QR: What makes you NAHB Remodeler of the Month?
Joel: I think it’s our clear communication, customer service, and caring for the project and client.
Lucy: When we ask clients to do evaluations of us through a third-party service, they respond they feel we really care. We do our best to manage our projects carefully because these aren’t houses, these are clients’ homes. We want the remodeling process to have been a positive experience.
QR: What does being part of NAHB mean to you?
Lucy: When I started working with Joel in 1995, I was surprised at the proprietary information he would share with members at meetings. He told me he’d rather compete with someone who is knowledgeable, professional and trying to raise the bar. When a customer chooses a company that promises the moon and delivers a rock, we lose, the customer loses and the industry loses.
Joel: I find it’s a really important part of our business because of the relationships and knowledge we gain, as well as the educational opportunities. We get more out of being members of NAHB than we could ever give back. We
contribute to our industry by being professional representatives of NAHB.
QR: What have you done to grow your business?
Lucy: It has always been really important for us to maintain a relationship with our homeowners and realtors, especially because a lot of our business is through referrals. One thing we do is showcase a home we’ve worked on. We invite homeowners, realtors and architects with whom we have relationships to check out the project. We also maintain a Web site and Facebook page, and I write a blog about our business.
Joel: To me, the whole basis of the industry is relationships. It’s nice to have a profit, but it’s just as agreeable to have good relationships at the end of the day.
QR: What motivates you every day?
Joel: There’s a real fun part of the job. It’s seeing what was on paper come to fruition at the end of the project and having a happy homeowner who appreciates your hard work. That’s the bottom line.
Lucy: When you build these relationships and come to the end of a project, there’s almost a sense of loss. You become so used to having fun and interacting with these people all the time. You have to find that balance of detaching
yourself from the clients while maintaining some sense of that relationship.
Joel is past president of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and has served on the board for 10 years. Katz Builders makes holiday gift donations to Habitat for Humanity on behalf of its homeowners, vendors and realtors. In turn, the clients and vendors receive a holiday card with an insert from Habitat for Humanity telling them how much Katz Builders appreciates the opportunity to send a gift to the organization in their honor.