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Remodeling Pro Brad Young Puts Customers First

Learn the business courtesies and conveniences he provides that justify profit-generating prices

Houzz Pro

MAY 16, 2024

As the owner of TigerTown Home Improvement in Columbia, Missouri, Brad Young has put his 25-plus years of industry experience to good use doing kitchen, bathroom and whole-home remodels. Although he opened the company just four years ago, Young has his business processes nailed down, and it shows. Lauded by clients for his attention to detail, high-quality work and excellent communication, he has learned how to consistently turn a profit without turning off clients or cutting corners. Here he shares his strategies for pricing his services, providing stellar customer service, collecting payments efficiently and much more.

Trading Up in the Trades

With barn-building in his blood courtesy of his grandfather, Young worked for a local contractor during summers while growing up on a farm in northern Missouri. After graduating high school, where he gained more experience in a building trades program, he tried his hand as a framer for a building company. College seemed a better fit, however, and with business degree in hand, Young signed on as a branch manager for Ferguson Bath Kitchen Lighting Gallery in 2004.
After 14 years of climbing the corporate ladder, Young turned to flipping homes and then to remodeling, opening TigerTown as a one-man operation in 2021. He recently hired his first employee, with “the end in mind being moving on to the next adventure,” he says.

Pricing It Right

“The business needs to be making a certain percentage of money for growth and reinvestment,” Young says, and that means pricing services appropriately. While he’s happy to reexamine estimate numbers that clients think are high, he also is firm about his pricing when necessary. “If somebody else is [charging] way less than I am, that’s the number you should really be questioning,” he says. “With my price, you’re going to have the best quality, and it’s going to be inspected, and you’re going to have it properly framed, and it’ll be well built.”

Being responsible for profit and loss at Ferguson has benefited him enormously at TigerTown, because “if you’re not profitable, then it’s pointless,” Young says. “I’m still pushing my markup to this day.” Moreover, “I try to make sure my organization is run in an efficient way. And I use tools that help out with that.”

Since 2020, Houzz Pro all-in-one software has been one of the tools Young relies on. “It was easy to learn,” he says. The software’s Estimate Builder — with its customizable templates, built-in database of prices based on local suppliers and service providers, and professional-looking documents — is what sold him on a subscription at first, but he now also greatly appreciates the ability to easily collect payments online

Paying Attention to Payments

Sometimes “I’ll just receive a deposit payment out of the blue,” Young says. “I didn’t even know that [a potential client] was that serious about doing the project, but they saw that there was a link that could be clicked to make the payment, and that’s what they did. It didn’t require me to drive to their house to pick up a check.”

Not having to physically pick up checks or wonder if they’re on the way is part of the beauty for business owners of accepting online payments. But Young points to the customer service aspect of it too. “How frustrating would it be if you went to a website and you wanted to buy something, but you had to mail in a check for it?” he aptly puts it. With Houzz Pro, customers can conveniently pay online 24/7 via either a credit card or a bank transfer, using their computer or smartphone.

While some pros might worry that the small fee for online payments through Houzz Pro (1% of the total amount for bank transfers and 3.6% for credit card payments) will cut too much into their profits — or will turn clients off if charged as a line item — Young takes a pragmatic approach, building it into the project’s overall cost, make it essentially fully ‘disappear’ as part of the overall price to client. By doing so, Young ensures that clients never see that charge, thus potentially removing any uncomfortable conversations. 

“That’s just part of me calculating my cost of doing business,” he says. “It’s like if you walk into any store and buy something, the credit-card-paying cost is already figured into the cost of the item. It’s not a separate line item.” He underscores that “it’s a customer service feature. If it costs me a little bit on a job, fine. I’ll make it on another job.” This strategy coupled with his quality work and the convenience of Houzz Pro online payments helped Young create a steady stream of repeat clients, that keep his calendar busy. 

Plus, with Houzz Pro, clients can easily access all of their current and past project invoices anytime in their Client Dashboard.

Offering Great Customer Service

Being able to accept payments 24/7 online is just one way Young provides exceptional customer service. Another is “keeping the jobsite clean and everybody being friendly and respectful of their space,” he says “We set up HEPA air filters to filter dust out of the air, and we do all the carpet covering and floor covering and put up plastic ZipWalls to try to keep the dust in the space. Then we clean after it’s done.”

Young also touts other benefits of Houzz Pro features for clients, such as being able to attach pictures to estimates and invoices. “Attached to all of my estimates that I send out are my business license, my workers comp insurance and general liability insurance documents, proof of insurance, and then my own contract. All of these are PDFs that my clients can download and read through.” Plus, “for them to be able to see it in an easy-to-read format I think is important.… I try to create really good descriptions for each line item on my estimates so people can read them easily.”

“TigerTown is a customer service business,” he sums up simply, “and that’s honestly how we will keep getting business: We’ll keep making people happy.”

Curious about how Houzz Pro can help you have happier clients and a more efficient and profitable business? Try it free today! 

Houzz Pro is the all-in-one tool for marketing, project and client management built specifically for remodeling, build, and design professionals.

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