Scott Mosby, owner of Mosby Building Arts, in St. Louis, never imagined that a simple radio show would transform his remodeling business.
Remodelers across the country have learned that a radio show devoted to solving common household problems—such as foundation issues or a leaky roof—can not only boost revenue but can increase visibility and create customer goodwill.
“Having a radio show has been the best learning opportunity I’ve ever had,” Mosby says. “A few years after doing the show, we started doing $1 million worth of repairs a year. Non-design work kept us going through the down economy. It’s also been a great recruiting tool. Other tradesmen and remodelers want to become part of our team.”
In 1996, Mosby was approached by the local home builders association about hosting a radio show. Today, his three-hour show, “Home Improvement With Scott Mosby,” airs on KMOX News Radio 1120 every week.
Other remodelers see hosting a radio show as a way to gain credibility with potential customers.
“If somebody goes to our company website, they see what I do with the radio show and know instantly that I’m not some fly-by-night operation. It separates us from everyone else,” notes Ron Cowgill, co-host of the “Mighty House” show on WCPT 820 AM in Chicago. He owns D/R Services Unlimited, a remodeling business serving the Chicagoland area since 1992.
Cowgill has been co-hosting the home improvement show for the past seven years, but is clear to point out that he doesn’t use the show as an infomercial.
“I don’t want people thinking I’m there just trying to sell my services. As a matter of fact, other contractors advertise on my show,” he says. “We run the radio show like a second revenue stream and drive business to our remodeling company the soft way.”
He adds that the radio show is also an opportunity for Cowgill to stay informed about the latest industry trends, which helps him maintain a competitive edge.
“The information we give is fresh and new. We have other contractors call and let us know when things can be done differently from what we suggest, so we're constantly learning ourselves,” Cowgill says.Building a Brand
For Gregg Cantor, owner of San Diego-based Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel, co-hosting a radio show has not produced a boom in business, but it has increased his visibility with consumers.
“The radio show is just one way we’re trying to build our brand and reputation,” he says. “We also utilize social media, YouTube tutorials, and advertising during traffic reports. The show sets me up as the expert. I’ve advertised on radio since 1990, but having my own show definitely takes it to another level.”
“The Home Pro Show,” co-hosted by Cantor, can be heard on KOGO AM 600 every Saturday morning, where the hosts discuss do-it-yourself projects and home maintenance issues as well as take listener calls.
Increased visibility can also lead to public-speaking opportunities. Dawn Steimer, president of Master Custom Home Remodeling, in Knoxville, Tenn., partners with a local kitchen and bath supplier to produce live radio broadcasts from the showroom floor. The free event, dubbed “Kitchen and Bath University,” lasts around three hours and includes lessons and a Q&A session from Steimer.“We typically generate about 50 to 75 people per show,” Steimer
says. “On average, we have around five or six signed contracts from each session.”
“Around the House With Dawn Steimer” can be heard on WOKI 98.7 FM every Saturday morning and includes tips and topical advice from industry experts.For remodelers thinking about starting a radio show to boost business, Mosby, who turned his radio show into a paying job with the radio station, offers a few words of advice.
“Don’t underestimate the time commitment,” he warns. “I’ve missed many Saturday morning Little League games in 17 years of hosting my show, since my shows air live. Focus on giving expert advice. Loyal listeners will find you when the paying jobs come along.”
—Rebecca Esparza is a writer based in Corpus Christi, Texas.