We recently connected with Robin Burrill and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Robin thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Let’s start with education – we’d love to hear your thoughts about how we can better prepare students for a more fulfilling life and career
Starting at the high school level, students need to be given the full gambit of professional opportunities they have.
For generations, even more since the 1980s, secondary education has focused more around the college-driven route.
“The grades you get have to be good enough to get you into college.”
“College grads earn more than their peers,” they say.
Nevermind the 40% dropout rate from colleges and universities!
Students learn the hard (and expensive) way—on average before their sophomore year—that college is not the end-all for everyone.
The common perception now is that “not the end-all for everyone” is somehow a diminishment of standards. It’s thought that “not for everyone” is a nice way to say “some kids aren’t smart enough.”
This could not be further from the truth, and the dialog in schools must shift to include other professions accurately.
Specifically, students who go into trades programs and graduate into apprenticeships, like in carpentry or HVAC, have a very different world presented to them in their early 20s. They start making money immediately. They also acquire a skill that, come what may, will always bring them demand.
Most of the tradespeople who work in home services fields end up being their own bosses, too. They learn how to field their own leads, market themselves, make sales, invoice clients and more. This business experience is more valuable than what most of their college-graduate cubicle peers will get in a decade.
People build great businesses and become great entrepreneurs in the trades.
For those who would rather work for a business with built-in benefits and instant, consistent work, trade skills are also in enormous demand in the market. There’s a skilled labor shortage for remodelers and builders around the country—I can speak from experience, we’re feeling it.
If we treated the trades with more respect and painted an accurate picture of what the professional opportunities are in these fields, we wouldn’t be in this position.
That, I believe, is what needs to change about education. Secondary education in particular needs to present students with a more flattering and accurate picture of what it means to be a skilled trades professional.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m formally educated in interior design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas and provides hands-on guidance to clients. From flooring, furniture, accessories and color to selecting appliances or plumbing fixtures, I offer elegant, customer-focused design skills to every design project.
I joined my husband’s remodeling business as an interior designer over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve designed and remodeled countless residential spaces. So many projects have been focused around exceptional kitchens and bathrooms, which I paritcularly love. We believe the home is more than an investment, and we educate clients about the “return on enjoyment” of selections and designs.
I am a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), am a Registered Interior Designer with the State of Texas, have my Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) designation and am a member of the Interior Design Society (IDS) and am NCIDQ Certified.
How do you keep in touch with clients and foster brand loyalty?
We have multiple touch points throughout the Signature Client Experience, but those that set us the most apart from other design/build contractors is the follow-up we do after a project.
At set intervals, we contact clients after remodels to see that everything is standing up to their expectations. We do an annual walkthrough, too. Anything that needs to be fixed is included in our workman warranty, and it’s always our Production Manager or President who personally does the walkthrough with the client.
This kind of attention is representative of our overall client experience, because people hire us when they want to be led by the hand through their remodels. They don’t want to do bits and pieces themselves to stick to a tighter budget. They prefer to hand off the work, the project management, and the handling of the “surprise” issues that innevitably come up to a company who’s proven itself for almost 27 years.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
We have many marketing initiatives, though most of our business comes from repeat clients (yes, multiple remodels!) and referrals. Of our outbound marketing, we’ve had remarkable success with our mailing campaigns. We have a system where we print “in your area” letters that we send to the ten houses on either side of a home we’re starting a project in. Those letters are sent in a different color envelope every month, and are hand-addressed and signed. They feel more personal, and have gotten a tremendous response!
- Website: https://www.signaturehomeservices.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/signaturehmservices/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SignatureHmServices
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/curb-appeal-renovations-inc/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SigSvcs
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9Rb3djN1poxaWbNGvQPTw
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/signaturehomeservices/pins/ https://www.houzz.com/professionals/kitchen-and-bath-remodelers/signature-home-services-pfvwus-pf~1384215266?