How long has Trunk Bay been around? When did it start?
We started in June 2001.
Why did you want to start your own construction company?
Because I had a couple houses built for me, and I didn’t really enjoy the experience. I felt like it didn’t have to be that way – it could’ve been better, with more customer focus in mind. I felt like it could be enjoyable, and the builder and client could be friends by the end of the process.
Where does the name “Trunk Bay” come from?
Trunk Bay is a real place; it’s a bay or beach on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Years ago, it was voted one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s probably the prettiest, most serene place I’ve ever been to in my life. White sugar-sand beaches in a cove. Picturesque.Traci, my wife, and I were on a cruise, and there was an excursion to Trunk Bay – and we went because there’s not many places with the name “Trunk.” I was so impressed, awestruck, by the beauty of it – Traci and I joked around that if we ever hit it big some day, we’d have a house on Trunk Bay. Then we found our that 75% of St. John is national park, so that wasn’t really an option. But I wanted to bring some of that beauty, that serenity, to homes I designed here, in Illinois.
Why should I build/buy/remodel a house with Trunk Bay? What makes you different?
I think our passion for design, our focus on our client and our customer service, and our service after the sale is second-to-none. In this industry, service after the sale is just money going out the door (you’ve already earned what you’re going to earn). So it’s really just having a service-commitment, that has to come from inside you – since it’s not a money-making venture. Our thought is if you use good materials and great people in the initial building process, there are limited things that go wrong, and you have that money to spend on continually taking care of customers.
What is your biggest priority in building, remodeling, buying/selling a house?
Having great relationships at the end. It sounds simple, but what is entailed in that – telling them what you’re going to do, doing what you say you’re going to do, doing it on time. Most people say “we just build relationships,” and again, anyone can just say that. But there are these pieces that have to be in play to even make that a possibility.
Marty speaking to his “measuring stick” –
My biggest struggle is that what I started [a company with true commitment to customer-service and integrity], there isn’t an option. I had to be committed to doing things a certain way (customer service, doing business with integrity). That was a conversation between me and God – this is the way we’re going to do business. That’s where I go today. And if any piece of the business doesn’t line up with that, then it’s not good enough.