Ken Badalamenti, CGR, CAPS, has always run the many facets of his company alone. That hasn’t stopped him, though, from sitting on the Board of Trustees for the HBA of Greater Cleveland or working through his second term as chairman of its Remodelers’ Council. It takes the highly organized individual that he is to allow him to be a one-man show.
Founded in 1988, Riviera Construction started out with new construction only, but shifted its primary focus on relatively larger high-end remodeling. As time progressed, Badalamenti figured it was time to help his business by helping his industry.
“I’ve been real active within the HBA helping our committee to develop programs and educational programs for our membership — as well as other remodelers in the industry,” adds Badalamenti. “Not just confined to our membership, we do make our programs available to everyone.”
It’s hard to run a company and be involved with local organizations, Badalamenti indicated, but business is always first. The Remodelers’ Council has become a passion for him. He has gone from a person who really never thought the HBA or any association would be of any benefit to him and has turned that into a mission to better the industry in his region. Recently, Badalamenti began heading up the Green Builders committee, to not only work through the learning curve of the industry but for his own business.
“I just think anyone who does not focus in that direction in the future will hurt their business,” says Badalamenti. “I think it’s the only way to go with generations X and Y getting older, because they are very intelligent consumers and very environmentally aware.”
One of Badalamenti’s biggest accomplishments with the council was to help implement a remodeler’s warranty for its members. Modeled after its new home warranty and offered for about two years, this warranty has been very successful. For his effort for authoring and helping to authorize the warranty, Badalamenti received a presidential award of merit from his HBA.
Badalamenti’s success comes down to his better business practices. In order to make his business work he knew he needed to understand the home construction market better. So Badalamenti religiously attended the remodeler’s shows, classes and seminars to educate himself on the practices of the industry. He was also a member of a peer group that was a big help to him in understanding and focusing on customer service.
“Knowing that the client doesn’t understand our business helped me switch focus,” states Badalamenti. “Otherwise they wouldn’t be hiring me. Trying to deal with them on their level and being there for them constantly — whenever they need you is what makes a better business.”
Badalamenti’s thoroughness has even landed him the distinction of being named the best in customer service by The Sun News in Cleveland. He strives for excellent communications with his clients and always responds to a client in 24 hours or less. Badalamenti is always honest and straightforward with his clients, even if he doesn’t know something. He lets them know that he’ll find answers and do the research.
“Project-specific problems are a part of our business,” says Badalamenti. “It says a lot about a contractor how they handle a problem when it arises. I tend to focus on a problem until I solve it. I don’t let it fester, because things only get worse.”
Clients understand that whether the problems are big or small, Badalamenti is devoted to solving the issue and is constantly complimented on his “act, don’t react” mentality.