Well-maintained pool builder and service company partnerships pay off
If you’re trying to get by in the pool industry without making friends, well, you must be a newbie…or you don’t like earning new business. That’s right, we said it, but we’re not the only ones.
Kevin Cobabe, president of Dynamic Pool & Spa Construction in Redondo Beach, California, says he realized early on that servicing the pools he built was stretching his company too thin, but it took him awhile to find a service company he trusted.
“I started to pass the startups and service on to a couple of different companies,” Cobabe says. “One company would often point out everything they didn’t like about the pool, making the clients uneasy about their relationship with me. Another company had over 1,000 pools on service, and my clients just got lost in the clutter like cattle.”
Nervous from bad experiences, Cobabe was thrilled to finally find a service company that jives well with his business.
The service company he has been using for the past five years has a great rapport with him and the clients, Cobabe says. “If they see something I overlooked, they bring it to my attention without alarming the client,” he adds, “and always speak very highly of me as a professional pool builder.”
Cobabe says building this trust has been important to his business because it prolongs his relationships with clients.
“I have several clients whose pool I built well over 20 years ago, and I still do work for them because of the trust that is earned not only from my behavior, but also because of the relationship I have with the service company who always prioritizes my clients,” Cobabe says.
Plus, Cobabe says he trusts his current recommended service provider to handle warranty issues seamlessly when they pop up.
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“Having a highly skilled service company that can handle anything that comes their way is a priceless commodity in my business,” Cobabe says.
Drew Nash, vice president of Almar/Jackson Pools in Jupiter, Florida, also forgoes maintenance jobs and works with trusted service companies in his community. “Whenever there is a repair needed for the pool, or when it’s ready for new plaster or tile,” Nash says, “they keep us in the loop and we work together to ensure a long pool lifespan.”
Nash says they have taken great care to only recommend the best service providers to keep their pools pristine.
“Handing the pool off to a highly esteemed professional always helps with peace of mind for the homeowner and also for us as the builder,” Nash says. “Knowing it’s in the hands of an excellent company helps to ensure the plaster and tile last for the long-run.”
Nash says the Almar/Jackson Pools team has had relationships with some service companies for more than 30 years.
“In an ideal relationship, we work as a team [with the service company] to make sure the pool is taken care of every step of the way,” Nash says. “When a repair is needed quickly, we work together to get the pool up and running as soon as possible.”
Just as pool builders or renovators often refer service companies, it also works in reverse. In 1981, Alan Smith started Alan Smith Pools, a pool remodeling and replastering business in Orange, California, solely off referrals from the pool service industry. Smith has completed about 35,000 pool renovations and says at least 60% of them have been referrals through the service industry. He’s always quick to refer others who have done the same for him: “We have a whole list of guys who we recommend, mostly guys who refer us,” he says. “We’ll usually give two or three names to a customer.” Though quality business relationships can take effort and vetting, Smith says it pays off. “It’s a philosophy,” Smith says. “We’ve stuck to it and made a lot of really good friends in the industry. Lifetime friends.”