The year 2020 will go down in history as a challenging year.
For the Real Wood Floors store in Nashville, there have definitely been some challenges.
Early in the year, an individual crashed the showroom (literally) by plowing through glass and steel with a stolen car, thus requiring the store to undergo months of remodeling. Followed soon after by a destructive tornado in the city and the eventual Coronavirus pandemic, and you understand the point.
Yet, challenges can yield to resourcefulness and growth.
The Nashville store, formerly on a second-story, now offers first-floor access at a great location at an outdoor shopping area. With the remodel, the store’s aesthetic has improved with an upgrade of new furniture and tables.
Store manager, Jeremia Gill, has been instrumental in overcoming these 2020 obstacles, and the Nashville store is now thriving as we find new ways to serve the building, design and remodeling communities in Music City.
We spoke to manager Jeremi Gill about how Real Wood Floors serves the Nashville area, and he didn’t hesitate to tell us how customers appreciate the direct-to-retail advantage.
“A question I get all the time is: ‘What is the lead time for getting this flooring?’ Customers ask me this because they are used to retail stores that have to put in orders with the manufacturer. That translates to a lot of wait time while the store and manufacturer communicate back and forth and shipping takes a while.”
Jeremi went on to say, “While talking with our customers, we can look at inventory in real time during the conversation. If the product is in stock, we can relay information to them immediately and tell them the product will be here in 48 hours. They are very excited to hear this news. People don’t have to go home and wait for an answer about their dream floor to come a week or more later.”
Product knowledge was another aspect of Real Wood Floors’ service. Jeremi told us, “We can talk about wood floors in general and are always happy to do so, and we can go very in-depth into the specs of our own products. If someone in the store points to a product on the wall, we know all the specs for it: how thick it is, how wide it is, the wood species, and the treatment. At other stores, the sales representative will most likely have to punch information into their computer to be able to respond to customer questions.”
Lastly, Jeremi said Real Woods Floors is willing to go the distance. “We know some people aren’t able to meet with us at our store, so we’re willing to bring sample boards directly to our customers. Given Covid-19, we have done plenty of doorstep drops. We’ve delivered to customer offices and homes of course, but also to hospitals and veterinarians. And I’ve delivered as far away as a two-hours drive.”
Testimonials: Making a difference.
With the new location, the store’s presence is more palpable. Client referrals have grown. Satisfied customers are sending new clients, colleagues and friends to the Nashville store.
For several builders, the Real Wood Floor experience meant their first time using an engineered floor. Some have switched over completely to engineered flooring options.
Jeremi told us, “Recently a builder started using our prefinished floors instead of their normal unfinished, and they are three to four weeks ahead in their production schedule. WIth our prefinished floors, it cuts out the labor and wait time for the multiple sanding steps, and multiple stain and finish coats of the flooring process. With our floors, in some cases, these builders can install a 1000-2000 square foot home in one day, and they’re finished.”
Through email, a builder outside of town connected with the Nashville store. “We sent him floor samples,” Jeremi said, “and he loved them and chose Gristmill from the Vintage Loft collection for his personal home he was building. During the process, the builder remarked that his wife visited the home to see the progress and when she saw the floors, she was so moved that she cried.”
Jeremi also told us about another satisfied client, a veteran installer in Nashville. “Recently, in a four-thousand-square-foot home, we worked with a certain installer for the first time. We knew the company, given their solid reputation in the city and their work with accomplished local builders. They approached us and said they had an interest in working with us, in trying out one of our floors in a new install. This installer, with a deep knowledge and wide range of experience with flooring and many different brands, commented that our prefinished wood was the nicest wood floor he’d ever installed.”
Meet Jeremi Gill
Since Jeremi started as manager at the Nashville store in July of 2019, he has made an impression on customers with his wit and good nature.
The second of seven children to missionary parents, Jeremi grew up in Bulgaria for eighteen years then attended college in New York City and spent a few years after working before landing the job with Real Wood Floors. Not long after his arrival in Nashville, he met Bridget, and they married this past June.
While in New York, Jeremi always sought out new restaurants, and that trend has followed him to Nashville. A few of his current favorites include Martin’s, Rosepepper Cantina and Five Points Pizza.
If Jeremi isn’t eating barbecue or playing a pick-up game of basketball, you might find him seeking out a good coffee shop or exploring new neighborhoods. He particularly enjoys if he happens upon a client’s houses where he’s helped the family get their dream floors. It feels good knowing that Real Wood Floors has contributed to the customers’ homes and lifestyles.
“Some builders are starting to develop new neighborhoods with thirty or forty homes,” Jeremi said. “We have two builders who plan to use us for every home on their building docket. This is good exposure for us. When a realtor shows a home, potential homeowners will see our product.”
Jeremi also commented on trust. “When we do high-end projects, it’s great to be able to have that shared with other builders who can then see the quality of our flooring. This builds trust and inspires them to give us a try.”
The city of Nashville continues to grow. Jeremi remarked, “Personally, I’ve known people who’ve left New York for Nashville. The city has attractive qualities, and people move here. I’d be curious to see if that is in fact a trend over the next year or two.”
Falling in love with our floors.
“It’s neat to watch people fall in love with their floors,” Jeremi said. “It makes you feel good when people come into the showroom or call us up and say, ‘I’ve seen this floor, and I love it. I want it in my house.’ It’s great that they are interested in something that is ours, from Real Wood Floors.”
If you want to learn more about our wood flooring options, please consider browsing our collections for your home. If you’re near Nashville, stop by and say hello to Jeremi. He’d love to tell you about our floors, and maybe grab a pizza slice with you.