Qualified Remodeler Magazine

AUG 2016

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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Page 42 of 99

offices down south and in the Midwest until we reach every major city in the U.S." While all firms are not growing at the same clip as Power Home Remodeling and another fast grower, No. 2 Window World — which grew by $58 million last year — strong growth is a theme across all segments and ranks of the QR Top 500. Santa Barbara-based, full-service icon, No. 54, Allen Construction posted $23.6 million in remodeling-only revenue, up $3.5 million from the year prior. Company President Bryan Henson credits the company's strong relationships with architects and interior designers who drive a stream of referrals year-after-year. "eir vote of confidence in our capabilities is tremendously meaningful to homeowners," Henson notes. Satellite offices in Santa Ynez, Calif., and Los Angeles have also played a big part in Allen's growth. Likewise, Minneapolis-based No. 334, Vujovich Design-Build Inc., is experiencing 15 percent annual growth in recent years, finishing at $3.67 million last year. More significantly, the company has been able to grow its gross profit by 20 percent annually, says company Owner/General Manager Ed Roskowinski, CR. "Nothing new here; repeat clients continue as our greatest source of quality leads." Internet leads are up, but the quality is not the same, he says. Some remodelers are enjoying the growth but are less optimistic about the road ahead. Respected suburban Washington, D.C., professional David Merrick, CR, says his firm, No. 359, Merrick Design and Build, grew to $3.35 million in 2015. is year, however, he is scaling back to $2.5 million in order to focus on increasing profit margins and to batten down the hatches during what is a tumultuous election year. "e economy is doing much better, and we've recov- ered to previous highs in real estate and stock values, but I don't see the confidence that should be accompanying these highs," Merrick explains. "I believe there is a sense among clients that it could all go south at the drop of a hat, and that is reason for caution." Like many successful remodelers, referrals remain the lifeblood for Merrick, but Internet leads, particularly from websites like Houzz.com, are having a positive impact. "e leads that come in are not as strong as referrals, but we do get work from them," Merrick says. THE CHALLENGE OF HIRING AND RETAINING Although stronger demand is driving remodeling and home improvement to new heights, a consistent limitation cited by many is the availability of qualified sales person- nel and project managers. By far, the toughest business challenge faced by remodelers is how best to attract, hire and retain top talent. Roskowinski says his firm, Vujovich Design-Build, works directly with a local trade school to recruit new production staff, which is important because most of his team is in their 50s and his company is growing. Retention is less of a problem for Roskowinski because the company chooses a compensation approach few would offer: Fully 30 percent of the Vujovich's net profit are distributed to its employees at the end of each year. is is backed by shared financials. "We have never had issues retaining good people," he says. To Earl Rahn, CEO of No. 29 NewSouth Window Solutions, attracting and retaining business partners and employees has always been a key business driver. According to Rahn, who opened several new locations in its home state of Florida, the company's extensive ad- vertising presence "seems to attract people in sales and management," he says. Similarly, Cleveland-based No. 16 company, Universal Windows Direct, is a big marketer with ambitious plans. e company, which grew from $42 million to $51 mil- lion last year, is hiring a recruiting manager this year to handle emerging staff requirements. "With the plan to grow in effect, we must find great people along the way," REMODELING REVENUE 2016 Top 500 Year-Over-Year REMODELING JOBS 2016 Top 500 Year-Over-Year GROSS REVENUE 2016 Top 500 Year-Over-Year $6,667,467,664 $7,561,924,174 $8,532,648,077 2 0 1 3 2 0 14 2 0 1 5 $6,450,283,949 $7,301,563,969 $7,762,170,680 2 0 1 3 2 0 14 2 0 1 5 962,609 1,045,997 1,083,247 2 0 1 3 2 0 14 2 0 1 5 Source: Qualified Remodeler Top 500, August 2016 QualifiedRemodeler.com QR August 2016 43

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