With nearly all of his business coming from word-of-mouth, Kevin Key’s “culture of personal care” is evident even in simple client phone calls. “I’ll answer the phone, listen all the way to the period, and set about to address their needs,” he says.

Key also communicates to clients that his trade partners are part of a professional team and they’re experts in their fields. “I don’t want to rush them or cheapen their skills; I want to empower them,” Key says. “I step back and let them talk to the homeowners, who don’t think ‘these are all people working for Kevin,’ they think, ‘they’re all working for me.’”

• Key maintains relationships with a couple of subcontractors per trade so he can match the trade partner to the project based on the scope of work and the homeowner’s demeanor.

• Many Key Residential leads come from interior designers, architects, and landscape architects.