Building architect relationships with Stacy Eakman

On today’s episode of “The Building Code” Tom and Paul are talking to Stacy Eakman of Eakman Construction Company in Seattle. This episode contains lots of great content around the importance of creating and maintaining relationships with architects.

Check out the full episode to hear about how the company is dealing with job site safety amid the pandemic, how they’re using TikTok to attract a younger following and how you can use architect relationships to land more leads.

HOW EAKMAN CONSTRUCTION IS KEEPING THEIR JOB SITES SAFE

  • We loaded up on safety materials like masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, safety glasses and wash stations
  • We continue to find ways to work with inefficiencies like keeping workers 6 feet apart
  • We keep track of who is on each job site every day and monitor the health of our employees and subcontractors by taking their temperature when they arrive to work

TIPS FOR MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS WITH ARHCITECTS

  • Put yourself out there
  • Stay at the top of mind for the architects you really want to work with by stopping by or staying in touch regularly
  • Be willing to do the projects that other contractors don’t want to do in order to build those relationships
  • Architects tend to work with the same group of contractors that they know do a great job, so when given the opportunity, ensure you give them a great experience
  • Reach out to architects when things are busy. They often look for new contractors when their go-to contractors aren’t available

LINKS AND MORE

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Stacy Eakman | Eakman Construction

Tom Houghton:

You are listening to “The Building Code” your guide for a better way to run your business. I’m Tom Houghton.

Paul Wurth:

Hey Tom. I’m Paul.

Tom Houghton:

Hey Paul. Great chatting with you over zoom here.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah, I thought we kind of keep it a little more casual.

Tom Houghton:

Sure.

Paul Wurth:

The intro. I haven’t seen you in a while. Both physically and virtually.

Tom Houghton:

Exactly.

Paul Wurth:

It’s been weird.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. It’s the sign of the times, right?

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. I wonder when we’re going to look back on this and everybody’s just going to lament about how weird it was when did it officially start? So we’ve got to make sure we have the parameters March of 19 or March of 20, sorry. March 2020. It’s going to be a weird period.

Tom Houghton:

It’s felt like a year to you.

Paul Wurth:

It has. It’s felt very… I mean, I’m sure everybody feels this way. It’s felt like it’s a very long time.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. Eight weeks basically.

Paul Wurth:

I guess we should… We’re talking about COVID-19. So if you listen to this in the future…

Tom Houghton:

If it’s the year 2022, and you’re listening to this and you…

Paul Wurth:

And you forgot about it, that would be fantastic.

Tom Houghton:

Well done. Well done to you.

Paul Wurth:

Because I don’t think any of us are going to forget it.

Tom Houghton:

No way. Awesome.

Paul Wurth:

Any who…

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. Back to what we’re here for. We’re here for our great guests. Joining us today is Stacy Eakman, President of Eakman Construction based in Washington. Welcome to the podcast.

Stacy Eakman:

Thanks for having me.

Paul Wurth:

And I also point out like how excited you were to say the word Washington, is this state all the place in your heart Tom, you want to tell the listeners about that for some reason?

Tom Houghton:

Well, as far as this pandemic goes it was a hotspot of the pandemic. So I thought this is actually a great…

Paul Wurth:

Seattle yeah it was.

Stacy Eakman:

I actually live in Kirkland where it’s right outside of Seattle, but that’s where that original nursing home was the big outbreak happened. It was within five miles of my house. So we were the center of attention for a little while.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah, for sure.

Tom Houghton:

Absolutely.

Stacy Eakman:

I mean, it’s a bummer that’s what we were being recognized for. But the only other thing anybody talks about is how much it rains. So at least we are in the headlines for something else.

Paul Wurth:

There you go. Yeah. I love Seattle. I went there for a short honeymoon. My wife we just went back in October of last year, it’s good times.

Tom Houghton:

For a concert, right?

Paul Wurth:

Went for a concert. Yeah.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. That came up on the other podcast that we were chatting about. That is podcasts like 50 something.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. Hardcore OG listeners will know that reference.

Tom Houghton:

They’ll know. They’ll know the reference. Go find it bonus points for you if you find it.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. We’ll send you some sort of prize if you can guess the band.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Anyways, I guess Stacy. Well, it’s very timely that you had mentioned you’re from Kirkland, Washington. Why don’t we just start there? Tom you can correct me you usually do this, but why don’t we start there? I mean, it’s COVID-19, it’s pandemic, we’re in the midst of it. What was it like for your business, but also for the town during sort of that attention that spotlight you guys had?

Stacy Eakman:

I mean, for the town it was… I mean, I think Seattle the Northwest in general is pretty science focused. A lot of people have been paying attention to this early. When we actually had the very first reported case in the United States in Everett. And so once that happened we all started paying really close attention and I believe that was in February even. And so we started really paying close attention and preparing and planning on a shutdown and all of that. And we were okay and everybody follows the rules here pretty well.

Stacy Eakman:

Well, a lot of the companies here are obviously…. Google has a huge presence here. Amazon is here, Microsoft is here, Boeing is here. Facebook has a big presence here. So they all have the ability to work from home. And so we all the smaller companies that have office space like us we followed their lead. And so I remember Google really early went to a work from home option. And the next day we did that Eakman Construction as well. Now the guys in the field continued to work, but they were outside during their own truck. So they were able to social distance pretty well. But the office staff we all went to work from home. And so it obviously affected us some but we did fine. And then when the big actual shutdown happened where they closed construction, closed all business unless it was essential.

Stacy Eakman:

We were disappointed because a lot of the country continued to call residential construction was still essential work. So in California they were getting the still beyond construction sites. And so we were all planning that that was going to happen. And when the governor came on and told us that we were non-essential that changed our plans. We weren’t really planning on shutting down. We were planning on working from home and being extra careful. But then we had 48 hours to close all our job sites down and we did that. Obviously it was difficult for our clients. People are renting houses and paying two mortgages while we’re building their homes. And that’s a tough spot to be in to tell your client, but at the end of the day we’ve flattened the curve and now construction’s back open here and so we’re pushing forward.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. I think there’s going to be a lot of mistakes that were made during this situation. I’m probably understandable because it was very new for the government, but I think it’s safe to say for the federal government not to come out with just some basics what’s essential and non-essential, and then every state as a race of businesses could follow those is probably one of the biggest ones.

Stacy Eakman:

Yeah. I think that the confusion and the unknown is the biggest deal. If you’re going to shut us down shut us down, but have everybody understand what’s coming and how it’s going to go. I do understand that each region is different and we’re having bigger outbreaks and smaller outbreaks and some places have more hospital availability and some less. So I get it that it’s different everywhere, but at the same time the uncertainty is what keeps me and all of my colleagues up at night is what are we going to hear tomorrow that is going to change everything. So I agree with you. It would be nice if we had some guidelines.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. But you did say things are opening it up. So was that transition to open back up difficult? Or were some of the things you had to tackle to do that?

Stacy Eakman:

Yeah, so I followed our agencies, our construction building agencies here in the Washington are very vocal and involved in government with anywhere. Master Builders Association and a few others. And so I followed them and I was continually getting email updates from them. And so I was watching pretty close about… Because the way they got construction to be the first ones to open back up, they went to the governor’s office with a plan of how we were going to do it safely. And so as those plans were being made and bounced off the governor and continually negotiated I was watching those closely. So for us in particular we had all our PPE. I ordered all that stuff and got loaded up on masks and hand sanitizer and all of those things. And then gloves and glasses and then wash stations.

Stacy Eakman:

There was a huge shortage in the country of wash stations. So we ordered parts from our plumbing supply house and we made our own that just took up to a garden hose and so we were prepared to open. It’s not the smoothest thing getting all your subcontractors to follow the rules and wear the masks and not get reported and neighbors taking pictures if you’re not wearing your mask. So it’s intensive management of people. And there’s new protocols with the masks and all of that. But then also you have to stay six feet apart and sounds fairly easy. But when a couple of guys got to hang a bank of cabinets and all of a sudden you’re “Well, we can’t stand six feet apart. What do we do?” And so you got to figure out how to do it.

Stacy Eakman:

And so the inefficiencies are there are showing through and it’s a little bit inefficient, but we’re grateful to be open and doing it. Every time somebody comes on site every day, we have to take their temperature. We have to record their temperature. We have to write their name, phone number, email down. Which isn’t the hugest deal because they’re monitoring all of it anyways, but some subcontractors they just don’t want some employees of the plumbing company or electricians or whatever, they feel like big brother’s watching. And so its constant management of those people, but I’m not complaining. I’m glad to be open.

Tom Houghton:

It’s good.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. Contact tracing is one of those things that I think is probably coming down the pike for every local area especially on the job site, are you using daily logs for that? Because I know other companies are using a daily log feature just to record who is on the job site and use the custom dropdown to check off the subs that were there something like that.

Stacy Eakman:

We aren’t using the dropdown, but we are taking a photo of our handwritten sheet that we use everyday on each job site and we’re putting that in each daily log. And we are… I mean, contact tracing is Washington’s leading the way in that too. Ultimately Bill Gates has a lot of say in this town of how things go in this state rightfully so I think he’s probably earned it, but he is big on science, vaccines and all of that. And he’s putting billions of dollars into finding vaccine. I mean, he’s a great, great guy. So he is helping the governor I believe figure out how this is going to go. And contact tracing is a huge thing, testing and contact tracing. So now we haven’t opened restaurants yet, which is part of phase two.

Stacy Eakman:

And they get to I think half capacity, customers have to give their name and phone number and they have to be asked certain amount of questions about have you had a fever? How are you feeling? And that’s all fine and dandy until on a Friday afternoon you get a phone call from the national guard or whatever that says, “Hey, you were at Burger King last Tuesday? You got to stay home for 14 days until you have been tested.” I think there’s going to be some pushback for sure on that, but safety… I think it’s important we got to get rid of it one way or another. It’s just going to…

Tom Houghton:

Interesting times we live in for sure. I love that you’re making do with it. You’re just keep moving on, got a positive attitude about it. And I think that’s the best you can do with what we’re given right now.

Stacy Eakman:

Yeah. I mean, ultimately I decided few weeks ago. Everybody is so frustrated and it’s just complain, complain, complain about the current situation. And I just said, “Hey, look, let’s take this really bad thing that’s a burden to our efficiency and all of that. And let’s turn it into a marketing opportunity.” And so we just went out and said, “Okay. We’re going to be the best at being safe. And we’re going to be a good neighbor. Everybody’s at home. People see us on job sites. They see our vans pull up. When we get out of that van, we want to have our face masks on.

Stacy Eakman:

We don’t want to be the one that gets reported to the government. And so we’re sending out postcards and a lot of social media stuff about how we’re safe and we’re going to take care of work. Our kind of our thing is we’re your neighbor we’re not just construction company in town we’re your neighbors. So that puts a target on our back a little bit. People are saying, “Okay.” Especially other companies that aren’t following the rules they’re, “Oh, this guy wants to brag about how great he is. We’re going to drive by and catch him.” But luckily my team is really, really participating in playing along.

Paul Wurth:

Social media.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. I was just going to go there Paul. You’re pretty active on there. On Instagram if our listeners we’d highly recommend you follow Eakman how did they find you?

Stacy Eakman:

Instagram it’s @Eakman_Construction, LinkedIn it’s my personal LinkedIn Stacy Eakman, E-A K-M-A-N and Facebook is just Eakman Construction. And as well we’re on TikTok but I don’t even know my tagline there yet, but we’ve made a competitor to-

Paul Wurth:

But you are there?

Stacy Eakman:

… to get there and get that going. So we are on TikTok and you can probably find me if you look close enough you’ll find me.

Tom Houghton:

We’ll put a link to those in the show notes as well. You can find show notes at buildertrend.com/podcast. So make sure you give Stacy and his team a follow there. And let’s talk about TikToK. Let’s take a quick deviation. What was it that made you jump on the platform?

Stacy Eakman:

I’m a huge Gary V follower. I believe in what he says about… I think that he think well, Gary knows a lot about a lot of things and he believes he knows a lot more about a lot more things than he probably even does. I mean, he’s a real confident guy, but if he knows something in my opinion, he knows how people react to social media. So he started talking about TikTok a year ago or whatever it was. And I got an account and I started following and I thought, “Man, how?” Like everybody what do you… I’m going to start dancing now and I’m going to do all this weird stuff. But the reality is you don’t have to do it like everybody else, you can still do it very similar to Instagram, just more videos and then it just as attention. I don’t want anybody… In my opinion, these people that are on TikTok now I think the majority are probably younger folks in their 20s, early 20s.

Stacy Eakman:

They might not be building a house now, but someday those people are going to build a house. And if TikTok is the platform that they’ve chosen to be their number one platform then when they go to look for a contractor in 10 years, if I’m not there and don’t have a decent following and good engagement and all of that then I lose some credibility. Because the 20-year-olds that are starting construction companies they’re going on TikTok. So I don’t want to miss the boat. And right now attention is cheap and easy and it’s free. There’s no cost to just gain that following. You just want to get that group of following there early when it’s easy, because as we all know with Instagram, as the algorithms get more and more difficult and Facebook with everything getting more and more difficult. And when they’re trying to monetize more, which makes it a little harder to be visible to people that don’t already know you it starts to get harder. So you want to get in early when there’s a lot of eyes. So that’s why we’re committing to that.

Tom Houghton:

It’s good stuff. Maybe we could give a quick background on your company just because obviously if somebody doesn’t know, if they’re not falling on TikTok yet they should, but maybe you can give them a quick little rundown of… Give us how many projects you guys do? What your team look like?

Stacy Eakman:

We are a custom home builder, large scale remodel company based in Seattle, Washington. And our thing is we’re a little more high touch customer focused than a lot of other companies. So what that means is our project managers are quality human beings are more personal with the client. A lot of communication which we use Buildertrend for. I mean, it’s really helped us with that, but the way our company runs is there’s me who does mostly sales and runs the company. And then we have general manager and production manager is Jake. He is my right hand. And then we have a small design team, but we’re architect driven we’re not a design build firm.

Stacy Eakman:

And then we have project managers, carpenters, or lead partners, carpenters and laborers. We do some in-house, but I think it’s probably about 80% of our stuff is subcontracted out. We do depending on the size of the projects usually between 10 and 14 projects at once is what we have gone. Our average project size is about 650,000. So what that really means is we do some that are quite a bit more than that, but we do quite a few projects that are just a couple of $100,000 especially for past clients and then stuff like that. And that’s about it. That’s how we do it.

Tom Houghton:

That’s a good rundown. I like that you mentioned the past clients there because obviously that means then they’ve had a good relationship. You want to continue that relationship with them and there’s value in that for you, right? And how you treat them and continuing that relationship with them.

Stacy Eakman:

Yes. We sell to people that are one or two things. They’re either they’ve hired us before and they trust us believe in us. They trust the experience or we sell to… I think the majority of our clients are people who have done large projects in the past, but with other companies where they’ve gone out and they’ve gotten three bids and they picked the most affordable one and it turned out to be the same cost as the most expensive one by the end and they didn’t have a great experience. We really try hard to sit not only sell the experience, but deliver on the experience of the project. So we often get people who have had a terrible experience in the past. They come to us for their next project, which I think says a lot about who we are.

Tom Houghton:

Absolutely.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. How do they get that message? When you look at Lead Gen, can you just take us to… If you guys look this deep sort of where your sources are coming from? What percentage is rewinds? Or past clients and what percentage is new?

Stacy Eakman:

Well, I don’t have the exact numbers, but since we do such large scale projects for the most part past clients they’re not that many, but every past client who does another project they work with us again. But we figured that they won’t be ready for us for another house build or another remodel for five to 10 years at the earliest. So we do get some of that, but I think 90% of our leads come from architects. So really who I’m selling, who my customer is when I’m out trying to drum up leads, it’s architects. So the way we continue to keep architects in our back pocket it is they recommended us to a client we provide a really good experience for that client. And then of course they’re telling their architect, “It was great.” We try our best to make the architect look good, never throw the architect under the bus we understand that they are our client. So that’s how we continue to get leads is I work the architects hard.

Paul Wurth:

I would just assume you just bribe them.

Stacy Eakman:

No. It’s a little tougher than that. When I first started and I wasn’t doing the cool projects that I wanted to do I knew a couple of architects that were my friends a little bit. I mean, a couple of times I just asked, “Do guys just pay you to send work?” And the answer was no and it was almost offensive to them so I quit bringing it up. I think that ultimately, especially in our market where there’s plenty of work to be done, really what those architects want is they want to know that if they send a client to me I’m going to take care of them they’re going to have a good experience and we all get a referral out of that later we get, “Yeah, architect was great and the builder was great.” That’s where the value is to those architects.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. On a serious note if you’re listening to this right now and you’re trying to build relationships with architects, what would you give them as far as starting points and tips to do that?

Stacy Eakman:

To get going I did a lot of undesirable projects. So I would stop by architects offices that I really wanted to work with. And it takes more than one time stopping by more than one phone call. You just stay just on the tip of their tongue don’t let them forget you. And then at some point they get to a spot where every architect has their three or four contractors that they like to work with all the time. And so the way you get into that is you have to be the contractor that’s not only available, but willing to do a project that maybe one of their other contractors aren’t willing to do. And so you just stay at the top of mind so that when they have that basement dig out their big time builders don’t want to do, or they were all just too expensive and the client can’t do it, or they’re just too busy.

Stacy Eakman:

It almost always happens on that phone call where they say, “Oh, hey, you know what? I actually do have something you can look at I can’t find anybody to do it my other guys are too busy.” And then that is your chance. And you show up on that project and you’re probably likely to not make the money in the margins you should make. But I mean, that is the cost of marketing to that architect. Maybe he’s in a bad spot. Maybe he’s told the client that, “Yeah, I think you can get this done for $400,000.” And all the builders are saying, “There’s no way.” Now I don’t ever recommend intentionally losing money, don’t lose money but you might have to sacrifice a little bit just to really show up and gain that spot with architect.

Stacy Eakman:

I’ve done that many times in my careers, we take on a job that nobody else really wants for whatever reason. The challenge with that is you have to put your project manager, your superstar project manager on that job instead of on the job that we’re going to kill it on, supposedly you have to pull him off of the really good job and put him on a job that is not quite as attractive or sexy but, that’s how you get them. Because even the architects are, “Whoa, that was great. That was a great experience.” And then you’re on that list somebody else withdrawn.

Paul Wurth:

Awesome. That’s great advice. It makes sense. So do some cold calling and cold stopping by to start introduce yourself, make sure you present yourself the right way. Did you ever think about your brand in those early days? How you present yourself to somebody like “This is who I am and this is how I’m unique in construction.” Or was it just, “I’m here ready to do quality work for you.”

Stacy Eakman:

No. I mean, yes and no. I’m thinking about my brand. No, not necessarily, but I understood that there’s a disconnect in construction with communication and having all being very organized and having everything put together. Now, looking back on the first time I walked into I remember architect that we work with a lot now is Ryan and Rose designs. They do really cool stuff. And we do a lot of their work. And I remember the first time I walked into their office looking back on it, like it’s laughable. Like I showed up with a project binder that had all… It was before we were Buildertrend. It was before I was… I mean, I was building fences and decks. I was barely just getting going, but I had a binder bill that I was using as a project binder and it had quotes and estimates and all the information in there.

Stacy Eakman:

And I went in there and showed him on his desk and I was really proud of it. I thought it was really, really cool. And I can imagine I mean, it’s a nice architects firm I can imagine when I walked down to there they were, “That guy who is he?” I was a kid, but then another call and another call or another call. And I ended up doing a basement dig out for them that has been a great I mean, the client loved it. They had a great experience architecting. And since then I’ve worked with Ryan for years now a lot of their work. So it’s really just putting yourself out there and just trying and maybe you look funny at first and people think you’re not ready.

Stacy Eakman:

And ultimately that is also happens a lot. Are used to happen a lot as I’d talk to these architects and they’d say, “Man, you’re not really ready for this type of project, but stay in touch and I’ll be watching you.” And now I work with those people because now we’re ready. And at the time of course I was offended, “No way I can do it.” But looking back thank goodness I didn’t get some of those jobs I would have fallen on my face. We wouldn’t be here now.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. That’s great insight. I mean, that’s very valuable for people who are at that stage right now, which I think there’s always a revolving door of new construction companies starting up and there’s no real good game plan out their playbooks. So that’s one that I would follow for sure.

Stacy Eakman:

The think that everybody needs to remember when they’re doing that is the time to get new architects and define those new leads is when you don’t need them. It’s when everybody is really, really busy, because that’s when they go to a new guy or a new company because their go-to’s are too busy. If you wait until you’re slow and the economy slows a little bit it’s too late because those three or four guys companies that they’ve worked with in the past they’re available. So they just don’t need it. So making the time which is a real challenge for you when you’re small. Because when you’re small as the owner you’re doing so much that you don’t feel like you have time to put a clean pair of jeans on and a decent shirt because you’ve been crawling around under a house trying to dig it out or whatever you’re doing.

Stacy Eakman:

You don’t feel like you have time to stop by in the mall all day of architects and find somewhere to park in city of Seattle. It seems like a daunting task. And then they think, “I’m just going to go in there and what am I going to get out of this?” It can really wear you down, but the time to do it is I mean, it’s really similar to borrowing money. You go to the bank and ask for money when you don’t need it, because when you need it you’re not attractive to lend to. You want to secure those relationships when things are really busy. Makes sense?

Tom Houghton:

It’s the long game. Yeah. That’s good. I’m curious speaking of long game. So give us more background here. Your father was general contractor did you end up taking over the business?

Stacy Eakman:

No, that’s not the case. So I’m from Eastern Washington originally. I’m from Yakima, Washington. Dad was a contractor there, but was his own deal. I started my own when I moved over here to Seattle. So the answer to that question is no, but I did grow up around construction and spent some time on job sites. I played a lot of sports and so I was really busy and dad was determined that I would not become a contractor. Life’s too hard. It’s a struggle. You need to go to school. You need to [inaudible 00:31:38]. So I didn’t learn a lot about construction as a kid other than we were always building something around the house and I would help with that. But then when I got a little older I think it was after I got done at community college, I moved back home and started working for dad.

Stacy Eakman:

So I was early 20s. I worked for dad for a couple of years, a few years and then moved over here to Seattle when I was 29. And dad had no intention of starting a construction company. I actually moved over here to not knew construction. And then next thing I was doing fences and decks for friends on the weekends and ended up getting myself in a weird predicament with a big project that I took on through a girl that I knew from church. And I didn’t tell her that I was a contractor, but I also didn’t really tell her completely that I was just working for cash. And so she introduced me to her dad who turns out is a big name here in the city.

Stacy Eakman:

And he had a project that he needed done at his house. And I sent him an estimate and didn’t really hear from him. And I’d given him a business card that I had made that just little Kinko’s Business Card that said Eakman Construction on it. And he called me on a Tuesday and said that they were going to Italy for three weeks. And he wanted me to come and do the work while he was gone. And I said, “Okay, great.” He said, “I’ll leave the deposit check on the counter keys under the Madison.” Okay, great. And I went there to pick up that deposit check and get started and the check was written to Eakman Construction instead of just Stacy Eakman. So I had to get a business license I didn’t want to look foolish. So I hustled and got a business license and got it all figured out. And then once I had done that it was. “Well, I’m here now let’s give it a shot.” So it just happened.

Paul Wurth:

That’s a great story.

Stacy Eakman:

Yeah. It’s a great story. I just got to go with it.

Stacy Eakman:

And I mean, if we had more time I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t the best citizen and had not necessarily paid all my bills and done everything I was supposed to do in my past it was pretty rough. And getting that business license was a challenge, getting a bank account. I remember getting a bank account was just almost impossible. And I mean, I was literally in tears, I’m screwed I can’t, it’s not going to work. And I walked into one more bank and met somebody and told them everything I had done. I was just spent I tried all day to get somebody to give me a bank account.

Stacy Eakman:

And the guy said, “Well, I’m the vice president of the bank, lucky I’m in town. And I can fix this for you, but we’re going to go over here and I’m going to tell the system manager here to pull your name up. And if you lied to me about anything you don’t have a chance.” And pull it up and I mean, it was just as bad as I told him it was. And he said, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to give you a savings account, no checks, no nothing you do that for six months without screwing that up we’ll give you the checking account with a debit card. And then another six months we’ll give you checks and the company account.” And I did that. And I mean, they’re still my bank today. I would never leave that bank.

Paul Wurth:

That’s awesome.

Tom Houghton:

That’s incredible.

Stacy Eakman:

It was quite a time in my life.

Tom Houghton:

So starting off like that forward all the way to the today getting named Pro Remodeler 40 under 40 award, that’s a quite a success story there.

Stacy Eakman:

Yeah. It’s been seven years since that happened. So it’s been quite the sprint. I’ve been going and 40 under 40 Pro Remodeler, it was really cool to be named there. I think office manager nominated me and when I get those awards it’s exciting it feels really good. And really the reason it feels good is because it looks like, “Okay, you started this thing in 2012 and you’re just by accident and got a business license. And then you went and built some fences and decks and then it just grew you rode the wave.” But still now, but not as much as it used to but I mean, I put a lot of long nights all night work and work all day in the field.

Stacy Eakman:

And then got to do estimates and got to look at contracts and got to do all the banking and got to do all the books and just lots of long nights. And so when I get one of those awards it just is a little bit… It just justifies all that time I put in. And my wife is great. She lets me work. She knows I’m passionate about this and passionate about business. And so she just lets me work as much as I’d want as much as I need to. And so it validates what I’m doing when I get one of those awards. So it’s nice to be recognized like that. But yeah it’s surreal that things have happened the way they have.

Tom Houghton:

Absolutely. Well, it’s quite the incredible story there and I’m sure we can continue.

Paul Wurth:

I feel like we only got a little bit of it. Yeah.

Stacy Eakman:

I know. I feel like we’re talking. Absolutely. We should definitely bring you back on in a couple months just to see how things are going after post COVID. Once we get back to quote unquote the new normal and just check out to hear more stories.

Stacy Eakman:

Sure. Anytime.

Tom Houghton:

Well, thanks so much for sharing your expertise and insight in the industry and just what’s happening up in your area with our listeners of course we appreciate you coming on the podcast, being a part of the Buildertrend family and wish you continued success in your business.

Stacy Eakman:

Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate the opportunity to be on you guys it’s cool thing that you do and I appreciate it.

Tom Houghton:

Thanks Stacy.

Paul Wurth:

Thanks, man. We appreciate you.

Tom Houghton:

Love what you heard. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe to our podcast so you can hear from more guests that will benefit your business. Also, please check out our show notes page for more information on what we discussed on this episode, you can find it at buildertrend.com/podcast. Thanks for listening. And we’ll see you next time on “The Building Code.”

Paul Wurth:

Appreciate you.


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