When and how did you choose this career?
I started working in construction as a laborer in 1990 at the age of 15. Soon after that, I realized that I was not meant to sit in an office and enjoyed the process of working with my hands and creating something tangible.
What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you?
Although my local HBA does not have a strong remodelers council, I have been able to see the value of NAHBR through the national level. I have always enjoyed NAHBR for its resources, but also for its amazing bond with other members. In a world that is full of competition for everything, it is nice to lean on guys who work in the same industry for answers, ideas and help when you need it.
What keeps you engaged in your local chapter?
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I would always be involved based on how much I learned about my industry and how much I was doing wrong in my own business. We often forget that we are not alone and that there are many resources that NAHB has set up for us small businesses in the home building industry.
How has remodeling changed since you’ve been involved?
It has changed dramatically not only with how customers purchase products, but how they find their contractors. It’s all about what’s on the internet now. We are constantly educating our customers on what works for them in their market and what a true budget should be, based on their needs and market. But being a professional in their market and aligned with the NAHB, NJBA and the local (Metropolitan Builders and Contractors Association of New Jersey) helps me sell my services and experience.
Where are the greatest opportunities in the remodeling market?
Well in New Jersey we are out of “land,” so remodeling is super strong and will never go away with the cost of the land. I feel like what you have is a huge aging housing market and a strong economy around New York City. For me, it’s as simple as building a strong name and doing things right, and the business will follow.
What is the biggest challenge right now for your business?
Reputation is everything. I find that there are a ton of flippers and people who are doing remodeling without the proper contractor’s license and insurance. By being the local expert and building a great name around the industry, you are constantly validating that you are a professional who has value.
What is your focus as a remodeler and for your business?
I feel that the most important thing right now is the customer experience. And for us, it’s getting the referrals that we need to keep the word of mouth going. Archuleta Builders is always working on ways that we can improve the customer experience inside and outside of our business to make sure that every single customer is happy at the end and will be willing to tell everyone they know that we are the ones they need for their job!
Have you seen a change in the average job size and/or types of projects?
Yes, and it’s funny. The jobs are getting bigger than ever and smaller than ever. I feel like people are seeing the value of remodels, so the small ones are always there. But once they get to a certain price, they get super big because they don’t want to move and like where they are—or they just buy new.
Where do you look for solutions/ideas for your business?
NAHB and the experts who are involved can help me in almost any possible way. What is your No. 1 source of leads, and why is it working? Word of mouth and signs and trucks. Local branding is what I call it.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
Stay lean. When you add personnel and/or expenses, it’s hard to adjust to the down markets.
What motivates you every day?
My kids, retirement and my passion to solve problems. Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? As someone who was not the best student and might not be the smartest one in school, I have learned to be the best in my field by hard work, honesty and leaning on the right people. These are all reasons that I really give back to NAHB and NAHBR, because of the people I meet and work with, and all that the association does on an ongoing basis for our industry. QR