Despite entering the industry with no experience, Derek Muelken’s first project was a 2.2 million dollar townhome reroof.
Just a few months earlier, Derek was a corporate salesman at Verizon. Alice, Derek’s wife, had a friend named Andy Oakes, who had started a roofing business and was looking for project managers. In the interview, Andy told Derek all of the reasons why the roofing industry is one of the hardest succeed in. It’s anything but your typical 9 to 5, there are rude people, competition is cut throat, pay is commission based…
Yet, Derek embraced the challenges that lay ahead.
He was drawn to the long term perspective Andy and the rest of the Capital team had. They knew they wouldn’t yield work immediately. But, by making sustainable business practices and building relationships with others in the industry, they would eventually be the top roofing contractors in the state. Andy was hiring the best project managers and crew, investing in the best equipment, and making sure not to over promise results just to score a project. As Derek has grown within the company and industry, these values have remained constant.
Despite his lack of experience, Derek scored a 2.2 million dollar townhome reroof as his first project.
And even with this extremely lucrative project under his belt, it still took 3 years for him to become a recognizable contractor in the metro.
At trade shows, Derek focused less on selling what he and Capital Construction had to offer and listened more to what property managers, HOA presidents, and other contractors were missing. One of the many missing pieces was someone to do the small repairs. There’s little to no money in small repairs, contractors opted for bigger jobs with higher payout. This caused a lack of loyalty between contractors and their clients. Derek started taking on the small jobs and did them well in hopes of as the jobs got bigger, he’d be the one they’d call. That’s exactly what happened. He has formed partnerships and friendships with property managers, HOAs, and contractors across the country.
Thanks to the relationship based work and sustainable growth facilitated by Andy, Derek, and the rest of the Capital team, the business is now expanding to a national level by acquiring holdings in Arizona, Texas, and other states.
“We’ve been able to provide a certain level of service to those in our area. Now, we wish to offer the same level of service at a national level."
Derek, now the Director of Multifamily Operations and the team are relying on the same values they have from the beginning. They’re hiring the right people, like Multifamily Coordinators Josie Flicek, who has extensive experience in the Homeowners Association industry, and Taunee Sellers, who has years of property management experience. He is using the best technology and equipment, like drones and Artificial Intelligence to perform the most efficient and accurate property inspection. And, still will never over promise to secure a job.
After almost 6 years with Capital, he doesn’t see himself leaving anytime soon. While his own success is satisfying, the office culture and shared core values are what keep him coming back to work everyday.
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