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Through good times and bad, Gateway Appliance Distributing has remained one of the stalwart associate members of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties in the Seattle area. And that has helped the company get new business.
Gateway is the area distributor for Viking ranges and other high-end appliances and the company has been an active member of the HBA for more than a decade primarily because the association’s custom home builders and remodelers can influence their clients’ choices of high-end appliances.
Tory Casey, Gateway’s marketing coordinator, helps builders and remodelers understand how Viking products work and why they’re worth the cost during demonstrations when the company hosts HBA meetings in its showroom.
“We’d cook food at these meetings and demonstrate our products,” said Casey. “And the HBA follows up with a keynote speaker on an industry-related topic.”
It’s a win-win for all involved. Everyone has a good time, Casey said, and members receive some hands-on experience with the appliances. Gateway also offers a builder incentive program that rewards its regular clients.
Gateway sponsors the HBA’s annual charity event and auction and participates in its tabletop nights and other association events.
“The remodelers and builders are really open to interacting with us,” said Casey. Julie Applegate, the HBA’s sales and marketing manager, “makes sure we get to meet the members that we want to meet. And the builders are happy to see us and learn about our products.”
Keeping the relationships alive during the slow times has boosted business.
“Last year, we got to know some new builders, and that has resulted in our working with two of them on projects this year,” Casey said.