“We always ask ourselves what’s the industry going to look like in five to 10 years?”
“I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for the last 20 years. Hermes Renovations has existed in three cities — Chicago, Denver, and Austin. We primarily focus on Austin and San Antonio areas, we’ve been developing these markets for over 10 years. We’ve been doing quite a bit of business in the last couple of years, and a lot of it with MADSKY. It’s been a great partnership, we really love a lot of the people in the organization. We feel like there’s long, strong, deep roots there.
We always ask ourselves what’s the industry going to look like in five to 10 years?
Construction is a waste-heavy industry
We’re a bit greener than most other companies in how we handle debris and some of our material. Construction is a waste-heavy industry, it produces millions of tons of debris a year in the US alone. When you think about that on the macro scale, we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. So, we all need to make a commitment to minimize our impact.
What we were doing for a while, and I can’t say that we’re doing that on all the jobs now, was stripping all the nails out of our shingles and recycling the debris — the actual asphalt and the tar paper so it can be reused in roadways and in other areas.
Even though it costs us more money to pay an extra laborer to pull the nails out of the shingles before they are placed in the debris pile, it makes us feel good when communicating with the homeowner and sharing the initiatives that we’re taking.
To be a responsible company that doesn’t use a lot of paper, we were using Docusign and were virtual before COVID made it a necessity for everyone. We’ve been using our iPads, and training our sales people appropriately throughout this whole time, so the transition and the burden for us was a lot less than it was for your standard company. When COVID first hit, we did see a dip in business, but we were operating business as usual.
We really try to be on the cutting edge. We are starting to look at migrating towards solar shingles and other solar panels that generate clean energy. We want to do whatever we can to keep a very low environmental impact. But we are limited by what’s in the marketplace right now. We’re currently in some partnerships trying to figure out which solar direction to take. We’re being courted by a couple of companies because of our reputation and what we’re known for.
The biggest challenge for us was managing growth. In our first couple of years in 2010 and 2011, when we saw some big growth, that was hard.
When you get big quickly, you want to make sure that you keep the level of work product. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity ever! And that becomes difficult when there’s so much quantity.
We managed it through a heavy vetting process, making sure that our crews were properly trained, that everyone has gone through the certification classes, and that people are prepared for the roles they take on.
That was difficult, but opportunity doesn’t come by very often. And when it comes by, you want to make sure that you have the ability to execute and that you’re properly prepared.
Partnering with MADSKY
The great thing about MADSKY is that it focuses on the process. So we are much like MADSKY. We are a roofing company with a heart for technology. We really lean on technology like MADSKY to make the processes, our jobs, and our lives easier. And I think that this is the vision of the future. We are looking at what the future looks like, and we’re a few years ahead of what the industry is going to eventually have to migrate to.
And quite frankly, since we partnered up with MADSKY, we’ve been growing. We’ve seen our business increase, our volume grow, we’ve developed friendships and relationships. You guys at MADSKY are always trying to grant us anything we ask of you; you’re always responsive. So we feel like a valued partner.
I love the idea of creating and building. I still go to job sites quite a bit, and I still get the same satisfaction as I did 12 years ago in taking somebody’s old roof off and putting on a new one, and seeing the joy.
I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t feel like I was ultimately helping people. And at the end of the day, I always feel like that.