client satisfaction

Building a Team, Not a Family with Jef Forward – [Best of the Tim Faller Show]

While having a family-like culture is a well-intended premise, it is oftentimes impractical.

Companies may notice that one or two employees are intolerant of the family-like culture in place and leave the “family” dysfunctional. 

Creating an environment where there is a structure that resembles a team, rather than a family, is a way to avoid intolerance, and grow as a company.  In this episode, guest Jef Forward describes how he was able to achieve a team-like culture in his business, and why it has been successful.

Jef has a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and started Forward Design Build in 1997, focusing on a design and build method to ensure successful projects. He defines a successful project as a happy homeowner with a beautiful, functional home completed within ‘stated’ expectations of cost, service and schedule from the beginning of design to the end of construction.

Tim, Steve and Jef talk more about:

  • The “locus of control” 
  • How to address and correct the path of someone who is trending sideways
  • How to efficiently communicate with different team members
  • And more…

Culture in Practice with Chris Stebnitz – [Tim Faller Show] S4 E13

Today on the Tim Faller Show, Chris Stebnitz joins the show to discuss building a culture in a remodeling company and the impact it has on the client experience. Chris talks about how building trust with your employees can enhance the company culture. While building a culture is important, there are also ways you can destroy your company culture including gossip or being a demanding leader. Chris says if the business owner is the only way the company succeeds, you will never build a culture.

Chris Stebnitz is the owner of Stebnitz Builders located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Chris is a Third-generation owner of Stebnitz Builders. He started as cheap labor for the family when he was in his teens. Chris then moved into sales in his 20s, marketing shortly thereafter and then focusing on sales management before purchasing the company in 2008 from his father and uncles.

Chris, Tim, and Steve talk more about:

  • How Stebnitz Builders built a company culture 
  • Why trust is important for a company culture
  • and more…

Design and Production: What Happens When the Job Starts? with Morgan Thomas and Candice Rania- [Tim Faller Show] S4 E12

Candice Rania and Morgan Thomas rejoin the Tim Faller Show for a follow-up from their last episode, Design and Production: Can we really get along? In this episode, Candice Rania and Morgan Thomas join the show to discuss what happens once the job is started. They discuss challenges at the job site, whether it is unforeseen circumstances or supply chain delays. Candice and Morgan discuss how they resolve these challenges with the communication between the design and the production teams during the job.

Morgan Thomas started at Leff Design Build in Sonoma County, California 5 years ago as a project manager and was then promoted to her current role as the production department manager. She is excited and proud of her team’s input to the project’s budget, which she thinks has created an improved sense of ownership among her coworkers.  Candice Rania is the pre-production manager at Leff Design Build and works closely with Morgan.

Tim, Steve, Morgan, and Candice talk more about:

  • How the production team helps with client experience
  • Connection between design and production during construction
  • Limiting slippage
  • Design’s impact on change orders
  • And more…

Culture! with Mitch Gray – [The Tim Faller Show] S4 E11

On this episode of The Tim Faller Show, Mitch Gray joins the show for the second week to talk about culture and how you can improve your company’s culture. Mitch says that many employers don’t know how to vocalize culture, and employees don’t know how to connect with it.  He defines a good culture as how we live, move, and exist within a family or company. When a company creates a good culture, the energy and synergy are palpable, thus creating a better workplace where employees are held accountable.

Mitch Gray is the owner of Mitch Gray Media in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mitch started the media company in 2015, and over the past 20 years, he has worked with and coached over 10,000 leaders and clients worldwide.

Tim, Steve, and Mitch talk more about

  • Four questions to measure your culture
  • Description of bad company culture and how to change it
  • And more….

The Key to Good Management is Listening with Christine Miles [Tim Faller Show] S4 E9

Today on the Tim Faller Show, Christine Miles joins the show to discuss how better listening skills lead to better communication. Christine explains why listening is so complicated and suggests some easy ways to listen better. She also highlights the importance of communication in creating trust between co-workers.

Christine is an author, professional keynote speaker, consultant, executive coach, thought leader, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder and CEO of EQuipt, a training and consulting company that helps leadership teams grow sales, develop people, and create cultures of understanding. She developed The Listening Path™, a transformational workshop on listening to understand, which has been taught at various Fortune 100 corporations, universities, law firms, and privately-held companies. She is the author of What Is It Costing You Not to Listen? which will encourage you to examine how you are listening. You’ll discover that not only are many of the problems in your life due to not listening effectively, but listening helps to solve most problems.

Tim, Steve, and Christine talk more about:

  • Failure to listen can cause culture problems within an organization
  • Improving turnover through listening
  • How listening can help your company’s bottom line
  • And more…

Design and Production: Can we really get along? with Morgan Thomas and Candice Rania [Tim Faller Show] S4 E7

On this episode of The Tim Faller Show, Candice Rania and Morgan Thomas join the show to answer the question: Can design and production get along? While the production and design teams have the same overall goal of completing a project that will delight their clients, they do it differently. Morgan and Candice talk about their struggles with time constraints, delays, and change orders and how they developed new processes that involve team reviews with proposed estimates to ensure each department has the proper budgets and limit unexpected client costs.

Morgan Thomas started at Leff Design Build in Sonoma County, California 5 years ago as a project manager and was then promoted to her current role as the production department manager. She is excited and proud of her team’s input to the project’s budget, which she thinks has created an improved sense of ownership among her coworkers.  Candice Rania is the pre-production manager at Leff design-build and works closely with Morgan.  

Tim, Steve, Morgan, and Candice talk more about

  • Integrating production and design and how that creates a better customer experience
  • Evaluating current methods and creating new processes can lead to better businesses
  • And more…

Co-Building Long Distance Jobs with Jordan Smith [The Tim Faller Show] S4 E6

Jordan Smith joined the show to discuss partnering with another remodeling company to complete a job two hours outside his service area.  He discusses the benefits, risks, and challenges associated with the job type and the steps he took to mitigate problems.

Jordan and his wife Veronica started the Smith House Company four years ago to create beautiful and functional spaces that harmonize with their natural surroundings.  

Join Jordan, Tim, and Steve as they discuss:

  1. How to handle projects that are outside of the current service area
  2. The risks and benefits of partnering with another remodeling company to complete a job
  3. How to handle the relationships between the design company, build company, and customer

Click here to listen…

Concierge Service With Aimee Cianfarani – [The Tim Faller Show] S4 E3

Today on The Tim Faller Show, Aimee Cianfarani discusses how her company has made concierge services (a/k/a handyperson services) a successful part of the overall business.  In this high-failure segment of the industry, Aimee and her team have overcome significant odds to find great success by applying a strategic approach and using marketing as a key part of the process.  Aimee said hiring the right person for this role is also critical.  

Aimee is the Concierge Services Coordinator at Teakwood Builders in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Aimee has helped grow Concierge Services from a one-person operation into significant operations with jobs booked into 2023.

Listen to this episode where Aimee, Tim, and Steve talk about:

  • How to use this to service upsell customers to more significant projects or as a follow-up to other projects to keep them happy
  • Determining the right customers and employee talent for this service
  • And more…

Let’s Revisit Zero Punch List Production with Mike Volochuk – [Best of The Tim Faller Show]

On our third episode, in March of 2018, we talked with Mike Barkhouse from Amsted Design Build about achieving “Zero Punch List” production.

We heard from a few listeners about that episode, and the concept of Zero Punch List, so we wanted to revisit it. We are now evangelists pushing to see the term “Punch list” eliminated from the remodeler’s vocabulary.  In a zero punch list scenario, after a project, no items remain to be addressed or “punched” because the items will have been addressed during the project and not at the project’s end.

A punch list is so ingrained within the industry that it is tricky to conceive of not having one. Every blog article about working with a contractor says something about that punch list. Usually, “Don’t pay until it is done.”

Our guest for this episode is Mike Voloschuk, Production Manager at Hurst Design Build Remodel in Westlake, Ohio. Mike is a member of our Roundtables for Production Managers peer group, and when he mentioned how his firm had adopted the Zero Punch strategy, we invited him to join us and discuss it.

Mike has been with Hurst since 2008 and moved from Carpenter to Production Manager.

Tim, Steve, and Mike talk more about:

  • Background on Hurst Design Build Remodel (size of projects, type of work, etc.).
  • Why Hurst moved to Zero Punch List production.
  • How Hurst made the transition and how the team reacted and adapted to the change.
  • How Hurst is doing with the new production mindset and how the clients have responded.
  • And more…

Ep.169: How to Make Sure the Client Knows What They’re Getting with Chris Landis

Do you have a way to be sure that your clients understand the scope and plans of the services you offer?

Simply asking for their signature on future plans does not necessarily guarantee that they understand what it is they are signing.  Like many of the topics discussed on this show, there is no magic answer to ensuring that a client is aware and knowledgeable about the services they may want or are receiving.  Host Tim Faller suspects that it is important to educate based off of the entire sales and production processes, so he speaks with guest Chris Landis to search for some answers.

Chris is the Co-Founder and Principal of Landis Construction, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). After graduating with an MA in architecture from Columbia University, he worked with Fortune 500 companies. He served two terms on D.C.’s Historic Preservation Review Board and is a past president of the DC chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.  

Tim, Steve and Chris talk more about:

  • Starting this process
  • Creating a budget range
  • Steering away from making assumptions
  • And more…

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