September NAHB Remodeler of the Month
authors Laurie Banyay
Mark Rehberg, CGR, GMB
Ranserve Inc., Austin, ranserve.com
Year founded: 1993
Who started the company?
My business partner and I
When and how did you choose this career?
Really, this career chose me. In 1986 my business partner and I started a property management company. As it grew and matured we started to look for another avenue to grow and expand. We were renovating older apartment complexes and renting them out. As much of our time was being spent in construction as it was in property management. We started a small general contracting business in 1995, and it grew as most businesses do.
What did you do before becoming a remodeler?
I owned and operated a property management business, before that I worked in a family owned restaurant.
As you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I always knew I wanted to be self-employed, and that I liked real estate … I really didn't have more direction than that.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you've been involved?
The biggest impact for change has been technology, although I tell people that construction is an industry, "rushing into the 1950s." Technology has impacted our lives and of course our businesses. Another influence is building science, best practices and continuing education. I have found these influences essential to running my company.
What is the most unusual project your company has completed?
We are currently involved in Austin’s Barkitecture event. We are working side by side with an architect to build a unique dog house that will raise money for local charities.
What is your favorite item in your office?
I do not have a favorite thing in my office. I am very fond of the people there and am grateful that they have chosen to work here.
What is the best advice you have received in your career?
Always seek the advice of others.
What does being a part of NAHB mean to you?
It means legitimacy. It means professional. It means credibility. Being a home builder is an honor and a privilege, it is also a responsibility that I do not take lightly.
What have you done to grow your business during the current economy?
We are very fortunate to be in Austin, and we have benefited greatly from the local economy. I don't feel that I have done that much regarding our economy other than to be grateful and respectful of the opportunities it has provided this company.
What motivates you every day?
Slowly over time in your career you gain expertise and as this happens you get more and more enjoyment out of what you do, because you are the problem solver. The sense of accomplishment is very motivating You do a good job and the money follows. Doing a good job should be your motivation, not making money. To this point, last year I made my salary $1.00 a month. I did this to see if money was the reason I came to work. I'm not sure if anyone can be completely honest with themselves, but I still work with the same enthusiasm and motivation as when we started this company. I love my work, my staff, and my mission.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you cast as you?
That is difficult to say and I don't think my life is worthy of any movie. Having to provide an answer therefore is not easy. I would be honored to be represented by Robert Duvall.
Would you like to mention anything else about your career accomplishments?
Only that I am looking forward to my future and welcome it.