September NAHB Remodeler of the Month: Customer Focus
Donald F. Lynch Jr., CAPS, CGR, Lynch Construction Inc., Churchville, Md., LynchConstruction.com
Year Founded: 1958
Number of Employees: 6
Who started your company?
Donald F. Lynch, Sr.
When and how did you choose this career?
I remember my first grade summer when I walked on one of my father’s jobsites where we lived in Baltimore County and watched them building houses. I immediately knew I wanted to do that when I grew up.
What did you do before becoming a remodeler?
I worked in new home construction for my father’s company until he died before I started my high school senior year. I then worked in the automotive parts industry for about year and during the summer I longed to be outside working. I then got a job working for my dad’s previous foreman working with some of the old timers that taught me a lot of what I know today. I got my license and at about the same time I got a call from some bankers that were referred to me by a builder I knew. They asked me to meet with them about a townhouse project in White Marsh. It was 18 townhouses that were foreclosed and they wanted me to finish them. We finished the project in about 12 months. It was at that time I decided to move on and start my own business.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?
When I first started we did everything from the footings to the roofing and interior trim. We now have become an industry with many specialty trades, which in many cases, that can make the jobs more profitable since we don’t need as many diverse in-house people.
Right now, what is your focus as a remodeler — more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability? Please explain.
At this point we are focused on growth. Our direction is still and will always remain customer service, quality and satisfaction … customers for life. This has done us well on the referrals and the fact that we are moving into a third generation in the company.
Many remodelers are reporting increases in their average job size in 2016. Are you seeing this as well?
Yes, we have definitely seen an uptick in the average job size. We have done many kitchens and baths, but have also been very busy with whole house remodels and second-story additions.
Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business?
We currently use the NAHB website for many for the challenges we face day to day. We have also been involved with our local association in a leadership capacity and have gained a lot of knowledge from other remodelers willing to share their experiences. Qualified Remodeler magazine is jam-packed with ideas and solutions that in many cases are very timely for many of our activities.
If you could have a 30-minute conversation with any business leader in the country — to pick their brain for business ideas, who would it be?
Ed St. John of St. John Properties.
Finding qualified labor is a challenge —are you hiring this year and how are you going about finding the right people for your company?
We have been using a recruiting company to help us find and vet prospective employees along with some strategically placed ads, as well as some referrals from current employees.
What is your No. 1 source of leads right now and why is it working?
Previous customers are our best resource because they already know, like and trust us! We also do a lot of jobs for the children of families that my father built a new home for. We have great name recognition in our area.
What is the most unusual project your company has completed?
We have done a number of unusual projects that always fascinate me and require specialty engineering from dewatering a basement while building a new home with a 2-ft. subgrade to adding 2,200 sq. ft. to a 900-sq.-ft. Cape style home on a very tight lot.
What is your favorite item in your office?
The pictures of my family. My wife of 36 plus years and our four boys and daughter.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
If you have a strong work ethic and are strong in faith you will succeed.
What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you?
NAHB has the resources that we turn to for the answers we need or someone who can refer us to someone.
What have you done to grow your business during the current economy?
Touching our previous customers three to four times per year, social media, trade shows and some strategic print media.
What motivates you every day?
The love of the people and the many challenges that can come with a new day.
Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments?
I currently serve on the Board of Trustees for The John Carroll High School and Chair the Facilities committee which oversees the 70+ acre campus and buildings. I also serve on the Board of Directors for SARC — Sexual Abuse Resource Center, which helps women and men who have fallen victim to domestic violence, and chair their facilities committee also. I also work with the Mann House of Bel Air, which is a halfway house for men recovering from addictions.