As a teenager Betsy Rosengrant-Stein spent time running errands for the family remodeling business her father started in 1960. After serving time in the U.S. Coast Guard as a telecommunications specialist, she returned to the business armed with bigger aspirations and a commitment to observing the Golden Rule. By simply treating her clients the way that she would want to be treated, Rosengrant-Stein lead her company to even greater success. For her dedication to the community and professionalism, Betsy Rosengrant-Stein, CGR, CGP, president of KD Rosengrant Building and Remodeling, York, Pa., is NAHB Remodeler of the Month for September.
“I left home at 18 and joined the U.S. Coast Guard and then thought that I would like to come back and learn the business end of the family business,” says Rosengrant-Stein. “I had always been the grunt and the gopher, but wanted to learn how the business was actually run. So I came back in 1997 and worked for my father for five years until I bought him out in 2002.”
In terms of business best practices, she is a big believer in the benefits of operating with the Golden Rule in mind — to treat customers the way she herself would want to be treated. The philosophy helps her make good decisions, she says.
“I’m going to work at your house the same way I would do it at mine,” adds Rosengrant-Stein. “So when I put a roof on a client’s house, I’m not going to do it any differently than I did it at mine. I’m not going to change materials or the process. It goes on exactly the same way. I find that people really appreciate us for treating them and their home that way.”
Under her leadership the company has been very active in her local community. She spearheaded her local Remodelers Council’s efforts in renovating and repairing the York Women and Children’s Association camp. At the Children’s Home of York, a program that takes care of children with no place else to go, the company has renovated bedrooms and made the facility a nicer place to live. Rosengrant-Stein also volunteers and sits on the site selection committee for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
KD Rosengrant Building and Remodeling contracts about 95 percent of its business within a five-mile radius of its office. Key to the firm’s marketing success has been efforts to build the company’s brand. The company sponsors the new minor-league baseball team. They also advertise on a billboard near their office. The firm also invests heavily in high-quality jobsite signs, lettering for vehicles and company clothing. The strategy of working close to home has had the advantage of making her small company appear very large to the immediate area.
“Because we work so close to home, I work for my neighbors and the lady that rang up my purchases at the grocery store,” explains Rosengrant-Stein. “I go to church with our customers and my friends are customers, so I try to give clients the most that I can for the money they are paying and try to do it all the right way.”
Rosengrant-Stein has served with the Remodelers’ Council steering committee for six years. She has served on the board and was the first female president. She says it’s important for her to support the remodeling industry so that remodelers can separate themselves from the people driving around with a ladder.
“I think that sets me apart because I’ve donated so much of my time to show the difference between a true professional and one that is not,” adds Rosengrant-Stein. “I’ve done everything that I can to try and promote the builders association and help clients choose association members, even if it isn’t me that they’re choosing. I just try to run my business in a way that would make the founding father, my dad, proud and make my family proud.” |
Fast Facts About Betsy Rosengrant-stein, cgr,cgp
- Company: KD Rosengrant Building and Remodeling
- Location: York, Pa.
- Founded: 1960
- Industry Involvement: Remodelers Council Charter member; Remodelers Council Steering Committee as vice chairman, chairman and immediate past chair; Women’s Council Charter member; Women’s Council Scholarship Committee; York Builders Association Board of Directors as secretary/treasurer, vice president, where she was the first female president in 2007