You'd have to have your head under a rock for the past six months not to know that the housing industry in North America is in a terrible state. The ripple effect touches those that build houses, renovate houses and supply products such as windows, carpets, siding, cabinets, counter tops, etc..., all of whom are struggling with the one thing that will help differentiate them and upsell their existing clients: marketing.
Enter Calgary based RenoWorks.com. I had lunch today at the fabulously new Flatiron restaurant on Barlow Trail, with CEO, Doug Vickerson, who shares many passions of mine, not the least of which seems to be a voracious appetite for coffee.
RenoWorks has been around for some time, but it's story for the last couple of years has been centered around selling a way-cool desktop application that shows the user what the aforementioned window, carpet, siding cabinet, counter top, etc... would look like in a "2.5 dimensional" model, helping the home owner make much more informed decisions.
The net effect is that RenoWorks can increase sales of said products substantially; I read one case study that showed closing rates increasing from 8% to 36%. A 2.5D picture is worth a thousand words, apparently.
For those in the housing industry, the recession hits hards; especially to those who were used to sitting back and simply answering the phone to take orders. Now they have to work harder, or in the case of Renoworks, work smarter, on their marketing. The latest version of RenoWorks Pro is available on their website, www.renoworks.com.
Renoworks has a major customer, Home Hardware, and in total they've shipped over 100,000 software packages. Doug says the company has been re-tooling their software architecture to release an browser-based Saas version in the coming year, at which point, scaling operations will become much easier across North America.