Majestic Pools & Landscapes is a family company, how does that set you apart from your competition?
Majestic Pools & Landscapes was founded 20 years ago by my father Jack and my mother Lydia who are both still directors, my brother Jason is lead project manager. Back when we started my father Jack realised there was a hole in the market for true quality swimming pools. It’s very rare in the swimming pool and construction industry to get a company like ours that has survived unchanged for twenty years so we’re very proud. With a family business there is a much bigger love factor, we’re always thinking about the future of the company. It’s not enough that we give a warranty on our pools, every pool is our reputation and we want that to last a lifetime. Each one of us is extremely passionate about Majestic Pools & Landscapes and what we do. It drives us to put a lot more effort into it than if we were employed for a non-family company.
Can you tell us a bit about Majestic Pool & Landscapes and their design philosophy?
Reputation is everything to us at Majestic Pools. Our business operates on an 80-85% referral base. From the very first contact with a client we spend a long time asking the customer exactly what they require. We employ the same techniques and design ideas from high end through to the low end where average mums and dads have saved hard for a swimming pool. It’s really important that we make sure everyone, whatever their budget, receives high end quality service. Our design philosophy is to deliver seemingly effortless synergy between function, surrounds, and lifestyle needs; producing solutions that add more value to the property than the solution costs to produce - across every budget range.
You have a large bank of designers, what special qualities does this bring to your pool design projects?
We have a bank of ten designers who draw inspiration and ideas from each other. The benefits to the customer are that we’re not just looking at what’s already out there in pool design. The designers are constantly cross-pollinating their ideas amongst each other to come up with the best possible solution for the customer’s brief. Our weekly design meetings every Friday run for hours.
To us it’s important that pools don’t just look good. They have to meet the customer needs and be user friendly. There are a lot of wonderful, modernist pools out there. But to us at Majestic the most important considerations are always who is buying the pool and who are they buying it for? Is it for the kids and the grandkids, to keep them in the back garden? Or does the customer entertain a lot outside? Many companies pretend to design trying to follow customers answers to these questions.
But if you open most magazines you will find yourself saying: ‘some of these pools look fantastic, but they don’t look like much fun, or they don’t really make me feel like I’d want to use that pool’. Or you might come across a pool that absolutely fits with the surrounds, has so many aspects that look like they would actually get used, and give you that uncontrollable feeling that you just want to jump into it. That’s what makes a truly great pool design. We make sure that all our pools are not just a pretty shape. That they are nothing if not user friendly. We even run internal design competitions where lucky customers have their back yard designed by all the designers. Design doesn’t stop once the project is signed. There are changes right the way through, even on dig day. We are constantly listening to our customer feedback.
How have you seen the swimming pool industry change over the years?
Back in the old days swimming pools were just a hole in the back yard. But pool design has got prettier across the board which is great. At one time we were leading the way in attractive designs but of course our competitors got better. Sadly I think things have gone too far. Now every Tom, Dick and Harry is designing pretty, nicely shaped pools. But are they user friendly? The feedback from our customers is that they say: “You are the only ones that are listening to why we want our pool, and designing better ways for us to use it.” It’s so important to think about elementary aspects of design such as hotspots in pools. A pool design should be based on the position and proximity of the house in relation to the sun at different times of day. But you’d be amazed how many pool designers just don’t do this.
You’ve won a number of SPASA Awards and Pool Builder of the Year 2008, and were a finalist in 2009. What recent projects are you most proud of?
One recent job in Gumdale, Qld, was a real wow. It had everything you could dream of in and around the swimming pool. The customer who commissioned it entertains frequently and wanted a real high end design. Luckily he had the budget to match. I was astonished when I saw it finished. There was nothing I could have done to add to it. We’re really proud of that job because although the customer requests and his needs were vast we managed to meet them all with the materials and methods that were used, such as concrete decks rather than timber. One of our biggest points of difference is that we can bring ideas from that kind of high end design back down into our more standard and less complex projects, of which we do a lot of, and that’s a plus that not many companies can offer their every-day clients.
You design for many overseas projects, how influential is Australia on the international swimming pool market?
Australia’s pool industry may not be the biggest in the world, but we do have one of the highest rates of pool ownership per person. I believe Australia has the most developed and refined pool industry in the world. Australia’s pool industry has pioneered a host of world first innovations such as the saltwater chlorinator, and many elements of design like beaches and caves etc. Some countries may have aesthetically beautiful pools and others are very expensive but down-right kitsch – sadly money doesn’t buy you style. But what everyone wants round the world and Australian pool design reflects is our outdoor lifestyle, it’s highly exportable. I just don’t think you can get better than Australian design.