The only way to run a successful business for over thirty years is to adapt with the times. That’s exactly what Jeff Ellis, owner of Firstcall Remodeling & Restoration in Grimes, Iowa, has done throughout his career, which is why he became the November NAHB Remodeler of the Month.
"When I started in business, cellphones were just becoming a thing,” said Ellis. “I would return phone calls in the evenings that were left on my home answering machine during that day … Now, clients expect returned calls and emails within an hour. [Technology] drives every aspect of what we do today.”
Becoming a member of his local home builders association and remodelers council has proven to be an integral part of his success. Having been a member since starting his company at age 20, Ellis says NAHB Remodelers "certainly adds a level of professionalism to our organization. To be a member of one of the largest trade organizations in our field shows to our customers that we are serious about what we do.”
While the labor shortage continues to affect the majority of home building industry, Ellis' slightly different approach to finding new candidates — even if they have no building experience — has proven to be effective for his business.
“The past two years we have hired people who have a solid work ethic and a desire to learn,” said Ellis. “We have put those new people with trained carpenters so they could learn the trade. I hired a young man whose only previous work experience was McDonald’s. He has proven to be a great find with a huge desire to learn.”
Ellis will be featured in a full Q&A in Qualified Remodeler later this month. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming NAHB’s Remodeler of the Month, visit nahb.org to learn more.