Scott Mosby will talk about remodeling to anyone who will listen and a lot of people are listening. Mosby, president, of Mosby Building Arts, Ltd., in St. Louis has a weekly radio show on KMOX 1120 AM that reaches thousands of homeowners who have remodeling questions.
The radio show is not just a passing fancy for Mosby, either; he’s been broadcasting on the clear-channel station for 13 years. The clear-channel designation means that other stations are restricted from broadcasting on the same frequency, giving the clear-channel station a wide broadcast range and an extensive audience.
In short, KMOX has a huge brand, he says, and as the station’s remodeling answer man for more than a decade Mosby has established his own personal brand. While that may be personally gratifying, he says it taught him the difference between a brand and leads and marketing. “Having a substantial presence [on the air] is not the same as being seen as somebody who comes to work on your home,” Mosby says.
“I am a CBS employee, so I can’t promote my business. My job [as a radio show host] is to answer questions and help the consumer,” he adds.
A brand doesn’t pay the bills
Mosby attributes a lot of Mosby’s business growth in the last 10 years to learning that difference between brand and marketing, but “having a substantial brand doesn’t pay the bills; you still have to go out there and ask for a job,” he counsels.
Mosby says he’s fielded some pretty strange questions ranging from one homeowner’s query on how to get a snake out of a washing machine to how to fix a water well holding tank.
In fact, he sees himself as an educator, which is a pivotal role involving not just consumers but remodelers, manufacturers and anyone else involved in the building process.
In addition, Mosby has held most local leadership positions in the local Remodelors Council of the Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri and the HBA board of directors. He remembers attending HBA functions with his father in the 1970s.
Manufacturers, he notes, are very effective at persuading potential buyers to pick their products, but remodeling is a less mature industry and is less adept at saying “pick me.” A product only performs well when it is properly installed, Mosby contends, and that involves properly educating the installer on how to select and install those products.
“Our products have outrun our training,” Mosby notes, adding that issues like mold, mildew and indoor air quality seem to have popped up out of nowhere in recent years. “Training the tradespeople is the only way the consumer gets lasting value,” he says, “If you buy the best window on the market, and it’s installed incorrectly, that window manufacturer ends up taking the hit because Moe and Larry put it in wrong.”
The house as a system
Understanding the house as a system is important to Mosby and is part of the educational process that he says must be ongoing for tradespeople, consumers, manufacturers and the managers and leaders in a remodeling company.
Mosby points out that while independent building systems may be functioning correctly, it’s where those systems join and connect that often account for failures. “What you need is for the system to work together,” he says.
Mosby Building Arts has a “huge investment in training, which is our differentiator and where our customer satisfaction comes from,” Mosby says.
“I’m hugely optimistic,” he adds. As an industry, “we’re learning and improving really quickly, though not all of us are improving at the same rate.”
Fast Facts about Scott Mosby, CGR, CAPS. AIA, CKD
- Company: Mosby Building Arts
- Location: St. Louis, Mo.
- Years in business: 63
- Industry involvement: Industry and community involvement: Winner of the 2010 Small Business Administration Jeffrey Butland Family-owned Business award; educational speaking before ASHI, NKBA and senior citizen groups on CAPS and accessible design; spokesman for ReBuilding Together St. Louis; winner of a 2009 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for business ethics and customer service