11 Jan Dealer Spotlight: Window Tint USA Experienced Growth with 3M
(This article first appeared in the January 2021 issue of Dealer E-News.) Jim Luck owns Window Tint USA, a 3M™ Premier Elite authorized dealership that installs window film up and down the east coast of Florida from Vero Beach to Miami. Although he was raised in Canada, there has long been a connection between Jim Luck, Florida and window film.
Jim started installing window tint when he was just 15 years old and tinted his first building at 16. It was the late 70s, and his mother had taken a trip from their home in Toronto to Florida. While there, she noticed that many cars had tinted windows, and she realized Toronto needed a tint shop. Her brother and another friend went back to Florida to take classes in window film installation, and upon their return, taught Jim. His mother’s shop became highly successful, and Jim worked there until he left for college.
A Spring Break trip to Fort Lauderdale brought Jim to Florida and back to the window film business. He saw an opportunity and decided to stay. He got a job tinting cars before the week was over, and ironically, he ended up working with the very trainer that had instructed his uncle years earlier.
It wasn’t long before Jim decided to open his own business. He opened Window Tint USA in 1988 and quickly secured accounts with several dealerships. Although he developed a strong business over the years, Jim found that he was losing jobs when customers specifically wanted 3M films. In early 2011, Jim contacted Accent Distributing about becoming a 3M dealer. By September 2011, Window Tint USA achieved 3M Prestige Dealer status, and in 2017, Jim won a 3M Dealer of the Year award. In 2019, he received a 3M Inspiration Award for outstanding sales and growth, an even more impressive feat considering that Jim received a kidney transplant in August 2018.
“I think it would be very difficult to be as successful with any company other than 3M,” says Jim. “Brand recognition has a lot to do with it, but it’s more than that. 3M films are so technically advanced, we have to learn how and why they work and be able to convey that to the consumer. Building owners and architects are not only talking about heat being turned away, they are talking about U-Factors and keeping hot or cool air from escaping. With 3M, there’s a film for that.”
Window Tint USA’s first large scale commercial project came in 2017 when the owners of a well-known 310,000 sq. ft. building in Miami, 100 Biscayne, were looking for a façade upgrade. Until then, most of Window Tint USA’s jobs were about a third of that size, but Jim was confident in his products, skills and crew. Window Tint USA removed 40,000 sq. ft. of old film and installed 3M Ultra Prestige Series PR S50 with a wet-glaze attachment on the interior of the vision glass. They also installed 20,000 sq. ft. of blackout film on the spandrel glass, which had to be removed from the building by a glass company, tinted by Window Tint USA and replaced by the glass company. Jim credits his experience, his training with 3M and talking through the project with his reps at Accent Distributing for the smooth installation. “It went like clockwork, no problems at all,” Jim says.
Jim’s commercial sales took off from there. Window Tint USA recently installed 3M Prestige Series PR60 at The Breakers Palm Beach, a 536-room historic, Renaissance Revival style luxury hotel. Because The Breakers is big on sustainability, the film was initially installed for ultraviolet protection to reduce fading of carpets and furnishings in the guest rooms. As the owners realized the energy savings, they expanded the installation throughout the rest of the building. In addition, Window Tint USA also wrapped the dark interior mullions in white 3M 1080 Series Vinyl Wrap to update the look.
Another project currently underway for Window Tint USA is installing exterior 3M Exterior Safety & Security Series S70X clear film on a high-rise commercial office building in Miami, FL. The building’s exterior impact glass has been chipped in hurricanes when swirling shards of broken thermal pane glass from a hotel across the street hit the building, pitting the glass. When temperatures fluctuate, the damaged, pitted glass is prone to breakage. New impact glass is being installed, and Window Tint USA is applying the exterior safety film, due to its impact and scratch-resistant properties, to prevent the same type of damage from happening in the future.
Window Tint USA currently employs three automotive installers and two flat glass installers and frequently works with subcontractors on large projects. Despite his success with commercial projects and dealership accounts, Jim’s favorite jobs are residential window film installations. “I like residential estimates and the finished product. I enjoy talking to people, and I know that we can solve whatever issue they are having in their home with a 3M window film product. People need window film in Florida and that’s rewarding,” he says. “Of course, selling a big building is very rewarding, too!”
For more information about Window Tint USA, visit windowtintusafl.com or call 954-960-0212.