When Bryan Slowick graduated with his architecture degree and found himself spending more time in the field than the office, he knew something was wrong. “I always liked being outside, and I was always trying to figure out how they put the finished product together,” he says.

So he traded in his office work for a lead position with a semi-custom home builder, where he cut his carpenter teeth. At the same time, he started moonlighting on other projects that kept getting bigger, until what started as side jobs became BDS.

But even as his Chicago-area company continues to grow, Slowick says those early years in the field are what helps him better communicate with clients. Of course, he also has a suite of technology to help manage that. From BuilderTrend to HubSpot to Chief Architect, BDS has embraced digital business. All those systems allow the company to do monthly e-newsletters as well as regular check-ins with current and past clients.

Slowick is also embracing search engine optimization to generate even more leads. Website visitors get offered a free ebook if they’re on the site long enough. He’s also using a new YouTube channel and demographic trends to identify his “sweet spot” customers and target offers to them. So far it seems to be working: Leads have been up 10% to 15%.

“We’re consistently surprised,” he says. “We know some months are typically slower, but they haven’t been as slow as we thought they were going to be.”