I saw a bird’s eye view of a massive luxury home on Instagram one time. The home was built by Jeff Rogers Custom Homes.
It was such an incredible build that I re-shared it on my profile. And then later, when I started this podcast I thought, “I would LOVE to have that builder tell his story for us here.” So, I mustered up the courage and asked him if he would come on the show and share his story and experiences with us.
And he agreed.
It was such a great time with Jeff, and I know you are going to be very inspired by his many experiences in the homebuilding industry.
Inside this incredible episode you will learn:
- How to grow your business even during economic uncertainty
- How to find good employees who will work very hard for you
- What to do with every lead that comes your way
- Why you should save your money, especially when doing large builds
- The crucial factor you must do to keep your clients satisfied.
- …and much more!
Again, you don’t often get to sit at the feet of an older man who’s been in the homebuilding industry for decades. This is your chance. Listen to this episode today and Be INSPIRED!
If you love this show, please share with your friends. That is how contractors, just like yourself, find out about this show. Use the hashtag #protractorpodcast
Forging a Career in Contracting with a Background in Sales
Jeff Rogers was born in Idaho, referring to himself as the kid who was always building forts in his neighborhood. But, Jeff’s real journey in construction would not begin until he started his career selling new homes in Arizona. His years of going door to door as a missionary taught him how to deal with rejection, which prepared him for a career in sales. Jeff really first learned about home construction from the sales side of the business as a broker. During the late 1970s, a period of economic downturn, Jeff and his wife took advantage of cheap housing prices and realized the potential of remodeling old homes for profit. However, because Jeff lacked much of the hands-on experience of general contracting, having only worked in the sales aspect of his business, he forged a partnership with a general contractor who served as a type of mentor for Jeff. He and his partner eventually parted ways amicably, and Jeff decided to start his own business in Arizona, Jeff Rogers Realty and Development. Jeff would eventually let his broker’s license expire, and his business would be renamed Jeff Rogers Custom Homes. He owes a lot of his initial success and confidence, he says, to his partnership, which lent him the experience he needed to make his way in this industry.
How To Grow Your Business, Even During Economic Uncertainty
One of the early lessons Jeff learned as he started his own construction business was the necessity of financial responsibility. “As a general contractor, you have lots of money coming through your hands,” Jeff says. Money, he adds, that is not yours. His work requires the discipline to carefully watch where that money is going in order to avoid debt. Furthermore, Jeff suggests that remaining debt free can alleviate some issues related to the ever-changing economy.
Even in Arizona, which he considers to be a fairly stable market, Jeff always considers the “ebbs and flows” of the economy. For this reason, Jeff has discovered the importance of pursuing every lead and every job when trying to build his business. Initially, Jeff felt very focused on the high-end market, and wanted his brand to reflect that. On top of that, Jeff was hesitant to accept remodel offers, fearing that he would not know how to price those types of jobs, therefore creating the potential for losing money. ‘There are so many unknowns,” Jeff says of remodel jobs. But, he soon learned that remodels will keep a contracting business afloat. “Remodeling and additions are the most steady part of our industry,” Jeff reveals, “Even during a downturn, those jobs are going to be there.” During the economic confusion of 2008, Jeff learned that accepting remodeling jobs would help revive his business, especially during a period where that was the most available type of work. Even now, when he is taking multi-million dollar jobs, Jeff won’t turn down remodel proposals. The consistency of remodels helps build a business, Jeff says, and it will help any contracting business survive the highs and lows of the economy. When it comes to branding, Jeff considers himself to be a general contractor who, although prides himself in creating high-end work, actively pursues remodel jobs as a means of building his brand.
On Finding Good Help
Because a significant part of Jeff’s business relies on remodeling, he has hired in-house specialists for carpentry and tile work, and he will hire an outside subcontractor for anything else he may need for a job. Jeff claims that there are virtually always three specific jobs they will do during a remodel, and those include trimming carpentry in some way, redoing floors, and remodeling bathrooms. Thus, the necessity of having specialists with extensive hands-on knowledge on Jeff’s team cannot be understated. For Jeff, finding and attracting good help has at times been a struggle. Jeff says that many of the employees who work directly for him were once working for him as independent subcontractors in some capacity. With this hiring strategy, Jeff knows what kind of work and commitment he will receive before he hires someone new to his team.
Building Clientele & Getting Leads
In growing his business, Jeff has mainly relied on referrals from former clients and realtors, as well as local advertising, with something as simple as a yard sign. “Most of my business comes from satisfied customers and their friends,” Jeff admits. And that’s why, for Jeff, exceptional customer service is a key to getting more work. Additionally, communication with clients is crucial to keeping them satisfied, and Jeff feels like delaying only worsens any issue. “I don’t let it sit, I always return calls, and I don’t leave clients hanging,” Jeff says of his approach to working with his clients. Although Jeff did not enter this business with the direct experience of a general contractor, he says that his background in the industry now comforts clients, and gives him a sort of credibility that helps him market his brand. “Experience is a good selling feature,” Jeff claims, “it gives the customer confidence.”
Embracing Change & Technology’s Influence in the Industry
At first, Jeff was not involved in using social media when marketing his business. That is until Brady, a project manager at Jeff Rogers Custom Homes, suggested that shifting to these platforms would be crucial to growing the business, especially in Jeff’s absence. Social media platforms are tools that Jeff and his employees have been trying to incorporate into the business so that they can especially gain influence outside of Jeff’s connections and former clients. Jeff thinks that specifically Instagram has become an essential tool for contemporary contractors, especially for attracting younger clients. Jeff says that now he can attribute quite a bit of work they have received to their Instagram account, simply because the platform allows more people to be aware of the work Jeff and his team do. Jeff Rogers Custom Homes is also on Houzz and Facebook, which Jeff considers to be an almost “electronic business card” for his company.
Where to Follow Jeff Rogers Custom Homes Online
Jeff’s Parting Words
“Have balance. Remember that there’s more to life than the business itself.”
Again, If you love this show, please share with your friends. That is how contractors, just like yourself, find out about this show. Use the hashtag #protractorpodcast