Wayne J. Ball, CGR, CAPS
President, Lone Star Building & Construction Services Inc., Houston
Number of employees: 10
Q: What makes you NAHB Remodeler of the Month?
A: My dedication to the industry. I am continually trying to improve our industry, and it’s not going as well as I would like. I’m trying to convince people in the industry that if we all raise the bar, everybody benefits. I strive through education, dedication and integrity to provide an environment that my employees can be proud to be involved with and to give my clients a worry-free remodeling experience.
Q: What have you done recently to grow your business?
My business went to hell last year. After having steady 10 percent year-over-year growth since 2001, our volume and sales fell back to 2001 levels. I’ve tried to reverse this by targeting realtors, past clients and doing a lot of advertising around the area. Last year, we were using a consistent marketing plan that wasn’t working anymore. We found that staying in the forefront, doing our due diligence with marketing and adverting, and being involved in the HBA has helped us. It’s important for companies to find the things that work and continue to hammer those ideas. When they don’t work anymore, the strategy needs to be changed immediately.
Q: What is your pet peeve?
A: Having clients call me that are angry. It doesn’t happen very often, but when a client gets through the layers of people we have and the call gets to me, there’s a serious problem. The team will do everything it can to not have it come to me. They know they need to take care of their business so I can take care of mine. I don’t want to be putting out their fires.
Q: What do you do for relaxation?
A: I’m an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer and I read a lot of books. I own a ranch in west Texas where I go hunting every three weeks, spending two and a half days in the woods. I also have a place in Corpus Christi with a boat where I do my fishing. When I’m in town, I golf. That takes up most of my time. I work somewhere in there, too.
Q: What is your best business practice?
A: Doing the work. That’s where we shine. Our company has developed and implemented a customer-service system second to none. We learned a long time ago we are not in the remodeling business but in a service business. The culture that we have created within our company resonates in all of our employees, and the results are proven with our completed job surveys.
Q: What does being part of NAHB mean to you?
A: NAHB is being with a group of like-minded individuals that have the same visions, some of the same goals and are very ambitious people. I didn’t finish college; I have a high-school education, and I learned to be a carpenter before I learned to be a business owner. It took me 20 years of hard knocks before I really figured out how to run a business. The NAHB educational program, without a doubt, raised the bar for my company. If I had any advice to give, it would be to spend as much time as you can educating yourself. You’ll reap the rewards.
- Greater Houston Builders Association; member since 1984
- Voted GHBA Remodeler of the Year in 2008 and 2010
- Current president of GHBA Remodelers Council
- Member of the GHBA board of directors for the past five years
- Currently working on the charity and garage sale committees for the GHBA Remodelers Council
Ball does the majority of his community-service projects through the GHBA. Last year, as president of the Remodelers Council, Ball’s emphasis was on veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq. One of his projects last year through the Remodelers Council was renovating bathrooms for female veterans. Ball also is involved with a huge garage sale that coincides with a local home show. Every year, the council raises tens of thousands of dollars through the garage sale and puts the proceeds toward future charity projects.