Dealer Spotlight – Luxury Bath & Kitchens of Raleigh- Combining a Hometown Experience, Innovative Products & Comprehensive Service to Succeed
The bathroom remodeling business
Running a bathroom remodeling business IS NOT getting easier. National ‘bath in a day’ competitors (with big pocket investors funding them) are popping up faster than you can say ‘one Scaramucci (for you politics buffs out there)!’
And, as you know, these big national companies are selling the ‘same old-same old’ plastic products and focusing on ‘wet area’ projects. Their goal is getting in and out QUICK and maximizing profits.
These big companies do have fancy sales presentations designed to close bathroom jobs on the first call. However, this doesn’t mean their N Sync (no, not the group) with what today’s consumers want.
What homeowners want
On the other hand, time-pressured homeowners want fewer contractors involved in remodeling their bathrooms. They want a simpler process. Many want their flooring, vanity, and lighting to be installed with a new tub to shower conversion or tub surround. They want a contractor whose been around and stands by their work. They DO NOT want to be treated like a ‘number’ (or feel like they’re just another job added to a big corporation’s sales and bottom line).
And finally, homeowners want CHOICES. They not only want safe showers. They not only want surrounds which are easy to clean. They also want style. After all, if they’re going to labor through a remodel (and hopefully this labor doesn’t take as long as delivering a child!), they want an upgrade from their moldy tile (or stained fiberglass unit slapped in by the builder years ago).
And given what a homeowner wants, it’s wonderful to see how companies like Luxury Bath & Kitchens of Raleigh has created a winning formula to not only address the desires of their hometown customers, but also to grow a bath remodeling business in a more competitive market.
In this Innovate Building Solutions dealer spotlight, I’ll explore the formula that has made Luxury Bath & Kitchens a force in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill markets. First, I’ll share why homeowners (who want better, more unique, projects which are built to last) should look for companies like Luxury Bath of Raleigh. Then I’ll provide pointers from Luxury’s leadership team to explain to contractors (who want ideas to improve their business) how to create a winning formula for bathroom remodeling success.
Let’s first learn a little about Luxury Bath and it’s leadership team.
Who is Luxury Bath & Kitchens of Raleigh?
If you’re looking for a bathroom or kitchen remodeler (who also does window and door installations) and has ‘been there and done that,’ in the triangle area around Raleigh, look no further than Luxury Bath and Kitchen.
This business was started in 2001 by Michael Schweitzer (on the right in the image below) who still leads the business to this today. Michael is joined by David Simpson (his V.P. of Sales, on the left) and Michele Oppenheimer (his Marketing Manager, in the middle).
The biggest segment of Luxury’s business are bathroom remodels (about 70%) in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas. Exterior home improvements (windows and doors) and kitchen remodeling are the balance. Luxury covers a 75 mile radius around Raleigh.
And while Luxury started out as a ‘bathroom refacing’ business – it’s talented team of installation technicians delivers complete finished bathrooms today.
Why should a homeowner in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill work with Luxury Bath on a bathroom remodeling project?
There’s a lot of options in bathroom remodelers. So, why should a homeowner in the triangle area choose Luxury Bath & Kitchens? I’ll nail it down (no framing pun intended) to 3 factors:
- Factor #1 – It’s the ‘first door on the left’ – Hometown leadership and experience – There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out (after the fact) when you have a service issue, the small (yet cheap) bath remodeler you chose doesn’t return your calls, or the big company you purchased from tells you to read the fine-print in their contract, because it’s not their responsibility to fix your problem. At Luxury Bath & Kitchen, you’ll know you won’t be abandoned after the sale because as David Simpson said to me,
“Michael, our owner, is available, and committed to our family-owned business. As a matter of fact, his office is the first door on the left when you visit our showroom and offices. And our team of installation technicians ARE NOT just some dudes we picked up at a temporary agency a couple of weeks ago. They’ve been around. They’re battle-tested. They do quality work!”
- Factor #2 – A comprehensive bathroom service – Here’s one thing I know ALL HOMEOWNERS want in a bathroom remodel. They want the project to go smoothly and involve the least coordination and disruption. In short, they want a ‘comprehensive bathroom remodeler.’ They want a contractor who will take care of it all. And this is where Luxury Bath excels. And here’s what Michael told me about the scope of his company’s work,
“Mike – we don’t only install ‘wet areas’ (and for those of you not familiar with this ‘industry-speak’, that means the tub/shower alcove) like some big franchises whose main objective is getting in and getting out quickly. No, we know homeowners want a complete job. If they want a tub to shower conversion only, that’s fine. However, if they need a vanity, we’ll help with that. If they need new flooring, that’s not a problem. If they want a wet room, or a low profile shower pan for aging in place, we’ll explain how to do it safely and with style!”
- Factor #3 – Innovative products – Are you frustrated with high-pressure salespeople pushing the same old, same old plastic bath and shower wall panels, and wafer-thin plastic shower pans which squeak? And then these companies have the nerve tell you it’s THE ONLY option which makes sense for you (as if they know what’s best for you!). If you had this experience then you need to talk to Luxury Bath & Kitchen. They lead their market with a variety of product options (including laminate wall panels and modern looking low profile shower pans). They’ll help you find the right product for your needs. And here’s what David told me about Luxury’s philosophy behind product innovation and their product offerings.
“Mike – when a shark stops moving, he dies. And when a company stops innovating, they die. We’re always open to new things. We offer a variety of choices. Bath remodeling IS NOT a one size fits all.”
Why should a bathroom remodeling contractor add laminate wall panels to their business? Why is this line growing fast for Luxury Bath of Raleigh?
Many homeowners (and contractors) are looking for products which are time-effective and cost-effective to install, simpler to clean, yet look like a high-end bathroom (at a more affordable price). And as owners and contractors alike know, there’s A LOT of wall panel options which quite frankly, ‘ain’t the greatest.’
So, I asked Michael and David, why did you add laminate wall panels? Why are they growing so fast for you? Here’s the main reasons they’re fan’s of these Euro-inspired (Norwegian-made) wall panels:
- The product looks nicer than acrylic or cultured stone – Most wall panels are ‘molded.’ They look fake. Laminate panels with their ‘click-lock’ design and realistic surfaces look like real materials (tile, stone, and even cracked cement) at better installed prices. In addition, there’s 29 patterns in stock available if you need to get a job done quickly.
- You don’t have to ‘fight’ hauling 60” wall panels up the stairs and into tight 5’ x 8’ bathrooms – 60” wall panels ARE NOT easy to work with. And in narrow bathrooms, they’re even more challenging. As Michael mentioned, it’s simpler bringing the rigid 23.6” wide laminate panels which weigh 26 lbs. into a bathroom than a stone wall panel which is 60” wide, weighs 120 lbs., and prone to cracking!
- It’s simpler to use these panels with custom showers wider than 60”- Let’s face it, no owner wants a seam strip in the middle of their shower wall. And since acrylic and (most) stone panels max out at 60” wide, you end up with the ugly seams if you use these products. With laminate panels you can build walls of limitless lengths and the seams are nearly impossible to see.
What lessons have you learned offering laminate wall panels which will help bath remodeling contractors considering this line?
As Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” And whenever you start selling and installing a new product – there will be lessons because you’re marketing, selling, and installing in ‘unchartered waters.’ So, I asked David, what lessons they learned working with the laminate wall panels to share with a bath remodeler considering adding this line. David said:
“Mike, I’d suggest role playing with your sales team – and sell each other on the product. When we started offering the laminate wall panels, we only focused on the beauty (or the ‘skin’) of the finished product. We didn’t properly tell the story behind the quality (a proven, European-made 41 year-old product made of high pressure laminate over marine grade plywood which are 3x thicker than plastic systems), and durability of the line.
In addition, have your sales team see a finished job. For a salesperson (or company owner) to sell a product you need to believe in the product. And as they say, seeing is believing.”
When I asked David about a finished project that caused his sales team to get excited about these panels, he mentioned a job for John and Diane Moran. So, I called John and Diane and asked why they chose Fibo panels from Luxury.
Here’s why John and Diane Moran chose Fibo laminate panels from Luxury Bath.
As Diane said to me said to me – in no uncertain terms,
“Mike, I hate, hate, hate tile. I was determined to eliminate grout joints in our bathroom remodel!”
The couple went on to explain they loved the look of the laminate wall panels – but what really cemented this choice was a hotel bathroom they stayed in while vacationing in Norway.
“The bathroom, with its laminate panels, was so clean and stylish. When we saw it in the hotel – which likely isn’t shown a lot of TLC by guests, we knew we made the right choice.”
And you may be wondering what comments John and Diane have had about their shower since it’s been installed. Well – here’s a funny interaction Diane shared with me. When the shower glass installer came to put in their custom glass enclosure he said….
“Hey, I’m curious, Diane. This is tile, isn’t it?”
It’s wild how even the tradesperson was ‘fooled’ and thought these wall panels were real. However, John and Diane know their little secret AND the fact they WILL NOT be cleaning nasty grout joints ever again. Thank God! And if you want to be inspired check out a finished picture of their project below.
So, if you’re a Raleigh homeowner looking for a new bathroom, how can you contact Luxury?
And if you’re a bath remodeling contractor looking to grow your business with unique bath panels, how can you contact us?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Innovate Dealer Spotlight with Michael and David at Luxury Bath and Kitchens. They’re a family owned business committed to completely solve bathroom remodeling problems and provide innovative products you’ll love for years to come.
And if you’re a Raleigh homeowner looking for a bathroom remodel call Michael, David, or any of their team at 919-241-8848.
Thanks – Mike
In addition, if you’d like to connect on LinkedIn, you’ll find me https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikefoti/
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