MR. HANDYMAN OF VIRGINIA BEACH
Helping make those 'honey do' lists disappear
by Kymberly Bach
Franchise owner Tim Adams and 'Chief Fun Officer' Rebel the Labrador standing in front of one of Mr. Handyman's distinctive vans
A"honey do list" can be part of any household's everyday routine. Replacing a blind in the bedroom, repairing a section of fence, changing out a faucet - the list can feel endless. Even for the most gung-ho do-it-yourselfer, sometimes those tasks can become daunting and overwhelming. That's where Tim Adams, owner of Mr. Handyman of Virginia Beach, steps in to help clear those "honey dos" off the list.
Even before he became involved with Mr. Handyman, Tim had a knack for fixing things. He had always enjoyed various tasks around the house and considered himself an extreme do-it-yourselfer. He often made furniture for his own home or helped neighbors with various projects around their homes. When he retired after a long career with the Navy, he wanted to start a business of his own. The Mr. Handyman franchise felt like it was the perfect progression in his professional career. After making their big decision, Tim and his wife, Lauren, visited Mr. Handyman headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan where they signed an agreement with the company and attended training at corporate headquarters.
Having been in business for just over a year now, Tim has already expanded his franchise from only Virginia Beach to now include Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, by meeting the corporate office's strict requirements for expansion in only one year. Tim's belief that Mr. Handyman's success depends on client happiness is evident in how rapidly his business has grown. "Customers have learned they can trust and believe in us to get the job done right," Tim says. "When we do right by them, they do right by us, and that's exactly what we've seen."
Mr. Handyman is prepared to do all of the little jobs a large contracting company won't do. "We'll change a faucet, hang a picture, caulk a window, fix a leaky roof, and everything in between," Tim says. For customers needing larger jobs, such as an entire fence built, Tim refers customers to contractors specializing in larger jobs. "There are some jobs we're just not set up to handle - it wouldn't be cost effective to our customers. In those cases, we have a list of trusted contractors we can refer customers to," he says.
Setting up a job couldn't be easier with Mr. Handyman. "When a customer calls into the office, Karen, our Customer Service Representative, takes the call and receives information about what the project entails. We prefer to give an over-the-phone estimate when possible, because there is a charge to do an on-site quote. With more labor intensive jobs, where an on-site estimate is required, we give a credit back to the customer so no money is lost," Tim assures. "We want to save our customers money, but we won't do a job the cheapest or easiest way because it might not be the right way. Our goals are to do the job right, do it on time, and to maintain a high quality of service."
learned they can trust and believe
in us to get the job done right. When we do
right by them, they do right by us, and that's
exactly what we've seen."
- Tim Adams
Being part of a large franchise means there are other owners out there who Tim considers colleagues, not competitors. They share knowledge with each other via a database - what it takes to do different jobs and other pertinent information.
"Karen uses that database to ask the customer questions about their particular needs," Tim explains. "Of course, we adjust the questions to our region because what it takes to do a job in the northeast or southwest is very different than what needs to be addressed in the Hampton Roads area. We have a starting point and then we adjust as we learn our customers, demographics, atmosphere, weather issues, and the different types of problems we have here. We work hard as a team to make sure everything is done right while exceeding customer expectations.
"We take pride
in getting to know our customers.
Life happens and we want to help. We pay
attention to every detail, before and
after the job is done."
- Tim Adams
"Our uniformed fully insured technicians will arrive on time in a Mr. Handyman marked van. We hire only professional employees who present a professional image and we carefully screen each employee. Right now we have three full time technicians: John, Rick, and Vernon, but we're always looking for more skilled handymen," Tim continues.
Also on staff is Rebel, the Adams' 11 year old, black Labrador Retriever. "He is the resident CFO - Chief Fun Officer," Tim jokes. "He helps ensure that the office stays in a happy frame of mind and he loves playing fetch with his tennis ball. He even accompanies me on trips to the bank. He has an ulterior motive, though - the teller always gives him a treat. Now he expects that from every drive thru, even McDonalds," he laughs.
After scheduling, the technician introduces themselves to the customer. They will go over the work and have the customer show them the job to make sure it can be finished in the time allotted. Sometimes, however, a client has forgotten some significant information or their "honey do" list has grown and the customer wants to keep the technician there all day. That's no problem - once the technician is onsite they stay until the work is completed. Flexibility is key to Mr. Handyman's success and Tim makes every effort to work with his customers. "Of course, more tasks may require a higher payment," he cautions, "but the customer is always asked up front before work is continued.
Just recently, one of the technicians arrived at a home to do what was thought to be only a few hours of tasks. Instead, he ended up staying all day to help the elderly lady complete items on her "honey do list." She eventually called the office to thank Tim for how patient the technician was in helping her.
"We take pride in getting to know our customers. Life happens and we want to help," Tim says. "We pay attention to every detail, before and after the job is done. We want to make sure the place is just as clean when we leave as it was when we arrived. Every technician has a vacuum cleaner and, if needed, will vacuum as the work is being completed. We don't even want the customers to know we were there. Our technicians even wear the surgical booties on their feet - red to match their uniform," he smiles.
Tim is very proud that he can offer a ten percent discount to retired and active duty military. "I'm a veteran myself, so I know how important it is to support veterans," Tim says. "Many of my customers are military or military landlords who have moved away and call to do needed repairs on their rental property."
Giving back in general is very important to the Adams. Currently, they are working with the Make a Wish Foundation to help a local family rebuild their special needs son's bedroom.
"Fall is a busy time of year for everyone, what with preparing for the holiday season," Tim says. "We're here to help lighten that load. No matter how small the job, we can help."
Mr. Handyman of Virginia Beach
5321 Cleveland Street, Suite #205
Va Beach, VA 23464