Crawford Renovation is the rare remodeler without at least a decade of sustained success to make the Big50. Not only has the young company shaken up Houston with its aggressive growth strategy, but it has stirred interest elsewhere with plans to create a national brand with revenues of $500 million per year. “That's organic growth alone,” notes president Ben Crawford. “That doesn't include acquisitions.” (See “Breaking Through.”)
Crawford is a former GE executive, and corporate lingo like “process” and “human capital” rolls off his tongue as readily as “master suite” and “production.” It's not just talk, though. “We think you can have predictable earnings if you plan the work upfront,” he says.
For instance, 90% of Crawford's remodels come from real estate agents who represent prospective buyers of older homes in certain neighborhoods. The company's salespeople meet them at the home, study a property database, and, within 24 hours, provide “an investment range” for their likely project, along with a mortgage broker willing to finance both the mortgage and the remodel.
Philanthropy is also good business, and Crawford's 2005 activities included leading an effort to house, school, and employ more than 50 families that were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.