7 min read · April 6 2022
When Rick Noel and Kim Kandaras first partnered with Precoa, they thought it might take two years to see the level of preneed growth they had always dreamed of.
It took six months.
To see so much progress so quickly has been nothing short of thrilling. Still more thrilling is looking forward to the extraordinary growth they’re still capable of.
I've never seen anything like this. Rick Noel Walton Funeral Homes
“We have everything we need in order to succeed,” Kim says.
Rick agrees. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
With seven full-service funeral homes and four cremation societies, Walton’s Funerals & Cremations is the largest funeral provider in northern Nevada.
They are also the premier funeral home in their community, with a reputation for excellence that has made them the number one choice for families for over sixty years.
Much of this success is rightly attributed to their staff. Caring and attentive, Walton’s tremendous staff is one of the reasons the firm was a recent finalist for a Best Places to Work award.
Still, growing is not without its challenges. The cremation rate in Reno is high—78%— and even though the population of northern Nevada has grown, the preneed market can be difficult.
The cremation rate in Reno, NV is 78%, which can make the preneed market difficult to navigate.
“Our success with preneed was always just marginal,” Rick says. “We relied on walk-ins and call-ins, and there was no real program in place.”
Before purchasing Walton’s in 2019, Rick and Kim had been longtime employees of the funeral home. They care deeply about Walton’s legacy and its staff, and they knew preneed would be important to keep their funeral home competitive in a growing market.
“We needed a preneed partner who could be a complete support system,” Kim says. “To do all the things we don’t have the time or expertise to do.”
Rick and Kim had long recognized Walton’s untapped potential for preneed. The trouble was that it seemed increasingly difficult to achieve.
Preneed providers shared Rick and Kim’s enthusiasm about Walton’s potential, they projected impressive results—and then, disappointingly, those results never panned out.
“No one could get us to where we knew we should be,” Rick says. “It was time to try something different. We knew we needed to make a change.”
So when Precoa projected how much Walton’s could grow at each successive stage of their partnership, Kim and Rick were intrigued. Here was a company whose reputation was built on using a proven program to increase preneed volume. Would they actually be able to help?
They decided to sign up and give Precoa a try. And for the first time they started seeing measurable growth.
What we've always dreamed of and believed we could do — we're seeing it! Rick Noel Walton Funeral Homes
Rick remembers thinking, “Wow, this is actually achievable. What we’ve always dreamed of and believed we could do—we’re seeing it!”
With Precoa, Walton’s experienced firsthand the impact of ProActive Preneed®.
Marketing was being tailored to their funeral home for every lead source. Lead programs were being used to educate families about the value of funeral service. And as they grew more excited about having Precoa’s multichannel marketing program up and running, Kim and Rick also saw how it connected to appointment setting through the Funeral Planning Center and the sales coaching from Precoa’s field management team.
When you look at what they are able to accomplish, even with individuals who had no prior experience in the funeral profession — it is just phenomenal! Kim Kandaras Walton Funeral Homes
“Precoa’s sales coaching is another testament to their program,” Kim says. “When you look at what they are able to accomplish, even with individuals who had no prior experience in the funeral profession—it is just phenomenal!”
Kim and Rick were also surprised by how little they had to do when it came to preneed. Precoa’s unique promise to manage their entire program meant they could focus all their time and attention on their core business.
“Precoa is such a complete support system,” Kim says. “The time and cost it takes to invest in a successful preneed program hold most owners back. If they only knew how easy it is to grow with the right partners, the decision would be a no-brainer. Precoa does most of the work for us.”
Now, just six months after partnering with Precoa, Walton’s Funerals & Cremations is consistently breaking sales records. Precoa is also ramping up their community education programs, adding yet another productive lead source, and Walton’s preneed volume is 3x what it once was.
Walton's preneed volume is 3x what it was before partnering with Precoa
“We thought it would take two years to get to this level,” Rick says, a note of amazement in his voice. “And we’re doing it now.”
Kim is excited. “We knew Precoa was good,” she says, “but it wasn’t until we saw the outcome that we were true believers. I will tell anyone and everyone what a great program this is, what a great partnership this is, and how much it has truly improved our business.”
As markets become more competitive, funeral home owners are finding it more and more difficult to take time away from serving families to focus on preneed. The catch is that without a solid preneed program, funeral homes can too easily lose the momentum needed to grow.
For Kim and Rick, having a solid program has become absolutely essential. Precoa helps them strengthen their funeral home’s brand and secure the future of their business while giving them the resources and time to focus on serving families.
This naturally inspires them to think about their next goals for growth.
“We’re not even sure what we’re capable of now,” Kim says. “The sky’s the limit.”
“I’ve been in the funeral profession for thirty-eight years, and I’ve been through multiple preneed providers,” Rick says. “Trust me when I say you should try Precoa. You won’t be disappointed.”