Ed Gribben was building custom homes when the housing market crashed in 2007. So he quickly found the DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchise and pivoted to kitchen and bath remodeling. “You’ve got to evolve with the times,” says Sarah Parmental, the company’s office manager.

Going with a franchise gave Gribben and company an immediate head start. Along with providing a proven method, the franchise offered cloud-based technology that tracks everything from incoming calls to retainers to contracts. “It’s pretty cool because it ties everything together,” Parmental says.

Another set of software allows designers to create 3D renderings of kitchens and baths that show actual product choices. Parmental credits the renderings with helping DreamMaker be more profitable. And last year, the franchise extended its tech offering to include virtual-reality headsets that take 3D renderings to the next level. Parmental says clients are “blown away by how real it seems.”

Given the company’s location in retiree-rich Southeast Florida, most of its clients are more comfortable with newspapers than VR. So DreamMaker has focused on personal contact with customers where they live. The company is now on the preferred-vendor list with a number of country club communities, which encourage residents to update their homes to today’s standards.

“I know everyone is going toward digital marketing, but I just feel like our clients appreciate face-to-face contact,” says Parmental. “They still pick up the newspaper.”

They also appreciate DreamMaker’s customer service, evidenced by its three-years-running GuildQuality Guildmaster awards. “If there’s a situation even a year and a half later and they call us and want us to address it, we’re like Johnny on the spot and we’ll take care of it usually with no charge,” Parmental says.