|British Columbia is Canada’s most western province. With rugged, natural beauty it provides up to 25,000 miles of coastline along the Inside Passage, the coastal route extending from Puget Sound up into the Alaska Panhandle.
Located on Vancouver Island, is the port city of Nanaimo, with a population of approximately 100,000. It is here where David Sauve, owner of The Soakhouse, relocated, looking for a quieter way of life after leaving a career in radio advertising. “I grew up in Vancouver, but my wife and I wanted to slow our life down,” says David. “We came to Nanaimo and we love it!”
David began searching for a hot tub when a doctor recommended a hot tub for back therapy for his wife, Carmen. He was thoroughly disappointed in the experience. “There was just so much conflicting information that we ended up confused and frustrated” he states. While visiting friends who owned a hot tub, he and his wife discovered the exact model they wanted but there wasn’t a dealer in Nanaimo.
David attended hot tub shows, learning everything he could about the tubs and the industry. In 2008, he opened The Soakhouse at #102 – 2520 Bowen Road in Nanaimo and, based on his own experience, he determined to offer an outstanding experience to his customers. “My main thing is a WOW factor for our clients,” states David. “We even had our sales desk designed to facilitate conversation! We want our customers to talk to us and spend time here!”
Even with a soaring ceiling height in the showroom, David has been careful to keep the atmosphere friendly and relaxed. He is methodical about design, placement and even music selection in the showroom and the hot tub wet-test rooms. “We essentially entertain our customers and it’s all about their experience here,” says David.
The Soakhouse opened a few months prior to the recession of 2008, which wasn’t exactly what David had planned. “We opened into a crashing market,” he says with a wry grin. Determined to weather the economic downturn, he went into survival mode, worked with his manufacturers and maintained fiscal responsibility. The pride is evident in his voice when he says, “We kept the customers’ experience high, but our costs low!” David was able to maintain operations and thrive by maintaining a focus on the customer’s experience. “It was during this time we instituted our ‘6 month touch’ follow up program with customers. It shows them we care!” Additionally, he was able to barter with a high-end photographer for many of the beautiful shots they now use in their ads, brochures and on their website.
David is excited about the coming year, “It’s going to be really good for us as we look forward to continued growth.” He finds himself, and the business, in the rather remarkable position of having a completely new team. “I think we have our best team, ever, in place, right now. It’s going to be exciting to see how they gel and grow together over time!”
In 2013, David ‘discovered’ Nordic Hot Tubs. “Nordic has great quality, they look good, they feel good and are a great value proposition for our customers,” he says with enthusiasm. “Our clients have nothing but good things to say about these tubs!” David also likes the interaction he has with Nordic as a company. “Nordic’s people are always professional and friendly and I’m glad they are on ‘our’ team!”
David has these words of advice for other dealers and is confident when he says, “Know your clients, that’s number one. Know your market and know yourself!”
David Sauve and The Soakhouse Sales Team can be contacted through the website. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
The Soakhouse located at #102-2520 Bowen Road in Nanaimo, BC.
A Nordic Crown™ displayed at The Soakhouse in Nanaimo, BC.The Soakhouse showroom in Nanaimo, BC.