Beautiful Basements through Technology and Client Care

AGM Renovations
Written by Allison Dempsey

With the goal of providing outstanding service at affordable rates, AGM Renovations offers high-quality basement finishing services throughout the Greater Toronto Area, utilizing 20 years of experience and the expertise of a wide range of renovation professionals. Boasting first-rate results at affordable prices, AGM’s dedication to superior customer service and consistently outperforming the competition results in a complete satisfaction guarantee from beginning to end.

Touted as the first business to focus solely on basement remodeling, AGM has created a tried-and-true method centred on the needs of the customer in order to help them make the best choices regarding their investment, their home, and their family, all while building the basement of their dreams.

“Through the experience I have working here with different contractor trades and coworkers, I’ve found this to be a well-established company focusing on quality,” says District Manager Ivan Ruiz. “Our goal is client satisfaction 100 percent, no matter what.”

AGM has worked tirelessly to create resources that provide the technology and services to ensure the client’s entire journey is both faster and easier, he adds. Renovations can sometimes be a headache, and while some companies fail to provide adequate services from start to finish, AGM’s management is keenly detail-oriented and in touch with its workers and subcontractors in a concentrated effort to ensure extra value and a superior product.

In short, AGM is a true customer-oriented business dedicated to customer service driven on quality.

“We have a very solid technology regarding control costs and quality selections. Clients can also go online and make designs by themselves that they don’t need to go over with a specialist,” says Ruiz. “They have resources and friendly technology they can use to select colour guiding and all accessories. After that, when they feel happy with that initial design, they can make arrangements.”

To create an ideal makeover for a home, AGM has designed a practical renovation program to satisfy clients’ unique needs and demands with a tried-and-true process that involves a video consultation followed by selecting finishes, a technical walk-through inspection on-site, and finally the build, turning a bespoke design into reality thanks to the hard work of installation specialists.

Conducting thorough research before beginning any project ensures ultimate success, and AGM’s experts make sure they ask all the pertinent questions of every client before an experienced designer proposes an innovative and practical 3D concept, allowing for adjustments in real time in order to see the basement “come to life.” Designers also walk clients through a detailed description of all the features and components included in the all-inclusive package of premium building materials along with a detailed agreement and payment structure after the design is complete and flawless.

The area is reviewed with the design concept in mind by one of AGM’s seasoned project managers and a designer, who will evaluate the structural, plumbing, and mechanical layouts along with recording any design modifications required or decisions made since the virtual design appointment. All of this data is then combined to produce a final design, which then serves as the construction project’s manual.

And while the client’s committed project manager has all the materials and knowledge needed for the job along with designers, clients are also able to access options online in regards to colour and other quality services. “It’s a very good technology for the clients,” says Ruiz.

Due to AGM’s success in the industry, it’s only natural that growth and expansion—which includes recruiting and hiring—is also in the works for the company.

“We have a very solid plan to contract and subcontract employees and companies and trades in this company,” says Ruiz. “For instance, they have to pass through an approved exam—both theoretical and physical—onsite where we have our shop so we can evaluate and assess every single trait. This is why we have, I think, the best trades,” he shares.

“We make sure at the end of the day that our trades are the first face for our clients,” says Ruiz. “During construction we also have a manager who supervises everything including the control system, and a host of resources in favour of the client.”

He explains that, “We follow the tools and techniques from management, which is creating their risk management plan, communication plan, and other resources while offering a support manager to control the project,” he says. “So at the end of the day, we’d like to make sure that this project—any project we have—we can complete on time and on budget; we try to not extend any client’s contract as long as it’s all in the scope of the work. At the end of the day, the client isn’t an expert at what we’re doing on site. We will try to explain [everything], because we’re trying to create that dream for the client.”

Along with the challenge of making clients’ dreams come true, other challenges have come and gone over the years, including the pandemic, which has played a huge factor in the workings of the company over the past three years—both positive and negative.

“COVID affected us very badly, mainly because we couldn’t go and introduce ourselves to the client in a proper manner, but instead had to adapt to the new global issues,” says Ruiz. “So that’s why we have tried to [take a more laid-back approach with] the client, so they can start working on the design first; after they’re more comfortable, they can arrange a meeting with our designer and brand manager.”

While the pandemic has affected the supply chain and made face-to-face meetings much more difficult, business, on the other hand, has done very well during a period of time when people who were not able to travel instead put their savings toward home renovations in order to make their home base more comfortable and as enjoyable as possible.

“That absolutely was the case with us,” says Ruiz. “The COVID dynamic meant people spent a lot of time indoors and they realized they had a need to renovate or refurbish. So at that point, our sales increased around 20 percent in the first quarter, and that was very consistent with how we try to increase our sales more than 10 percent per year… what we have learned coming out of the pandemic is to be more focused and flexible in adapting to changes in the world.”

While the supply chain issues have calmed down a bit as of late, the pandemic will continue to make a significant difference in the industry for some time to come.

“COVID may change your way of thinking about doing business. Suppliers have to try to be more flexible and have stronger relationships with everyone, because they know something could happen in the future,” Ruiz says. “So they need to adapt to the system, with everyone being flexible, offering various prices or alternatives to meet the client’s needs and avoid losses.”

Along with its admirable design work, AGM also does commendable charity work in the community as well. By hiring AGM to remodel your basement, you’re also helping the 360°kids Charity. Every young child needs a secure place to call home, according to 360°kids, which works to help 16- to 26-year-olds, whether through a family breakup or other issue that threatens to leave a youth homeless. Since 1989, the charity has worked in the fields of health and wellbeing, education, and employment in the York Region, and AGM proudly contributes a percentage of the proceeds from each basement renovation to the organization in order to enhance and broaden the services provided to these at-risk youth so they can grow up to be stable, sociable adults who then give back to their communities. Additionally, every few months, AGM staff members volunteer at a 360°kids program site in order to learn more about their programs while interacting with the kids.

While this definitely sets the company apart from its competition, AGM has also differentiated itself in other ways as well.

“I think we are a leader in the market now, not because the people are different, but because we try to be focused and client-oriented,” says Ruiz. He adds that AGM invests so heavily in its controls and technology system to make it user-friendly and easily accessed by the client before ever seeing the finished product.

“We provide a clear vision, an idea for the client and their property,” he says. “Our system is working very well. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but we as a company always try to understand what is happening, learn from it, and move forward.”

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