Early on Dan Devol went to work for Appalachian Forest Products. Then he went to work for a finish carpenter. Dan says that in finish carpentry, he learned you have to be good and you have to be fast.
At 21 he bought and rebuilt a house and then sold it. He made $40K on it. Then after that he bought a lot and built his first house from scratch.
Some things Dan says made this house a successful experience:
- Build in a good school district
- Built the house for himself.
- Had no intention of being a builder.
After Dan built his third house someone approached him about building a custom house for them.
In the year 2000, he built a really nice house in the Parade of Homes.
Something that was hard for him was letting someone else do the finish work.
Building for others who have a large budget made it much easier to explore more of what he could do and build into a house. Dan says that when the budget is there it gave them a chance to showcase what they could really do.
The key to the whole thing is THE TEAM.
Communication is KEY to good customer service!
Dan says they don’t send text messages to their clients. They do all their communication through Co-Construct, and it works perfectly! It eliminates so much of all the text messaging nightmares that happen to so many contractors out there.
Other keys to a good experience are:
- Pre-Construction agreement
- Take a deposit
- Line out a schedule for the next 8-10 weeks
Dan learned the importance of setting grade on a house. By learning how important this is, he makes sure that he is present to set the grade on every house he builds no matter what the scale or cost. It’s that important!
He uses all Huber products.
Having a website is very important to having a modern up to date contracting business. Dan says they’ve had a website since 2000, and he’s had it redone 7 times since then.
He had a mentor one time who told him that when the economy is good to put your head down and work. Make hay while the sun shines so to speak. Right now the economy is good for builders, so get after it!!
- The Millionaire Next Door
To the contractor who is just getting started, here is Dan Devol’s advice:
Always be educating yourself. Understand all phases of construction. Go the IBS every year and attend the seminars. Leverage software to streamline your business. Have a passion to educate yourself!
Check out Dan Devol and his amazing work here:
Thanks for listening and following on. Please share this podcast with others!