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Meet David W. Finks of Southwest Greens of the Valley in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to David W. Finks.

Thanks for sharing your story with us David. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Southwest Greens of the Valley is a franchise that I took over in 2009. I am a 1979 graduate of Arizona State University. After graduating from ASU I moved back to Chicago and traded stock options on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange for 20+ years and in 2009 was given the opportunity to take over this franchise. I was thrilled to come back to the Valley. Southwest Greens of the Valley is the leader in installation of synthetic lawns, golf greens, playgrounds and bocce ball courts. We have installed over 400,000 square feet of synthetic turf for each of the past five years for residential and commercial properties. We have grown from 8 employees in 2009 to 18 employees today and we continue to grow. We are in a partnership with Shaw Industries out of Dalton Georgia who has been manufacturing all of our turf for the past 5 years. Shaw is the largest carpet manufacturer in the world and is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. We couldn’t be happier with Shaw and our relationship with them. Our goal is to make the Valley a greener community using less water for their lawns.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We are basically in the construction business installing lawns and golf greens and there are always struggles with any company. You are dealing with all types of products to build these projects from rolls of turf, base material which we use quarter minus and ABC, to removing the customers’ real grass and decorative rock.

It is a time sensitive business scheduling the right amount of installs in a certain time frame. We complete 99% of our jobs on-time but it’s that 1% that can throw a wrench in your scheduling. Sometimes we will get a call from the customer saying they are not ready due to landscapers still having work to do before we come in. We always like to be the last job on site so the new turfs don’t get damaged by other contractors’ heavy equipment.

So that example means we have to move that customer out a week or so and try to find some available time to complete it, Right now as we speak we are booked solid for the next 7 weeks.

Southwest Greens of the Valley – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We pride ourselves on being a green company. We install a product that does not require water, mowing, re-seeding or fertilizing. Often times we will remove the customers real grass and replace with our synthetic grass and that’s where the savings start for the customer. I am amazed at how many golf greens we have installed in the Valley. Our Golf Greens are the closest thing to a real golf green that you can get. We can build them to the customers’ specs including giving the customer a right to left break, a left to right break, an uphill putt or a downhill putt and most importantly the long straight putt. We are 1 of 65 franchises worldwide and have built golf greens for Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, Tim Clark, Jim Furyk, VJ Singh and Annika Sorenstam to name a few of the 65+ PGA touring pros we have installed for. I think our proudest moment was building this 20,000 square foot golf green (picture attached) for a customer in Cave Creek. The golf green is 7900 sf, with a large grass bunker and the sand bunker is 1100sf. The rest of the area is a double cut (1″ and 2″ turfs) totaling 11,000sf. Our customer says he hits 200 balls a day into that green from 5 different tee boxes and has gone from an 18 handicap to an 8.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
You are only successful in this business if the customer is happy with the final product. I don’t care if I or my salesmen or my workers think it’s a great installation, the only person we need to make happy is the customer.

We go out of our way to make sure the customer is happy. We send out reviews after jobs are complete and I receive a lot of then back. We have 7 categories on our review for the customer to check off, was our salesman knowledgeable, was he courteous, punctual, how was the design, were we on time, how is the overall look and lastly how was the clean-up. We have 5 ratings for each of these questions, eagle, birdie, par, bogie and double bogie. I have that total on my desk and when I see 95% of the total responses reading eagle I am very proud of our salesmen and our installers, we have a great group of guys!!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 7625 E Redfield Rd.
    Suite 900
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • Website:www.swgarizona.com
  • Phone:480-664-9417

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