Category Archives: News

Technology and Your Business- Are you Keeping up or Falling Behind?

April 30, 2012
By Dan Simon, Social Media Marketing Manager

Information…  Getting it, sharing it and distributing has changed over the years.  I remember as a kid watching ‘The Flintstones.’  The daily newspaper was chiseled in stone and you better duck for cover and not get hit in the head.

Because of technology we’re getting information at an alarmingly fast rate of speed with so many places to get it from that it seems like you’re swimming in an ocean hoping you make it to the right island so you don’t drown.

Back in the day you tore out a magazine page and brought it in to your hair stylist to show how you wanted to get your hair cut and styled.  Remember that embarrassing time when you walked into a record shop and when you wanted to know the name of the artist and song and you had to sing it to the store clerk in front of everyone?  For those of you in younger generations… yes that is how we gathered our favorite music… iTunes had not happened yet.

It’s a new frontier.  While you have to be high-touch you also need to be high-tech.  The personal touch is often forgotten because it’s very easy to automate technology and make it easier.  But no matter how much we become more advanced in tech, people still want to have that human touch.  Think about it…  do you like calling into your bank on the phone and having to deal with multiple automated menu-after-menu, push this number-push that?

Here is the point.  An old world way of building relationships with customers must collaborate with a new world way of high-tech.  Unavoidable and balance is key.

www.urbanfloor.com

An example of current relevant media and technology that can be used to personalize service with tech without taking the human aspect out. Enter:

iPad and Pinterest

As a dealer imagine this: Customer walks into your showroom.  Obviously you ask how you can help them.  You show them around to your various selections.  You have samples of wood species and brands… But your sales rep also can carry an iPad (or tablet) where they can show a flooring sample with an image of how it might look in an interior designed room.  And using Pinterest from your account and on a tablet you can feature flooring collections on-the-fly as they shop, walk and you consult.  Sometimes it is a challenge for clients to imagine floors in a home but if you can paint a picture it is easier to see potential.  This is an opportunity for personalized service while providing cutting-edge technology to give your customer total client care. 

As a homeowner imagine this: You walk into your local dealer with your iPad and your own Pinterest account.  Not only are you able to show your consultant exactly what you like from your tablet but you also have the ability to show other design ideas you love so that there is better understanding for what you want.  After all “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right?

Times are changing and how we do business is evolving rapidly.   Here is a story I heard years ago early in my career but remember to this day.  In business no matter how small, medium sized or fortune 500 large… the axe needs to be and must be sharpened to survive now and grow in the future…

“Rodger, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise.  The company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise.  This caused resentment in Rodger and he went to his boss to talk about it.  The boss said, “You are still cutting the same number of trees you were cutting five years ago.  We are a result-oriented company and would be happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up.”  Rodger went back, started hitting harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn’t able to cut more trees.

He went back to his boss and told him his dilemma.  The boss told John to go talk to Bill. “  Maybe there is something Bill knows that you and l don’t.”  Rodger asked Bill how he managed to cut more trees.  Bill answered, “After every tree I cut, I take a break for two minutes and sharpen my axe.  When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”  This question hit home like a bullet and Rodger got his answer.”

 

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #006- A Squeaky Hardwood Floor and Baby Powder?

Tip of the Week #006
April 27, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Does your floor squeak when you walk on it?  Older nail down type installations are notorious for squeaking.  But floating floors and glued down installations can make noise as well.  Seasonal changes will make your floor expand and contract and certain times of year the squeaking may be worse.  Squeaks are caused by loose boards rubbing against one another or a nail or staple used to install your floor to the sub-floor may be rubbing against a joist as you walk.  If your squeaking is throughout your home you may want to contact your floor covering professional as face nailing or crawling under the floor in your crawl space may be required.

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

But if the noise is localized to just a couple areas and you can see the culprit boards rubbing against one another as you walk, try using a little baby powder.  That’s right, just a little sprinkle between the noisy boards may be all you need to eliminate the squeak.  What happens is the powder works its way down between the boards and acts like a lubricant thereby eliminating the squeak.  Only use a very small amount, just sprinkle the effected area and try and work the boards up and down.  This will allow the powder to work it’s way down between the planks.  Clean up any excess powder immediately with a vacuum and a damp cloth moistened with just enough water to remove any powder residue but not enough to allow moisture to get between the boards (Damp.  Water should not drip from cloth).  Then dry with a clean cloth.  Baby powder on your floor is very slippery and any left on your floor may cause you to lose your footing and fall.  If this does not work contact your floor covering professional.

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #005- Man’s Best Friend and Your Hardwood Floors

Tip of the Week #005 
April 20, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

If you have dogs in your home especially large dogs it’s a good idea to have throw rugs strategically placed over your hardwood floors.  Place them under your coffee table, dining room table and if possible around the perimeter of your bed as well. 

Hardwood floors can be be pretty slick.  Just ask your 6 year old who likes to slide around in his socks.  Some dogs have a difficult time getting up off the wood floor when they are lying down and will extend their claws to try and get a better grip thereby digging their nails into the wood flooring causing scratches.  If your dog has his favorite place to lay down, place a throw rug down.  It will enhance the designer look of your home, make your dog’s life easier and it may save you the frustration of having to pay to have scratches fixed.

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #004

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

Tip of the Week
April 13, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Be sure to only use the manufacturer recommended cleaner on your hardwood floors.  Here at Urbanfloor we recommend Bona* brand.  Not using the proper cleaning product may void your warranty and it may cause other problems by changing the appearance of your floor.  Contact your authorized flooring dealer for the correct product for your floor. 

*Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Bona USA, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Bona products. Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. Bona and BonaKemi USA Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #003

Tip of the Week
March 30, 2012 
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

When purchasing your new hardwood floor it’s a real good idea to make sure when the job is done you have a few extra boxes left over as an insurance policy.  I have replaced many floors over the years because of a small amount of flood damage caused by a dishwasher or a washing machine that leaked.  Although the damage was limited to a small portion of the kitchen or the hallway, the entire home had to be replaced because the homeowner had no left over material from the original install.  Manufacturers are constantly changing products, colors and styles of flooring from year-to-year.  If your hardwood floor has been discontinued by the manufacturer and you cannot match the original floor you may be forced to replace hundreds of square feet because of damage to a very small area.  Having a few left over boxes of wood stored in your attic or basement could save you thousands of dollars in the future.  So when your job is done if you have very little left over  material go to your retailer and buy a couple extra boxes of wood.  This is cheap insurance for your very expensive investment.

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #002

Tip of the Week
March 23, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

One of the first things people love to do when they get a brand new hardwood floor is show it off. Often they will have a party and invite all their friends.  Beware of beautiful ladies in stiletto high heel shoes.  Women love them and they may look stylish but a hundred pound woman in heels can apply more pressure per square inch than a fully loaded refrigerator. And if the heel is damaged it can be even worse. So high heels off at the door ladies or a real expensive repair job may be required after the clean up.

Reduce Water Exposure to Your Hardwood Floors When It Rains

Tip of the week
March 17, 2012
by Ron Call

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

It’s a rainy day here in So Cal.  Make sure you have walk-off mats placed at your front door and any other high traffic entry ways into your home to reduce water exposure to your floors. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to take off your shoes after being outside in the wet weather as well.

Congratulations to our Spring 2011 MacBook Air Winner

On Tuesday, February 7, 2012 we launched a “first day of spring” Facebook Fan Only sweepstakes promotion that ran through until Tuesday, March 20, 2012.  Facebook fans that entered were in a position to win a brand new MacBook Air from Apple.

The way we chose the winner was the old fashion way.  Each person that entered the sweepstakes their name was placed with their zip code into a “hat” sort-to-speak.  (It was actually a glass vase) Today, March 20th is the first day of spring, the day the winner gets announced.  So all the names get mixed around and the name of the winner is drawn.

Congratulations Taraneh Safia of Northbrook, IL

We also videotaped the drawing so you could get a behind the scenes look here: MacBook Air Winner March 20, 2012

Thank you everyone that participated and keep watch… We have exciting new chances to win great prizes exclusive to our Facebook fans.  Coming Soon!

 

Introducing Our Brand New ‘Downtown Series’

Great news everyone!  We just launched a new series of flooring in our Urban Lifestyle Collection called the ‘Downtown Series’ and it is made from one of the most beautiful woods in the world, Acacia which combines a wide blend of rich colors and unusual grain patterns in each plank.

It is available in four colors.  Both in genuine Handscraped or a smooth texture and is sure to bring uniqueness and sophistication into any home or office.

Can we get a  drum roll please?  Introducing the brand new Downtown Series:

Albany:  Mid Brown with warm, creamy grain tones. Smooth Texture.

Albany

Broadway:  Mid Brown with warm, creamy grain tones. Genuine hand- scraped finish with mild chattermarks.

Broadway

Manhattan:  Dark Chocolate with milk chocolate grain tones. Genuine hand- scraped finish with mild chattermarks.

Manhattan

Rochester:  Mid Brown with a hint of red grain tones. Smooth Texture.

Rochester

Who’s being sent to Italy?

So have you ever been to McDonald’s when they do the Monopoly game promotion and ever think to yourself… does anyone ever actually win these contests?

In a previous blog under the Contests section we announced a dealer contest at the Surfaces 2012 trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in viva Las Vegas, NV.  Dealers at the show could visit our booth and enter into a drawing to win a trip for two to Rome, Italy.  The motivation for the trip was to promote our newest collection Villa Caprisi with an Italian inspired design using brushed European Oak.

Talk is cheap and people want to see it to believe it right?  So here you go.  This is the winner of our Win a Trip to Italy drawing at the Surfaces 2012 trades show:

Shawn Zand of Best Floor from Anaheim, CA

Congratulations to Shawn Zand of Best Floor from Anaheim, CA for being the lucky winner of our Trip for Two to Italy at the Surfaces 2012 Expo!

So you see, people really do win these “thingies” called contests.  Who knows maybe you’re next!  Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website for the latest and the greatest.

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Site: www.urbanfloor.com

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