Operations

Hindsight is 2020 with Tim Faller and Steve Wheeler- [Best of The Tim Faller Show]

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d do differently when starting your remodeling business if you only knew then what you know now, you’re not alone. 

Tim and Steve do, too. 

In this episode, the guys talk about what they’ve learned in their time at Remodelers Advantage and from their podcast guests that they wish they knew when they were running their own businesses.

They each identified the five biggest takeaways that make remodeling businesses stronger, more profitable, and built for growth. Learn what they think is important and why, including:

  • The power of job descriptions
  • Being financially transparent
  • Protecting profit through data
  • Making business decisions based on numbers, not feelings
  • Learning to sell, not just take orders
  • Getting to a zero punch list
  • And more …

Special Guest Kevin O’Connor of “This Old House” [Best of the Tim Faller Show]

Television is full of construction and remodeling shows, but we all know many of them leave false impressions of how fast and easy the process can be. But the pioneering program, This Old House, still shows viewers how complicated it can be.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the program, and they’re tackling a net-zero retrofit, a mid-century modern remodel, and spearheading outreach programs to get more workers into the trades.

In this episode, Kevin O’Connor, host of the Emmy Award-winning This Old House and Ask This Old House, talks with Tim and Steve about what you see on TV, and how it helps the construction industry as a whole.

Kevin has appeared on the two shows since 2003, and serves on the editorial board of This Old House magazine. He also hosts This New House airing on the DIY Network and Hidden History in Your House airing on the History Channel’s H2 network. Along with his four brothers and two sisters, Kevin grew up on various job sites led by his father, a civil engineer. When Kevin and his wife, Kathleen, were renovating their 1892 Queen Anne Victorian they sent an e-mail seeking advice from the Ask This Old House experts. The house call served as Kevin’s first screen test to serve as the new host (the third host in the history of the home-improvement series).

Kevin talks about the evolution of the show and about the Generation NEXT campaign, cosponsored by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. It’s a high-profile effort to close the skills gap in the trades, encouraging young people to master those skills and look at construction careers. He also talks about the challenges of working on a job site that’s also a TV shoot, including:

  • Scheduling
  • Scrambling and adapting
  • More about the show’s two projects this season
  • How the show’s contractors juggle TV and their businesses
  • Using their big megaphone
  • And more…
 

Ep.198: Becoming a Memorable Leader with Howard Prager

Howard Prager joins the show to talk about how memorable leadership can help retain good employees, increase productivity and improve customer service.  He outlines his VIP model of leadership, which is easy to apply, proven effective, and will help create a company with which customers will want to do business and employees will want to work.

Howard Prager is president of Advance Learning Group, the author of the book Make Someone’s Day Becoming a Memorable Leader in Work and Life, speaker, executive coach, and consultant who helps managers become memorable leaders.  He has worked extensively with Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous small businesses and has won multiple professional awards for his work. 

Tim, Steve, and Howard talk more about:

  • Characteristics of a leader
  • Leadership vs. Management
  • And more…..

Ep.197: From Project Manager to Production Manager with Morgan Thomas

Join Tim and Steve as they talk to Morgan Thomas about her role as a production manager at Leff Design Build.  Morgan discusses how she had to shift her focus from individual projects to looking at the business on a global level, and from solving problems herself to coaching others on how to solve them.

Morgan was born and raised in Sonoma County, and after moving out of state to pursue a degree in Journalism from Gonzaga University, she returned to Sonoma County and landed in a career in commercial construction management.  She then found her way LEFF, where she worked her way up to become the company’s production manager.

Tim, Steve, and Morgan talk more about:

  • The differences between Project and Production managers
  • Tools needed by a Production Manager
  • And more…….

Ep.196: Inventory Management on the Go With Selema Lawson-Jack

Selema Lawson-Jack joins the show and discusses how she found a technology fix to solve an inventory management issue, but was able to expand its capabilities to create efficiencies across the organization, and generate revenue at the same time.  She talks about how Sortly, the affordable app she implemented, operates and how she was able to successfully integrate it into the organization.

 

Selema works for Schroeder Design Build of Fairfax, VA and is the Director of Production, where she oversees all projects in the construction phase.  She is the first point of contact on job sites and leads a team of project managers, project developers and carpenters. She was recently named to Pro Remodeler’s top 40 under 40.

 

Tim, Steve, and Selema talk more about:

  • Organizing inventory using Sortly
  • How Sortly improves the processes for the team
  • And more……

Ep.195: Using AI in Home Remodeling with Ben Ranta

Guest Ben Ranta joins the show to discuss his experiences with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the remodeling industry. Ben talks about how the AI software, Otter, is used for client meetings and how it helps his company, Forward Design Build be more effective in meeting client demands. He also discusses how he dealt with pushback when Otter was implemented.

Ben left his desk job in 2019 to pursue a career in the trades and joined Forward Design Build Remodel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After about 18 months as a carpenter, Ben then changed gears and became a Project Manager.

Tim, Steve, and Ben talk more about:

  • How AI is used for client meetings
  • Any pushbacks from clients and co-workers
  • And more….. 

Ep.190: Stop the Runs! (Lumberyard runs that is) with Paul Wurth

Making multiple trips to the lumber yard for construction material is both disruptive to jobsite progress and very costly. By stopping all material runs your business can save thousands of dollars on labor, gas, vehicles and much more.  Guest Paul Wurth is here to share how to stop making these unnecessary trips and save your company money in the long run.

Paul Wurth is the Chief Revenue Officer at the technology startup, RenoRun! RenoRun provides a simple, cost effective way to help contractors stop multiple trips to get construction material, saving time and money. 

Tim, Steve and Paul talk more about:

  • Technology in relation to remodeling
  • Identifying costly behaviors 
  • And more…

Ep.180: Setting Up an In-house Training Center with David Myers

It is always both exciting and refreshing to see companies tackle skills training head on by providing necessary programs for new talent.  Guest Dave Myers joins us to talk about the training process he and his team use to set employees up for success.  

Dave is the Vice President and general manager of J. Francis Company, a design build and remodel firm in Pittsburgh, PA.  He previously worked in college administration and facility management, and finds that elements from his previous positions have been beneficial to the success in his current role.

Tim, Steve and Dave talk more about:

  • The investment into a training program
  • Logistics and timelines of training
  • Significant outcomes of the program
  • And more…

Ep.176: Bonuses and Incentives with Andrew Kerr

This is PART 1 of a 4-part series focused on Bonuses and Incentives. 

Financial incentives and bonuses are often how many companies attract and retain great talent.  Guest Andrew Kerr of Landis Construction is here to share how bonus structures can potentially lead to increased motivation and involvement within a company.

Andrew has been with Landis since 2001, and as their COO he now oversees the company’s architecture, estimating, construction, and process management departments.  Prior to joining the company, Andrew held a position as a PM at Centex Homes, managing construction for new homes, and also worked at the White House for the National Security Council.

Tim, Steve and Andrew talk more about:

  • Unfulfilled bonus promises
  • Bonus structures and customer satisfaction
  • Financial bonuses vs. incentives
  • And more…


4-Part Series on Bonuses and Incentives:

Get Your Production Team Focused on Profit!

Keep your production team sharp and focused on profit throughout the new year with our weekly Production Team Training Masterclass, starting up on January 10th.

Instructor Tim Faller covers 6 hot topics that have proven to be game-changers for companies all over the country and will definitely raise the bar in your world.

This course is geared to your production staff and at the end of each session, Tim will assign homework that the team can use to reinforce the topic and implement the new ideas.

Ep.175: From ICU Practitioner to Production Manager with Ryan Truesdale

As companies mature, the need for someone to take the production department off of the shoulders of the owner is inevitable.  While having construction knowledge may be beneficial, we see that some of the best production managers come from a variety of backgrounds. 

Guest Ryan Truesdale shares his story about making the transition from a hospital, to a job site, and how he did it. Ryan knows what it’s like to work in high pressure situations and understands the importance of working with a team to execute plans with precision.

After working as a nurse for 12 years, he is now with The Kingston Group, and has been a catalyst to bring process and order to their day-to-day operations. Leading the production team, Ryan and The Kingston Group are the preferred choice for custom remodeling in the Nashville area.

Tim, Steve and Ryan talk more about:

  • Looking for talent outside of the construction industry
  • Necessary skills for any field
  • What to look for in a potential production manager candidate 
  • And more…

A Great Stocking-stuffer for Your Production Team!