Friday, April 16th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


What honey can't do, they can

by Cristi Sanchez

Tim Adams, owner of Mr. Handyman in Virginia Beach

Tim Adams, owner of Mr. Handyman in Virginia Beach

Owning a home is part of the American Dream. As homebuyers walk into their brand new houses and bask in the warm glow and excitement of attaining their part of the dream, one very important element of homeownership often escapes their attention. Home repairs. It's a natural component of owning a home, and people often find themselves in need of home repairs that they are unable to complete themselves.

Enter Tim Adams, Navy veteran and franchise owner of Mr. Handyman located in Virginia Beach. Mr. Handyman specializes in small home repairs for all of Hampton Roads. "I like to compare the relationship of Mr. Handyman with a customer to that of a doctor with a person or auto mechanic with a car," Tim explains. "We're the fix-it person for homes and businesses."

He then goes on to explain his favorite catchphrase that describes what Mr. Handyman tackles- the "Honey-do list.' "Whatever Honey can't do, Honey won't do, Honey doesn't have time to do, Honey doesn't know how to do, you don't have a Honey or Honey is deployed- those are the jobs we do," Tim says with a chuckle and a twinkle in his eye.

With a focus on small repairs, Mr. Handyman doesn't do large projects like construction, fence installations, or whole house painting. Tim assures customers, however, that no job is too small and he is quick to accommodate. "We'll gladly change the light bulb in a second story foyer that the customer can't reach or put up a light fixture. Those are pretty quick jobs, so since we have to charge in one-hour blocks, we're happy to take care of anything else the homeowner needs that can be done in the time remaining."

From his fleet of company trucks bearing Mr. Handyman's logo and colors to his uniformed technicians, Tim emphasizes nothing less than professionalism and high quality from each and every employee. "Every technician must have good customer interaction skills," Tim explains. "They have to appear neat and be polite, clean up after themselves, and take care of the customer's house so they can't tell we've been in there."

The technicians are obviously doing their jobs well because 35 to 40 percent of Mr. Handyman's business is from satisfied repeat customers. "We're not trying to be the cheapest, we're trying to be the best," Tim states firmly. "We take our jobs very seriously. Our goal is to provide a good repair experience for the client and we focus on pride of workmanship and quality service. In fact, we touch on that every week in our staff meetings."

"Whatever Honey can't do,
Honey won't do,
Honey doesn't have time to do,
Honey doesn't know how to do,
you don't have a Honey
or Honey is deployed-
those are the jobs we do."

 - Tim Adams

One customer was so satisfied with Mr. Handyman's work, it was the only repair company she would use even after she left the area. "We had one lady who was in the Navy and had a stain on her ceiling from an obvious leak." Tim relates. "She'd had three different companies out on three separate occasions. They all thought they'd fixed the problem, but it kept returning because they were only addressing the symptom." But Tim's submarine background taught him to troubleshoot to get to the root of all problems and he trains all of his technicians to do the same.

"We spent a half hour looking and finally found a hole on the side of the house," Tim says. "We fixed it and it never leaked again, and after that she called us for everything." When the loyal customer transferred to another area, Tim took the time to call the franchise owner in her new town and told him to be ready for her calls. "She took his number and called him for everything." Tim states with pride. "In fact, she only uses Mr. Handyman wherever she goes in the U.S.!"

It's that attention to detail and dedication to customers and quality work that has contributed to the rapid growth and huge success of Mr. Handyman, and it has not gone unnoticed. "We're now in the process of becoming a certified franchise training center to train new franchise owners," Tim reveals happily.

Quincy is Mr. Handyman’s new apprentice  mascot.

Quincy is Mr. Handyman’s new apprentice mascot.

The Mr. Handyman national franchise has 145 shop owners. Out of those 145, 90 shops have been in business longer than Tim, whose shop is in the top 20 percentile of the most profitable franchises. "They want us to become a training center because we've proven so successful at it," Tim explains. He attributes that success to following the system, sticking to it, and knowing how to plan for contingencies.

"Follow the system," Tim says with a wry smile. "That's the advice I give to any franchise owner. One thing I learned with my navy background in nuclear subs is that you've got to follow the system. If you don't it could be disastrous. Only deviate from the system after you understand it."

With continued success comes growth, and Tim is in the process of hiring three new technicians. In addition to the technicians, a new team member is coming to the Mr. Handyman franchise combining joy and sorrow.

In December of 2018, Tim's longtime pet and Mr. Handyman's mascot, Rebel, passed away at the age of 13. After mourning the loss, Tim and his wife, Lauren, decided that it was time that Mr. Handyman have a new Chief Security Officer and Chief Fun Officer. They have chosen a new black lab puppy, Quincy,  to fill the large "shoes" and hole in the heart left by Rebel.

"We're really excited to have him," Tim says with a bittersweet smile. "He came on board as our new apprentice the first week of March, and we're getting him acclimated to being the next CSO/CFO of Mr. Handyman. Just like Rebel, Quincy is getting paid in dog biscuits and belly rubs!" Tim adds with a grin.

With all the success and growth of Mr. Handyman, Tim Adams never loses sight of providing customers with good repair experiences and the highest quality home repairs possible. By helping homeowners maintain and repair a piece of their dream, Tim Adams has been able to realize his own dream of growing a successful franchise with a loyal customer base through Mr. Handyman's professional approach, pride in workmanship and dedication to customers.

Mr. Handyman of Virginia Beach

5321 Cleveland Street, Suite #205
Va Beach, VA 23464