Q: Tell us about any unique challenge that remodelers face today that is different than 10+ years ago.
A: A recent discussion indicated that there is a scarcity of skilled labor. With the layoffs in previous years, tradesmen found other jobs and moved on. Now that business has picked up, remodelers are finding it difficult to hire enough people to meet the job demand.
Q: What is the most important personality trait for a remodeling company owner to possess?
A: Tenacity. Successful remodelers have a “can do” spirit and optimism. During tough times, they find a way to make it work. During times of plenty, they smile from ear-to-ear and enjoy it.
Q: The remodeling industry has been improving; in your opinion, what is the strongest market area or state for a remodeler currently?
A: This is one for the statisticians. Talking directly to remodelers from across the country, one will say that business is booming while someone else in his market has seen little or no improvement.
Q: In general, do you think a remodeler should have one product or service or are they better served offer a broader array of products and services?
A: Over the past six years, I have watched businesses evolve from taking great pride in being a one-line shop to diversifying into several lines. Perhaps this came about from necessity, but further illustrates the tenacity and adaptability of successful entrepreneurs.
Q: What one simple piece of advice would you offer any remodeler that you meet?
A: Stay connected—you don’t have to go it alone. I heard a long time ago that the best way to become successful to associate with successful people. Listen more than you talk. And read books that elevate your thinking.
BONUS QUESTION: With all the traveling that you do, what is your favorite and least favorite airport?
A: I love airports that have Delta Sky Clubs. Believe it or not, I like Detroit because of the tunnel with the flashing lights and upbeat music. But my favorite is Norfolk, VA, because it means that I am either going on another adventure or that I’m home!
Joy Kilgore is the President of EBA PRIME, the country’s premier peer council of remodeling professionals and thought leaders in the remodeling/home improvements industry. She is a contributing editor for Professional Remodeler Magazine and partners with the publication to present the he Extreme Sales Summit which is the only national conference devoted entirely to home improvement sales.