Qualified Remodeler Magazine

MAY 2018

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.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/983771

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Page 21 of 67

QR: How did you start this career? KS: My career started shortly after getting married in 1977, when I saw a entertainment center for sale and I thought to myself, I could build that. I purchased a Craftsman table saw so old [that] when I needed a repair part and went to Sears, they laughed at me and told me their records did not go back that far. I began building knick-knacks and small items and was hooked on all facets of woodworking for life. QR: What is your focus as a remodeler? KS: e focus for my business at this point in my career is choosing projects [where] I feel a connection with the homeowners on a person- al basis. In my early years, I took any job that came my way from necessity. Now, I can and do refuse a project if I sense a problem with difficultly in communicating or personality conflicts. I try and spend a great deal of time in the bidding process to see how we interact with each other. e fact that I do not have a associates. My excuse was that I did not need any more work so why join? After joining I came to realize that membership is so much more than job creation. e networking with like-minded remodelers has been invaluable over the years. I no longer look at them as competitors but as comrades thrown into the same boat as myself. When one of them or I have a problem or need, we openly share what they do and how they deal with situations. QR: How did you first decide to become and now continue being involved as part of your local remodelers council's leadership? KS: My experience with getting involved was probably a little different than most. Upon at- tending my first Remodelers Council meeting, I was approached by the [then] president and asked if I would be interested in getting on the "ladder." I had no idea what that meant or entailed but I thought Sure, why not? ree years later I was the president for my first of three terms as such. Looking back I am somewhat glad I was thrust into this involve- ment because I did not fall through the cracks, [which] happens too often with those who don't become involved. As far as motivation to continue being in- volved, I constantly see ways our community needs help in areas that our membership can provide. We are very active in offering assis- tance to agencies [helping] those who have fallen on hard times for one reason or other. Our builders and associates come together and chip in to build ramps, renovate homes, anything we can to make a difference. | Read the complete interview at QualifiedRemodeler.com/NAHBR. large labor burden to feed each month gives me the freedom to pick and choose projects. QR: Can you share a few customer service best practices you've picked up through your years in the remodeling industry? KS: My main focus is guiding [clients] through the remodel process with as much information as to what will happen and when so they can prepare themselves for the disruption. I am on-site every day, all day with most projects, so in many cases I become a part of the family for the duration of the job. If there are any questions that come up during the process from either the subs or the homeowners, they don't have to wait to get answers; we resolve them imme- diately. is has been my marketing plan for 30-plus years—word-of-mouth referrals. QR: What is the best advice you've received? KS: e best advice I ever received was, "Value your time and expertise." When I first start- ed out, I would work for probably less than minimum wage to make sure the project was completed and done right. A fellow business- man told me I was not charging enough. He told me to double my hourly rate (at that time $12 per hour), and I envisioned losing my business due to lack of customers. He assured me I would lose some customers, but that I would make up the lost ones with customers that appreciate what I had to give them and they would pay that rate. He was so right. QR: What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you? KS: I reluctantly joined the HBA in 1988 after several years of hounding by business Picking and Choosing Saltink appreciates being at the point in his career where he can be more selective about his projects. Compiled by Kacey Larsen KEN SALTINK, CGR, CAPS All American Remodel LLC Tulsa, Okla. allamericanremodel.com TITLE: Member/owner YEAR FOUNDED: 1982 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 2 ASSOCIATION TITLE: President of Remodelers Council of Greater Tulsa As a small-business owner, Saltink enjoys getting hands-on experience with projects. Photo: All American Remodel PROFITS: NAHB Remodeler of the Month 22 May 2018 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com

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