Great American Floors began in 1992 as a shop-at-home service with a couple of deck boards. The beginnings were humble, as the business was operated out of owner Jason Seltzer’s home with the assistance of his father Marc. Now, nearly 20 years later, Jason is returning the Norcross, Ga.-based company to its roots. While the company operates a showroom, Seltzer finds that most of his business is coming from the shop-at-home segment.
However, with the collapse of the economy, Seltzer and his employees moved to a more modest 10,000 sq. ft. location in 2009. “We still have the showroom, but we moved out of that prime location. We also put much more effort into shop-at-home. Those decisions saved our business,” Seltzer states.
“A lot of people thought it was a huge waste of time to drive to someone’s house when you don’t know if you’re going to get the sale. But what I’ve found is that when people are coming to your showroom, they’re just kicking the tires. They’re going to go to your showroom, Home Depot, and several other guys before they make their purchase. But if you are invited into a customer’s home, you’re on their turf, and they’re a lot more comfortable. It’s a lot easier to start a relationship.”
The shop-at-home business includes one vehicle carrying a wide range of products, and two to three employees who go out for appointments. Comparatively, there are usually two people in the showroom, and on busy days up to five, plus a few warehouse employees.
“We still have a showroom because a lot of people like to know there’s something behind your vehicle and your deck boards,” Seltzer explains. “They want that peace of mind that there is a physical business.”
Seltzer estimates that his showroom is about 80 percent Mohawk product. “Mohawk has done a wonderful job of promoting its SmartStrand carpet,” he notes. “People call and e-mail us every day asking about SmartStrand.”
He adds that it is important when advertising to promote both sides of the business equally. “We don’t want to sound like we will only come to your house. People like to make their own decisions. They can call us for an in-home estimate, or come by the showroom. We love when people come in who have already done their research and are a little more educated. They have probably seen reviews about our company. They’re really interested.”
For more information, visitwww.greatamericanfloors.com.