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The past year has been filled with unexpected tragedy and hardship for all of us. Yet despite it all, there is still much to be thankful for. As we reflected on what the past year has brought for Pearl and the industries and professionals we serve, we’re reminded of the many struggles—but also the many triumphs—we’ve experienced. In this post, we’ll share some of those highlights and wins, both for the company as a whole and each of our departments serving our primary audiences and customers in the housing industry. 2020 became the little year that could.

Little Year That Could Social Graphics5

In spite of Covid’s impact on the contracting industry (equipment shortages, crews quarantined), a new light was shone on energy use and air quality as more people stayed at home full time. Because our company was already so nimble, we were able to pivot quickly to offer support and education to our customers—many of whom, as boots on the ground companies, were new to a virtual landscape. As a result, Pearl has continued to add value to our customers’ businesses throughout 2020, and we continue to engage with our partners as they adjust to a changing sales landscape. 

We also negotiated several important partnerships with major manufacturers this year, and we look forward to launching and implementing them in 2021. By providing us with new exposure and new ways to engage with many of the best contractors in the U.S., we anticipate these relationships will have a tremendous impact on revenue and sales in 2021.

After several years of focusing on product development and sales, Pearl stepped up efforts to engage in policy this year. We engaged with a number of legislators who are working on energy efficiency issues, and joined the National Association of State Energy Offices as an affiliate member. We also worked to ensure that Pearl is positioned to support and take part in any major energy efficiency initiatives that may be launched by the new administration in Washington during 2021.

Pearl CEO Cynthia Adams was honored to receive the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC) 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year award. This award was especially meaningful since Pearl was born in Charlottesville, and the community’s support of entrepreneurship is incredibly impactful. 

Additionally, Pearl hired nine new team members — including a Senior VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and a VP of Revenue — to help us scale our business. 

For more details on the company’s accomplishments, we’ve provided highlights from each of our department leaders below.

updates by department
Ari Greenberg Vice President of Revenue See full profile

Contractor Sales

A major shift this year was establishing a CaaS (Certification as a Service) pricing model for Pearl. This allows us to set the stage for a more reliable revenue stream. We also implemented a sales cadence and pipeline-management standard, allowing us to more accurately predict revenue. And last but far from least, our team has been focused on raising the level of conversation we have with our prospects, so we are better able to address their needs. This helps us convey what Pearl is really all about — providing value (versus pushing products) to our customers.

Amy Beley Vice President of Success See full profile

Contractor Success 

The Contractor Success team captured lessons from three years of onboarding and engagement to re-envision our approach. We revised our onboarding of new customers to better suit their needs and timelines, and worked with our existing customers to share new messaging and tactics to enhance the success of Pearl in their businesses. The early results indicate this revised process, coupled with a revised sales approach, is providing our contractor partners with better tools at the right time to see more impact with Pearl — and they’re excited about it. We also launched our Pearl Advisory Council, a select group of contractor partners who will provide guidance and insight to Pearl’s staff, so we can continue to enhance our value and support the growth of the elite Pearl Network

Casey Murphy Vice President of Customer Solutions See full profile

Customer Service, Solutions and Quality Systems 

Pearl established a customer service team to handle incoming inquiries from homeowners and other stakeholders. A case management infrastructure was built to promptly answer and resolve customer issues, as well as tracking and dashboarding resources so the team has increased visibility into case volume and performance. During the significant uptick in refinances in 2020, the team provided direct, one-on-one support to homeowners and developed new procedures to provide excellent customer service to the growing numbers of homeowners engaging with our new Green Door app.

The Customer Solutions Department continued to support Pearl’s existing core customers (contractors) and leveraged existing solutions in order to enter new customer segments. We established a streamlined certification process that provides more value to builders and issues certifications at record speed. The team also updated the certification framework to better address indoor air quality and smart home features, positioning Pearl to expand its value to existing customers and new markets in 2021 and beyond.

The Quality Systems Department implemented new quality assurance and control systems to handle a doubling of certification volume without requiring additional staff. The department also established a new dashboard to document and reference our Pearl partners’ information during the certification process, allowing us to better understand and meet the needs of our contractor partners while also maintaining and improving the quality and efficiency of our certification process.

Cindy Gonzales Vice President of Marketing See full profile

Marketing & Communications

This was a year focused on building the Pearl Marketing & Communications foundation. There is now a full(er) department with three full-time staff to support the growing marketing and communications needs at Pearl.

In 2020, our team developed new messaging and further defined Pearl’s brand. Early in the year we began the process of shifting to a new robust marketing automation software that integrates with our sales software (Pardot/Salesforce). This has allowed us to launch several new email marketing campaigns and engagement programs, giving us better insight into and connection with our customers, prospects, and other key audiences.

Another huge win this year was the launch of our new and improved website, which features clear, enhanced audience paths, allowing visitors more quickly and easily find the specific and unique content they’re looking for on our site. Finally, we provided support for several strategic partnerships and created up-to-date customer toolkits for each vertical (contractor sales, success, and real estate). Pearl’s Marketing-Communications team is well poised and firmed-up to begin 2021 with strategic focus and continued excellence!

Brian Wilson Senior Vice President of Operations See full profile

Operations 

The focus for 2020 Operations was to get the primary building blocks for scaling in place. This included designing and documenting core processes for our Sales, Success, and Customer Service teams and ensuring they are properly integrated and supported by our business systems and tools. We worked across departments to learn the business, determined where we have operational gaps and risks, and implemented measures to close those gaps. During the year, we implemented KPI Dashboards to give us improved, real-time visibility into the performance of our company. We also designed and implemented a new fixed, monthly pricing model to normalize our revenue and cash flow. This program was successfully rolled out to new customers and is being adopted by our existing customer base — all with positive results and in the midst of the pandemic.

Lindsay Bachman Communications Director See full profile

Partner Engagement 

Pearl proudly launched several partnerships in 2020 — including with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), California Solar and Storage Association (CALSA), Elevate Energy, National Association of REALTORS® Green Designees, North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners® (NABCEP), and SunPower. We developed communication plans for ongoing engagement in order to serve homeowners and the contractor and real estate professionals who serve them. We likewise deepened our relationship with legacy partners and are actively engaging with new manufacturing partners, with several exciting new programs ready for launch in the new year.

Rachel Davis Product Director See full profile

Product Tech 

Our team accomplished a lot in 2020! We released Green Door, our first homeowner facing web app, giving Pearl the opportunity to engage with homeowners more directly and impactfully. Designed to inform and simplify the homeowner journey, Green Door provides homeowners easy access to Pearl Professionals, a tracking system for improvement records and detailed information about their Pearl Certification. We also continued to improve the certification app for Pearl Contractors, helping to reduce the burden of providing data to Pearl. We also implemented a ServiceTitan integration and multiple API integrations with our contractors.

Joseph Gentile Vice President of Real Estate See full profile

Real Estate

2020 was a successful year for Pearl in Real Estate. We set up processes for Real Estate agents to virtually certify their listings with Pearl during these trying times, and even developed a new (virtual) solar certification program as well. Pearl also partnered with the National Association of REALTORS® Green REsource Council to enhance their “Green Designation” for its 3500 members through a program that includes education and special pricing.

As you can see, it was a very busy and productive year for Pearl — and we look forward to another successful and impactful year in 2021. To stay actively engaged with Pearl, sign up for email updates and engage with us on social media.


🥂 Happy New Year from all of us at Pearl! 🎊