so important,” says Leslie King, owner of the Houston firm. The jobsite drop-in concept is an extension of her company’s “nothing-to-hide” philosophy, she says. “We thought that if we’re willing to put everything out there for clients, then why wouldn’t we do it for prospective clients, too?”

It’s also a risky strategy, some remodelers say. Vandalism, theft, and injury are just three possibilities that make drop-ins inconceivable to many remodelers. For security, King publishes addresses only with clients’ permission and through highly targeted mailings that reach a limited audience.

She notes, also, that Greymark Construction doesn’t seek high search engine ratings for its website; the site is an affirmation tool rather than a prospecting tool. “We’re so geographically specific,” she says, working within a three-mile radius. Plus, she adds, “I always gave my prospective clients a list of projects I was working on anyway.” The website and mailings now do that for her.

Team Buy-In

King also requires complete buy-in from her team. Besides the usual jobsite rules such as no smoking, no radio, and dressing neatly in Greymark gear, they are trained to greet and get the names of all visitors, to distribute business cards, and to keep sites clean at all times. All Greymark jobsites also have company flyers for passers-by to take.

As for clients needing to be prepared, most of the homes are vacant, King says. These are “big jobs,” which are mostly well above six figures.

King also adds that inviting prospects to jobsites strengthens the validity of her company’s proposition and new marketing theme: “Greymark Works to Keep You Happy Every Day.” She wants to open the curtain on all the days between most remodeling jobs’ two best days — the first and final — to demonstrate the trust and consistency that have long been hallmarks of her company’s success. About 90% of Greymark Construction’s business comes from referrals and repeat clients, King says. “They’re my friends. I have lunch with a client at least once a week. I run into them at stores and restaurants.”

Being such a known local entity pays off with loyalty, she adds. Recently, in fact, a past client called King just to ask why he hasn’t seen her signs in his neighborhood lately.

—Leah Thayer, senior editor, REMODELING.