REMODELER SUCCESS PODCAST
A Guide to A Successful Construction Business with Kim Hibbs, MCGP
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About this Episode
In this episode of Remodeler Success, we learn from one who knows what they’re doing: An expert on construction, owner of Hibbs Homes, Kim Hibbs talks about how to build and train a home renovation team, help homeowners during the remodeling process, and more! Tune in now!
Hello everyone, welcome to the Remodeler Success Podcast. We are bringing you key speakers from the industry, I would say that could be the most interesting day just because I’m hosting another podcast host today and this gentleman right next to me, he is creating content for homeowners and the whole industry is pretty interesting. I really wanted to learn from him, a lot of things that we’re going to talk about today. I would like to introduce him to you guys today, Kim Hibbs with me here, Kim, could you please introduce yourself?
Yeah, first of all, it’s a pleasure to be with you. I’m really happy to share whatever information I can for you and your listeners and viewers. My name is Kim Hibbs, my company is Hibbs Homes and we build custom homes, one of a kind custom homes in both the ST louis Missouri area and in Northern Utah Been in business since 2004, expanded out into Utah in 2019.
And um just really love what I do. We did start as a remodeler, We started uh you know, and I know we’ll talk about that as we go along, but that’s kind of where we got started. We’ve done some, some remodeling edition projects over the years, but right now we focus on ground up new construction. That’s great, you said 2004, How did you get into the, the, the industry, what was the, what was the motivation?
Well, the motivation honestly was a couple of years earlier when my wife and I had had the second of our, our two kids and We, my wife wanted to do something. She wanted to go back to work, but wasn’t really wanting to go into an office situation where she had to work necessarily 14 hours a week.
We need more flexibility. So she got her real estate license here in the ST Louis area and we started flipping homes and so that’s, that’s how we got into the business, you know, way back in the day, 20 years ago.
And so we would buy homes, we would go in and we would, um, you know, sometimes we would just be minor minor things that needed to be done. Other times we would go in and try and move walls, we would, you know, add additions and things like that. Um, but we quickly got into new construction a couple of years later, we, we did some additions renovations at the same time. Um, but for quite honestly, probably the past 10 years we’ve been focusing on new construction, ground up, new construction exclusively. Okay.
You were, let’s say you were, you were flipping it back in the day that you just started. Yeah, that’s what we were saying, right? Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s where we started and like I said, um, probably a good half dozen projects or so and, and we literally would buy the homes, we would go in and, and um, like we would occasionally move some of the walls, we would occasionally, you know, do some more major renovations, but we, most of the time we would change windows and repaint, new flooring, new kitchens, new bathrooms and things like that.
But occasionally we would take on a few taller tasks if you will, and and uh more major renovations, but that’s how we started, that’s that’s how you started many years ago, I went actually the questions that I want to ask you about today, it’s uh, it’s about your art of custom art, of custom podcast channel. So just because all the experience that you got from the field, and also like all the experience working with the homeowners and everything, how did you get into this idea? And yeah, I have some different questions about the podcast, so I really want to know more about that, but how did you get into that idea?
You know, it’s it, that’s a good question and it’s, it’s truly one of those things that I came up with with myself, we have a terrific team and I’ve, you know, got a real good marketing team and everything, but this was back in, you know, four or five years ago when podcasts were just, you know, kind of coming into their own there, there were not a lot of them like today, it seems like a lot of people have podcasts and I think there’s a lot of really good content out there, but I just, I’m always looking for a way to educate um potential anybody who might want to build a home.
And um as past president of our local H. B. A. And and I’m a current trustee for the National Association of Home Builders. I’m big on education. I want to help people understand what this process is all about. I want people to help understand that either building a home or remodeling a home, renovating a home, it’s a great way to personalize your own space. And so I’m a big proponent of education. Um I also wanted to use it as kind of a little bit of a marketing tool as well because a lot of times people are afraid to come ask a builder or renovator, you know, they think they’re going to get the hard sell, which they really aren’t in most cases, but I want them to learn about the process.
So we, you know, when I came up with the idea and started talking to my team immediately was like that’s a really good idea, we can help people understand what this is all about, answer some of the tough questions without having them to ask it personally. And so we from the very beginning made sure that this was going to be more of a consumer driven show. It’s not a B two B business to business, but this is well, you know, truly helping those who might want to build or renovate, understand what it’s what’s it, what is it all about and what does it take?
So from the very beginning we set out to help educate consumers as far as what what the construction world was all about. ICb6d767d2f8ede4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5d21a44b0ee4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5886680cb9 episodes over here and uh these episodes are not like e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5 d3d9446802a442e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d597e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5d38e6d163e820 minutes episodes.
I see your episodes are like 4e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5 minutes almost like an hour episodes. And the great job I see that you’re basically talking about the bedroom, this bathroom and bathroom design. I see you know how to you know act of entertaining spaces right? But how do you where do you how do you come up with the idea is that do you just pinpoint the questions that you that your your your listeners and audience may have or how do you come up with these questions and the and topics.
So we’ve actually we’re moving on to season five coming up soon. And total shows that we’ve done over the past four years I think it’s close to e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d50. Um the ones that you’re seeing are are the ones that are currently published on our website because the reason I say that is because for years for season number one which was I believe c20ad4d76fe97759aa27a0c99bff6710 episodes what we did is we walked them through the process of of what do you need to know if you want to build or renovate a home from start to finish.
Um So those topics were were basically developed by um just kind of going through the process that we normally go through with our clients from from Point A all the way to point B. C. D. E. F. G. On down the line. How do you how do you build a home or or what does it what does it take to renovate a home? Um So that was a little bit easier to to come up with our our talking points than year number two, season number two we actually followed a new build of the project we were doing here in ST louis so we just chronologically followed it all the way from the excavation through when the family moved in.
So again we didn’t have a uh it kind of flowed naturally. Season three was the was one of the projects that are one of the this series that we did right after the pandemic and a lot of things changed after the pandemic. Um So what we found is we needed to kind of go back and refresh our information and we we started over if you will and we we redid season one taking into account the changes for the pandemic. Um So season three kind of took on a life of its own.
But season four is the one you were just referring to. How do we come up with all the topics. So we came up with those topics based upon what are the questions that we get asked most. What are the most important rooms in the home? What are our designers talking to the clients about the most. And so that’s how we came up with, you know, entertaining spaces and exteriors and kitchens and bathrooms and, and basements and, and media rooms and all that. It’s simply we listen to what people are information.
People are listening or wanting to hear from us and we give them that information. That’s great. I mean a lot of people in the industry they’re planning to remodel and they are, they have no idea about what’s going to happen in the next step. And of course they want to save some money and also they want to say sometime that’s the most important part. But I believe because, well most of the people who are just trying to learn how it’s how it works basically. Those are the people who really want to increase the quality of their life by any remodeling project.
They’re not like people, hey, I have a rental unit right there. I’m going to put old cabinets with like some sort of Formica countertop stores and they’re just trying to understand how these remodeling things works. Not only the kitchen or bathroom that I’m talking about, You could be any type of space at their own living space. Right? So yeah, thank you so much for giving all this information to the community. And I was, you know, listening your, I was just tuned into your podcasts and it’s full of information, guys, if you are here and I know you guys are trying to create different ways to reach homeowners.
This is a great way kim is just have the secret sauce, that’s the secret sauce to reach new homeowners. And when you just put yourself out there and if you talk to these homeowners like an expert, you know, imagine what happens, they’re gonna, they’re gonna learn from you, and when they learn from you, these people will come and sit down in front of you, pre positioned to buy, they will be pretty much ready to start working with you. And as like a business owner standpoint, we can easily say they will be less price sensitive because they will be looking at more ideas to get from you to increase the quality of their life.
So it’s an amazing strategy, kim just found out a great way to reach homeowners look as, as a marketer, it just hands down, that’s a great strategy, the art of custom podcast show just, it’s on Apple um podcasts and also other platforms that you can get all the platforms easily find it, that are, you know, plenty of episodes that you can tune in and listen. And there shouldn’t be, there’s nothing more more, more like powerful that you can give this information to your to your target audience uh in this new era.
So that was really great, Well, I’m gonna go back to the change that, the pivot that you have done in the past, You said you were doing remodeling projects and you just changed to the new home construction? What prompted this change? There was really a couple of things that led us in that direction. Number one was just demand, you know, business and demand. What what were, what were people asking us to do? And we have more people coming up coming to us asking us to do the renovation remodeling or I’m sorry, new construction, then renovations, remodels and additions.
So it was just kind of a natural transition but we still did it, you know, we still there, we still have several projects that that we’ve done over the years, some some high profile and and um projects and and we thoroughly enjoyed it. But I think that what I learned um just as a business owner is, you know, you kind of have to to um figure out the direction that best fits you and your team. And we had a lot of people who had the new construction experience, there’s a total difference between building a new home and renovating or doing an addition and all and it just seemed to be a better fit for us at the time.
The further we got into the new construction, the less we were um probably, you know, I would say aligned with many of the customers in order to do the renovation and remodeling. I think there’s a lot of differences when it comes down to the actual building or the actual development of the team as well, renovations remodeling. I think you need to have your your foreman for example. I think they need to be the one that’s actually running the job and active in the job. Whereas with new construction, the superintendents who are on our job sites are running multiple sites a day.
Um I think the client interaction is much different as well. I think the you know when it comes to um just how you handle the everyday activities, you know we’re gonna open up a wall today, what are we gonna, what are we gonna find? Whereas in new construction were building brand new walls. Um and then I think the other part of it is truly understanding how to properly prepare the client for what’s going on each day and each week and then how to properly prepare the client for what they will be living with and then to make sure that you properly protect them.
Um During the experience goes a long way whether it’s protecting them from the weather, whether it’s protecting them from dust inside, whether it’s protecting them from just common construction areas there it is so much more of a personal experience when you when you go that renovation remodeling route and I think that’s where that that real hands on owner and having having that that foreman or the or the project manager who’s there every day and might even be doing the carpentry work, I think it’s crucial and it just seemed that my team was kind of headed in a little bit of a different direction because of the new construction.
So really a couple of reasons. So you just said that there’s like a couple of different reasons and you find out about services right there doing the new home renovations at the end of the day. Right? This is the like a result of Yeah, I got it. I totally understand because sometimes you just start, you know, that’s uh that’s pretty much uh you know, it’s, it’s easy to see that you start something and your your area of expertise and also the things that you like as a business owner may I want, I don’t want to say change, but may pivot during the, during that time.
So that’s uh that’s one of the reasons and well this is not easy. So I know there are also listeners, they’re trying to pivot their business because they believe that there are like their, their own capacity. But as a team you were, you just emphasize the team. I have some questions about that as well, but team management is really important, plays an important role when you are doing that project, right? So if you are planning to anyone who’s listening in to two in today, if you if you are planning to do with your business, this is how it goes.
You just feel that the next step and if you, your team is capable of doing that, just, just go there guys, that will be another success story for you. Just like kim hips just succeeded and he’s just telling us and sharing us with his experience today. So yeah, when you’re talking about teams, yeah, we know the importance of having a great team in place when you are running these tasks, right? Because it’s the project management, So you’re the project manager and also like the, the team manager right there, creating this team is really the praise.
Really important role. What are your key things when you are just looking at like creating a team? How do you create your team and how do you structure your team? Well, you know, it’s interesting you ask that question because we’ve grown, I would say pretty substantially over the past few years, especially since we opened our northern Utah office. And it’s interesting that I think that to me what a team is, is, you know, a group of individuals who are working together to achieve a common goal and who have the same goals that have the same values and so, you know, values and goals are something that, that we are really big on um that that I really, I focus on, so when I’m interviewing somebody, when I’m trying to put a team together, I really don’t necessarily look at his experience as much as I do.
What’s the person like, what’s the personality like? Will they be a good fit? As a matter of fact, one of the things that we do is I’m not the only I do the first interview, but then before we hire, I always bring the candidates, the final candidates back and let the team talk with them because culture is one of the biggest things in my world and you can, it is so easy to wreck a culture with a bad hire. And so it takes us, you know, you you hire slow and you fire fast if you end up making a mistake and hire somebody who’s not a good fit, you got to get him out of the mix very quickly because they can ruin this culture.
It takes years to build. So we include our full team in the final interviews and we we, you know, they’re they’re involved in making the decisions on who we hire. Um but you know, putting that team together, like I said, it’s it’s more to me about finding the right person who has the same beliefs who has the same. Um I guess goals as, as the team that’s been put together and then you can train them a perfect example as we hired a an estimator a couple of years about a year and a half ago.
You know, how much experience he had estimating this much, but he was a perfect person because of his background, because of his work ethic, because of his personality and because he was already taking classes in the evening to become a project manager which included estimating. So we hired him and he has been an absolute, he’s been phenomenal. So I think that that’s maybe one of the takeaways is don’t, don’t think you have to have the perfect background, find the perfect person who’s going to be the perfect fit with the team and then help train them into that role.
But I think part of it is as the leader, me the leader of the team, I still believe that that that leader has to, has to have certain qualities if you will, as far as you know what they’re showing. I think respect is a big one of the big one, communication is huge. Um one of our core values is unmatched communication and whether that’s dealing with clients, whether that’s dealing with trades or vendors or team members, I think the communication component is huge, accountability is really good, I think that you have to be firm but fair, you know, hold people accountable, um leading by example, I think the leader has to be someone who’s you know, calm, cool and collected but knows when to push at the right time and knows when to demand things.
Um I think also the, you know, the leader has to be a visionary, what direction is this team going and then make sure the team understands and everybody is pulling in the same direction. So really the importance of a team cannot be overstated. I think that, You know, No one, no business can succeed without a good team, and that’s what I preach around here all the time. And that’s why we really try to keep everybody on the same page focusing in that right direction, understanding what our vision is right, and then, and then, you know, keeping them focused on that vision and um, you know, doing the, doing the very best we can for our clients.
So yeah, when you’re talking about the team, of course, I just want to ask you, how is hiring in 98f137082d3d9446802a442e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d597e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5d38e6d163e820194c47e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5687be6d3d9446802a442e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d597e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5d38e6d163e8206a3b84b6d767d2f8ede4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5d21a44b0ee4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5886680cb9, do you think it’s hard or do you think it’s really hard, is it easy?
It’s it’s only hard because I think there are in some cases fewer candidates out there. It’s still the same process though. Um, I’m a big proponent of Gino Wickman. Have you, have you read the entrepreneurial operating system, E O S, I’m a huge proponent of that, um, system if you will, and so I follow the, you know, his, his kind of hiring practices, if you will, you know, he’s got kind of um, I guess a routine that he, that he wants you to go through if you’re going to hire.
So really it’s it’s if you follow that system and if you truly find find the right people for the right seats as you put it, um, it’s not hard, but what the hard part about it possibly, it’s just getting and getting the candidates in the door, you have fewer to choose from. But again, if you kind of follow that process, you’ll, you’ll, there are some really talented people out there. The other part of it is, I think in this environment you hear about a lot of openings, job openings, well, people are truly leaving.
I think the pandemic showed them, I don’t want to work in a job that I’m not happy and that I don’t feel fulfilled with. Um, and so people are literally quitting jobs that they’re, they’re not happy with and they’re looking for for opportunities where they can thrive. And so I think as an employer, if we can, if we can get in front of them and tell them why there’s room for growth, there’s room for, you know, success and there’s room for them to thrive within an organization like Hibbs homes.
I think that you stand a chance of really hiring some of the better people because there are lots of people looking to get out of bad situations. Yeah, that’s an amazing, well, those are amazing, let’s say things that you are mentioning here. Well, we definitely know the hiring needs to be, uh, we need training with this, of course, if you’re hiding someone, we definitely need the training right after that. And, and that’s one of the things that I’m actually working on this year is, is really putting, you know, the documentation and kind of a training process into place because as we continue to grow, I want to make sure that when we’re bringing people on board, we have all of the tools necessary.
A true, this is, you know, the job tasks and this is the way you train somebody and these departments interact with each other because I think that’s going to be critical really for any size business. Uh, and trust me start when you’re small and, and kind of expand out as you go. So even though you might only have two or three people working for you focus on on, you know, kind of the operation of the business and and making sure you have all the, all the necessary documents in place and that way you can expand as you grow.
That’s the one of the things that I probably regret a little bit is that I took a real good, real good care of the business and I was a visionary and I knew where we were going and got us to the point where we are today. The one thing I wish I had done along the way has taken the time to really to do some of the backup documentation that I’m in the process of doing right now. But I think that’s critical that you brought up training is important and if you have the right support behind that training, the right documentation behind that training, it makes it much easier.
And it’s so easy then to kind of plug and play when whenever you hire the right people. That’s great. Yes, that’s absolutely great. Thank you so much for that information. Yeah. Also we’re talking about different states and different locations. So let me ask you, well, you are doing great things for marketing your business, that’s for sure. Being, you know, just putting that podcast content out. There is one of those things, but there are so many different things behind this podcast efforts and those kind of how do you market your your business in different locations in different states?
How how does it how do you how do you play this game? So it’s going to come down to again, the team you assemble, and I’m a big proponent, have always been a big proponent, and I’m not sure that other custom builders or remodelers would agree, but I’m a huge proponent that that you need to have a an emphasis and the focus on marketing. Um, we made that we made that, um, you know, decision several years ago and hired a full time marketing director back then, because you need someone who is focused on developing ideas like the podcast, focusing on S. C. O. Which in our industry is critical because 8613985ec49eb8f757ae6439e879bb2a% 8613985ec49eb8f757ae6439e879bb2a% of all new home searches begins online, it is not digital and it’s not, you know, reading a newspaper or magazine or radio commercials.
It’s, it’s truly, people will go online and start Googling new homes, you know, Park city or new home ST louis or wherever. And you’ve got to make sure that you rank high because you know, you you want to come up right, But it’s not only that, then you’ve got to have a website that’s attractive. You’ve got to have a website that provides a lot of information. You’ve got to have a website that has reviews because in this day and age, I can’t tell you how many times people are going out and coming back and saying, hey, your google reviews were awesome.
We feel comfortable working with you if you don’t have those reviews or if you have bad reviews, all this hard work you’re putting into ESI Oh right. And and a beautiful looking website is going to go out the window. So, you know, back it up with with some, some reviews that make people feel comfortable and confident in what you’re doing. So to your original question, it’s about the team. I decided I really wanted to focus and have a marketing director on our team who knew what they were doing.
One that’s capable of doing many different things. And Melody just does a phenomenal job for us and it’s, it’s making the investment in what I think is the most critical thing in which we do and that’s sales and marketing. I have a director of sales who is personable, he also understands construction. You know, he, you wouldn’t think that that chris would be the the prototypical salesperson, but he is because he is so good with people, he understands construction like there is no tomorrow and he also understands sales.
But he used to be, he used to be one of my superintendents. So that just goes to show you, I look for people who I know can can do the job based upon their qualifications. Nobody would have ever ever have hired him as director of sales if he came to them and said by the way, I’ve been a superintendent for 3e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5 years. He’s phenomenal. There we go. It’s it’s all about creating a great team right there.
It’s all about like I think this is the only way that you can work on your business instead of working in your business, right? I could not agree with you more. As a matter of fact, I used that same saying earlier today when I was talking with someone, you know, I said this, I said I have such a great team. It’s truly allowed me to work on the business. Where are we going? What’s our vision? What’s our goal each year instead of working in the business, which means I’m so focused on day to day tasks that I can’t, you know, start looking outward and it’s it’s, it takes a commitment.
It’s a little bit scary when you make that commitment but you know in the long run I promise you it pays off definitely definitely. No doubt no doubt. Well let me ask you some questions about the home builders Association of Lewis and Eastern Missouri, what are the activities over there, what do you guys do and help the community of builders? And how do you guys do we try to have as many parties as possible? The one of the first things I did when I got into the industry was I joined the local home builders association.
They’ve got a they’ve got a great group of remodelers, they’ve got a great group of builders and we have a great group of what are called associates, those are people who you know have our vendors who sell or our trades for for the builders and remodelers. Um And it’s like that across the country every H. B. A. Um has a really good strong group of people. Now I’ll be the first one to tell you that that back when I first joined we had a lot more members and we had a lot more activities but the pandemic has really kind of shifted everything.
I think it’s shifted our whole world. So where we used to have a lot more social events and by social I mean you know we would have uh different speakers come in for example and give us a presentation on on things and then afterwards we would we would stay around and network and talk with each other. Um What while you know, we had a lot more of those events back in the day, we still do a good number and we still have a good turnout where people have a chance to come and learn something and then network with each other.
It’s a great group from the standpoint that that one of the one of our main purposes is to be kind of uh you know uh an advocate of the construction industry if you will because we’re continually working with local regional and state elected officials to help them understand some of the challenges we’re facing, some of the help we’re needing and we’re doing it because we, number one, we want to make sure that that every house we build a safe of course or remodel is safe but we are we’re also doing it because we want to make sure that we’re not being over regulated, so our permitting fees um uh you know, some of the developmental fees and everything that goes along with construction aren’t getting out of control.
So that had that cost has to be passed on to the to the homeowner. Um So there’s really a couple of purposes, Number one is networking, It’s a great social atmosphere, everybody can get to know each other. There’s a lot of different committees from professional professional builder or women in P. W. B. Professional, women in building. There’s a custom home building there’s green building there’s there’s the codes committee, there’s sales and marketing committee. So there’s a lot of committees there’s a lot of social activities. Um They put on home shows in various parts of the country.
They do parade of home tours in various parts of the country. Um But we also work together to make sure that that we’re working with our elected officials to keep all housing whether it’s remodeling or or new construction affordable for everybody. That’s that’s great wow that’s that that that’s one of the things that whatever market you’re in and if you are a remodeler or a builder if you want to grow your business if you want to grow your network I highly recommend looking into the local home builders association And then becoming an active member.
Um it’s just a it’s a great way to kind of further your career, make great contacts and quite frankly grow your business creating the network around you because it’s gonna allow you to ask questions and get the answers that you’re looking for. Right? d3d9446802a442e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d597e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5d38e6d163e8200%. That’s that’s great. Perfect.
Well going back to B to C. Again and we are talking about all business to business type of conversations here. But again this is again this is another b two big question that I really wanted to ask you. How do you help homeowners that you they when they come in and you know they’re gonna they need some, they need, they’re in the process, they’re they’re remodeling and they have some questions about it. What is your process from day 1? And if you if they sign the contract, what is the process like the light from the day that they unpacked everything?
So how do you work? So the first thing I will tell you is anybody in this industry? Probably even more so with new construction will realize that sometimes the sales process can take months and in some cases can take years before somebody is very, they’re spending a lot of money to either renovate or build, build a new home. And so this is a process that you have to be patient with and you have to understand that that it’s not like walking into a store and buying a widget for e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5 9e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d5 and they’re going to walk out the door.
This truly can take months or years. So patience is one of the key. But we, we basically work with them. It’s it’s a process where when, when a lead comes in um through our crm um or or if the phone call comes in, one of our sales managers either in ST louis or in the park city area will take those calls and it kind of begins the process, they will have a conversation with them to make sure that that the project that they’re talking about is a good fit.
If it’s not, we try to refer them either to another builder or remodeler, which we do all the time. You know, maybe the price points a little bit lower. The price point’s a little higher, whatever it is. Um we try to help them either either vet them that there will be a good fit for us or help them find a good fit for them. So it starts there and then quite frankly, the next step is we, we will have a face to face meeting. Um, amy and chris which are two sales reps in both markets, usually will handle the first meeting depending upon where I am and what I what I have going on.
I used to, I at least like to put my, you know, pop in and and say hi introduce myself. Um and then, you know, after that first meeting we just, you know, we try to find out what we call the needs that wants the wishes for the projects will take a long list of, okay, tell us about the project. What do you got going on? What are your needs? What do you want? What are your wishes? Because if we’re going to carry this on, we have to have that information.
So we try to gather as much information as we can from them and then we’ll hold their hand a little bit longer, for example, if we need to go look at the house or if we need to go look at the lot where they want to build, we will certainly do that. Um some qualifications or at that moment of time, how do you qualify? Well we try to pre qualify them if we can during the first call, but if we get into the next meet and get into a meeting with them, we will absolutely pre qualify them.
Then we’re probably gonna do a little bit more hand holding than a lot of builders and remodelers. For example, we will go visit a lot or we will go visit their house just so we understand the scope of work a little bit better. A lot of times they, you know, some of our competitors won’t do that. They’re like unless you’re going to sign a contract, we don’t want to go any further. You know, our our philosophy is again we like to help people. Um we’re a little bit different than others.
So we give everybody a little bit more time because we want to understand what’s going on. So usually by the time we met with them in the office, met with them on the side or at their house we’ll know whether or not they’re serious. Now we do have what’s called a pre build agreement. Again, a little bit different. So if we’re going to work with the client we will put them under what we call a pre built agreement which does not lock them into construction. It locks them into considering us for construction but not using us for construction, but quite frankly when they get in work with us work with our team, we provide what we provide.
We we most of the projects move on into construction. It gives us a chance to work with them. So after we meet with them, that’s when we usually suggest the pre build agreement. The pre build agreement locks us into working with them for a few months and we we helped set up meetings with architects. Um We help them select the right architect. We stay involved with all those meetings to make sure that whatever Is being designed as not being over designed. So a $e4da3b7fbbce236c8349cc7260ae62e3b1396831a8398fd7772b0674a318d500,000 budget doesn’t become 700,000 or a million becomes 1.3.
So we work very closely there all the way through until we start budgeting the project And then we we we budget the project for them. We have a meeting to to make sure we understand exactly how they want everything budgeted, what they want is options and then we’ll come back and deliver a seven or eight page, you know, 300 line budget to them. Um But that’s why they signed that pre built agreement because if they don’t go onto construction at least we’ve been compensated for all that work, getting them ready, they’ve got construction documents, they’ve got full budgets, they then can go out and actually build that house if they if they find the right partner.
Um But I think that the the ability to you know have the flexibility and freedom maybe to you know not be locked down to somebody right up front in case things don’t work out. I think that helps in at least in our business. Uh And then after we sign the after if they’re they’re comfortable with the budget, we signed the construction contract and then my whole team takes over. We’ve got designers who work with each of our clients. Um We’ve got superintendents who are at the job site every single day.
We’ve got a full laborer team who are there cleaning up and um and we just worked them all the way through the process the construction, the building the selections all the way to the end and then we have a warranty process to where we have a warranty manager who manages a four month walk through an 11 month walkthrough. And then we like to tell them that that that we actually aren’t like most builders we offer what are what we call is continued after care. They’re building a custom home or they’re doing an addition renovation.
Stay with your client, provide them help even after a year referrals in service. Well no we actually what we do is is we’re there is a referral service so we’ll go out there and help them understand what might be going going on. And then we absolutely say okay here’s who I would contact in, in, in this case if you need help with H V A C or plumbing or whatever. But we always, we try to make friends with our clients. We try to, you know, always um always develop a real good relationship.
And quite frankly, after most projects we go have dinner at their house with them and look at the project, we bring food in and and sit around and laugh and talk about the project. We have clients that we build homes for years ago that send me texts and we have a client then in Eureka that literally just sent me a text the other day saying it’s the, I think it was the The 60 year anniversary of the house and they are just so thrilled with this house, they love it.
But that’s kind of the type of relationship that we try to build with our clients, wow, wow, that was amazing. And I came, I cannot thank you enough today, just coming and sharing all this information with us folks. That was kim Hibbs and now, you know, the really key information to grow your business because you have a live example here and uh came again, thank you so much sharing all this information and your experience with us. In the final words, I would say this, that there’s nothing better than than growing a business and growing a successful team.
It’s really an awesome feeling. Um just don’t be discouraged. There’s gonna be highs, there’s gonna be lows, there’s going to be hard days, There’s going to be easy days, fun days, bad days. You just got to keep your, keep your eyes on. What is your goal? Set a goal. Don’t work in your business. If you are working in it, find time each week to work on it, I get it. I used to scrap homes myself, but, but you always need to take at least one, you know, a few hours a week to find out what is our goal, What’s our vision?
Because that’s gonna help, that’s going to help keep you going in the right direction and keep you determined. Um, and just be persistent and be patient because I promise you it pays off. In the end, it really does. There’s nothing like, you know, developing a successful business and a successful team. It’s, it’s the best folks you are listening to the remarkable success podcast show. Thank you so much for joining us today. We’re gonna see you next time. Goodbye