Qualified Remodeler Magazine

DEC 2014

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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all you have to do is ask and you might learn something that saves you fve years of spinning your wheels." Despite the benefts, Ellis feels that consumers hold the key to membership growth in the years ahead. In particular, many younger remodelers who rely on social media for their industry connections will need client impetus to join. "Associations will grow when the consumer tells Joe Contractor that the reason they went with the other guy was because of his certifcations and his industry involve- ment," says Ellis. "And Joe, who lost that job, is going to have a choice at that point. Most likely, he will join and get involved and get the certifcations. It has to be consumer driven, because that is who has the money, the checkbook and the project." Ellis plans to be involved in the industry and the as- sociation now and years into the future. Comparing the track record of Ellis and thousands of other remodelers who go it alone, membership makes sense, if only to increase the likelihood that they will be in business long enough to reach their goals. "Te frst thing I did after my brother and I left the lawyer's ofce with our partner agreement was to join the local HBA," says Ellis. "Tat was the next thing I felt I had to do as an owner that was going to work in this industry. Tat is almost like the cost of doing business. It is the next thing you do. So it amazes me that joining an association is not on the list of what to do next for remodelers who start their businesses." | of my life and you are only as good as the people around you. Messi is the greatest soccer player in the world but can- not do the things he does without the people around him." To grow, Ellis knows that he will increasingly need to delegate more to nonfamily members. Recently he brought in Vinover "Novie" Siegars, who is an interior designer as well as a certifed building analyst. She designs using Softplan and does project estimates for the company, further allowing the brothers more time to sell and work on the business. Previously all designs were hand-drawn. It was taking weeks to get back to people, and the company was losing some business as a result. More key hires will need to be made, says Ellis. "I would like to eventually fnd another salesperson and estimator as well as another project manager to help my father," says Ellis. "He is 64. He maybe has another year left. So in the next 10 years, I would like to see the business not so dependent on my brother and me. We want to get it to a point where if we show up or we don't show up it is still moving forward." Many mentor-level remodelers will sympathize with Ellis' sentiment. Te idea is not to recede completely from the business, but rather to increase the opportunities for em- ployees and to spend more time on business development. "I still run a lot of the appointments. I still do a lot of the estimating," says Ellis. "For the business to go to the next level, so that I'm continually growing opportunities for my employees, I need to be telling people about our great employees and the great service we provide. And I can't do that when I am out running appointments and punching up numbers on the calculator." WORKING ON THE INDUSTRY Te frst thing the Ellis brothers did after forming their partnership was to join the Home Builders Association of Maryland. Te dedication of the entire T.W. Ellis team has allowed Tim Ellis to be amazingly active in it. He is the current HBAM Remodelers Council president. In 2013 he was chairman of NAHB Green Remodeling Committee. He is a member of the NAHB Remodelers Council Board of Trustees, the GBACF Board of Directors, the NAHB Board of Directors, and the Home Builder Care Foundation Board of Directors. Age 44 and 42 respectively, Tim and Barry Ellis have been active in their local and the national association since the beginning. Tey see value in face-to-face industry networking, particularly learning from other remodelers. "I have learned so much from the association, partic- ularly the classes it provides," says Ellis. "I have learned so much from the networking, the people I've met. Just going to nationals and meeting remodelers from all over is worth it. I recently met a remodeler from Louisiana. He can be as open as he wants with me. We are never going to be competitors. So if I am struggling with something, Ellis attributes much of the company's growth to the committment of family members, like his brother Barry and father Samuel. KEY SUPPLIERS Roofing: GAF Siding: CertainTeed Doors: Therma Tru Windows: Andersen Engineered lumber: Boise Cascade Garage doors: Clopay Insulation: Guardian, Johns Manville Paints: Sherwin Williams Interior doors: Jeld-Wen Flooring: Armstrong Decking: Fiberon, Wolf, Azek Cabinets: Echelon Sinks: Kohler Faucets: Moen, Kohler Appliances: GE Showers: Kohler, Delta Toilets Kohler, American Standard ForResidentialPros.com QR December 2014 29

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