HomeSavvi helps take anxiety out of a remodel
A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: HomeSavvi.
What: HomeSavvi, based in Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle
Who: Villette Nolon, 49, president and CEO
Mission: Take the uncertainty out of home improvement by connecting trusted vendors and services to high-end renovation customers.
Nail on the head: Because home-remodeling projects have multiple stages, HomeSavvi helps customers manage different projects through a "binder." To build this, customers browse through a directory of specialty providers and pick out the ones that suit them best. The binder also has a budgeting component that helps customers with their spending limits.
Ecological: When possible, Nolon steers customers toward sustainable resources and energy-saving processes. "Green products will cost a little more," she said. "And the payback period will vary. It is similar to buying a hybrid car. The price tag is higher, but you save over time by using less gasoline."
Employees: Four full time, five contractors
Financials: The private company is not yet profitable. It expects to generate revenues through advertising and referrals.
Seal of approval: HomeSavvi said it vets all prospective advertisers. New providers come through referrals, and they must be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. "We will turn advertisers away," Nolon said. "And in many cases we won't accept an ad from anyone until we meet them."
Opportunities: Unlike with real-estate agents and mortgage brokers, Nolon has opportunities because of the current housing anomalies. Instead of moving to a larger home, an expanding family might choose to add on to what it already has. And older homeowners might seek to retrofit their home for accessibility. "People want to stay in their homes as long as they can," she said.
Building relationships: "Renovation is something that homeowners are dealing with all the time," Nolon said. "I am jazzed that I am able to help provide a solution."
— Charles Bermant
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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