A construction industry background isn’t essential for working at Huseby Homes. “The first job in this industry is to build relationships, and the second job is to learn how to get from point A to point B,” says owner Craig Huseby. “You don’t have to be a construction person to do that, but you do need to be able to get information where it needs to go.” As such, Huseby’s project manager, Daniel Boultan, has a communications background and is testing for his CPA soon. “Guys like Daniel bring to the table qualities that we don’t have,” Huseby says.
It’s Huseby Homes’ carpenters, trade partners, and construction coordinator Steven Walker that bring construction expertise and skilled craftsmanship, and not just on six-figure projects. The LJ (“little jobs”) division, a start-up that pulled Huseby Homes through the recession, has handled jobs as small as $250 up to about $40,000. “The LJ Division is simply an invitation to call us for smaller jobs, and an opportunity to build a relationship with a client who will be inclined to contact us when the bigger projects come along.”
—Huseby attends weekly on-site meetings with clients to maintain strong relationships. “Homeowners don’t want to be isolated from the owners of the company,” he says. “I try to keep a close eye on that.”
—Early in the recession, Huseby started LJ Huseby & Co., the small jobs concept, by offering eight hours of free work to homeowners in the company’s prime service area. “We wanted jobs that were quicker and easier to sell, and that saved us,” he says. “In 2009, none of our carpenters went without a 40-hour workweek.”
—Monday Morning Meetings give employees more than a rundown of what’s on the docket for the week. The voluntary meeting is a chance for staff to talk about anything on their minds, get support in their personal lives, and even make prayer requests. “It helps us understand each other,” Huseby says.