Today Ted speaks with Duane Johns, Co-Owner and Regional Partner with Alair Homes and co-host of The Builder Nuggets Podcast alongside Dave Young. The show features award-winning builders and remodelers, as well as business coaches and industry experts across America.

Duane entered the construction industry over 30 years ago working on oceanfront estates in The Hamptons on Long Island, New York. After honing his skills and being involved in all aspects of high end custom construction, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1996 and started a general contracting business with Roger Ketchum and the two achieved success right away, winning industry awards and earning rave reviews from clients. That relationship continues today.

For over three decades, Duane has been dedicated to elevating professionalism in the construction industry. He believes the key ingredients to success are continual learning, strategic planning, collaboration with like minded peers, and the elimination of egos.

Listen in as Duane gives the secrets behind Alair’s success in the homebuilding and renovation industry, and explains the ins-and-outs of the company’s unique franchise model.

Topics Discussed

    • [03:25] Working with Alair Homes
    • [13:43] Running a better contracting business
    • [19:52] Learning from Blair McDaniel, founder of Alair Homes
    • [21:50] Overcoming preconceived notions about the Alair’s franchise model
    • [24:41] The right way to demonstrate transparency as a business
    • [26:29] Staying consistent across all of Alair’s locations
    • [34:52] What’s next for Alair
    • [39:44] The value of working in the trades
    • [45:17] Duane’s biggest fear for the next ten years
    • [50:26] Providing more education on the business side of the building industry
    • [53:32] Lessons learned from working with ultra-wealthy clients
    • [55:08] What Duane is most proud of

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Key Quotes from Episode

  • It’s very easy, as a builder or remodeler, to think that way. In other words, you really start thinking, “I’m a craftsman,” or, “I’m a builder,” when at the end of the day, we’re businesspeople.
  • It doesn’t matter the size of the business or the type of business—the problems are the same.
  • People are very passionate in this industry. I love this industry. It’s a very rewarding industry. But it’s a very fragmented industry. There are a lot of people throwing stuff against the wall trying to figure things out. They might be passionate about the building side or the relationship side; but, when it comes to the behind-the-scenes side, […] I haven’t found a builder yet that likes that stuff.

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