Home in the Country April 2020

Page 14

APRIL, 2020

him and Anna decided to create a life in Sullivan County full-time for their family and he retired from his job in the city, which also allowed for quality time with their son. Since the start of their business, it has gained them over one thousand clients in Sullivan County and over two hundred in Ulster County. Their 24hour business has offered peace of mind for second homeowners, as their commitment to offering quality service for their clients gives them peace of mind while living elsewhere. “We basically allow New York City people to have a weekend home here and be able to enjoy it the way they want to,” Alan explained. “They come up here and they want to basically unplug and just relax and get ready for the next week.” Catskill Home also allows them to make sure the design and construction work runs seamlessly for their clients, as well as focusing on the upkeep of the houses for the second homeowners. “Because we do both sides to it we will give you a design that doesn’t involve doing the expensive things,” said Alan. “It doesn’t matter what your issues are, we’ll take care of it.” Through social encounters, Alan and Anna have fostered good relationships with professionals within the community that they hire for client projects. “I always try to use local contractors as much as I can because basically they’re my neighbors,” said Alan. “And of course I want to look after my neighbors because they’re part of building up the community.” Because of their dedication to finding good employees to work with on projects and in their offices, Alan and Anna have offered exceptional service to their clients, of who many of them are repeat customers. “It’s delivering a consistent high standard and anything it takes to do that,” said Anna. “As we’ve been able to grow, we’ve been able to bring people in.” Listening to their clients is another important component to the success of the business. Alan and Anna note how important it is to be attentive to their clients and listen to what qualities they love about their home, but also what they would like to change. This happens right from the initial consultation, and after measurements, rough drawings of plans, and working out a budget, the process begins to move by “going to contract” and starting the construction of their


homes. “It’s listening to what people mean and extracting from them,” said Anna. “My job is encouraging them to absolutely just make their home completely their own so when they sit in it they just feel the most relaxed and the most comfortable.” The advancement in technology has also allowed them to communicate with long distance clients. Alan and Anna send clients videos and picture updates on a regular basis, and during inclement whether they’re able to use drones to check in with homes that might have been damaged during storms. “What we do at Catskill Homes is enable them to do that from New York,” said Anna. “We use as much technology as we can to enable them that even though they are in the city or New Jersey or wherever they happen to be while we’re doing the remodel for them, they can be part of it and see what’s happening daily.” The county also benefits economically from second homeowners, as they help the communities by shopping at local stores and eateries. “Even on a very most basic level, it’s kind of understood that roughly ten percent of the seventy thousand that live in the county are made up of weekenders,” explained Anna. “They put money into the community on the weekends and are paying property tax.” Alan also added how second homeowners in Sullivan County also pay school taxes, and that also helps the county economically. “They are really attracted to the slower pace of life up here, and they really enjoy the casualness of things,” said Anna. “I think they like the idea that they get to enjoy the slowness of life in Sullivan County and all the charm of that, but at the same time have people pushing a project along and managing it and making sure there’s some end in sight and things can be kept to budget and timeline.” Alan and Anna show dedication and admiration for their business, and their love for satisfying the needs of their clients is evident with their passion for creating homes that people will enjoy coming back to. “For so many people, your house is going to be one of the biggest investments you ever make in your life,” said Anna. “To be trusted that we are going to take care of that, that’s a really lovely thing.”