Double Your Renovation Manpower
When business is booming, turning away business can be a necessity, but it doesn't have to be if you can find a reliable partner for renovation projects.
JLT Services Inc., a general contractor in Georgia specializing apartments, commercial real estate and condos, had a problem many firms would envy. Brisk business forced Jarryd Prezzano, Vice President of Operations at JLT, to occasionally turn away clients.
As JLT grew, Home Depot has become a trusted partner, supplying it with materials for 25 or 30 projects. In talking with Prezzano, Home Depot Pro Account Rep Graham Downs, a long-time sales rep to the company, saw the problems the lack of labor was causing. “They had actually turned down three jobs because they did not have the crews to bid them,” he says.
Downs made a pitch to JLT: Let Home Depot Renovation Services fill in the labor gaps. With access to 98 percent of the contracting firms in the U.S., identifying and qualifying (through tests and background checks) the strong performers came easy for Home Depot.
Prezzano immediately saw the potential. “Instead of having to turn down a job or risk losing the it by postponing it for three months, I would be able to have Home Depot do it,” Prezzano says. “It allows us to take on projects that we maybe couldn’t handle in house due to a lack of manpower.”
JLT first brought Home Depot Renovation Services aboard earlier this year to renovate 50 apartments (each apartment had four beds), at a once-condemned student housing property in Carrollton, Ga.
“I coordinated the initial proposal, went out there, met with them, showed them what I wanted and from that point on, the only check-in I did was through texting and phone calls,” Prezzano says. “They have a project manager that supervises the crews and checks in with me daily or weekly depending on the type of project. It allows me to be a lot more hands-off so I can focus on the projects that I’m running elsewhere.”
Home Depot renovated the interiors of the student apartments, which included installing all new flooring, appliances, countertops, paint, hardware and lights and tile. It also resurfaced the showers.
“Right now, we are in our busiest season,” Prezzano says. “I don’t know if I could devote the resources to give the big project in Carrolton the attention that it needs because I am so busy with all of our other work.”
The project went so well that its owner hired JLT to do a full amenities upgrade, which Home Depot also completed. “He just had a tiny clubhouse with a leasing office,” Prezzano says. “We went in there, completely revamped it and did an addition. We turned the upstairs into loft-suite apartments and turned the downstairs into a media room, fitness center, and study hall for the students
Now, Prezzano is talking with the same owner about doing a new, ground-up construction project on vacant land that he owns near the student project. “We established a new relationship,” Prezzano says. “It started out as one project, turned into two and now I’m bidding on the third one.”
He could not have established that relationship without the help of Downs and Home Depot.