At a Glance
Los Angeles, CA
So, what makes Custom Design & Construction different from its competitors?
Bill Simone: We’re a little bit unique—not only in the design-build methodology, but we also have a very strong financial backbone. My belief, since I started the business, was to invest all our profits back into the business. As such, we’re able to arrange and carry the financing in-house for most of our projects so our clients don’t have to go anywhere else for their remodeling needs. In today’s business environment, you need to be different from everyone else. I think we’re the only remodeling company throughout the entire country that [offers in-house financing]. Our ability to offer financing for home-improvement projects really helped us through the economic downturn.
What marketing tools do you use?
BS: The vast majority of our work is referral, but we do have a website and blog. We also offer a guide on remodeling mistakes that clients can order from our website. We put job signs in front of every project that we do along with a Take-One box that explains what we’re doing along with graphics of before and after.
Does the work ever disturb the surrounding neighborhood?
BS: We’re very cognizant of the neighbors. We try to hand deliver contact information [because] if they experience any inconvenience, we’d like them to call us so we can rectify it as quickly as possible. That often turns into a little marketing piece. We also do what we call Dumpster Day for the neighborhood. We typically do it towards the end of a project. We’ll bring a dumpster onto the street, usually on a Saturday morning, and send a notice to the neighbors that if they want to get rid of any old junk in their garage or basements, they can throw it in our dumpster, and we’ll get cart it away for them. Everyone’s got something they want to get rid of.
Talk briefly about your company’s new design center.
BS: We’re building our new design center in El Segundo from the conversion of a former manufacturing warehouse. We’re really pushing all American-made products. We’ll have five separate kitchen vignettes—from sleek and modern to traditional. One is completely green and sustainable, made all out of bamboo, which is really quite beautiful. One kitchen will be fully operational. Chefs from the local area are slated to do cooking demonstrations, and part of their presentation will be, “If you want to cook like this, then you’ll need a kitchen like this.”
What prompted your interest in this field?
BS: This industry has been very good to me and my family, and anything I can give back to it, I’m happy to. When I first started, I used to have the feeling that I had all these trade secrets, and I had to keep them close to my chest and not share them. [But] I learned early on that the more you give, the more you get. It took me awhile to figure it out, but once I did, that’s when our business really started to grow, and I started to get involved with industry events and organizations. I quickly learned that there are a lot of smart remodelers in the country, and they were willing to share ideas as well.
What’s the best part of your work in remodeling?
BS: We really like the impact the change has on our clients. Nothing is more satisfying then the big smile on our clients’ faces when we’re done. ABQ