Business Profiles

by Dream Doors

last updated 31/03/2022


Breaking All Records

by Dream Doors

last updated 31/03/2022


Dream Doors franchisees have been shattering sales records throughout the country. Now there’s a new opportunity from the same team

Derek Lilly: 'These figures are staggering!'

Derek Lilly can’t stop smiling. The Dream Doors franchisor has always been proud of the kitchen renovation business he co-founded in the UK before bringing it to New Zealand, but he’s especially proud of the way that the company has responded to the challenges of the last few years. Now there’s a new opportunity about to be launched. Our editor asked him to tell us more.

I gather 2021 was a record year for Dream Doors. How well did you do?

2021 was a fantastic year for Dream Doors – our best year ever. We exceeded our previous year’s sales by a remarkable 62 percent. Even for me, these figures are quite literally staggering!

That’s impressive, but I have to ask – did the growth look good because 2020 was such a bad year?

It’s a fair question – many businesses experienced terrible figures in 2020 as Covid-19 took hold on the nation. But 2020 had also been a record year for Dream Doors, with sales revenue up on the previous year (2019) by 12 percent.

So has that growth come through adding new franchisees, or have individual franchisees seen increases too?

It’s a mixture of both, actually. We have appointed six new franchisees in the last 18 months. One who has been with us just over a year returned sales figures of more than a million dollars, which is a tremendous achievement. But it’s the established franchisees who have been the real backbone of growth within the franchise. I think I’m right in saying that every Dream Doors franchisee who joined pre-Covid had a record sales year in 2021.

One franchisee who has been with us for 10 years recorded $1.85 million of sales and then did another $500,000 which he didn’t have time to include in his sales figures before the Xmas break! As you can imagine, he and his fantastic Christchurch-based team have been very busy, and getting people’s kitchens completed before the break took priority.

I know that during the pandemic, home restoration was one of the things people were willing and able to spend money on, but you say that the trend was there even before Covid?

The figures show that the trend was definitely there before Covid. Our refacing method – which involves removing and replacing doors and drawers to create a complete new look – proved to be very popular, because of its low cost compared to a full remodel.

With low interest rates, soaring house prices, and a housing shortage, it was a perfect storm, and the pandemic only accelerated the trend. People couldn’t travel overseas and they were spending a lot of time at home during lockdowns so they decided to use the travel money to upgrade their homes. This is definitely carrying on into 2022 and we see it being this way for some time to come, which is why we’re launching our new franchise brand – Dream Bathrooms. Same reputation, same support, same systems but a brand new opportunity.

Now, this is our Success issue, so can I ask how you got Dream Doors into this position?

I like to think we’ve learned from everything we’ve done, good and bad, and a few years ago we created a Franchise Management System (FMS) which allowed our franchisees to have total control over their businesses. It brings together every aspect – marketing, enquiries, sales, ordering, safety, customer feedback, business ROI and more – to increase sales, efficiency and client satisfaction. It’s an award-winning system which enabled franchisees to cope with the massive sales increases of recent years, and Dream Bathrooms franchisees will benefit from it right from the start.

We have a very strong management team with over 40 years of Dream Doors management experience, so when the initial restrictions and lockdowns came into force, we immediately implemented new strategies for our customers’ safety. One of those ideas proved to be a winner, too – we introduced video calling with customers and analysed their kitchen from their video and still pictures, enabling us to quote for the work even without site visits. The FMS enabled us to send out quotes to the customers the same day as the video call. Innovation is our secret!

So tell me about the new franchise?

Our franchisees drive the innovation within the brand. They are awesome people, who are not just business partners in the Dream Doors brand, but who are also friends. We share our thoughts, problems, solutions and therefore we make a fantastic team… The Dream Team! And now we want to expand the team with new franchisees as we launch Dream Bathrooms.

Dream Bathrooms will mean new opportunities for new franchisees throughout New Zealand.

You don’t need trade experience – you need to be a great organiser and a great salesperson – so if that’s you, get in early and talk to me before the launch. Given our past success, the prime areas will be snapped up fast!’   

See this advertorial on page 35 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 31 Issue 1

Contact details for Dream Doors

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