might be in early January when everyone else is slowing down. And sure, we can be a little slow at that time of year, but if you’ve scheduled beforehand, you’ve guaranteed at least something. August is also a slow month. People are at the cottage, decisions about renovations typically aren’t being made, but again, if you’ve booked that job for August back in early June, you’re busy. I’ve had lots of people call me a year or more after the initial quote to schedule a job. People need to budget, they need to know what the costs will be and we’re always happy to fit those clients in. So it’s a scheduling thing, but it’s also about being consistent in building relationships with clients. I firmly believe that if we’re always providing quotes and estimates – and we are, we never slow down on that end of things – that we’ll stay busy. That’s one of the keys.” The other key is Monk Renovation’s referral network, which Dan explained is multi-layered. “First and foremost, and I always express this to my guys, getting the first job isn’t as hard you think; it’s getting the referral that’s the chal- lenge. It’s no small feat and I never treat it like it is. You have to make your client so happy that they choose to tell their family and friends that they should be hiring you. We strive to build that kind of relationship with every client – and it’s not lost on me that people like to know somebody; they like to have ‘a guy.’ They want to tell people about their plumber, their electrician – well, people like to know a ren- ovation contractor too. That’s our referral-base. We also have our suppliers, who are invaluable partners.”

For a sample of the word on the street, as it were, go to and

The reviews and testimonials are often heartfelt and always positive.

While Dan sees the unfiltered mediums as a great window shopping tool for his prospective clients, he likes to “take it a step further when people are considering hiring us,” he told me with purpose in his voice. “The industry standard is to provide prospective clients with three references; I give them two pages of 40 references.” As Dan explained his shock and awe approach, I wrote a note on my open Word document: “Wonder if he holds employees to that?” When I jokingly asked him, he laughed and said, “close to it.” “We’ve worked hard to find the crew we have today and I have nothing but praise for the guys. I can be as demanding as any boss and push time frames to please the client and things like that. We have a core of seven carpenters. Each one of those guys has a skill that you could call his special- ty, but every one of them can do every part of renovation individually. From the hard-core foundation, framing and roofing, to finished stairs and cabinets, I’ve got guys on my team who cover it all. If there’s anything they can’t do, I have amazing subs lined up for those jobs. There are certain kitchen jobs, for example, that we use sub-contractors. We also use a plumbing contractor and an electrical contrac- tor. And when I call, they come. They’re so committed to



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