First-of-its-kind initiative, called Renovantage™, seeing steady growth since 2011 launch
Toronto, Ontario – April 29, 2013 – As a business coach, Greg Peterson has seen his share of business trends and patterns over the years. That’s why he knew he had a high-value fixer-upper when he identified a market gap in the home renovation business.
Understanding the difficulty Toronto’s more than 12,000 registered contractors have in marketing their services, closing deals and managing their business, and recognizing the growing trend of unsatisfied homeowners due to runaway contractors and unfinished jobs, Peterson joined with business partner Mike Draper to launch a first-of-its-kind home renovation service called Renovantage™ Inc. It is the first program that benefits both contractors and homeowners.
“I had been coaching a wide range of contracting companies for nearly a decade and the common thread with all of them was that they didn’t have the resources and know-how to get to the next level of growth,” said Peterson, Renovantage President and CEO, noting that only a handful were achieving more than $1 million in revenue. “Yet, analysis shows that a minimum of $2 million is required for a business to achieve a sustainable level, with a management infrastructure in place, so that it can function without the owner having to oversee every aspect of the day-to-day operations.”
“At the same time, there was no trusted brand in the home renovation industry and the biggest complaint among consumers was that they wanted projects done on time, with no surprises,” he said.
After brainstorming, Peterson and Draper came up with a new business model for home renovations and presented the concept to their contractor clients. With the clients’ endorsement, Renovantage was launched in January 2011 as a collaborative service that relies on a very systematic approach, similar to what is routinely used in commercial construction. Under the company’s unique proposition, contractors gain access to pooled resources like marketing, project management and a group purchasing program, and homeowners receive the benefit of a No Risk Renos™ Performance Guarantee. Two years later, the company has more than tripled in size, opened its own home design centre in the Greater Toronto Area and received nationwide industry recognition.
“The overall vision we had has proven to be bang on,” said Peterson. “We are actually more enthusiastic about the Renovantage concept today than we were two years ago because our original concept has been validated.”
Starting out with 10 certified contractors, Renovantage currently has 25, representing all areas of the GTA, including Hamilton to the west,Oshawa to the east and Keswick to the north, and now receives requests to join on a regular basis from contractors. With one part-time and five full-time employees, the company is running at slightly more than $1.5 million in annual revenue, earning the respect of Canada’s contractor trade through educational material and expertise it shares regularly through print and online channels. In October 2012, it opened the Renovantage Design Centre in Vaughan, Ontario, a unique offering to homeowners run by Renovantage interior designers and staff.
“The design centre is a major competitive advantage for our contractors and a significant convenience for homeowners, since all home renovation materials are available under one roof, with experienced designers on-site to guide homeowners in their selection process,” said Peterson, adding that the location is within blocks of many Renovantage suppliers involved in the company’s group purchasing program.
Contractors pay a small fee to join Renovantage and must pass a rigorous background check to become certified. By joining, they alleviate many of the frustrations of smaller-sized home renovation companies – such as fluctuating revenue streams, lack of resources to hire middle management like sales, bookkeeping, project management and office management staff, inconsistent or low lead flow, and little or no marketing ability.
Certified Renovantage Contractor Alan Godel, owner of Godel Construction, a Toronto-based home renovation company, has seen his business double in size since joining Renovantage. Brian Fletcher, also a Certified Renovantage Contractor and owner of Fletcher Construction, says the concept helped transform his operation from an unstructured business to a turnkey operation.
“Renovantage has given us a clearer vision of our goals as a company and our values of what we offer clients,” Fletcher said. “Greg’s coaching has been very beneficial and with his help, we have developed a job tracking system that gives us feedback as to where all of our time is spent on a project, and guidance on how to fine-tune our pricing to offer the best possible price to our clients while maintaining a high level of product.”
For consumers, the unique Renovantage concept takes the worry out of home improvement projects. When they hire a Certified Renovantage Contractor, homeowners get a fully-certified, highly-qualified contractor with the added advantages of a Performance Guarantee, competitive pricing, and convenient one-stop access to affordable architectural and design services.
Homeowners Bob and Shirley Andrechek of Georgetown, Ontario, said the Renovantage Design Centre was a tremendous benefit in their kitchen renovation. “We really appreciated the professional ideas provided by the Renovantage design consultant,” said Shirley Andrechek. “There was a wide variety of high quality materials to choose from and the process saved us a significant amount of time. We highly recommend Renovantage to anyone considering a renovation project.”
Looking ahead, Peterson expects to continue to secure a wide range of contractors to the Renovantage program in the coming year. This spring, the company is participating in 11 home shows, and continues to do extensive online marketing.
“We’ve proven our value to both homeowners and contractors by delivering excellent service for homeowners and consistently and reliably generating leads for our members,” he said. “The next stage in our evolution is to grow our contractor base and develop a scalable operating environment as we prepare to take this concept beyond the GTA.”
The ideal candidate to become a Certified Renovantage Contractor is a company currently doing between $300,000 and $5 million in annual sales. In order to be considered for the program, contractors must have a valid business licence, carry a $2 million liability insurance policy and WSIB insurance coverage, pass a comprehensive background check, and agree to abide by the Renovantage Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.
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Gail Bergman or Ashley Pergolas
Gail Bergman PR