MBC Building & Remodeling LLC, Millersville, Pa.
Number of Team Members: 4
Q: How did you start in the remodeling business?
A: All I’ve ever done is construction. I’ve worked on new homes and in a custom cabinet shop, but I like remodeling because of the challenges. No two jobs are the same.
Q: How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?
A: There’s more regulation. In Pennsylvania, we now have contractor registration, which is not a true licensing but is required before you can do remodeling work on people’s homes. The theory is to stop fraud. Materials also are constantly changing—sometimes for the better. I try to follow the different industry sources, like reading Qualified Remodeler, to stay educated.
Q: What have you done to grow your business in the current economy?
A: Our goal is everybody is happy when we walk out the door, which keeps repeat customers and referrals coming. We also send out a monthly newsletter to everybody we’ve done work for and prospects. We belong to a couple networking groups. We post job signs at every job and send out a mailer around each job as it’s progressing to bring more attention to it. My son, who joined the business two and a half years ago, handles our social media accounts. We’ve gotten one job through Facebook and quite a few from Twitter. We use social media to have conversations and educate people and not technically as a sales device. I’m from a different generation, but I understand social media is important.
Q: What is your favorite item in your office?
A: The computer. I do almost everything on it and can’t live without it. However, I’d much rather talk to people than use email, so the phone is also important.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: Raise my prices. I started out as a carpenter, not a business person. It’s hard to look at your costs and realize what overhead is and why you need to charge a certain amount of money. Vince Butler, who is a past NAHBR chair, told me to raise my prices 5 percent and see what happens. When nothing happens, raise them another 5 percent. I raised them a little bit at a time to get where I needed to be. It worked.
Q: What does being part of NAHB mean to you?
A: A lot of my education has been talking to other members at the Remodeling Show and other industry events. The association helps you learn how to be a true professional. Outside of NAHB, you don’t learn these things very quickly or easily.
Q: What motivates you every day?
A: I have three employees who depend on me to sell work so they can feed their families and live their lives. I also feel like I really help people improve their lives when I do work for them.
Chair, Remodelers Council of the Building Industry Association of Lancaster County
MBC Building & Remodeling donated time and five meals to a Thanksgiving meals program operated by a local high school. The business also participates in an Alzheimer’s Association fair and provides assistance to a transitional home for families who have fallen on hard times.