Q: What makes you NAHB Remodeler of the Month?
A: I would say it’s my commitment to customer service and industry excellence. We stay on top of our clients’ needs by continuously communicating with them and providing them schedules for their projects. I’m contributing to industry excellence with my continuing education, involvement in the Home Builders Association and certifications. I’m very involved as president of the Remodelers Council of our local Home Builders Association.
Q: What have you done to grow your business?
A: Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of guerrilla marketing. These are things that drive business during the slow economy that are more economical than traditional advertising, such as newspapers and some local television ads. Now, we implement slide-show advertising at our local movie theater, 14-foot flags that advertise what we do in front of the store and bus-stop advertising. The ads cover the costs to maintain the bus stops. I’ve also recently started a radio advertising campaign on our local talk radio station. The station will stage a live broadcast from our showroom in the near future.
Q: What is your best business practice?
A: Honesty and integrity are my best business practices. Sales people, regardless of what industry they’re in, tend to be looked at in a bad light by consumers. Because of the negative opinion of sales people that customers seem to have, homeowners just come in expecting to be ripped off. I make it part of my process to always be honest and upfront with my clients about everything. There’s never any hidden cost in our projects. There’s nothing unforeseen down the road where I have to go back to a client and tell them to give me more money.
Q: How did you get started in the industry?
A: I started in the industry in 1988 by working for a lumberyard driving a delivery truck. I worked my way up to building and material sales. Since 1995, I have been working on remodeling kitchens and baths full time. Before starting with Bath, Kitchen and Tile Supply Co. eight years ago, I was working for a small remodeler in Wilmington, Del.
Q: What does being part of NAHB mean to you?
A: It’s a great opportunity to be involved in legislative issues that affect our industry. I volunteer to chair the local Remodelers Council, which has brought me a lot of satisfaction. It’s wonderful to be involved in an organization that supports our industry.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: When it comes to dealing with consumers, project management and the inherent problems of the remodeling industry, never put things off until tomorrow. Deal with them today.
Gandy’s Favorite Quotes
“He who angers you conquers you.” –Elizabeth Kenny
“Do not let your fear of failure be greater than your desire to succeed.” –Gandy’s former boss
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” –Abraham Lincoln
As part of the local Remodelers Council, Gandy instituted a volunteer program called “Ramps 4 Veterans.” The program coordinates local remodeler volunteers and associate member material donations to build ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps for veterans in the state. The company also contributes materials to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. In addition, Gandy oversees an annual company-wide program that collects and donates food and toys for three needy families selected by the local Lions Club.