NAHB Remodeler of the Month: Sense of Community
authors Kyle Clapham
Who started your company? The company was started by Russell Lee (father), Ryan Lee (brother) and myself.
Why did you choose this career? I’ve always been drawn to customer service. In the early 2000s I worked for Southwest Airlines for a few years, and that experience allowed me to see how a large company can maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. My dad has been building homes since the early 70s. Building homes and customer service seemed like a natural fit, so we decided to start our own company.
What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you? Being a member of NAHB Remodelers gives us a sense of community and a driving force for innovation within the industry. We’ve had many people reach out to us through NAHB to either work with us or ask advice. We are always happy to help.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? Remodeling has become very competitive, and sometimes that means more challenges for the consumer. We have seen more and more clients come to us who have had subpar work done that they need to have fixed. Overall, we are very optimistic about the future direction of remodeling. It would be good to have more permitting required in rural areas to help clients; however, it isn’t always feasible from a budgetary perspective for many counties.
Where are the greatest opportunities in the remodeling market? Texas in general provides many opportunities for new and existing remodeling companies. We are seeing an influx of out-of-state residents move here because of issues in their home state. Last year, I wrote an article for one of the GHBA magazines that explains how newer remodeling companies can get their foot in the door by taking on insurance restoration work. This is a great way to get started.
What is the biggest challenge for your business right now? One of our biggest challenges currently is managing growth. As we grow, so do the challenges. As individuals within our company get busier, there is opportunity to lose focus. We are constantly seeking to improve our methods and introduce more efficient business practices to get better every day. We always want to remember where we came from, quality results and customer service.
What is your focus as a remodeler/for your business? Our focus will always be quality and customer service first. Specifically, we are seeking to hire highly skilled field technicians and office staff to take our company to the next level. Due to demand last year, we added more employees to our custom homes and commercial construction divisions.
Have you seen a change in the average job size and/or types of projects? The average job size has definitely risen. Kitchen and bath remodels will always be in demand; however, we have seen more and more requests for additions. Families who are growing need additional space and additions fill that void. Another good example is multiple bathrooms being remodeled at once. Most clients have more than one bathroom and like to have them all remodeled at the same time. As a result, the average job size has gone from $10,000 to $20,000 over the last few years.
Where do you look for solutions/ideas for your business? I like to go to the experts for any solutions or ideas. If I need tax advice, I’m going to a CPA expert. If we need a solution for streamlining our selections process for our clients, I look up companies who specialize in that. We want to be the best at what we do, especially when it comes to making things easier for the client.
How do you find the right people for your company? Hiring in the remodeling industry is a difficult process. We have had some success with online job posting sites. Most of our employees joined our team by word of mouth.
What is your No. 1 source of leads right now? Our web presence has always been strong. Advertising isn’t cheap. The more you spend, the more you get out of it (as long as you are using the right methods).
What motivates you every day? Helping people and getting better every day. We are in this business to assist others. We want to improve the industry and give back to our community.
Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? Our company was one of three finalists for Texas Association of Homebuilders last year. We have received awards through Houzz for service from 2016 to 2019. QR