Upon receiving an interior architecture degree from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2021, Taylor Hibl worked for a local design firm. After 18 months, the company her mom Sheila founded in 2012—Exterior Pros—was growing fast and needed someone to manage sales and marketing. Taylor, who loves home improvement and design, decided to join the family business.

“Since I was little, I’ve always loved watching TV ‘before and afters’ and transitions,” says Hibl, who left her job as a designer at a large senior living company. “Everybody always asks me, ‘Did you ever see yourself getting sucked into the family business?’ And honestly, I didn’t. I didn’t know the direction the company was going to go in. They started primarily with storm roofing, and that wasn’t really something that interested me.

“But as we started to move into the full exterior space—doing full transformations of exteriors—and then moving into the interior (because now we do wet-space renovations for baths and showers), it just really intrigued me,” she adds. “And joining the family business overall was great for the culture and where we are heading. We get each other from a leadership aspect.”

The company has benefited from two hailstorms already this year, which brought in a great deal of restoration business, she notes. Coming off an amazing 2022 in which business grew about 73 percent over the previous year, 2023 presented a learning curve. Exterior Pros still beat its 2022 numbers but focused more on leadership roles and bottom-line profitability.

On the retail side, the company added 10 new project consultants in the first quarter this year and is training them on products and processes, Hibl says. “They’re super hungry, and they’re ready to get out there. We would like to do $11 million in net revenue in 2024. We are currently on pace, and I’m hoping to get ahead of that pace with all these new sales reps coming on.”

Generating leads in several ways, Exterior Pros enjoys many longstanding partnerships with lead aggregators, she notes. The company has a strong presence with Google and PPC as well, so the business receives myriad pay-per-click leads. Its internal marketing team posts organic content that often goes viral, leading to even more organic traffic coming back to the company website.

“We do a lot with [Instagram] Reels and TikTok, and we are just starting to play off the digital aspect of marketing that’s kind of taken over within the last few years,” Hibl explains. “People love watching those little 8 to 10 second videos of transformations. We also have a large, year-round event staff that meets with customers in our community. They’re responsible for about 25 percent of revenue, which I’m super proud of. A lot of our event staff are part-time college kids.”

Since the beginning of this year, Exterior Pros has noted a large increase in siding jobs, which use her favorite product. “I just feel like it has the biggest wow factor from a ‘before and after’ perspective,” Hibl says. “We’ve always been so heavy in roofing and windows, that it’s such a fun and exciting way for us to kick off the new year. We see people going from dull neutrals to bright blues and greens. A lot of people are doing white with black window wraps and gutters.

“I’ve also noticed in our bath shower space that many customers are leaning toward that sleek white with matte black finishes,” she adds. “It’s such a clean and modern design. It’s timeless.”

The major challenge for the business in the last four months continues to be finding qualified workers. Scaling up the sales team has produced more work and additional jobs, Hibl notes. “We have an internal standard of workmanship that we expect for our customers. Finding people who can execute that can be tough. It’s definitely been our biggest struggle within the last quarter.”

For the second consecutive year, Exterior Pros won a Top Workplace award from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s based on our employees’ anonymous feedback,” she says. “We really pride ourselves in our mission and core values and being family owned and operated. That’s something our employees really feel. We’ve had people come from huge companies or ones who don’t have a great culture, and they’re so thankful to feel appreciated and perform very well based on that.”

The company has completed wet-space remodels for four or five years, although Hibl does not anticipate moving into full bathroom renovations. “I think one of our next moves is going be attic insulation,” she explains. “We’ve also looked into doing some low accent stonework on the exterior. We just try to listen to our customers. We look into it and see if it’s something that we can add to our product portfolio.” QR

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