Hiring

Ep.109: NARI Work Force Training with Michelle Glassburn & Asher Nichols

The skilled labor shortage is a challenge we hear far too often about in our industry. In many cases we have asked “What are you doing about it?” and for many, it has been very little.

It’s tough for business owners to take this on themselves because of the finances and resources needed to tackle the issue. It is refreshing to see the trade association stepping up and making a difference.

Tim attended a dinner meeting with the Eastern Mass NARI group a few months back and during that meeting he learned more about their work force development project.

Tim and Steve welcome Michelle Glassburn and Asher Nichols to the program to discuss the progress and success of their program.

Since 2013, Michelle Glassburn has served as Executive Director of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of NARI. The organization has created the Youth Remodeling Career Day event, a complement of programs that support vocational schools in the area, a mentorship program for emerging businesses.

Asher Nichols is the owner of Asher Nichols & Craftsmen, LLC in Newton, MA. He has been in business for 15 years, and is a member of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of NARI. For the past 2 years, he has worked with Michelle on the Youth Remodeling Career Day Event.

Ep.106: Running a Debt-free Company with Wally Staples

We usually focus on production issues like getting good help, working with trade contractors, change orders, etc. In this episode, we change things up and tackle a more general business topic, running debt-free.

We are fortunate enough to have a returning guest join us for this discussion. Wally Staples was on Episode 72, talking about how he recruits employees. For this episode, however, Wally goes into detail about how he has established and run his company, Wally J Staples Builders, as a debt-free business.

Wally started his company in 1993 and worked in the field building new homes and completing renovations until 2001, when he then focused on growing and making the company better. Wally J Staples Builders has some employees that have been with the company for 10-20 years and has never laid anyone off in 25 + years for lack of work, one of the main benefits to running a debt-free company.

Tim, Steve and Wally start with how and why he established his business this way and went on cover more topics:

  • How and why he established his company this way
  • Clarification on what he considers a debt-free scenario
  • Benefits of the cash environment
  • Involving your team in the process
  • How an existing business transforms to debt-free

Tim wraps up the episode with his thoughts and experience in working with debt-free businesses, including his own, over the past 20+ years.

Ep.105: Solving the Skilled Labor Crisis with Clayton DeKorne

For the last decade (pre-COVID), the demand and lack of skilled labor may have slowed production and increased housing costs more than any other factor. This condition is not new to the U.S. housing industry; the nation faced similar conditions at the founding of the country, and the evolution of the U.S. education system and the building trades have contributed to our modern labor woes.

Is there a path that will lead us out of this? The answer
will depend on where the future of housing is going, which is any one’s guess
now. But, by exploring our past, we may be able to see more clearly what got us
here and help us avoid repeating past mistakes.

In this episode, Tim and Steve welcome Clayton DeKorne to the show to explore this topic further. Clayton is Chief Editor of the JLC Group for Hanley Wood, LLC. Clayton has been with JLC since it’s “early days” in 1988, joined Hanley Wood when JLC was acquired, and also was the founding education director for the JLC Live series of events held annually around the country.

Tim, Steve and Clayton address the skilled labor issue,
which includes:

  • The role technology plays in the future of our workforce.
  • How our colonial history can possibly transform the state of the industry today.
  • How income plays a role in how some choose a profession.
  • And more…

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Ep.104: Inside the Home Builders Institute with Ed Brady

Meeting the growing need for a qualified workforce in the remodeling and home building industries has evolved into seeing the ideal worker as coming from a range of backgrounds but with a common interest.

In this episode, Tim and Steve welcome Home Builders Institute (HBI) President and CEO, Ed Brady, who explains the breadth of programs offered and the evolution of services HBI is undertaking to match the industry’s varied and changing needs.

Home Builders Institute (HBI), a national nonprofit that trains underserved populations, including veterans, transitioning military, high school students and justice-involved youth and adults for careers in the building industry. Ed currently oversees the operations, products and services for HBI and is a second-generation home builder from Bloomington, Illinois.

In addition, Ed has served 12 years as Independent Director of the Chicago Federal Home Loan Bank, working with leading experts to advance the nation’s housing policy and has also served as a senior officer with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and as the 2016 chairman of its board of directors.

Ep.100: A Conversation with Tim

Congratulations on Reaching 100 Episodes!

To celebrate this milestone, we’re changing up the format, turning the tables and featuring our Host, Tim Faller!

In this episode of the Tim Faller Show, Steve interviews his co-host and explores Tim’s background as a lead carpenter, business owner and his transition to a trusted advisor and sought-after industry “guru.”

Steve and Tim discuss:

  • Shifts in the industry, from 1-2 person operations to larger design/build firms we see today.
  • The birth of the lead carpenter system and its evolution.
  • Common issues and challenges that Tim sees in working with Remodelers in the US & Canada.
  • Finding good help and building an awesome production team.

A few items that Steve and Tim reference in this episode:

Ep.97: Getting a Handle On Training with Chris Peterson

Training to help move team members up the ladder is important to any remodeling company and its ability to move fast and make money. 

Chris Peterson has seen the importance of training from his first days in the field as a carpenter through to his present leadership position. He says it’s a concrete way to coach and promote great people from the ground up. 

In this episode, Chris explains his company’s training methods to Tim and Steve, and shows you how to create your own education program.

Chris is a co-owner and vice-president of production at Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, MO. Chris has been with the company for more than 23 years. He started in the field as a carpenter and progressed to lead carpenter, project manager, and production manager. In 2018, he purchased the business with his partner, Charlie Schloegel. He’s seen the need for better training from many angles. 

There’s a real connection between emphasizing training and successful financial growth, says Chris. His company has started Schloegel University, which is in its initial growth phase. Some of the training is after hours on a volunteer basis, and there are mandatory meetings. Chris explains why making it cross-functional with classes that include field and office staff is important, as well as:

  • Reactionary vs. proactive training
  • Explaining how quality ties into profitability
  • How much to spend on training
  • Structuring a training program
  • Understanding education is already happening
  • Setting standards so things are done the same way, every time
  • Putting the responsibility on the learner
  • Creating enthusiasm around the process
  • And more …

Dedicating the time to training, even if it’s informal, will help your people be successful, leading to better quality and more jobs for your company, says Chris.

Ep.93: Women in Leadership on Site with Dejah Léger

We talk a great deal about ways to beat the labor shortage, including the importance of training and education in keeping good employees. We’ve also discussed how to promote the trades as an attractive career choice. 

There’s a third component — finding the right people. And that may mean changing your thinking about what, or who, you’re looking for.

Dejah Léger came into remodeling with no experience, but was “trained from scratch,” she says. Due to her motivation and ability to learn quickly, she was promoted to lead carpenter within a year.

In this episode, Dejah talks to Tim and Steve about her experiences changing careers to become a carpenter and project manager, the challenges, and why women are a big asset on the job site.

Dejah is a lead carpenter/project manager at Irons Brothers Construction in Shoreline, WA. The first project she led was a major kitchen remodel, and she has continued to lead multiple jobs since then. Her role as the only female lead carpenter in Shoreline is a huge advantage on many levels. It points to the many reasons women should be recruited to be bags-on, even if it means large initial investments in training. 

Dejah’s remodeling career started when one of the company’s owners recruited her at her daughter’s baseball game. Her coworkers trained her on-site, she studied everything she could at night, and Irons Brothers sends their team to training and trade shows. She talks about what it’s like being a woman in a male-dominated industry, changing careers, and the advantages it gives her in the field, including:

  • Establishing authority and leading on site
  • Why the labor shortage leveled the playing field for her
  • Communicating with clients 
  • Creating relationships with subs and vendors
  • Finding safety equipment that fits
  • Training on her own
  • The physical aspects of the job
  • Using her graphic design background to understand plans
  • Why to recruit more women
  • And more …

Getting past preconceived notions of what a carpenter or project manager has always been is the first step toward recruiting and retaining good team members — and that includes women.

Ep.90: Moving Company Culture to the Job Site with Dennis Engelbrecht

Between 1950 and 2010, the use of the term “company culture” has doubled — Tim looked it up.  But for a lot of people, it’s still a bit of a mystery. You hear about having a good culture, but it can be hard to quantify.

Often, remodeling companies can have a great culture in the office, but it doesn’t always make it out to the field staff on the job site. Sometimes the office and the job site have two separate cultures, so the team as a whole doesn’t share a company culture. Complicating matters, as you grow, your culture will change too — in ways you may not expect.

In this episode, Dennis Engelbrecht, discusses company culture with Tim and Steve, especially how to create and maintain a positive culture in the field and get everyone on the same page.

Dennis is a consultant with the Family Business Institute, of Raleigh, NC. He’s devoted his life and career to creating, improving, building, and coaching entrepreneurs for greater business success. Dennis directs the CEO Roundtables Program for Contractors, which he founded to expand upon a group one of his early clients participated in.

Company culture is a collection of a set of beliefs and behaviors that affect the workplace, Dennis says. When trying to set up a good culture, it starts with the company’s leadership. It’s not a defined set of rules, but how everyone acts. The challenge is establishing and maintaining the culture you want, one that creates a workplace people want to be in. Dennis tells you how to create and direct a good company culture, on the job site and in the office, including:

  • Why the owner needs to visit job sites
  • The crucial role of your project manager or lead carpenter
  • How to involve your trade partners on the job site
  • Keeping egos in check
  • The power of a simple greeting
  • The first question to ask on the job site
  • Praising in public, criticizing in private
  • How to manage for success
  • Sharing information
  • Changing the culture — if you’re not the business owner
  • And more …

Your company’s culture on the job site and off can give you a competitive advantage in finding and keeping good team members — a key strategy in beating the labor shortage.

Ep.89: Profit-Sharing Strategies with Shawn McCadden

Money isn’t the only way to motivate your team, but profit sharing can boost morale, productivity, and help attract and keep good production employees.

Profit sharing can be engineered into the budget so there will be funds to distribute. As long as you hit the gross-profit margin, you can set up profit sharing, says Shawn McCadden. But you have to be careful and systematic in creating the system.

In this episode, Shawn discusses profit-sharing strategies with Tim and Steve, and how to create and maintain a profit-sharing program that will motivate your field team.

Shawn is president of Remodel My Business Inc. in Brookline, NH, and is a prominent figure in the remodeling industry. He obtained his builder’s license by age 18; founded, operated, and sold a successful employee-managed design/build firm; co-founded the Residential Design/Build Institute; and went on to become director of education for a national bath and kitchen remodeling franchise company. Today he speaks frequently at industry conferences and trade events. As an award-winning columnist, he contributes to industry publications, blogs, and writes a monthly column for Qualified Remodeler magazine. You can learn more at www.shawnmccadden.com.

You must have a sensible financial system already in place to make profit sharing work, says Shawn. There’s no room for guesswork. You also need a way to measure what’s happening on a job in the same way it was estimated for apples-to-apples comparisons. He discusses how to implement a profit sharing plan and the benefits, including: 

  • Starting with best practices
  • The difference between profit sharing and bonuses
  • Considering profit sharing as an overhead expense
  • Training your staff to understand your budget
  • Testing it before you roll it out
  • Setting the goals
  • When — and how often — to distribute the money
  • Documenting your process 
  • Determining who gets how much
  • Being a competitive employer in your market
  • And more …

The labor shortage is only going to get worse, says Shawn, and a profit-sharing program — along with competitive pay, benefits, and time off — will help your company attract and keep the best employees.

You’ve Got Questions, We’ll Find Answers

This topic was suggested by one of our listeners who wanted to know how to begin a profit-sharing program. If you’ve got a question or idea for a topic or guest, send Tim an email at tim@remodelersadvantage.com.

New Dates for Extreme Business Makeover

Due to schedule conflicts we moved the Extreme Business Makeover to March 30 – 31, 2020. We’re still at the BWI Westin in Baltimore and we’ve added Bruce Case as a featured speaker… More content being added and we’ve got 4-5 great tools that you will be leaving with, so take a look at this event and we would love to see you there!
More information + Registration >>

Ep.88: Women in Production Management with Heather Tankersley

The remodeling and construction industries are dominated by men. Even such necessary things as safety equipment are a bad fit for the few women who are working on the production side in residential remodeling or construction.

But things are slowly changing. More women are showing up on job sites, and working in production and operations management.

In this episode, Heather Tankersley talks about her experiences as an operations manager with Tim and Steve. She discusses what it’s like to be in a management role as a woman in construction and the differences between her experience in commercial and residential projects.

Heather is co-owner of Tankersley Construction in Rancho Cordova, CA, with her husband Steve (check out his episode). Founded three years ago, it’s quickly become one of California’s leaders in residential construction by taking commercial construction principles and applying them to small- and mid-sized homeowner projects. Before working at Tankersley Construction, Heather managed complex projects for some of the largest electrical contractors in the United States. Heather’s prior project experience includes new student housing at Sacramento State University, new classrooms for UC Hastings, medical facility expansion at Folsom State Prison, and multiple VA and healthcare projects throughout Northern California. 

While still working full-time in her previous job, Heather worked with Steve to develop the new company’s processes, and they found the need for an operations manager role. She filled in. Heather manages the pre-construction phase. When the job is handed off to the project managers, Heather oversees the schedules and the progress of each individual job. She talks about what she’s learned and what her prior project management experience has helped her company, including:

  • How she got into the industry
  • Being comfortable with asking the three “whys”
  • Developing organizational skills
  • The need for good people skills
  • Her protocols for keeping information up-to-date
  • The platforms and applications she uses
  • Dealing with gender biases
  • Organizations supporting women in construction
  • Finding mentors 
  • The advantages of being a woman in residential remodeling
  • And more …

Heather says remodelers should look to recruit commercial project managers — male or female — by using the appeal of the more personal, relationship-driven work of residential remodeling.

FREE Webinar coming up in February…

Change Orders: The Top Three $$$ Mistakes Corrected

Join us on Thursday, February 20th as Tim Faller walks you through key strategies for addressing change orders and hitting your profit targets in 2020. This webinar for owners, estimators, and field staff will focus on the top 3 Change Order mistakes companies make that cost them money. We will share Spreadsheet Calculators using real demonstrations – not only how each mistake occurs, but how much it costs you as well. Each mistake will be discussed, and possible solutions presented.
Click Here to Reserve Your Seat >> 

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