Paul Beattie once overheard a new salesperson pressure an elderly prospect into delivering a deposit check when she clearly wasn’t sure she wanted to purchase the job. He returned the check with an apology, and went back to being his own salesman. Beattie’s experience working in family-owned restaurants, he says, shaped his idea about customer service.
Fascinated at an early age by how an idea goes from paper to punch list, Beattie earned a degree in construction management, worked for a production builder for three years, and eventually founded his company in the depths of the recession with a $7,500 kitchen framing job he lost money on. As a result, he began using an estimating program. Today, the company’s remodeling sales, combined with custom homes work, have brought overall sales to more than $6 million.
- Planning a job down to the last detail before beginning so that the job’s not left to lag, is a promise Beattie makes to clients and keeps with the help of seven on-staff carpenters. Beattie Development personnel wear blue shirts and Beattie tells clients that “there will be a blue shirt in your home every day of the job.” Most projects are kitchens and baths, and kitchen scheduling is built around cabinet delivery to keep things timely and the company builds its own “so that we have a lot more control” when it comes to putting together the materials package.
- That first $7,500 job was in a country club community where Beattie’s company has since completed 56 other projects. The difference is that they were profit-makers, especially now since, after joining Remodelers Advantage a year ago, he’s raised margins.
- Beattie, who sells his company’s work, says he will “still sell small stuff,” as a way of generating more business. His first custom home came from a customer who had contracted for a $50 drywall repair.
- Beattie is a conscientious manager. On a recent job, $5,000 custom doors were mismeasured by someone new to the company. “He didn’t realize that you have to downsize to fit the opening,” Beattie notes. The owner explained things to the client and mobilized all company carpenters who, in a two-day period, were able to size the openings to accommodate the doors. The next morning at 6:30 he called a meeting to thank employees and personally shook every hand.