MARKETING A PAINTING BUSINESS
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Marketing A Painting Business
This is episode 20 with Justin and Aaron Flora.
Welcome to the Dib podcast where Steve Burnett is your host. In each week we interview successful entrepreneurs to hear about their story, to inspire you to double your business so that you can have financial freedom time for your family and make an impact in your community. Thanks so much for spending some time with us and now today's show. Thank you again so much for being here. We have another inspiring story lined up for you today with Justin and Aaron Flora, but first a very special thank you to Stein man for his podcast review saying, easy listening. Great content. Put this on your playlist. Thank you so much Simon, and I can only imagine that that's gotta be Erin Steininger. Thank you so much for that. Erin. In this week's episode, Steve Interviews just an errand flora owner, operator of Fluor brothers painting. Here's episode 20
over-spray all who the asphalt shingles and it's not just paint. This was stain with sealer in it. Guys, what happened? So it was kind of when we were getting the train going with our business and moving full steam ahead is what we thought at the time we were delegating some of the management roles, crew leader roles to some of our guys and Justin and I were going out and being able to do estimates during the day, doing some of our meetings with reps and all that during the day versus after hours. I know we were both out doing some estimates and I was finished with mine and coming back to check in on on the job and parked out front of the House and walking around the front of the house and that boy there's a really strong odor of the DEX thing. So it's like OK, that's, that's not necessarily uncommon, but I look up in the air and I see over-spray just going crazy over the roof and just automatically know what is going on back here.
Hopefully the guys have the roof protected very well. That definitely was not the case. And went and walked around the back and they had about half of the roof plastic off and I automatically went up to, at the time our crew leader, tyler and I said, shut down everything right now. And he's like, what? I said, we got to go up and look at this, this route. So got a ladder out, got up on the roof, pulled back the plastic and the nice gray shingles were now reddish brown from where the plastic and the tape line stopped. So definitely went into panic mode immediately. We had headphones on just rocking out and totally focused in his application. Yeah, he was definitely in the zone of what he's doing. He's like, I, I thought that we had the plastic up far enough on the roof. But apparently we didn't. He's like, Hey, I'll run to the trailer, I'll get buckets of water, get some sponges and we'll start, you know, going to town on the roof and get some cleaner. And I said, that is, that is not going to work because it's already dried, sealed in. It's going to repel any moisture though. We were in trouble. So what'd you do? So immediately I said, well, we're gonna stop a operation on, on this job right now, and give me a hot second to figure out what in the world we are you going to do.
This is the back of the house, right? So you didn't have to say everyone, your vehicles to the back. Pull the yard sign as fast as possible. Well that was the first thing we did. I was like, pulled the yards. They, that was one of those things where you're just like, this is something that we're gonna own up to it. You definitely cannot hide this. And uh, so you bring a good point owned up to it. Right? So we look at these names for like disasters and we've all been there and we've had the more times than we'd like to admit. It's, it's part of the process as part of the growing pains of building developing a business. However, these yeah. Can become some of our biggest opportunities. Correct? Oh absolutely. So I heard you say ownership. What would happen next? So both homeowners, they work during the day, so they were going to obviously come home and they walked around the back of the House that I, something looks off here, so called, called the wife. She was the launch who was our point of contact for the project. And I said, I'm just going to let you know right now and said you're going to come home and your roof will look different on the backside here. How we going to charge extra for. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We, we did a little extra, you know, we said there was a roof leak. So we, we feel not like we seal the roof and for it.
So told her, uh, I said, believe me, I said it will get fixed. You're not going to have to lift a finger on this. And she, you know, they're super nice people on set. I'm sure it's not that bad, like a bad. So, uh, made, uh, some phone calls that the afternoon
both to our, our insurance agent and do some roofing companies and it was right at the beginning of spring. So roofing companies or are slam because there's hell storms that have come through. So there that got, you know, they're booked out for months, but luckily was able to find a big enough roofing company that they have the manpower that they were able to get out there and in a short time frame and get it fixed. And it was funny because I got a call from the homeowner once she got home and she's like, yeah, you're right. It's a, it's pretty notice. Yep. And, and it's quite comical because I pass the house multiple times a day because it's about a mile down the road from our shop to get the face that every single day. And obviously now a chuck goal versus cry like I did back then. It takes a while to get through the tears before we very much. So. New USP is a call, call floor brothers, you may get a new roof on the deal.
Awesome. Well today's guests are from Indianapolis. They own and operate four brothers painting, obviously their brothers, Justin and era errand. Excuse me, flora, welcome to the show. Thank you Steve for having me. Steve. Hey man, it's great to have you on. Take us all the way back to the beginning, right before we were over sprayed roofs, which involved taking us on this. Justin speaking and just to kind of take you back. So there's about 17 years ago we got started our alcohol, his two brothers and father, they have a painting company about an hour and a half north of us and so I was actually 15 at the time and a road with my cousin to work and it was a high school summer job for us and uh, did that every summer they did a lot of the local high schools and middle schools. They're so did a lot of school painting during the summer and you know that every year up until college and both Aaron and I went to, went to purdue boiler up and since they're located there right by purdue actually did a lot of painting with them through college and they worked around our class schedule to allow us to paint on projects with them.
So I ended up getting a full time job in the AG industry. And what's kind of going back to college back and forth, and it wasn't big on school would I rather wanted to work with my hands and get out and just work. So Aaron had actually was about to finish up with school and ended up having a full time job with, with a seed and fertilizer company and the AG industry. And he calls me up one and says, Hey, uh, what would you think about starting a painting company? So I said, hey, that sounds like a great idea, would be fun to be out on our own and, and, you know, take the dive into entrepreneurship. And so we ended up spending about six months while we're up at purdue and put together a business plan. I ended up surveying the Indianapolis area and doing a lot of market research down here and decided we can make a go of it. So that was in March of 2011. We started floor brothers painting company down here in Indianapolis and that's, that's how we got our start.
Fantastic. So straight from the college dorm room. Yes. You're near a due diligence and market research. And march 11 decided, hey, we can do this question, did you finish school then or did you, you know, make like Zuckerberg and jobs and say forget about it. And a company. Very big success.
Yeah. So funny thing, Erin ended up finishing and I still had some classes to finish up, so actually while we were doing painting jobs, I was still going back and forth to purdue to try and finish up. And towards the end of that first summer we ran a full page ad and one of our local newspapers here and we got about 25 calls and booked about 15 jobs off of that. So he's like, hey, or we need to hire, we need you. And so I actually, I didn't end up finishing school, so I have. Oh, I think I've got about four or five classes left. I may someday go back and finish, but Aaron doing all the painting by himself at that time just wasn't cutting it for adoption was slow.
We'll be with you in three years. What does this mean? I thank you for checking. OK, so there you go. You're launching Ed. You did 25 calls, 15 jobs, great close ratio by the way, earn or I assume Erin was out selling those. It was actually, it was a team effort. So we basically split up the estimates half and half. So I'm estimating. Right. How did you guys come up with estimates so straight out of the gate where you placed it edge, you get some leads, how did you, how'd you learn to estimate production rates? Spread race. A lot of those come with experience. Yeah, so we were guessing
actually very fortunate to have our uncle and their family business that they were willing to sit down with us and help mentor us. So they took a Saturday and sit down and actually went through all their, their pricing, how they priced projects, why they priced in that way, how they estimated hours and and gave us a lot
of useful information and tips from the get go. So they, they help set us up kind of, you know, on the road of success from the get go of how to bid these now. Not Saying we were, we were doing it a hundred percent correctly, but I mean it was the, what we consider the old school way of. Yeah. You went out, you took some pictures on your phone, you took some measurements, you wrote it down on, you know, your, your pad, a paper and a OK, you know, Mr and Mrs Smith will go back to the office and Justin's house and write this up and have it sent over to you in three to four days because we're still trying to paint during the day and doing this at night. So it developed this whole process. Was that the reason phone as back in 11, correct? Yeah.
Yeah. Battery would die. And 10 minutes density. So at this time is youtube or painting it out during the day. Going into and measures and estimates and returning in the evening. You're still bachelors, correct? No, no. So Justin, he would have been about one year into his marriage and I was engaged. So we were a year into business when I got married to my wife Kelsey. So you can imagine how they, where they are supporters, but they were, they were understanding of what we were doing and, but the, the patients have not having our, our attention of an evening kind of started growing a little thin. So even the new honeymoon bliss wouldn't that Kinda sore to or the newlywed? Yes. OK, sue, how did you guys navigate that? How does it sits a lot to start a business for? I mean it's like a rocket leaving the launchpad.
Eighty percent of its fuels used to get off the launch pad. Well it's very similar to a business with the time and effort and learning that we have to put into it. So how did you stay married? Aaron and Justin Hunter getting this business off the ground. So basically as I mean Phil, that we, we grew up with great parental roles and they kind of set the foundation for us of what hard work looks like. So I know that I always kept reminding Kelsie that I said we are young or young, our bodies are able stick with us. We'll pay off someday, I promise. Sounds like the same line. I gave April, unfortunately they did. Yes, they, they, they stuck it out with us. That's awesome. All right, so year one. Here we go. Justice. There's already audio school and you guys are going at it and, and uh, you, you've kind of burned a burn the ships at this point, right?
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And running back. Went to figure it out. Tell us about that. Yeah. So very quickly, about, about four months into our, our start, I was telling Justin that was him going up that class, you know, a few days a week that I definitely needed, needed some help out on the job and to, I mean that was during the summer, so it's, it's exterior ladder work. So definitely made sure that while he was gone, all the roof work was completed prior to that to where I was up on the roof by myself and you know, practicing a little bit of safety there. But I kept telling him, you know, we, we need to hire, we need to hire. So about six, seven months in, we hired our first time or first employee and it was actually a referral from Justin's wife. She worked in hr for a company down here in the Indianapolis area and the young gentleman came in looking for a job and she's like, you know, looking at your resume and, and he was actually a, a chick fillet employee, so they hired the best, very respectful young man.
So she's like looking at your resume and just talking with you here. Have you ever thought about maybe working for a candy company, which kind of threw him off because I'm wanting to get a job with you, but you're trying to push painting on. So we got his information and set up an interview with him and, and what we thought at the time is, you know, hiring off of our character and work ethic and, and, but again, coming from a, a chick fillet background, we, we kind of knew what their environment was there in the community title, the people that they hired. So yeah, we, we hired him a few months in and, and he was a very great addition to our small team of just justin and I and, and went from there. Now you mentioned a checklist a couple of times. That's such a great point. I actually reached out to the manager back in southwest Florida, is to ask them a couple of questions in and he sat down and he took the time to sit down with me and I said to you, you guys do an incredible operation here. You have a store full of teenagers who are the most respectful, courteous, happy and pleasant to deal with that I've seen across all of fast food, if you will. How do you do it? And a couple
of things he shared, he said, he said, well, we look for those with a can-do attitude. So how do you find them? He says, well, you interview, sit down with 50 of them before [inaudible].
Yeah, that's, that's, uh, that's definitely the case, you know, as, as you know, once we hired that gentleman and you know, again continue to, to grow and knew we needed to hire more employees, you know, it got tough, you know, you'd interview a bunch of guys and you know, hire a few of them and one would maybe stay with the so it got tough especially, you know, going into spring where you need to have that extra manpower and, and boy it was, you just needed a warm body to, to put a paint brush in and go. So it, it got tough there for awhile and I mean we would interview a guy and, and you know, hire them no matter what. So I mean we need, we the help.
Sure, absolutely. And it, I don't know that it's any, any tougher than it's ever been today given the labor market. So draft kind of catch us up here. So you hired your first guy, you guys get going. How's the first year? Did you greet the first year or did you, did you make a profit or you're just trying to get going? Did you buy some vehicles? Basically way we were, you know, get getting our, our feet wet and getting, uh, doing our best to get our name out here on the west side of nd. So the first year in our eyes, it was a, a good year, a good start to us and our business on what, what we were striving for and then the, the second year and we actually, so from the first year to the second year we, we tripled our ourselves. Fantastic. So and, and in basically, luckily we're fortunate enough our, our first, you know, handful of clients, they were fantastic. We built great relationships with them and, and I mean they still to this day there are, there are best cheerleaders. They're out there with their, their pom poms or four brothers painting. That's awesome. When you did your market research, what were some, what were some cpas for, what did you look for?
Finally, I looked at, you know, what businesses stood out to me on the, the Internet, you know, I did a google search right away for painters in Indianapolis and found the businesses with the best websites, the best presidents and looked at, you know them and, and again, just the presence that they had down here and got to looking around and I'm like, man, there's, there's really only, you know, five or six that really stand out to me. So I'm like, you know, and, and the market, the Indianapolis has, I, man, I, I know that we can, we can get a portion of that or a large portion of that. So that was a, a big thing for me. And, and we had also, um, because my now wife, she was born and raised here on the west side of Indianapolis and Avon. So I was down here on no weekends, you know, seeing her.
So I stopped by a few of the local paint stores and just met the managers and ask them to as well as what's, what's the presence like here around Indianapolis, specifically the west side. And, and you know, are there some, you know, big names over here or that just a bunch of, you know, just one man shows or, or what's that like? And so got a lot of useful information to from, from the paint stores over here. Fantastic. Now is you're drawing from your say 12, 13, 14. What were some marketing avenues that you consider to continue to get the word out? Yeah, so you know, the big one for us for awhile was our local newspaper did special publications, you know, so they would do a spring publication, a home improvement publication and that went to a lot of older retired folks and that was really our target market at the time, you know, people with a little more disposable income and that really set the foundation for our three p's now.
So we do a lot of work for, you know, retired or almost retired people who have a little more of that disposable income, nicer custom homes. We generally try to target homes 250,000 and up and do a lot of custom residential repaint. Nice. Fantastic. Are you going about finding guys to staff these now who have the character? So this was kind of a shift for us, so I would say about three to four years ago, about three and a half, four years ago, we actually, our crews or starting to dwindle down down a little bit and it just got to be a big stress on Aaron and I tried to find new guys and we actually got referred to us a subcontractor and we were, you know, man, I don't know about this. We'd rather have our own guys that we train. And we're like, well we'll, we'll need some more guys.
We'll, we'll look into them and give them a shot. So we went out, looked at some jobs that they did hire that subcontractor and went really well for us. So we ended up about four years ago, we switched from having employees to actually, we now use all subconscious tractors. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, obviously there's some struggles with having subs. There's also obviously a lot of struggles with having your own own employees, but we feel like we've done very well with the subs that we have. We have a very good core group of guys, our culture strong and Phil I who are doing very, very well with what the guys that we have. We have fantastic group of guys. How do you continue to elevate the culture when you're using subs? I tell you what, we just, we, we make it feel like we're a family.
They are part of their family. You know, we try to do events once a quarter, you know, whether it be rent out a room at the local pizza joint and do a pizza party for the guys. We know a cookout at our house, get all the guys together, you know, play some, play some bags and cook out to take a dip in the pool and really just have that comradery and you know, our guys know that we care about them. We want to know about their family and their kids, their interests, their hobbies, and really just, you know, have a deep appreciation and care for our guys that we have.
Fantastic. That's great. When hiring subs, what you are looking for subs, what advice would you give to find the right ones to those out there who are considering it or wanting to give it a shot. They've got employees that have a hard time finding employees, but many are moving to a sub model and, and some go one way. So I'm going the other and some global. What advice would you give to those who are considering looking for subs to find the right ones and then to onboard them?
Yeah, so we definitely know that it's a fit for us than it might not be a fit for, for another company. I know that I've basically listened to the majority of the podcast and I've heard, you know, there's a lot of guys that have w2 employees and and that's, that's fantastic and mean you can interview them, you know, individually. Whereas with the sub is basically we interview the crew leader of that. The subcontractor, so we'll sit down and meet with that individual, you know, ask, ask for some, some pictures and also so for some references of projects have, you know, people that they know that they've painted for that would be willing to let us come out, take a look at the work and what has been a good solid way for us of finding gray subcontractors is we've asked our paint reps and, and have asked the, even the paint store managers and I mean we've, we've obviously as you go through the years, you build very good relationships with these people because I mean I, I view it as we're, we're business partners with them.
Some without them we can't do what we're doing and without us they can't, you know, do you have a third doing so they, they understand our, our business, our model, how we are set up and when we've asked them for referrals of, of sub contractors, they've given us some, some very key key individuals and crews to, to look into and that that has been a very successful way for us to find good guys. How do you keep them from not taking any work away? Yeah. So that I think that really comes from, you know, just an I sitting down and interviewing them and we do have a subcontractor agreement that we have with them that they, they signed and I mean it lays everything out of, you know, pay structure, how materials are purchased, all that. Then it goes into the more, you know, legal side of things and also to the, you know, not farming out yourself to our clients or, or people that may come up and say, hey, you know, c or you're painting this, I want to quote him on my house as well.
What has really come from as one, the culture, the atmosphere that we create with our guys. But two is we're going out and we're getting the best, the best guys and they know the, you know, we're, we're doing our best for them and in return they do their best for us and they don't want to go anywhere else. They don't want to run into that risk of, you know, lou losing, working for us, you know, all throughout the year. So I mean there has been multiple times where one of the crew leaders as, hey, the next door neighbor came over and we, we actually provide just a generic office business card to the crew leaders that they can hand out to those clients or potential clients that come over and ask for an estimate. So they actually, they will hand those out for us and then notify us of, Hey, you know, guy next door, he came over and he wants his exterior painted as well, so he's going to be calling for quote. Fantastic. So again it comes back to hiring for character and continuing to elevate your culture. Absolutely, absolutely. And I'll, I'll just add now we have roughly three or four sub crews and within our, our main sub we have about three or four crews within them. So the big thing now is that we have a good core group of guys is that we are building with those, those crews. So we sat down with our team leads, I would say probably
three, two or three times a year. And we talked with them, Hey, what do we need to do? What's going, you know, what's going well, how can we improve and you know, what can we do, you know, hey, we're going to need another crew this summer. Um, what can we do to help you find guys what, what's working and what's not? So now that we've got a really good core group of guys, it's building within those teams and those crews, that's fantastic.
Give me a break. Give me a break and we'll be right back with the rest of Justin and Aaron floors. Story in just a moment. But first we're taking a break to hear and think Evander Burke for his feedback saying, I wanted to say thank you for having the live chat the other day. I took your advice to show my employees extra love and support. Your simple advice has done wonders and keeping them motivated. I've read your book. It was a gift from Matt McHugh. I'm very grateful for this group. I don't post often, but I read and see every post in comments. Keep killing it. Every one US painters. No, our job is very important. Thank you so much. Steven Soderbergh for your comment about the dip podcast. We understand that building a business is hard work, but you're not alone. If you would like to increase your revenue or more importantly, your bottom line faster, download the brand new free day, the APP. You'll get instant notifications and access to all of our podcasts, articles, videos, and free downloads right away, all in one place. Just go into your google play or iphone app store today, d, Y, b, and get it for free. Link will also be in the show notes, so download it today. Unlike the others, Youtube will be on your way to greater profit, having time for your family and making an impact in your community. So be the first in your market to get the Free Dui. Be App today
absolutely plays into customer service. What does customer service look like? How did you go about exceeding expectations at tie? That really, obviously it starts from the time that Aaron and I, we actually oversee the estimates. We enjoy it. We love going out and meeting a potential client. So it starts with the time, you know, we go out and do the estimate. So when they see us for playing cop, we're professional, we have our logo on our shirt, we've got our park, our vehicles wrapped, you know, it's, it's setting that trust from the time that we get out there. So yes, s a potential client is comfortable and you know, trustful with us, um, then it gets handed off to our guys and so they are trustworthy and doing a great job at just kind of trickles down from the time they get to the estimate, to the fire, to the time get final payment.
Fantastic. So it's key to absolutely crush your first impression. For sure. For sure. So the next question I generally ask us, what's been a paradigm shift for you to make her, to reach this level of success? But for you guys, I'd like to reframe it. When we first met, I think it was back in 14, was presenting a seminar for your area and he came up and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe Justin came up and asked me to sign a book and he said, you write in here, don't be safe, Aaron still have that. That's a helpful. So I'll never forget that. Obviously you're the only guys who've ever asked me that, but, but I love it and all of you guys, his attitude, you get along so well and I'm going to get to the how do you, how do you handle conflict working with family, right? But first, what are some ways that you've stepped out of your comfort zone and into the magic?
So I tell you what, I think this is also kind of a shift for us. At the time that we met, we needed organization. We were still doing paper written, handwritten estimates. We didn't have any project management system in place. I mean we were, we were a little disorganized. So we went into that. It was a Ptca, you know, convention or whatever. And we went into that. We need, we need organizations, so that was a big shift for us know we walked away from there and ended up implementing half. We use Pega for our estimating and also we use base camp for our project management. So that was also a big shift for us as just becoming more, more organized.
Awesome. Very good. Well being, you opened up the tech stack, pep base camp. What, what else is in your tech stack?
C, r along with, with, with pepfar estimating system, we do use um, bay base camp. We actually use base camp three. We, we didn't ever really use base camp to a lot so it was kind of go with the newest version that's out there. It's worked really well for us. I know a lot of guys like the calendar option with base camp too, but our operations manager uses google maps to schedule all of our google calendar, excuse me, to schedule all of our jobs for our guys and also we can schedule stuff through base camp three on our guys see that? So use that for our project management software and we do a lot of chatting, you know, with our guys through that they upload pictures of how the project's going and updates throughout the day. And then we also use group me. That's a great way of chatting throughout the day.
We let our guys then also, you know, sending stuff after hours. I mean again creating that culture, you know, whether it be a hey this is what I'm eating tonight, you know, or hey look at my steak. I just, it's, it's, it's fun, you know, the, the guys will send us stuff and even on the weekends, you know, hey look, look at this or you know, kicking back, relaxed. And so we use group me and that's, that's a great free app for us. Also use quickbooks with which integrates with our, our pep. I'm obviously use that for all of our accounting. Think that's about it. That's nuts are poor cortex stack. Those are good. Those huge, big, big shift from paper. Yeah. And it's funny because at the time I really, I told Aaron, I'm like, man, I was kinda set in old ways. I liked writing stuff down. I like seeing it on paper and, and I'm definitely glad that I,
you know, gave, you know, the
peppa top a chance and it's worked very, very well for us. It's allowed us to now give estimates on spa and has also helped increase our
[inaudible] ratio who just lead into one of my favorite subjects. Sales. Let's unpack your process a little bit. So I present on the spot. How powerful is it for you to be able to present on the spot? Yeah, it's, it's very, very powerful. Just because when we were doing it the old way, I know I had said earlier, is now, all right, we're going to go back and write this up. And, and when you get into the busy season for us during the spring, summer and fall months, it's, I may not get it to you for four or five days. Well by that time you're tired of waiting. You've had maybe another bid or two. And I don't know how many times you heard, well we've, we've already selected someone for before we've even even sent it to them, so to be able to present on the spot and to know our numbers, no, our, our production rates and I mean it's, it's very easy of going out and measuring and inputting those measurements and we do a few things based off the hours and enter that in and put it together, take pictures of any special things and, and note it in the bed and then sit down and, and go over it with the client when we're all finished up.
And a lot of times, I mean for me personally, and you figured you'd probably bring up the whole book thing and writing that about me and that I was prepared for this but it, it was very nerve wracking. I could hide behind the email when I send out the old way. I could send it off and I didn't have to discuss the price, you know, if there was an objection to it. So it got me out of my comfort zone and I mean it really. I was intimidated to sit down and I never wanted to show that that bottom number because I didn't try, didn't know what they would say, so it definitely got easier and now I liked that because one I can read the client, I can see, oh they were so happy and joking with me and now they won't say a word or you know, they, they lean back in their chair there you can hear their breathing changes.
I liked that just because. But then it opens the flood gates for what I, I love is as questions and communication about everything at that point because the more that a potential client will talk with us about our process and about the project, the higher the percentage goes for the close ratio. On your point two, reading the client, which is so big, how many times did you hear, well, hey, you didn't put this in there or you put this in there and asked her not to. Cause as we're taking the scope right. And we're trying to listen to them and capture scope at the same time. There's this happens. Yes. Yeah. So, um, it actually, it, it just happened to me yesterday. I did a next tier quoting was going through and the people who are, oh our, our front door is brand new. We had just got installed, you know, a few weeks ago, so we don't want that painted.
And what's nice is I said, OK, I said, give me a second here. I uncheck boxes, update the bid. All right now. Now here's the, here's the prize is still made that so simple. And plus two, uh, it's allowed for, we, we pride ourselves on, with our exterior work as far as the prep. That is the most difficult part of the project. And it's oftentimes the, the one that's rushed through sparrow. We take lots of pictures, we make notes and bring things to a potential client's attention that they had no idea. And I tell a lot, I tell a lot of clients that I, yeah, I've been out here for 20, 30 minutes. I know your house, your home's exterior interior better than I do now because, you know what I mean? I've done it long enough yet to know what to look for. And you know, the problem areas, so a lot of times as people are not even aware at all that on their home's exterior, they have a lot of wood rot.
That is, that is where we typically separate ourselves from other companies here in the area is we look for that. We're not just out there to, I don't want to walk around and just, you know, be, be a price, want to, I want a client to say, you know, whether they go with us or not. So you know what they by far, you know, they gave us the best bid as far as detailing, educating us in, you know, whether they go with us or not, you know, they gave us a good price, a fair price, but you're building value into your proposal. So then it's not all about price anymore. Absolutely. Fantastic. Back to the really client and catching things that you would've missed. How many times do you think we've missed that back before the days we were selling on the spot? Yeah, it was, it was just to go out and quickly get, you know, pictures of the areas.
Get your measurements and, and get out and get on to the next one. There wasn't a, I mean, a lot of people, especially the clientele that we're looking to, to work for, they can see through that. Well that he didn't care about us whatsoever. He's just worried about, you know, the, the, the check, you know, or the job he's not worried about. All of our questions are concerns, you know, whether it be, you know, we're very concerned about the, you know, our flower beds or we're concerned about, you know, we have a fence outback and our dogs normally they didn't ask any, have any questions, you know, our concerns about this project. So they didn't, they didn't care. What would you say your close ratio, the differences between presenting on the spot to when we used to mail it to them days later. Oh, it's increased tremendously. It's one those two that we didn't necessarily keep the best track of our close ratio back then. So.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's, it's allowed for, you know, obviously better growth for us. And again, it's creating more value to the client and establishing trust with them that they know that they have nothing to worry about it if they go with us. So it is definitely our close ratio has has gone in and then how nice is it that you don't carry two or three or four estimates on your shoulders in your head all the way to Saturday and then you sit down Saturday to try to catch all these up and you didn't take great notes because you intended to write this up straight away when you were there and now hanging your head against the wall. Trying to recall the details of three, four, five estimates from earlier in the week. It's helped tremendously with that just because you know, we tell clients to when they're, well, you know, we're going to get five estimates and this goes hand in hand with what you just asked is we're going to get confused of what house was that, that I had this issue or that they wanted this specific whatever.
And I tell clients that say, when you're seeking out that many estimates, I said, trust me. Nine Times out of 10 the client becomes confused who said what and what they're getting now, and we're going to do tell everything out for you that hopefully that eliminates that on our end, but it can create confusion. So definitely we're switching to t pep has eliminated that with us. Have, you know, get getting different jobs, confused and in know what specific requests there, there were absolutely no in this instant gratification society. Could you imagine going down to your favorite Carla and picking out your favorite truck? And then the car salesman saying, OK, very good, ah, I'll email you the price in three or four days. Or how about this? Your wife gives you the green light to get that great big new flat tv screen so that you can watch the next Michigan a purdue.
So you go ahead on, you find that you're like, yes. And you've got the click now by one button, you're hitting it and it says, thank you very much world e-mail. We'll e-mail you the price on this. And the next three, four days. Yeah. That, uh, that would be frustrating. And, uh, again, I would, I would be asking, well, don't you know, you're a price, you know, I think yeah, I mean I think that was just back in the day, we didn't know what we need it to be profitable. And so when we made the switch and now we know our numbers no more profitable, you know, man, that just, that really sets us apart, you know, it's just these are numbers, you know, these, we know where we need to be to be profitable and they can sense that confidence. Yes, absolutely. That's awesome. But painting company is not enough for you. Floor brothers tell us. So we, uh, now that we've kind of gotten our systems in place and have really, you know, gotten the ball rolling with the painting side of things. We really saw a lot of clients starting to, Hey, do you guys do siding, repairs? Hey, do you know, good roofer? So we actually, uh, two years ago decided to start a company
and now do roofing, siding and gutters and we've not gone, gone full scale with that. We've just allowed the business to come through referrals from the painting side of things and we've also got a couple of business partners in that that helped us run that business. But that's just been. And again, I know a lot of guys out there are probably saying, Oh man, you know, you're, you're adding on more work and you're adding on more stress than more things to deal with. But it's actually, it's, it's gone pretty well with us because, you know, we took the systems that we have in place from the painting business and we've put that towards our exterior business and it's allowed us to be successful with that. And again, we're not going full-scale with that, but you know, we can do 20, 25 groups in the summer and you know, add that value to our clients, you know, or hey, I need a, I need a new roof. Then it's paired pretty well with, with the painting company. So it's more of a value Ed, keep the clients with you rather than just develop full development of, uh, entire company. Correct?
Correct. Yeah. It's, it's, uh, allowed us to, as I mean questions that come up of people are outbidding projects of hey, you know, you know, a Roofer, you know. Well yeah actually we do. Is Awesome. Let me, let me change out my hat and my shirt here on the roofer. But it's allowed us to meet a need of, of the clients that we weren't meeting that we're getting actually kidding requests for. So I mean there has been projects that we've bid the exterior painting, we haven't got that but we got roofing and gutters and so I mean it's allowed us to uh, I guess if we're missing out on something where we're getting it, you know, on, on this side of the business, but to, as we we've been able to sell kind of a package together of. Cause we had have had projects where we replaced all the siding and then we painted the house and, and you know, did the roof and so kind of a full meal deal exterior package for folks that say, you know, there's not going to be issues with scheduling because it's all on us. We set it up of OK, we're going to have the siding guys out these days and they're going to get it done. Then we're going to come out, crap caulk it, and then we're going to have the room. So all of that's on us that you can just sit back and watch the transformation happen some. Now Brendan Ryan in Episode Eight, she guys listened to his story.
Yeah, we did. So kind of a different story from, from us, you know, he's probably thinking there's no. What would want to do what those guys are doing, you know, I know he had mentioned that he had the roofing company for Awhile and know I can make a lot more money on the painting side of things. So. And I thought that a couple times, but I don't know, we just, we've been able to be successful with that side of things. And again, we've just, we've, we've seen, you know, hey, we can do everything on the exterior of a home, you know, if you've got, we go out and we say, hey, you know, you've got more than just a couple siding boards to replace, you know, you need to replace all your siding. We can, we can do that, you know, or hey, your gutters are leaking at the scenes, you know, that we ever thought about replacing your gutters. Actually yes. Um, you know, I'm going to call somebody. So that's allowed us to meet the needs on exterior some, be able to, to be a one-stop shop for that.
The difference may be that you brought on some partners to manage that end. Yeah, for sure. And it's a, it's a interesting partnership because they have a interior renovation business. They really specialize and flooring and cabinets, but um, do a lot of interior remodel work. And they had used us as a sub of theirs on some other projects. So one day, one of the gentlemen, he, he called me up and he said, hey, I got like three or four jobs that I like to go around to all in one day, can you block off a day and go with me and look at these and bid, you know, been the pain. So when a day with them and, and just talking about business and, and what we are know vision was and requests that we're getting. And he said that, that's funny you say that because he's like, I'm doing that on the side. He's like, I don't know how to. I don't like the business signs. Like I got the guys, I got the knowledge of the roofing, I got, I know how to build a house from the ground up. I don't know how to run the business per saying in get, you know, leads coming in. It's like, well that's what we love. We love the business.
The conversation kept going on and, and we, we sat down and had had meetings and, and wrote down goals and ideas and business plan with it and, and decided to form the business together. And Justin and I, we, we run the business side of it and um, they run the operations side of it, so it's worked out really well just because we have enough knowledge, I'll say to be dangerous of the roofing and that, but I don't want to be dangerous with the roof just because if something goes wrong a lot underneath
that, Russ, that could be very costly. Um, we needed to have expertise on that side and they were the missing puzzle piece for us and we were the missing puzzle piece for them. Fantastic puzzle pieces, right? Dynamics family. Now, as long as I've known you guys, you guys are great guys. I've never once sense or seeing that there's been any strife or stress between the two of you, but we all know working with family, it happens. It's there. So what's it been like for you guys, brothers to work together to build a business together and tell us some of the challenges that you've had to grow through that. And I tell you, we've, we've definitely had our struggles and our challenges, you know, I mean, when you're bringing two people together, you know, sometimes, obviously we have differing opinions, but I really felt like Aaron and I compliment each other well because my strengths are, you know, kind of his weaknesses and vice versa.
So, um, man, I don't know, I just feel like we're, we're able, we compliment each other well and it's kind of, you know, hey, we, we may disagree on this, but what's the best for our guys? What's the best for our business, what's the best for our clients, you know, um, and, and you know, what, what is obviously going to eventually make us us better as a company as a whole. So again, we do have disagreements every now and then, but if you step back and say, Hey, what, what is going to be best for us and our company on our clients, you know, you can, you can push through that disagreement and be better because of it a lot too is I go back to, you know, the, the foundation that we have beneath us. And I mean we grew up in a Christian home and I'm going to church. We actually both graduated from private Christian High School, so there's definitely a, a foundation that is set both personally and business. So, and you know, our, our parents instilled in us of, you know, work your differences out. So there was enough times back when we're younger that we had the hug it out, methods was squeezed out or does that, we still do the hug it out.
Are there any questions that I should've asked or a point that you would like to make? One thing I would like to add as is for those guys out there that are maybe struggling right now or are thinking, you know, man, I don't know how much longer I can do this is I wanna add yourself
with good people, you know, surround yourself with winners. Surround yourself with people who are persistent and have that go get them mentality. You know, man, there's, there's, there's some times in business where you're like, man, you're just, you've kind of leveled off a little bit. And if you have good people around you and you've got a good network of, of winners around you, then man you can. You can do anything. You can accomplish anything.
That's awesome. Absolutely. Thank you. If somebody would like to follow up to contact you guys, did some follow up questions or just to say thank you for coming on the show and sharing what's the best way that they can reach out to you?
Yeah, I'll answer that question for Ya. I did want to give just a little bit of input on what you just said. There is a question or something that you would like to say as um, my, my father in law, he's been in business here on the west side of Indianapolis for like 30 years in the automotive industry. And one thing that I have taken from him as he knows the majority of the other body shop owners here in the area and say see each other. They talk with each other, they discuss different things. And I would say as a lot of times as you know, people, they view as, oh, that's my competition. I don't talk with them, don't, don't ask them how business or anything, no ass ask those questions, build a relationship with them just because you have no idea what that could lead to down the road.
So we have made it a point to, I mean to compare competitor just a few miles up the road from us as, I mean we have each other's numbers, they're estimating numbers. I mean we text back and forth and talk and, and I mean I would say that, that, that doesn't necessarily just help us, it helps them as, as well and helps the painting industry as a whole. So, um, I know a individual that, you know, wells is near and dear to you, but up on the opposite side of Indianapolis from us as Mike Buyers and cornerstone. So we have a fantastic relationship with him and we normally meet once a year, typically December timeframe and, and just talk about business, talk about our, our lives are, are, you know, wives or kids and all that. So I mean as just don't be afraid to, to network with your competition.
That's so good. You're absolutely right. And Mike feels the same way, but you go, so if I heard you correctly, don't don't come from a scarcity mindset,
but rather be a cooperative capitalist. Absolutely. That's a very good way of putting it, but to answer, you know how, how if anybody wants to us as
best way for for us would be email and email the both justin and I see as I'm just info I n f o at Fluor Brothers Painting Info at four brothers painting dark. Calm. Correct. Aaron. Justin, it's been a pleasure. You guys are awesome. Appreciate you taking time out this morning to come on the show. Share your story. Spent a lot of fun. Was you guys continued success. Thank you. We appreciate it.
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