Hurricane Impact Windows & Doors Experts, Mister Window, has been a hot name on social media in the Greater Tampa & Greater Sarasota areas. Their primary service is to install protective (impact-rated) windows in homes of Florida residences. So, to hear they are breaking windows on social media, may be a bit of a surprise. That is exactly what you will find if you search #SmashCity.
In a few short months, Smash City had and still has the Greater Tampa & Greater Sarasota areas buzzing. With the entertainment factor of watching someone put a 2×4 into a window or better yet, a sludgehammer, it isn’t hard to imagine people’s attention being caught. But, the attention hasn’t been all positive. From competitor employees degrading the display to people threatening to get OSHA involved for, deemed, unsafe activity, Smash City has definitely ‘Smashed’ into the lives of Metro Tampa & Metro Sarasota residents like no other window company in the area.
“We wanted to make a little bit of noise here and provide some quality entertainment. Just showing videos of installing windows or doors or pictures of windows and doors is so old school and frankly it’s not why people go online Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform.” -Greg Cummings VP of Mister Window
We caught up with Mister Window’s Vice President, Greg Cummings to talk about the current state of the hurricane windows & hurricane doors business, a bit on the motive being Smash City, and what’s next on the series’ agenda to bring more noise to what is traditionally deemed a ‘boring’ industry.
HG Home Club: Good morning, Greg.
Greg: Hi, thanks for having me. I appreciate the time. I always enjoy getting on and sharing. Mr window has allowed me personally to get involved with a lot of things, both in the community and with my employees and their families. At the end of the day our motto is take care of our employees and our customers, and profits will follow.
HG Home Club: We have seen a massive uptick in the housing market and home improvement industries this past year. From your perspective, how is the window business?
Greg: The windows business, like any home improvement business right now is very good. There’s a lot of folks that have been stuck at home because of COVID, there’s a lot of folks that are working from home because of COVID. And with that extra time at home, people are noticing the real heart burns of their windows and doors. The reality is if you’re working from home and you have the neighborhood kids playing right outside your window or the dog barking across the street – you’ll really notice it when you’re on a conference call. Or, when you’re trying to focus and get things done from a work standpoint. Not to mention, I don’t see too many people wanting to run to a hurricane shelter this season. Social distancing is going to become a major problem if there are mass evacuations and/or recommended evacuations. People are going to be very hesitant to go to a gymnasium packed full of people. People aren’t going to want to be stuck on the road like they were during [Hurricane] Irma. With all this in mind, people are reinforcing their houses ahead of time for this hurricane season. 2020 was the busiest hurricane season, on record for the Gulf, and they fully expect 2021, this year, to be the same if not a little bit more. Now, that is straight from the weather people and they do tend to get things wrong from time to time. So, don’t take that to the bank quite yet. Time will tell. But your question was how is the window business? The answer is good, and I think those are the big driving factors that I mentioned.
HG Home Club: What is your biggest challenge with the increase of demand?
Greg: Yeah, that’s a good question. If it were any other time, I would immediately jump to the conclusion that the biggest challenge would be installing more product than what the company is used to installing, historically. Right? But in this case, we have the capacity to install everything that we’re selling. We are never going to sell more than we have the capacity to install. That’s been our business model since day one in 1977. That’s why our reviews are a perfect 5.0 cumulatively across the Internet 4.8 On Google. There’s no [air quote] “gold rush” that we’re going to just take without the ability to follow through on every single one of our core promises. On a side note, with that, we service and guarantee our installation for life. Our clients know that if we touch an opening in their home, we own it. We service and guarantee our craftsmanship. Homeowners find a lot of comfort in this, obviously, because nothing is perfect and we’re no exception to it. But, it’s on how you react when something happens. As far as what the actual biggest challenge is in this market, right now for us, it is getting the material from our manufacturers. What’s actually happened with COVID is there has been a massive delay in the supply chain to the manufacturers. Meaning all of our window manufacturers need products to make the windows. So they are dependent on a global supply chain to get all of the supporting material hardware, etc, in order to make their window complete. There are warehouses in manufacturing and supply warehouses that cannot operate at normal capacity throughout COVID. We are seeing sort of ahead of the beast, right now, in February. I expect March to be better. I expect May to be even better than that. And, I expect June to be back to normal, somewhat. But until then, people are going to be waiting two or three times longer for their installation than they typically would. This is something we communicate to our client’s, up front, to make sure that they are aware and understand what’s going on. If somebody tells you they can get your job done in under 12 weeks, run for the Hills! Not happening right now.
HG Home Club: Your competition seems to take notice of your growth over the last couple years. Several companies are now using your name in keyword targeting with ads on google and other platforms. How do you react to this?
Greg: Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me. We see what competition is targeting our keywords and putting ads with our name. I take it as a compliment. Maybe even a trophy case! We also have our competition filling out our ads online to see our process and how we’re doing it. I can’t tell you how many calls go to our competition because they filled out an inquiry because they were playing around on our website. Our competition is curious about what we’re doing because we have been able, over the last two and a half years, to really take a large market share in a relatively short amount of time. We went from about $1 million a year business to about $12 million in revenue in 2021. We have done this by putting in place enterprise level systems that cut costs on the administrative side, as well as save an enormous amount of time and ensure significantly more accurate reporting. Basically, we’re able to do a lot more with less. We pass those savings onto the customer, as well as, reinvest into better quality materials; plus, we pay our installers significantly more than the industry standard. Therefore, we expect a significantly better outcome than the industry standard! I think it’s very important to say that first and foremost, I believe we are a customer service company who happens to be outstanding at installing windows and doors. It’s a totally different approach that we have, which is why we’ve been able to sustain rapid growth without compromising quality or service. As far as the competition goes and their curiosity, I could give them and publish everything that we do and how we do it and when we do it. But, it is not duplicatable unless you have the heart, the soul, and the passion of our team to carry out our mission every second of every day.
HG Home Club: You have a new trend on social media, called “Smash City”. It’s received mixed reviews. What is the reason for it?
Greg: (Laughs) Smash City, yes, has gotten a lot of attention lately. We wanted to make a little bit of noise here and provide some quality entertainment. Just showing videos of installing windows or doors or pictures of windows and doors is so old school. Frankly, it’s not why people go online, to Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform. People go on those sites to be entertained or to get gossip. Basically the way I see it is people go on these platforms so they have something to talk about. We want to give them something that’s memorable and that they can talk about, show their spouse, and share with their friends. What a lot of people don’t know is that in order to recycle all of our products – the aluminum we take out of houses – you have to remove the glass. In order to do it properly, anyways. So, breaking all the glass is both entertaining and something that we need to do, regardless. We have come up with some pretty creative ways to break glass. Everything from dropping it off the top of a forklift to throwing rocks and just about anything else in between. We do get a ton of engagement on these social media posts. If you guys want to see more of that follow us at Facebook or Instagram at @windowmister.
HG Home Club: What do you hope to gain from the Smash City “entertainment” as you call it..?
Greg: You know I don’t really hope to gain anything from the entertainment side of smash city. I just want to give our viewers something to watch. Maybe laugh. Maybe show their spouse, I don’t know. But at the end of the day, we found a fun way to remove the glass from our old aluminum frames and people enjoy it. So, I’d be curious if you asked that question to our viewers. How did they enjoy it? Why do they like this, this, and that? The Internet has no rhyme or reason. Talking cats are the number one searched video, who would have thought?
HG Home Club: What is the next thing you will be using to break a window?
Greg: Oh, this is a fantastic question! I actually get asked this question every single day by my employees. Everybody is so curious about what’s next to be broken, aka smashed. They don’t know this yet, but we’re going to be taking some windows and doors to the gun range and firing some rounds through the glass of both impact glass and regular glass we take out of people’s homes. We’re going to demonstrate the difference and see if any of them are bulletproof or at the very least bullet resistant.
In the Greater Tampa and Greater Sarasota area, Mister Window has developed a reputation among homeowners that shows them in a different light than other companies. Centering their company’s mission around providing unparalleled customer service, in an industry when the exact opposite is expected, they’ve carved a lane unlike any other window company before them. Providing the best services is not their only focus. They also pride themselves on providing the highest quality hurricane windows and hurricane doors on the market.
To assure they are meeting their standard of quality in both the product offerings and services provided to homeowners, Mister Window has even introduced a game-changing process called the ‘completion visit’. During this visit, the main objective is to assure the customer is overly satisfied with the products they ordered and the recently completed installation process. This gives Mister Window the chance to identify any issues and address them, before the homeowner’s final signature. Unlike other window companies, Mister Window refuses to close out a job if a homeowner is not satisfied at any stage of the process. They take it a step farther by backing all of their work with life-time guarantees. So, in a rare case something does go wrong after the installation and job is closed out, their customers never need to panic. They will have the assurance the issue will be fixed and resolved without any financial requirement.
Mister Window’s services can be broken down into two main categories: hurricane impact windows installation and hurricane impact doors installation. Hurricane Window options range from single hung windows, double hung windows, casement windows, arc windows, awning windows, bay windows, sliding windows, and more. Door options include: french doors, sliding doors, cobana doors, fiberglass doors, steel doors and more. It doesn’t matter if it is a front door, side door, back door, or patio door.
Mister Window serves all of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, & Sarasota counties. These areas are considered high wind-borne debris regions. The state of Florida requires home windows in these regions to be impact-rated or protected. They continue to urge homeowners in these regions to ensure their home is protected for when Florida’s Hurricane Storm Season hits. June 1st is the start of hurricane season. Roughly 12 weeks from initial order to final installation is the average time it is now taking to completely protect your home with impact windows and/or impact doors. Hurricanes show no mercy for homeowner procrastination. So, Greg and Mister Window want homeowners to plan accordingly.
With over 400 documented reviews, Mister Window pulls an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars. it’s is hard to dispute them being on the right track or their statement of being one of the highest rated window companies in the state of Florida If you have any questions about impact windows and impact doors, or would like a free home consultation (physical or virtual) to learn more about protecting your home, please visit the misterwindow.com website or call (941) 722-8424