Joe Wilmot has been an electrician for as long as he can remember, but when the housing market began to crash in 2007, his career was struggling. Meanwhile, Wilmot’s best friend was running a thriving pool service and repair company. In May 2008, with his friend’s help, Wilmot started H2Joe Pool Service & Repair.
“I knew nothing about pools, and my friend was a fantastic mentor,” Wilmot says. “He didn’t baby me but was very patient, and helped me draw my own conclusions and make my own mistakes throughout that first year. I educated myself on the job predominantly; that’s how I like to learn.”
Within the first year, Wilmot realized his service route was too broad, traveling all over the valley in the Phoenix area. It wasn’t until six years later, when he brought on his first employee, that Wilmot found a solution: whittle down the clientele and tighten up the route. He increased local advertising and offered incentives to current local customers. By 2016, Wilmot had 70 clients, all within a five-mile radius.
“The company overhead had never been so low,” he says. “I realized I need to help my fellow pool companies get to this point.” He decided to do something he never thought he would: He sold H2Joe and started the Pool Trader app.
As owner and creator of the app, Wilmot helps fellow pool service companies to buy, sell or even trade accounts to get tighter service routes. The app went live in 2019 and currently has nearly 1,400 users and over 150 active listings across five countries.
“Until now, there has never been one place we can all go to communicate and work with each other like this,” Wilmot says. “Trading accounts was nearly unheard-of, but more companies are looking at this idea and trying to make it happen. In the next few years, I see the pool industry becoming more efficient than it’s ever been.”
Wilmot says one company in Peoria, Arizona, listed 31 pools on his app. Within 15 minutes, the route owners had an inquiry from someone who ended up being the buyer two weeks later. Earlier this year, Wilmot met the owners of the pool company that sold the routes. “They were laughing at how easy it was and how quickly it happened,” he says. “Meanwhile, I’m getting choked up as they tell me the story, because I couldn’t believe that something I created was helping my peers just like I’d hoped. This story is the future of the industry. All companies in the pool industry, not just service, will work together more and more as time goes on. I’m privileged to have even a tiny share in it. I’m certain this new chapter will change the pool industry forever; this is only the beginning.”