Home Shows: Steve the Window Guy Closes out Spring Home Shows

This blog gives a behind the scenes look at our life working home shows!

We survived.

The spring home show season for 2014 is officially over for us.

show staff Some companies hire a staff of people who do nothing but work shows.   We chose not to do that.   Steve, Zach and I work most of them.   We prefer to have people in our booth who know the product and can have an intelligent conversation with you.    Zach, Dave, Joe, Sarah and Mike are all people we adore both personally and professionally.    They are smart.  They are helpful.  They are knowledgeable.  They are good people and we trusted them to represent our company.   Having that level of trust made those big huge long shows very successful for us.   More importantly, their help meant we didn't have to be there every minute.

Home shows are a lot of hours.  Still, they are the best way to get our name out to the local communities.      Are they the only way for us to personally connect with homeowners and potential customers?  YES!   Are they hands down the best way for a prospective customer to see the quality of our replacement windows and doors while comparing to the competition?  ABSOLUTELY!

But is working a home show every weekend easy?  NO!

While everyone else is winding down their Friday and calculating how much longer they have to pretend to work before Happy Hour , we are just getting started.  We are loading the truck.  We are printing our move-in instructions.  We are gambling with rush hour traffic; trying to get a bit more done in the office before we go set up.

sarah showHave you ever seen a home show get set up?  It’s like one of those little Chinese puzzles we used to get as kids at birthday parties.  Everyone is jockeying for a spot by the door.  Everyone is frantically unloading their stuff and dumping it into their booth so they can move the truck and the next guy can get in.  It isn’t a calm process.

Then, once all of our displays are inside we arrange the booth.   Do you think the booth would be easy to arrange every time?  It isn’t!   We have different set ups every single time based on the location and size of the booth, the number of corners the booth has, whether or not we’re on the end, and even what show it is.     This means once everything is unloaded we do the whole scratching our head thing and start moving stuff until it feels right.    (Not unlike when we moved into our home trying to decide the best spot for the sofa!)

We do our best.  We make a list of what we forgot, and we head home.  Do we stop for ice cream?  Yes.  Most days.

If we are both working, the “show prep” continues with prepping the babysitter for the next day.   We try to clean the house so we don’t look like total slobs.   We try to make sure there is food for the sitter and for the baby… and we usually do an okay job at it.      Just like that our Friday night is shot.

Saturday Mornings are crazy.  We are busy getting up and ready to go.  We need a big breakfast.  We need to pack a lunch.  We spend what time we can with our daughter.   We greet the babysitter and give her last minute instructions, then we race off to buy the caffeine we’ll need for the day and then race to the show.    Often we stop at the office to grab something.   More often then I’d like to admit, we stop at the grocery store to buy food for lunch.   And a doughnut.   (our nutrition suffers). Doughnut

By the time the show opens we are ready to go and we work.   We talk to hundreds of people every day.  We demo our replacement windows.  We show the quality of our steel and fiberglass entry doors.    We talk about the benefit of being a preferred contractor with Owens Corning for our roofing.   We talk until we cannot talk any more.  Then we ride home in silence.   Exhausted.

The next day we repeat the whole routine..  with the added bonus of tear down.    At the end of the show we tear it all down, pack it all up, re-load the truck, jockey for loading space in the back of the show space and then take it all home.  And unload it all back in to the warehouse.   Sunday night is usually a late night.

Then on Monday morning the week starts all over again.   The phone keeps ringing, orders keep getting placed, jobs keep getting installed, and our sales guys keep running appointments.   We look ahead to the next weekend and what we need to do to get ready.

For us, home show season starts at the end of January and goes until mid-April.   We have a few weekends off, but for the most part we are working every weekend.  It is necessary.  It is beneficial.  It is tiring.  It is exhausting.

weides at the home showIf you talked to us at a show this year, thank you very much.     We appreciate your time and consideration.    We love our company.   We believe in our products and we strive to do the best possible job for you and your family.

Next weekend we have a weekend.   This is going to feel new to us.  And it is going to feel so very  GOOD.   I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is in the market for replacement windows,  doors, siding or roofing, please contact us for a free quote.

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

Author:  Melissa Brager

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Now Hiring: Universal Windows Direct Hosts Job Fair

We are hiring in-home sales, lead generators, event marketing, appointment setters and installer positions. Interviews taking place on February 4, 2014 at a job fair in our office.

Hello 2014!

We are moved in to our new office space, we have promoted the office baby into part time daycare, and we have our first home show of the season under our belt.  What’s next?  

Job Fair!

 We are currently hiring in –home sales, lead generators, and event marketing positions.  It doesn’t matter if you have some experience or no experience; if you are a high energy person who loves to talk to people and is exciting about making connections, making sales and helping us grow our company, then we want to meet you!

Curious to know more about us? 

  • We are Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities.
  • We are one of the most successful Universal Windows Direct Dealers in the nation
  • We are a family owned business that believes integrity and service rules
  • We are planning to increase our business this year by 60%.  
  • Everyone who joins our team becomes part of our family and will help us reach our goal.

So tell us, what are your goals this year? 

Do you want to use your skills or gain new skills?   Do you love in home sales?   Does working a trade show pump you up?   Are you awesome at making phone calls to prospective customers?   Is installing really your strength and you’re looking for a steady stream of work?

IF so, then come out to the job fair to meet us!   We want to learn about you, and give you a chance to learn more about us.  If you are interested, you will be interviewed!   Reserve your interview spot by contacting us today or just show up the day of.    Job Fair will be open from 3pm - 8pm. 

Interview spots are already filling up so don’t delay.   Call Melissa at 612-866-2888.

Our office is at 150 West 88th Street, Bloomington, MN.    It is located in the Pillsbury Square Office Park about 4 blocks West of Nicollet on 88th Street.    We are the 2nd Universal Windows DIrectwarehouse in on the right side of the office park.   Look for the flags the day of the job fair.  

For more detailed directions or help finding us the day of, contact Melissa or Steve at 612-866-2888.  Email us at twincities@universalwindowsdirect.com

 

 

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities: Our Year in Review 2013

We love the opportunity to be reflective, celebrate our success and growth over the past year, and then turn the page to a new and exciting year to come.

Wow.   It is hard to believe another year has raced by us!  We love the opportunity to be reflective, celebrate our success and growth over the past year, and then turn the page to a new and exciting year to come.

steve and t at champlinWe are a family business, so blurred lines are a way of life for us.  If you call the office you might hear the baby making noise. If you come inside there will be toys everywhere.   If there is something fun happening for the family, the office takes a back seat and if there is a home show or event in the area, Tessie and I will definitely be there to check it out and visit Steve.

At the same time, when we have big home shows or long weeks working the county fairsfunfest, we rely on our fantastic family community to take Tessie into their homes to care for her, play with her, and love her.  She is a total jellyfish just going with the flow and adapting to every different house or situation she is thrown in to.     Those county fair days were crazy with a different house every day but she was a rock star.  I think it was easier for her than for me!

smiling install 1Just as we rely on each customer for their loyal support and business, we rely on our installers for their dependability and eye for quality work, and we rely on our family and friends to be our backbone and ultimate support system.  We cannot thank all of you enough.

2013 was a busy year for us!  Our Tessie morphed before our eyes from an adorable lump of a baby just learning to crawl to a full on toddler with all of the activity (times one thousand) that comes with that.   Our fantastic installer of 4 years left us to get married, build a house and move to a union job – forcing us to do our best to replace him.   If you met Matt you know those were big shoes to fill.. And we are thrilled to have Brad and his crew doing just that.   We also added a part time employee to the office to help with all of the daily work that piles up!  She makes life easier for us every single day.

Heat Stopper TechnologyFrom a product perspective, we saw great changes to our exclusive UniShield Windows and Doors, like enhanced glass packages, heat stopper technology, Innergy fiberglass reinforcements, and brand new glass designs in our entry doors.  We stepped up our siding business and continued to sell the awesome insulated backed Craneboard that customers just love.  BROLL_UWD_steve meeting_12.00min 0045 We even moved into roofing and were able to achieve the status of Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor.  Business was booming, we enjoyed a busier than average summer and fall, and our storage was overflowing on more than one occasion.   We had our biggest year ever and feel this is definitely a good sign for the economy, don’t you?

BBB  A+ RatingNot only were we busy, but we managed to win a few awards! At the 2013 Minneapolis friendlyHome and Garden Show we won the award for Friendliest Exhibitor one day!  We were named the Favorite Window Company by readers of the Sun Newspapers, and we achieved the Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2013.    We continue to be one of the top Universal Windows Direct Dealers in the Nation and we have maintained our A+ BBB rating for 5 years.

cake head onOf course, we took time out of work for family events, meeting our new niece and nephew, swimming lessons, visiting the beach, going to the zoo, and celebrating Tessie’s First Birthday.   We continued our tradition of a family themed Halloween Costumes, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner and we went completely wild for halloweenChristmas!   Somehow we managed to give Tessie 90% hand me down toys and I was able to surprise Steve with a new snow blower under the tree.  Whoop whoop!

snowblower tree

 

 

As we look in to 2014 we know we will continue to see changes.   Our window and door lines will continue to be tweaked to provide even better energy saving benefits to homeowners.   We will take full advantage of our Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor Status, and will step up our attic insulation business as well.  We are hiring for in home sales, and additional siding and roofing installers,  we are planning some cool new displays for the Home and Garden show at the end of February and are already planning Tessie’s Golden  2nd Birthday Party Extravaganza for this May.

Our biggest news is summed up in this poem:

“Twas the Day before Christmas (Eve) and all through our house we were brimming with excitement…. Even the mouse!

A building we noticed quite a long time ago was available and perfect! We couldn’t say no!

Room for a warehouse and our offices and trailers Even a room to assemble our mailers!

Space for storage and plenty of room to grow... With a playroom for Tessie... we were a GO!

We scooped up the baby and scraped the snow off our cars Then dashed to the building, signed the lease and it’s OURS!”

That’s right!   In the coming month we will be moving into a new office space and we are thrilled!

family lease day

Follow us on Twitter for a behind the scenes look at the move.   #UWDMoves

Like us on Facebook for current activity, product info and lots of pictures

Call us any time for free quotes on any of our fabulous home improvement products.   We sell direct to the consumer or remodeler, we sell fully installed solutions, and we can meet the requirements of most every townhome or housing association.   We work with realtors, landlords and investors who buy and sell homes.  We would love the opportunity to work with you and your contacts.  Please keep us in mind for the coming year.  612-866-2888

Cheers!  Be Safe and Enjoy a Wonderful 2014!

Author:  Melissa Brager

 

Windows: Interior Color options for Replacement Windows in the Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct proudly offers 6 different interior window options for replacement windows in the Twin Cities.   So if you are looking to replace your windows you can choose the colors that will be best for you in your home.

White vinyl windows can make a home look fresh and new.  Some people love them.  Most new construction, in fact, starts with white windows.   But some homeowners fear white windows.  They fear that.  stark WHITE that screams out “HI!  I AM A WHITE VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOW!!”    That fear that the windows will “scream” actually is a reason some homeowners give as to why they don’t want to replace their windows.   We get it.

Your replacement windows don’t have to be WHITE.   They can be tan if that will soften it up.  They can be dark chocolate brown (mmm, like a truffle) if that matches the style of your home.   They can even come in wood grains to match the older style of the home, the

Twin Cities replacement window color optionsTan, brown or a wood grain?

existing wood windows, or the surrounding trim work, cabinetry or wood floors.  Would a light honey oak match well?  Would a medium oak color be better?  How about a deeper cherry?  Perhaps a vintage pecan is a better match...  No problem!  We offer all of those colors.

Do all your windows have to be the same color?   Nope!   So if you have thought about  white replacement windows in the basement to brighten things up down there but you would prefer a  wood grain window on the main level; we can do that.     Because all of our windows are custom made for your home we can choose the style and options of window that will work best for you, in your budget, in your home.

Call us today to get started with a free consultation.   We will bring a window into your home in the color you are thinking of, and bring color samples of other options as well.   We can’t wait to work with you to replace those old windows and improve the look of your home.  Join homeowners across the Twin Cities who have improved the look and the value of their home with replacement windows.  612-866-2888

Author:  Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN

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Replacement Windows in Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct is one Twin Cities replacement window dealer among a number of local companies, but not all Twin Cities window dealers are created equal. We have been serving the replacement window needs of Twin Cities residents for years and we are proud to say our windows are manufactured right here in the USA.   Our clients appreciate our commitment to providing a high level of customer service and our track record of success.

We are proud to say that this dedication to taking care of our customers has

We are a member of the BBB!

paid off! We maintain an A rating with the BBB,  we have won won the Super Service award from Angie’s List, and we were voted the Favorite Window Company by readers of the Sun

Current newspaper.

Our installers regularly receive rave reviews from customers who have had great install experiences and beautiful finished products.  We understand that having your windows or doors replaced means your home can be an inconvenience.  We understand that in the winter it can be COLD.  We even understand that you probably love your house and it isn’t fun to see it ripped it apart.    Our job isn’t just to replace your windows, our job is to make sure your house is taken care of and you are comfortable during the process.    Our installers regularly receive positive and rave reviews from our customers!

Let’s be honest…replacing all the windows in your home is a big financial decision for most people. If you are going to spend the money to upgrade your home you should look for a Twin Cities window dealer with the track record to back up their work.

You can be our next satisfied customer.   Call us today to get started at 612.866.2888.

Melissa Brager,

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

 

Twin Cities Replacement Window Company

Universal Windows Direct is a Twin Cities replacement window company that offers window replacement services to customers who need to take advantage of our installation services, as well as those who don’t.

replacement windows installed for youLet our installers do the work for you

If you’re like most people, you have no idea how to install a window.  You just know that the old one needs to come out and the new one should go in.

And it should be straight, and insulated and it should be easy to open and close.    If you’ve ever watched HGTV you probably can imagine that lots of things could go wrong in the install and you want nothing to do with that!   Isn’t it so much nicer to work with a window replacement company that has professional and experienced installers who can do all that for you?  Then you can just take a day off of work and curl up with a good book while the guys do all the hard work for you.   Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Wholesale Replacement Windows in the Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct also sells windows to contractors throughout the Twin Cities.    Our repeat customers include small contractors who may install a window or two as a repair or a one room home remodel, to large remodeling firms who build full additions to homes.    These wholesale customers enjoy the same energy efficient replacement windows Universal Windows Direct is known for, at deep contractor discounts.  After their custom orders are received at our facility, they are picked up and installed by the contractor himself, or his crews rather than our install teams.

Our wholesale clients like that they can install a quality replacement window to their clients in the Twin Cities, while receiving the personal service and attention that working with Universal Windows Direct offers.

Which kind of customer are you?   Call us today to get started at 612.866.2888.

Melissa Brager,

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN