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Episode 48: Recession-Proof Your Remodeling Business w/ David Lupberger

In this episode, Spencer hosts David Lupberger of Remodelforce.com. David is an expert in the "Client for Life" business, which is exactly what it sounds like. When any contract ends, David says, "our relationship is just beginning." With this attitude, David has found a way to turn big project clients, into long term relationships, and arguably avoids the common pitfall of even the most successful remodeling businesses: once a recession rolls around, the phones stop ringing. David has some effective, unusual ways to gain clients for life and avoid the common struggles of recessions. 


Tips on Preparing for the Next Recession

So what's the point? The point is to recession proof your business. Project-based companies are flourishing in the current economy, but what happens when we hit another down turn? In this episode, David gives actionable tips on how to start recession-proofing your remodeling business NOW.

Is your business prepared? If not, then you can't afford to miss this episode.

Learn all about it here on Builder Funnel Radio.




  • 1:45 How David got started...
  • 6:45 "Clients for Life"
  • 26:28 Here's a story to explain the last 20 minutes...
  • 29:17 How to keep track of customer follow-up...
  • 32:30 Start recession proofing NOW!
  • 39:50 Mindset shift: Go from project focused to customer focused...
  • 48:15 Rapid fire questions!
  • 51:00 David's parting advice...


Related Resources:


David's phone: (303) 442-3702 

How Remodelers Can Flatten Out Their Sales Cycles


Full Episode Transcription

Note: this podcast was transcribed automatically and may contain minor grammatical errors and missed words.


Spencer 0:01
Welcome to builder funnel radio if you are a builder, remodeler, or contractor, this is your go to resource for business growth strategies as well as marketing and sales tax. on this show, you'll hear from industry leaders, construction professionals in the trenches, and from our team of digital marketing experts here at builder funnel. If you're not going, you're moving backwards. So we want you to always be in growth mode. Let's get started. Hey, welcome to builder funnel radio. This is episode number 48 with David looper. And in this episode, we talk about many many things but one of those being How do you recession proof your business? Things are good right now. But it seems like everybody is expecting a downturn we just don't know when so we talked about how to recession proof the business. We also talked about how to create clients for life. And then as a result of these two things, how to create a sellable asset in your business. So some really powerful topics. We go into the weeds There's some tactical actionable items that if you're at the gym or you're driving, you'll probably want to take some notes. So maybe you'll plan on listening to this one again, or you'll be pausing it like I do, and I listened to stuff and jotting down some ideas, but I think you're really going to enjoy this episode. Again. This is 48 with David loop burger.

Hey, David, thanks for being on the show today.

David 1:22
Good morning. How are you?

Spencer 1:24
I'm doing well. How about yourself?

David 1:26
Very well.

Spencer 1:27
Good, good. Well, I'm excited for for today's conversation, because I think the topic is really powerful. And I think sometimes maybe it's something business owners forget about but before we get into talking about clients for life, and some of the details there, I kind of just want to hear from you know, how did you first get into the industry and, you know, get into the business.

David 1:55
You know, honestly, I got in when I got my college degree and it was basically kind of a social work kind of degree. And discovered in the field work that I did prior to getting the degree. I didn't want to do it.

Honestly, I just discovered this is not something I want to spend the next who knows how many years doing, sir. And a friend of mine said, I'm building a house, do you want to help? And I'm thinking, you know how many contractors in fact, I'll do, you know, public presentations at different chapters and at the remodeling shows. And I think I've asked people who said in high school, dreaming about the construction company we're going to build I'd never had more than three hands go. Yeah. Because I got there and directly and I think that happens to a lot of us. Yeah. So I got into it. It seemed to work. It seemed straightforward. I enjoyed doing it. And then as a helper became a carpenter became a lead. And at a certain point, you know, like many entrepreneurs

You say, Hey, I can do this on my own. Yeah, not quite as easy as it sounds. But then, you know, the if you start doing small jobs, the small jobs lead to bigger jobs. And I did enjoy the relationships, not only with my clients, but with subcontractors with suppliers. And so it's a very unique field in that respect is the partnerships we had, and I really enjoyed those. Yeah, that's super cool. Yeah, I think you're right. You know, a lot of people just kind of you fall into it and one thing leads to another and then here you are with your own business. And I'm kind of curious, you know, once you had had kind of gone through all those steps and you had your own business, I mean, what types of projects were you working on? Kind of where was your sweet spot? What were you guys doing? Well, I ended up moving to Washington DC. And I think everybody will relate to this that if you start working in certain areas, that because the demographics of the area, both the ages homes and the financial ability of the homeowners. So I ended up working in North Arlington, which is just across the Potomac from Washington, DC. And if there's a perfect remodeling market, that's it, because you've got the federal government that insulates the economy, civil servants who can't be fired 30 square miles around DC, all the homes were 40 years old or older. And because of the Potomac and traffic, you can't move out. And so people had to remodel. And North Arlington was a wonderful area. And you know, it started with smaller projects, but I think if you're good at what you do, then it ended up going into the full design bill bottle of working with people, you know, from the concept through completion, you know, six to 12 months relationships, and I really did enjoy that part of it. Yeah, that's cool.

Spencer 4:57
Well, uh, well, good on you for picking a good market there with, with all those things going on

David 5:03
Complete luck. Now I didn't pick it it picked me.

Spencer 5:06
So, yeah, well you still have to do good work right? So what if we kind of fast forward to today? Now you're doing you do a lot of speaking I think you're telling me to do maybe like 20 speaking gigs a year or something like that. You know what I guess what gets you fired up and excited to travel all over and talk about this stuff?

David 5:30
It's a great question. And 25 years ago, when I was still building I wrote a book called managing the emotional homeowner. And to me it was common sense. Put together a book and the any HP and HP press the National Association of homebuilders. They published it. And so once that book got out, it resonated. And then I started getting invitations to start big. And you know, after 20 some years 25 years of building, I was ready for something different. And, and I do enjoy this and in all sincerity, I love the people in the industry, honest, straightforward. They're just going to get the job done unpretentious. They're just a great group of people. And so being able to work with, you know, very honest and hardworking contractors and risk, bring some best practices. I enjoy it. And so I do some speaking, I do some business coaching. And it's really, you know, for my age, and you can see I'm a 60 is the new 40. Okay. So, so, I enjoy doing it. It's been a nice transition.

Spencer 6:48
That's awesome. That's super cool. Yeah. And I know one of the things you speak on and work with companies on is this concept of clients for life. If you had to kind of summarize that define it. You know what, what does that mean to you?

David 7:03
It was when I was building, you know, when we really talked about the full design build concept.

Six 810 visits going through the design, developing pricing, building a relationship arriving at not only a design, but a budget that people can afford them going through all the construction. So literally, sometimes a six, nine, even 12 months relationship. And what struck me even then is when the job is done, I'd shake their hand. Thank you, glad I could work with you love the space. If I can help you in the future, let me know. And then I'd start over again. And that was where it occurred to me after the fact that that's what we do. We've got this project driven business model, where once we end one job, we're looking for the next one. We forget that unless somebody has done a whole house remodel, and in most cases, not whole house, but unless they've done a whole house remodel, your clients, if they're staying in the house are thinking about the next project. They may not have the budget. They're definitely suffering from construction fatigue, you know, they want their house back. But honestly, 1235 years, they're thinking about what they'd like to do next. And so the idea behind this client for life is, and this was kind of the tagline when any project out and our relationship is just beginning. And he contractors, are you familiar with the service agreements they sell? Does that ring a bell? not super familiar, but yeah, I mean, you basically install something and then they're going to come back and you know me and it's like, if you do if you have got air conditioning, fairness, they come back in the fall, lubricate, clean the furnace, check the thermostat, come back in the spring, clean the air compressor lubricate, check the thermostat. It's just like kind of taking your car in for an oil change. So the equipment last longer and you're on their preferred list also. So they figured this out for any, you know, four to $600 a year.

You come back, they come back and service your units and it does make them last longer. So what kind of triggered all this I asked an H back company owner, you know, the service agreements, what's this worth over a 10 year period? And I'll never forget he said honestly, David, if you look at not only the cost of the service agreement, but then repair and replacement over a 10 year period. He said these are usually worth 12 to $15,000 per client.

He had 400 service agreements And the reason I bring it up is he's in a sense begin to recession proof his business. Because when I said we've got a project driven business model, it's great right now, because the markets good. But I can also say in 2008 and 2009. When we hit the downturn, when we hit the recession, people pull the bigger projects off the table, due to consumer confidence. So my question is, you know, can we create? Can we diversify and create another profit center? So is the bigger projects go away? We're still working on some of the smaller or replacement projects. And so that's really the focus of this is to become my clients go to for every question and concern about their house. Most people don't do this because they don't know how to coordinate it. So we could talk more about that. But it's really about just saying Let me provide this service and moving forward. Just like any other family doctor, a family dentist, even a family mechanic, can I become your family contractor? Yeah,

Spencer 11:12
I love it. And it makes a lot of sense. Just like you said, from a diversity standpoint, you know, if you got these big projects, and they go away. Let's dig into a little little bit because I can hear a lot of people kind of saying, Well, hey, I don't want to do small things. That's why I've worked my way out of these small projects. Right? That's right. But obviously, there's a strong case for it. So I guess what would you say to those contractors that are saying, hey, I've worked my way up, I'm kind of using this design build approach. I'm doing bigger projects. I've set a minimum maybe it's 20 grand, maybe it's 50 grand. Some people write that, you know, I don't want to do these little thousand dollar repairs are stopped by and you know, do some some stuff. What's the counter to that?

David 12:00
It's a great question. And the reality is those builders that design built folks, they're getting calls from some of their clients saying, This is broken. This doesn't work. I need some help. And I was hearing that again and again. So the reality is, I'll have remodelers Tell me, I'm getting those requests. And I'll say, what do you do? And they'll say, well, it means I've got to pull somebody off out of the field to do it. And then I heard the concern that because it can take two or three weeks before they get somebody that the client becomes upset, because they call I need some help. And so I did this with a company here in Boulder. And the idea is that if you do this correctly, so I start with a simple home evaluation, and go in and I learned to do a proactive warranty visit so one was at nine Three months after a job was done, going back in the home doing a simple walkthrough. All right. And it's funny because I've asked 200 contractors, what do you do during your warranty period? And the bravest one said, I cross my fingers and hope nobody calls. But the other people said, I sent an email if there's an issue they can call. And so I said, well, let's change that a little bit. Let's go back into the house and put it on your schedule, tell them during the sales process. When your jobs done, I don't disappear. I'm coming back at three months. I'm going to look at what we've done. I'm going to check for a nail pops, you know, drying call, I want to make sure everything's working. And 80% of your clients will say, Okay, that makes sense. That's a five to 10 minute visit. Because you're looking at what you've done. Is everything working. Here's what we discovered. In going in that visit. You're speaking you're been invited back into your clients And I swear 20% of the time they say, David as long as you're here, and they bring things up. And so that was the first opening. And then I do the same thing at 11 months. Because everything we installed has, you know, a one year Express warranty. So let's make sure everything's working. And after that second visit, I would say we're going to come back and do a simple home evaluation. I'm going to give you a list of recommendations to help you take care of your home. You've made this investment. They're just things I can I can bring to your awareness. When can we set that up? You know, and the reality is not everyone says yes, but 75 or 80%? Do.

I go through this simple evaluation that's not a home inspection, simple evaluation high points. What I know needs attention what they're aware of, and we put together a service list and I kid you not because of the questions we asked, everybody in fact, let me ask you do you got to Do you Spencer habit to do list? On your own home of things? You could? You could do? Yeah. All right. And it's not an emergency. But honestly, you don't call either because it's not an emergency or you're not quite sure who to call. All right. So I'll do that simple follow up visit. And I'll always identify anywhere from eight to 1214 different to do's. So number one, I can put together a project list. never go anywhere for less than a day. So it's profitable. So number one, I can bundle for possibility. Number two, Are there times when contractors have open days? If you look at your schedule, drywall going on, you know, demo, whatever it is, well, let's take those open days and begin to route the people back into these to do list. Is it sexy? No, but it's cash flow and you're ready building a relationship with the homeowner. And all I could say, and I mentioned this earlier, if you do the small jobs, the bigger jobs will follow. And the kicker in the simple evaluation I do was if they weren't moving, I would ask people if cost wasn't an issue, and it always is. But if cost wasn't an issue, you're not moving. What else would you like to do to your house? And they'll tell you, because remember, you already have the relationship. And they'll tell you, they'd like to redo the master bath. They'd like to finish the basement, putting a deck across the back of the house, because again, you've got that relationship. And so I'm making notes about that. And so, I this what happened was this involved evolved into two seasonal checkouts. We'd go out in the fall to the house up for the winter. I'd go back in the spring to the house out for the summer. And there's always simple to do list but I mentioned when we went in on that three month visit, in about one in four, one in five cases in those visits. Were there were upsells. Because people would say, Gosh, as long as you're here, we made it easy. We're talking to them. Yeah, it is smaller projects. So we put together a list of service people, because every contractor already has the refer electrician, plumber, painter, drywall Mason, landscaper. So we put together agreements. And I would I would invite the service people to the office and in 10 minutes, they understand that when you meet and engage people, work will follow. So number one, I'd asked the service people, do you do service work? Let me make sure that the first number two if I give you a referral, will you respond in 48 hours or less? And number three, do you understand this is reciprocal Because just as I'm going to be referring more to you, you will be in clients houses seeing where we can help them. So I needed a Yes, yes, yes. We also did this with two handyman companies, because there were certain small projects that just the contractor didn't want to handle, same relationship. Can we refer some of this small work? In that case, it was interesting because for handyman companies,

their work also small job, lead to bigger jobs. And they'll get requests to do kitchens. And anytime they start moving into plans or permits, they're really not qualified to do that. Yeah. So then they would cross refer. So it really was about just putting together an informal referral partnership. And it's about just client management. And I don't know another way to say it. It's not sexy, but you can manage this number one, if you bundle. So nobody goes anywhere for less than a day because of the work. Number two, because as you just said, You're living with your to do list and not emergency. I can now control the schedule. And that's the problem with small projects, small projects is people, you've got to try to coordinate the work. Well, if I know what the work is ahead of time. I can tell my client, you know, we can't get out there until, gosh, it looks like early August. You know, because of our workload. We've got the list. Can we do this in early August? We found the most people would say that's fine. All right, you've got the list. And then every two weeks I check in just a Spencer, I haven't forgotten about you. We're still scheduled for early August to come in to do the last. And so then it's just simple client management again. Yeah, and if you do that two or three times, yourself, clients don't call anybody else number one. And when we went back to For those seasonal visits, let's say I did some work for you, you know, the summer. And we put together do the service list and say, by the way, you know, after next winter, because your house is ready for for the next year. Can I call you next spring to come in and get your house ready for summer? And what would your answer be? Absolutely. Why not? Yeah. All right. And when I come in for those visits, I'd say, you know, when I saw you last summer, Spencer, you talked about the deck across the back of your house, to be thought anymore about it? Because I'd remind them about that conversation. And we discovered with a company in Boulder that 90% of the people would say, you know, No, we haven't thought about it. Thanks for asking. very informal. The kicker was the other 10% would say you know, we have been thinking about it. And because you're in the right place at the right time. So really the reason why The builder did it in Boulder is knowing that his clients, you know, would do future projects. Could he put together a database because of these relationships, so that he could see, he could basically build a pipeline and know in 135 years, what his clients are thinking about. So he actually put together a little Department called homecare and repair and put together a service man. And it evolved into that because the demand grew. But within six months, he is on the black, he's got a service and, and the question often comes up, you know, who does this kind of stuff? Well, the irony was, he had an older contract an older carpenter, you know, mid 50s. The Carpenter was slowing down, but really did good work. And was wondering, you know, kind of what to do with this very experienced gentlemen. Well, we roll him into the service role. because number one, there's nothing he hadn't seen before. Number two, he was really good with clients. And so he didn't need to be in a rush. But he did need to be experienced, you know, he had that season die of what to look for. He knew how to interact with people. He knew how to coordinate the work that was going on. And so that became the person in that service. And but that only comes after demand comes. But in the meantime, bundle the projects schedule according to your people's ability. And so you can move it you can move it out of the reactive model into a proactive design and build a pipeline at the same time.

Spencer 22:43
Yeah, there's a lot of good stuff in there. And there were a couple of things that stood out to me. I mean, your last question that you said that was kind of the kicker, I think is genius, really, because yeah, you get that list of potential future projects from the homeowner and then Then the other piece was, I think people's concern as I get these calls from clients, and they say, Oh, can you help with this? Or can you help with that? If you're receiving the call, the urgency is elevated, but you flipped it around. And you said, I'm going to just be there twice a year. And so now you're building the list and you can schedule it for a couple months out or however far out you need to because they're not urgent projects.

David 23:26
Am I hearing you correctly there? It's completely correct, because I've never understood how handyman companies make money to be honest. You know, they're running two, three or four calls a day drive time. I just, it's a it's a tough business model. Versus Well, let me take every client and let's go back to when the project ends. And I introduced the proactive warranty visits, you know, three months in 11 months. I'm funneling them into, you know, this program because now they know I'm going to be visit and I'm setting this up for this recurring, the recurring visits, you know, two seasonal visits a year. So I'm putting them right into that program. In addition, once people understand how to do this, then when they get the service calls, I'll tell people, well, let's, let's rearrange this because right now it's reactive. So tell the person, let me see what I can do. I'll try to get somebody out there. And the biggest thing that is just to manage the relationship, get somebody out there handle the problem, because that's where the pain is. But at the end of that visit, then you say, Gosh, dancer, this took place. I see it again and again, had we just been here sooner. I could have addressed this. We've got a program I can tell you about. We just do a simple evaluation. We make note of what needs to be done and we give you a list. Can we set that up? There's no cost your Past client takes about 45 minutes, would you be open to that? So I can, I can then take the clients and redirect them, again into the same program because my job is to then you know, resource management, who's available when, when other open spots. And the key to this is number one bundling. I'm not going anywhere for two hours. I'm not spending the drive time, and clients will actually understand that. Yeah, which is I want to maximize you know, the work that we're doing on your house. Now, but honestly, if you go through the evaluation, there's always a handful of things. And I'm talking about every year replacing the batteries and there's smoke alarms, not just one the entire house. And can I tell you one simple story in regards to that?

Spencer 25:48
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David 26:28
All right back to the show. So the company in Boulder got a call and the lady said my smoke alarm started chirping and when do you think they usually start to chirp

when they're about to go out? To get a two in the morning?

Spencer 26:43
Yeah. All right. Oh, sorry. What time of day?

David 26:45
Yeah, yeah. And so it starts to church. She had a vaulted ceiling and her master bedroom and you know, the smoke alarms at the top of the vault. So 15 feet out, sees so she calls us out. She said I can go through another night like this. The guy went out, replace the battery. And then he said, I'm going to change every battery and the rest of your house. She said, What do you mean? He just said, it's what we do. So once we come in and replace every nine volt battery in the entire house, and she said, you'll do that, and they say, yes, part of the service we give. And she said, what else you do? And he then he talked about, you know, the service program. And I'm not making this up. She said, Boy, my handyman just moves. I've got some things I'd love you to look at. So I went out and did the evaluation and the evaluation. She brought up that there were two bathrooms that they wanted to remodel. She brought up there were some windows they wanted to replace, you know, and basically, she already had a relationship with the company. But basically, this was simply she didn't know that the company did this. And it became them you know, source of work that had we not been out There to replace those batteries. She wouldn't have known.

Spencer 28:02
Yeah, I love that. Because I've seen this happen and not just in this industry, you get to know a company and you think they do x. And because you're not in the company, you don't know they also do A, B, C, D, you know, all these other things. Of course, we know what we do as our own company. Oh, sure, we do all these things. But, you know, the clients, they're not thinking about us all the time. They don't know everything we do. And even if we think we've communicated it, you know, they probably need to hear it more than once so

David 28:35
well, and every contractor is had the experience, they're driving down the street. And they look and they see on a past project, somebody's building a deck, or rebuilding a porch. And they say to themselves, you know, why didn't the client call me is because they lost contact? Yeah, and you know, so they didn't know the builder did it. And you know, after about a year If you haven't actively engaged a past client, they probably forgotten about you. They're certainly not thinking about you.

Spencer 29:07
Yeah. Well, let's talk about that a little bit kind of logistically, as you have these clients in your scheduling these visits, you know, do you have a preferred method or way of remembering to one, schedule the visits, but then even check in, you said, You'll even say, Hey, we're still on the schedule to meet in August and you'll kind of, you know, a few reminders prior, you know, that. It takes time and effort. It's a small amount of effort, but you have to be diligent, you can't forget those touches. So do you have a kind of a method to the madness, so to speak?

David 29:40
Well, what you're, what we're bringing up here is relationship management. So a job finishes and here was the other kind of when when,

when the lead Carpenter finishes a project.

They're ready to move on to the next job. You know, they've been on this thing for 135 Six months, and you get to kind of a punch list. They want to finish the punch list and move on. Yeah. So we would have this, you know, client for life, the warranty person, they would accompany the lead on the final walkthrough. The lead would say, let's put together the list. When we finish this, I want to introduce you to David. David was the one we mentioned, that will call you back in three months. And we'll do the walkthrough with you to review any questions or comments. So we arranged for a formal handoff. And so the lead carpenters loved it because they knew that warranty items came up that somebody was addressing that and they're on to the next job. Yeah, they don't. Yeah, they don't worry about it. And now the handoffs taken place, and there needs to be someone managing that relationship, which is you know, most people have somebody Kind of contact management software. So you're entering that into, you know, the client, the warranty visits to visit questions or concerns. And it's not the service person, it's not the carpenter. There's somebody at the office owner, spouse, you know, an office person that's managing those relationships. And in any good CRM program, then the reminders come up. And so whether you're using a traditional CRM, or even some of the integrated software, you know, co construct your builder trend. You can also then enter the projects that you did the things that were completed. And every year you can send your clients a list of the work that was completed for them. And you know, it's just a simple little when you're highlighting what you're doing through them each year. You know, when you go to your car mechanic, they have a list of everything. They've done for you in the past. And I think that builds trust. If there's ever an issue of concern, you know, who to call in, that's the relationship I want to develop with past clients. Yeah, that there's nobody and honestly, if you did a project for somebody, in most cases, you know more about that house, then your client. So let's just continue, because they'll always be more things always.

Spencer 32:26
Yeah, that's just the nature of it. Yeah. Yes. Where's down. So now that that's awesome, and kind of curious, too. I know a lot of people right now are really busy. Economy is strong. You know, modeling has been good for a while. I can imagine a lot of people listening to this going, this sounds incredible. Sounds like a great idea. But I'm so busy. You know, I'll just, I'll implement this in a year or two, you know, why should people start? Now, you know, putting something like this in place.

David 32:57
You know, it's it's a great question.

And in some of the public events I do, I will ask, you know, do you think a downturn is coming? And honestly, you know, 75% of the audience will say, yeah, nobody knows when we're shooting. And I'll say, and I'll ask, what are you doing to prepare? Because you saw what happened in 2008 2009? And the answer, in most cases is nothing. We're too busy. So we're kind of laying the stage for a similar outcome, which is if you're not preparing or diversifying, Why will the next downturn be any different from the last one? So you're right. People are saying, I'm too busy. I'm overwhelmed. I can't handle the work that I'm doing now. I'm understaffed. I understand. So all I just say to people is proactively starting today. Introduce the warranty follow up visits in the house at three months and 11 months, begin identifying those list. Because now what I'm beginning to do and if people did, you know, 20 projects a year, and I'm just picking a number, sure, that's 40 visits in the next year, you'll be invited back in those that person's house. And I'll guarantee you, there's going to be upsells, I'll guarantee you, they'll be a list of items that people want done. If I did that a second year, now, we've done that with 40 people. So the work may not be sexy, but it's cash flow. Yeah, and my best comparison is in 2008, and 2009. If we look at you know, people buying cars or doing something like that, they may not have bought a new car in 2008 or 2009. But they did service it. Yeah, they knew they had to take care of their car. They didn't stop going to the doctor. All right. I'll still go to the Doctor,

dentist, I'll still go to the dentist.

People will perhaps, you know, say I'm not going to redo the kitchen. But let's go ahead and repaint the exterior. Let's go ahead and update the furnace. Let's replace Hot Water Heaters because they're 12 years old, they'll do those things because it's an investment that maintains the value of their home. And this is where they need an advisor, somebody they trust, saying let's look at the following things. So those service work those replacement projects because we look at the home components, so roof, windows, siding, paint h back. They all wear out. And so just like a good mechanic, if I looked at your tires, you know this summer and I said you're fine right now Spencer, but you know, come next winter You're in Colorado Springs, there's going to be snow, I'd really recommend you replace the tires. You know, by winter just to be safe. We can be doing the same thing with our clients, saying, you know, let's focus on extending the life, but you need to be aware of some of the expenses that are coming. Are you familiar basically was like a blower door test. Do you know what that is? What test a blower door test. A blower door tests. It puts a negative vacuum in a house and you do what's called an energy audit. you've ever heard of that? Yeah. So it shows where the house is linking. All right. And so if a home has a high heating or cooling bill, if there's cold spots and drafts you can eliminate it. So you come in with insulation and air sealing. But a longer term strategy is after insulating an air sealing, is there a way to replace those single glazed, double hung windows? Do I begin looking at upgrading to a higher efficiency furnace, or hot water heater, if I'm staying in the house, I can actually begin to create a strategy with my client saying, let's begin to look at some practical improvements when appropriate. But if I can help you understand not only the cost, but let's work this into your budget, those are investments that maintain and improve the value of the home. And that's the other conversation I want to have with people. Which is, if we're talking about doing these things, what makes practical sense, and insulation and air sealing, that's an inexpensive cost, under two grand for most houses, will eliminate dress. All right, we'll reduce heating and cooling bills by 20 and 30%, if done correctly, and this is again, the expertise of a good contractor. I'll bring in people who will do it correctly.

Spencer 37:56
Yeah, that's awesome. And I like I like what you talked about in terms of kind of the recession proof elements of that because people maintain, you still have to pay for some of those things. I think the cool part, to me as I'm listening to this is going, Okay, it's recession proof, or more recession proof. Typically, those types of businesses tend to be more competitive, price sensitive, that sort of thing. When you think of things that maybe people are more commoditized or however you want to say it, but because you've got the relationship, you're not competing against two other guys or three other guys, like you're just getting the work. And so if you get the benefit of being recession proof, but the benefit of being kind of that trusted advisor and not having to bid, you know, doing a couple of windows, it's like, Well, sure, of course, I'm going to have you do them. I'm not going to spend the time to bring somebody else out here and look at this. So

David 38:54
yeah, I love that. It's all the relationship and I've asked people you know, Do you have a favorite car mechanic? And most people do? And I'll ask, Is he the cheapest in town? They'll always say, Well, no, no, say why do you use them? Because I trust them. All right, they've taken care of me. So do you mind paying a little bit more for that service? Well, of course not. Yeah, right. Do you want to get burned? And so it's the same thing with your clients. When you have that relationship cost is one factor. That's not the most important factor. They trust you. They know you have their best interest in mind. You're identifying things you eat, let's it's almost a small version of the design bill. You're just creating a design build process for the care and maintenance and upkeep of their home.

Spencer 39:45
Yeah. Yeah. That's great. Well, and I'm kind of curious to you. I think you've touched on it throughout our conversation today, but maybe talk a little bit more about how do you kind of shift this mindset within the company to be more customer driven then project driven. Because I think, like you said, you know, we kind of like do the project completed, move on, do the project, lead it move on. And so how do you kind of turn the whole organization so that everybody's thinking about it from customer focus standpoint?

David 40:20
It's another great question and the owner has to believe in it. And so the old story, it starts at the top. But because people are so busy now, first thing I do is start, you know, on every job you're going to finish this year. Let's start introducing the in house warranty visits, you're invited back into the house, you're going to build and begin to create that relationship. Everybody in the company because design, build and construction, any good owner knows. It is a relationship driven business and people don't hire yet. They trust you. And we go back to the first job, they only hired you, because they believed in you, they trusted you would finish the project according the terms that you agreed to. So all I'm doing and I'm repeating myself here is extending that relationship. So if I can introduce this into a warranty concept.

Most people in the company will understand

the lead carpenters in the field, the production manager, it's a compliment to what they're doing. So in many cases, it won't affect those people directly. But I will want some kind of relationship manager, somebody in the office, making notes, putting in the reminder, whatever we did for people, you know, letting them know what was done in a given year, and then coordinating the work that's being done. But to me, it's a simple add on And can I let me pose a question for you because you begin to see what's possible here. If I worked with Are you married? Yes. Okay. Imagine I worked with you and your wife for the next 10 years. All right. And we did these two seasonal visits, spring and fall. We did repair that might come up during that time. We did component replacement, windows, exterior paid doors. We might even bring in that energy efficiency component. And so there could be you know, upgrading furnace, installation, hot water heater, and remodeling. Because Let me ask you the same question. Are you planning to stay in your home for the next five to 10 years?

Spencer 42:56
Well, we aren't but okay. Yeah.

David 43:01
Okay. And it's a great because sometimes if they're not, then this doesn't make sense. Sure. But let's, let's pretend you're saying Well, yeah,

Spencer 43:08
we'll say we're gonna Yeah, we'll run with it. All right.

David 43:11
And then

Spencer 43:12
I'm going to ask you your whole, you know, example there. But I figured, yeah,

David 43:15
yeah, you know, you have to ask you try it. And some, most of the time it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Spencer 43:21
Well, now we're staying.

David 43:23
All right now you're saying all right. That's the correct answer. Yeah. So if you thought about saving your house for the next 10 years, are there some improvements you'd like to make? If you're saving that house? Yes. Yeah. So then we're talking about what those words so let's go back and say if I'm working with you and your spouse, doing two seasonal visits a year, doing any repair and upkeep, doing component replacement, energy efficiency, upgrades and remodeling? Potentially, what are the sales if we include remodeling over a 10 year period, potentially what would that number be? Man? I mean,

Spencer 44:06
depending on the size of the house in the area, I mean, it could be 300 grand to a million, you know?

David 44:15
You're that's the correct answer. So just for math, because, you know, I'm a contractor, so I try to work with math. Let's just use 100,000. So if I'm doing this 20 times a year, all right, introducing this at the end of every project, I'm potentially adding 2 million in annual sales on an on a on a yearly basis. Yeah, I did it with 20 people next year. That's the pipeline. All right. So it's beginning to recession proof the business. And again, the work isn't sexy. All right, but it's work. Its cash flow. It's keeping people busy. It's engaging your clients in a meaningful way, in a very real way, you take the client off the market. And if I did that over five years, and their nickname for this was just coming to a client's is, once I have that relationship, you would just call and say, David, the following thing is, is, is off context. All right, because they're more concerned about getting it done and taken care of. And so if I have, let's say, 100, theoretical client for life notebooks, reviewing what they have done, and reviewing their wish list, that's now future value. And the last part of this was your building asset value for your business. And that was answering the question. When bankers said, Would they ever finance a remodeling company? And the answer is usually No, because remodeling companies start over every year. People don't do big projects on an annual basis and we're subject to the whims of the economy. If I can demonstrate recurring revenue, that's when a company builds value. So honestly, an owner can begin to look at this and say, if I've got 100 of these client for life notebooks, we now begin to understand the recurring revenue, potential future projects in addition to the work that they're doing now, that's a strong business model.

Spencer 46:30
Yeah, that's, that's amazing. I love that. Well, David, I feel like we could talk about this for for quite some time. I've thoroughly enjoyed this I've got a couple more questions as we wrap up but before I get to those, how can people connect with you learn a little bit more about what you're up to and you know, find you online that sort of thing.

David 46:51
So the company name remodel force, calm so www remodel forest calm? My direct line 303-442-3702, go to the website. And if you click under, I think products, I've got something called client for life. And it just reviews. You know what this is. And so there's some course materials. But I also do a six session online training. And I did that because you know, you and I can talk about this. But then when you go to work, you know, life takes over. Yeah, the world. So I put, I put it into online training, where I'll review one part of the program. And you'll not only review that with me, but then you implement it. And when we meet two weeks later, we implement part two. When we meet four weeks later, we implement part three. So I've tried to set this up. So you not only understand I gave you the course materials, but you're implementing it during the course of the rollout.

Spencer 47:58
Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, and we'll Make sure we link all those up in the show notes so people can get to those super easy. David, we're gonna close out with kind of a new segment that we're doing on the show. We're calling it the the Fast Five. So it's kind of some rapid fire questions, and we'll put you on the spot a little bit, and then ci goes, but what's your favorite business book and why?

David 48:22
Oh, good to great degree. Yeah. Jim Collins.

It's just

that the things he reviews is so simple and so straightforward. And again, it goes back to working not in your business, but working on your business.

Another one is,

you know, the Michael Gerber. It's a great and very, very straightforward, which is you start with the end in mind. Yeah. And we always forget to do that. But if I'm building a business, what's the outcome? And kind of can I create a roadmap to get there? Yeah.

Spencer 49:00
I gave you two. Cool take two, I always take more books. Who's the most inspirational person in your life?

David 49:10
it's gonna sound corny, but my wife

Bernie. No. Okay. I appreciate that. Yeah.

Her support her

just what we've done in our marriage.

She keeps me grounded. And I think I do the same thing for her. She might disagree, but thinks a mutual respect and that we're building something and she's actually an executive business coach, interestingly enough, that's awesome. So we just ended up in different markets. But, you know, we both love what we do.

Spencer 49:50
Yeah, that's awesome. Cool. Well, if you could have one superpower, what would that be?

David 49:56
Wow. Wow, wow.

Anything goes right? Anything goes. Yeah, man the ability to predict the future. Ooh, I like that. Yeah, that's a good one to really say if we know what's coming. proactively prepare. That'd be kind of a fun one. I like it.

Spencer 50:18
Yeah, that's a I would say that's not a common one, but I really liked that one. All right. Describe yourself in three words.

David 50:29
I guess what comes to mind is highly energetic.

I like the two words. Two words even more succinct. Yeah.

Yeah, that is a good I got one leftover, but yeah, highly energetic, highly passionate. Okay, I'm up to four.

Spencer 50:44
That's okay. Well, just highly was the same. So we'll count it as three. So

David 50:48
there you go. Highly, highly, energetically passionate

Spencer 50:52
about that. Perfect. We'll make it work.

And then final question is, if you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice. What would that be?

David 51:03
If I piggybacked what we just been talking about, it's really trying to cement the concept. When any project ends, your client relationships should just be beginning. That's all you've already made the toughest sale. This is the first one. So that was always kind of my tagline, which was when any project ends, our relationship is just starting. Oh, that was what that would be a nice parting comment. I agree. Yeah.

Spencer 51:30
Well, well said. And, David, yeah, this has been awesome. I think everybody listening will probably be there driving around or at the gym. They'll go back and want to read listen and take some notes, because there was a lot in there. So thanks so much for joining me. And yeah, thanks for being on the show.

David 51:46
Thank you. Great questions, Spencer. I really enjoyed it.

Spencer 51:50
Yeah. All right. We'll talk to you soon. Thanks, David. Thank you. Hey, guys, I hope you enjoyed that episode with David loop burger. As promised. That was definitely a notetaking episode. So there was a lot in there, great ideas. And the whole philosophy just makes a lot of sense. But a couple of action items, as you're kind of digesting all this information. One of those was the next time you get a call from a past client where they say, Hey, can you come help with this, and it's a small project, go ahead and take it, go out on that call, and then build that future project list, like David was talking about, you know, hey, what else around the house do you want to do? Or do you need to do and build that out and then now you've secured some future work, maybe you can schedule some time in a couple of months. And you've got some notes for maybe 123 years down the road on a potential remodel or some more work. So I think that was item number one, item number two was the next projects that you are completing. Go ahead and schedule that three month and 11 month check in and again, you can start getting them into that rhythm and that you're always in the home. You're identifying new projects. And I think between those two things, those will go a long way towards starting to get this system implemented. So, hope you guys enjoyed this episode again, thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on builder funnel radio. Hey guys, thanks for tuning into builder funnel radio. I know there are a lot of podcast choices out there. So it really means a lot to me that you choose this as one you either subscribe or listen to regularly. Now before we part ways for today, I have a quick favor to ask you. If you get some value out of today's episode, please either leave us a review or share this with a friend. We're really working on building a community of construction professionals. They want to treat their customers, right. They want to run profitable businesses and create more jobs in our economy. So leaving a review or sharing it with a friend really helps us build that community. And we really, really appreciate it. All right guys, that's all I've got for today. So we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.


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