Management

Ep.108: The Impact Your Production Team Has on Marketing with Spencer Powell

Raise your hand if you are a salesperson… Maybe a few business owners raised their hands, but most likely our production people and our Project managers, Lead carpenters, and Production managers all kept their hands down. Not so fast!

In this episode, we step out of our comfort zone a little and talk about the impact that your production teams have on sales and marketing. For this discussion, we bring in an expert in the marketing world, one who has worked with hundreds of remodelers and home builders all over the country; Spencer Powell.

Spencer is the President of Builder Funnel, a Colorado-based firm that focuses on providing sales and marketing services for homebuilders, remodelers & contractors. Spencer earned his Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, and HubSpot Partner Certifications in 2010, and has been practicing and teaching inbound marketing to businesses ever since.

Tim, Steve and Spencer talk more about:

  • The impact production has on the Client Experience
  • The Top 3 things that will create negatives in the clients’ mind
  • The Top 3 things that create a positive reaction with a client
  • How the production team can create vital content for the marketing effort
  • How owners and leaders can get buy-in from the team and show the impact they have on the business

Two Production Courses Coming up in July!

These sessions are bi-weekly and you can bring as many team members or managers that you need… and they are virtual so you can access them from the field. These classes will fill up fast and they are coming up in July so register soon!

Production Team Training:
This course has proven to be game changer for companies all over the country and will definitely raise the bar in your world. Click Here for More >>

Management Training:
Is your Production Manager struggling with managing a team of employees and trades? This course is designed for Production Managers and Owners , however is appropriate for anyone that is responsible for managing others in your company.
Click Here for More >>

Ep.107: Services Under One Roof with John Ploumitsakos

For a remodeling or general contracting firm, having trusted trade partners is critical. Often they can be the key to a successful project and overall experience for your clients.

Over the years, we have worked with several remodelers who have considered having a service, like plumbing and electric, as part of their service offering, to have more control over the quality of the end product.

In this episode, Tim and Steve welcome John Ploumitsakos, CEO of Modern Homestead and Homestead Plumbing and Electric in Boulder, CO.

After founding his remodeling business, John chose to add a plumbing and electric company. While they are different corporate entities, John and Tim discuss the advantages and challenges of running both companies under one roof.

Prior to founding Modern Homestead in 2018, John practiced law for five years and then spent 12 years working in senior leadership positions for technology companies such as Google and Twitter.

John added Homestead Plumbing and Electric in April 2019 and in its first year of operations, Homestead P&E went from a single plumber to two plumbers and two electricians, while maintaining a 5-star customer rating.

In this episode, Tim, Steve and John discuss:

  • The background of the decision to add Homestead P&E
  • How the two companies are structured
  • The challenges and opportunities of managing two companies under one roof
  • Exploring staffing and cultural differences between the two companies
  • How the COVID-19 crisis has effected operations
  • And more…

Two New Production Courses Coming in July!

With Tim taking time off from the road because of travel limitations, we’ve got the next best thing… Tim working with your production team online! We have 2 great courses coming up in July; One for your team, and one for your managers.

These sessions are bi-weekly and you can bring as many team members or managers that you need… and they are virtual so you can access them from the field. These classes will fill up fast and they are coming up in July so register soon!

Production Team Training:
This course has proven to be game changer for companies all over the country and will definitely raise the bar in your world. Click Here for More >>

Management Training:
Is your Production Manager struggling with managing a team of employees and trades? This course is designed for Production Managers and Owners , however is appropriate for anyone that is responsible for managing others in your company. Click Here for More >>

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…

Get More From Tim Faller…

If you are not already subscribed, don’t miss Tim’s “From the Field” Monthly Newsletter. Tim shares his experiences from the road as he works with production teams across the US and Canada, gives you a glimpse behind the scenes as he scours the waters of New England for fish and lobster, and more. Don’t miss it; Click Here to Subscribe to “From the Field.”

Ep.102: The Customer Experience with Gavin MacDonald of GuildQuality

In this episode, Tim and Steve cover the Customer Experience. Creating a positive feeling in your clients can not only make the project successful but more importantly, leads to referrals which we all know is the “lifeblood” for any successful remodeler.

No one knows the concept of Client Experience tracking more than our friends at GuildQuality so we have Gavin MacDonald join the conversation for this episode.

Gavin is the Sales Director at GuildQuality, a software company based in Atlanta, Ga that specializes in measuring client satisfaction for contractors. He has been working with small business owners ever since he started his own marketing automation company in college and has been involved in the software space ever since. In addition to running the sales team at GuildQuality, Gavin often travels to speak at various conferences to educate contractors on the importance of being customer-centric.

Tim, Steve and Gavin talk more about:

  • Why it’s so important to have a customer-centric business in 2020.
  • What are some things a company can do to make their business more “customer-centric”?
  • How do reviews play a role in growing a business?
  • How do you recommend dealing with negative reviews?
  • And More…

FREE WEBINAR:Recovery 2020: Let’s Get Ready to Restart!

This month’s webinar features Doug Howard and Tim Faller taking a closer look at positioning your business to succeed and hitting the ground running as we all emerge from this disruption in the market. Join us on Tuesday, May 19th for this FREE Webinar.
Click Here to Learn More and Reserve Your Seat >>

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.98: [Back-Up] Getting Selections Done Before the Job Starts with Tanya Donahue

Editor’s note: We’re all working remotely, away from the podcasting studio, so we’ve dug into the virtual vault to bring you this episode. With so many projects on hold due to Covid-19 emergency orders, take some time to get your systems and processes ready for better days.

Developing a system that makes your kitchen and bath jobs more profitable has to include getting those all-important selections done early in the process — before the job even starts.

Tim does a session on this, and it’s based on what he learned from Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath, in Warwick, RI. 

In this episode, Tanya Donahue discusses that process with Tim and Steve, and why it results in exceptional client experiences, and make everyone in the company happy and more productive.

Tanya is the president of Rhode Island Kitchen and Bath, and provides her team and her clients with proven strategic capabilities, backed by her strong record of success. She’s spent more than 25 years in the home building and remodeling industry, and her main focus is to create, communicate, and implement the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction. Tanya is a member of the Rhode Island Builders Association, served as co-chair of the Remodeler’s Committee and is a former member of the board of directors. She was selected as a 2017 Industry panelist for Harvard University’s Joint Center on Housing Studies, and was a judge of the 2018 National Qualified Remodeler Design Awards. She was also the recipient of the 2017 ProRemodeler Extreme Sales Award.

At the company, when a job packet goes to production from sales, it has every selection made, right down to the color and manufacturer of the caulk to be used. So much money is lost when something is missing on the job. If your company isn’t doing it this way, Tanya says, it may seem overwhelming, but she tells you how to get your organization on board with making selections before the job starts, including:

  • Making the client the boss, sort of
  • Getting buy-in from sales and design 
  • How it increases productivity in design and sales
  • Including photos in the job packet for easy identification on site
  • Starting with the must-haves
  • Controlling the client through education in the process
  • Figuring out how clients make decisions
  • Why cabinets can drive their start date
  • Starting with a reservation form, and using it as a reality check on the schedule
  • The power of the visual production board
  • How to do it without a showroom
  • And more …

Integrating sales and production in a continuous communication loop from start to finish is key to the whole process.

Don’t Miss Build Aid on April 1-2…

We want to give back to an industry that has supported us through good times and bad, and so we’ve created Build Aid, a FREE, two-day virtual event to help support our members, associates, and friends in the remodeling community.

Join us on April 1-2 as we explore various ways your business can navigate these tough times, and position yourselves as a leader when the world begins to recover and re-build. Click Here for more information & registration

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.96: From The Experience of an Arbitrator with Dennis Dixon

If you’ve ever had to deal with legal action in your remodeling business, you know it can be a nightmare. The best thing you can do is to keep you and your projects out of the legal system.

Dennis Dixon has used his experience as an expert witness and investigator to help business owners understand the link between the legal system and the health of their business.

In this episode, Dennis talks to Tim and Steve about how to keep you and your projects out of the legal system through preventative measures, management, and oversight. 

Dennis is a 35-year veteran author, builder, and consultant, and is the president of Dixon Ventures in Flagstaff, AZ. His book, Finding Hidden Profits contains proven management, policy, and contract content solutions to keep any construction or design pro in the profit stream. 

His entry into the legal system began 25 years ago, when lawyers would ask him to investigate projects that were the subjects of lawsuits. Dennis says about 75 percent of these disputes arose from mishandled change orders, with the underlying causes of poor documentation and communication. He talks about how to help keep your company out of legal trouble, including:

  • Getting everything in writing 
  • The problem with allowances
  • Why you need good planning and specs
  • A-to-Z documentation
  • Asking how clients will use a space to get a deeper understanding
  • Resolving disputes before taking any legal steps
  • When to take the hit on a change order
  • The power of a real letter, not an email
  • Taking emotion out of the process
  • Addressing dispute resolution in your contracts
  • How to prepare for arbitration or a lawsuit
  • Why the party with the most paperwork wins
  • And more …

Maintaining good communication with clients will help head off disputes — and that includes the hiccups and problems too. Being transparent and documenting everything is the key to avoiding legal trouble.

Ep.94: Bringing Military Leadership to Construction with Cody Ross

One thing Tim hears frequently in his travels and consulting with remodelers is the desire for fewer layers of management, replaced by more leadership. 

One of the best places to learn and develop leadership skills is the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cody Ross served in the U.S. Marine Corps. from April 2005 – December 2014 as a combat engineer, doing everything from infantry to building bridges, and has found his experience translates well to remodeling and construction.

In this episode, Cody talks to Tim and Steve about using military leadership techniques and procedures to positively affect the construction process and to deliver a better client experience.

Cody is the project manager at Irons Brothers Construction Inc., in Shoreline, WA. He’s been with Irons Brothers for four years, and has successfully managed the company’s largest project to date in scope, size, and sale price. 

He’s identified five big leadership takeaways from his time in the military that apply to remodeling and construction — organization of the unit, commanders’ intent, small-unit leadership, planning backwards, and the end-of-week stand down. Cory breaks them down and explains how they translate to remodeling projects, including:

  • The importance of staying in your lane
  • Describing your ideal end state
  • Recognizing who’s best suited to make decisions
  • Time management techniques
  • Streamlining meetings for efficiency
  • The importance of contingency planning
  • How delegation of authority develops accountability and responsibility
  • Handling under-performing trade partners
  • Using BAMCIS* for further planning in remodeling
  • The five-paragraph order
  • And more …

*BAMCIS is a tool that stands for Begin the planning, Arrange for reconnaissance, Make reconnaissance, Complete the plan, Issue the order, and Supervise. 

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