For a company that specializes in “metropolitan luxury homes,” Denny + Gardner comes from humble roots. Those go back to Norm Gardner’s dad, who started the company as a handyman service. The transformation to high-end design/build firm happened when Norm took over his dad’s book of business and brought in first Jason Denny and then Mark Miller.
“From modest beginnings, we’ve grown quite a bit,” says Miller, co-owner of the firm. “Being conversant in the upper-end details that go with fine design is a starting point. Not every contractor understands that conversation or design intent.”
But most important to the partners is that the customer understands Denny + Gardner is on their side. To that end, work starts with a checklist to let homeowners know what to expect and prepare for as crews arrive. Then the team helps homeowners through the selection process as needed. “We’re there to help them and be their advocate so they don’t get sold something they weren’t intending,” says Miller. Adds co-owner Gardner: “We are able to communicate the jargon of construction so that the homeowner is part of the team.”
Behind the scenes, cloud-based technology keeps the team itself in constant communication with synchronized lists that update in real time and contain all pertinent project details. “We’re joined at the hip in terms of what the project entails,” Gardner says.
With about a 50% mix of larger architect referrals and smaller kitchen and bath remodels, the company is constantly innovating its lead generation, too. The latest find is a program called Spark that texts prospects a link to a mini slideshow. “It’s a good follow up for when a business card won’t do,” Gardner says.
Overall, though, the company finds that the best lead generation is providing their high-end customers with top-notch service. That includes putting one person in charge of punch lists to ensure nothing gets missed or forgotten. “We believe in communication,” Miller says. “Our plan is to get people to refer us. And we’re becoming less shy about asking for that.”