Larry Chavez didn’t really set out in life to develop a remodeling empire. But after taking a chance on doing sunrooms – a business that did not exactly take off, but rather was seized by his investors – Chavez quickly forgot about his accounting career and forged ahead. Jump ahead 26 years and DreamStyle Remodeling is now operating in five states, all run from its gleaming, $4.5 million showroom and offices that the company opened in 2014.
“The big thing was 10 years ago when we became the Renewal by Andersen affiliate here in New Mexico,” Chavez said from his window-lined corner office that frames the Sandias. “That has become our core business.” Now DreamStyle Remodeling owes some 80 percent of its business – which is expected to gross between $80 and $100 million this year – to Andersen, he said.
A homeowner’s dream
Walking into the 20,000-square-foot showroom and office complex in the Renaissance Center is a dream for homeowners wanting to do anything their house, large or small. Everything from cabinet knobs to complete kitchen makeovers are tastefully displayed. Of course, there’s generous space for Renewal by Andersen Windows & Patio Doors. Several different Four Seasons Sunrooms offer interesting inside-outside living options, and can be accompanied by one of the large selection of Cal Spas Hot Tubs & Swim Spas.
If the bathroom is looking a little dowdy, there are plenty of ideas on hand for a fix it up through Luxury Bath Walk-in Tubs & Shower Conversions. Blaze King Wood, Pellet, or Gas Stoves & Fireplace Inserts provide the latest in complementary heating choices and even the street view can get an upgrade through ProVia Entry Doors.
“I had to fill out a survey recently and one of the questions was, ‘What was my best business decisions?'” Chavez recalled. “Very quickly, it became purchasing the land and building this building. It has turned out to be a major resource for us, both for our showroom operation and being able to centralize a lot of our activities. We do all our marketing for all of our out-of-state divisions here. The call center is here. We have human resources here. And our consumer finance, which is a very important function.”
Happy employees make happy customers
The real secret success, however, is pretty simple, he said. “The key is having good products and having happy customers,” Chavez said. “That’s our goal every day is to have happy customers. And we’ve gotten pretty good at it.” Creating happy customers starts with people they meet on the floor, he said.
“Happy employees make happy customers,” he said. “We built a good team and we have a real nice product offering. Everything we do enhances the value of someone’s home. It’s not uncommon for people to have us do some limited work when they go to sell their home.” And there’s a big tie in with the home-buying economy, Chavez added.
“It is very frequent that somebody who purchases a home maybe likes the style, location, and so forth, but that they intend to renovate it to suit their own needs and tastes. That’s where we work hand-in-hand with the real estate industry to help people improve and modify their home that they purchased to meet their needs and own tastes.”
The company continues to grow, as well, adding a sixth market soon in Santa Barbara, Calif., which ultimately helps the local economy, Chavez said. ” Our main business continues to be Renewal by Andersen but we are growing other aspects of the company,” he said. “And we’re pretty proud that we have a good number of the jobs here that are serving our out-of-state markets. So our success in out-of-state markets is creating good paying jobs here in New Mexico. We need more of that around here. We spend lots of money here to support our business out of state. We buy vehicles, computers and various services here. So we really help the local economy with our success in the out-of-state markets.”
The company also supports a number of local causes, like Animal Humane of New Mexico, New Mexico Boys & Girls Club, University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital, the Jewish Community Center, the Mayor’s Ball, and the Lobo Club. What’s more, DreamStyle recently began a $350,000 renovation of the UNM football team’s offices, with the company chipping in $100,000 and Rick Galles, president and CEO of Albuquerque’s Galles Motor Co., also adding a chunk of cash to the project. All the money will come from private donors.
“We’re completely giving the UNM facilities a facelift with some modern stuff,” Chavez said.”The building down at the south end of the stadium was built in the early ‘90s and it’s never been updated. The carpet is worn out.”
Another interesting aspect to the company, he noted, was its diversity. “I’m the CEO, and the No two, there and four people are women,” he said. “It’s a construction company with executive leadership of women who do a fantastic job. We’re real proud of that.”