Michael Pinkerton says DreamMaker systems and fellow franchisees help him grow his remodeling business
As a longtime builder and remodeler, Michael Pinkerton knows homebuilding and remodeling like the back of his hand. And thanks in part to the strong growth of the remodeling industry, he started to encounter a good problem: business was growing too fast. He was struggling to keep up. He started looking for a proven system to help him manage the growth, and found the support DreamMaker provides to be the perfect fit for him and his business.
Michael has owned a DreamMaker franchise for six months now in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He bought the existing business from former franchisees who were ready to retire. The married father of six recently shared his story with us.
How did you become aware of DreamMaker?
About two or three years ago, my business was booming out of control, and I was looking for something that would put the right systems in place. I was looking for either education, or some way to make my business better, and that’s when I ran across DreamMaker.
How did joining DreamMaker work? Did you buy the franchise and roll your existing business into it?
Yes, and it was a lot smoother than I thought it was going to be. It’s going really well, and all the employees stayed on, and they’re good folks.
Had you been involved in the remodeling industry before you owned your business?
I’ve been in the industry since I was 12 and working in a lumber yard, and I’ve had my own business since 2001.
My freshman year in high school I took building trades. Each year we’d build a house and I did construction work on the side, and from there on I just stuck with it. It was fun, and I liked it.
Before I started my business, I mostly worked on a crew where we built homes from the ground up. We’d dig the foundation and put the roof on, we’d do the whole thing.
How does remodeling compare to new home construction?
It’s two entirely different realms, because in new construction, everything is new, it’s just next step, next step, next step. With remodeling, you’re in the customer’s home, so that’s a little tricky, and once you tear the old stuff out, you’ve got to figure out how to incorporate the new with the old.
What do you love about the industry itself?
I love it in part because I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s what I know. I love taking something that the customer has that doesn’t make them happy and turning it into something beautiful that they enjoy.
What did you like about DreamMaker? What was it that was so great about them that you decided to join them?
They already have it figured out! All the systems were in place, they had it all ready to go.
Honestly, they’ve exceeded what I expected. There’s a lot in the systems I didn’t know about, even when I had already bought into it. I’ve actually tried to buck the system a couple of times since I came on and realized that’s not a good thing, that it just upsets the whole flow of it.
Six months in, what type of support have you found the most useful?
The support from peers, especially the Next Level Group. The Next Level Group is a group of peers that goes around to different franchisee locations twice a year and critiques them. You go there to help the franchisee with the business and to become a better businessperson and a better person all around. It’s not what I expected; I expected it to be more business-oriented, but what I found out is you become part of a family with them. The people in that group care so much about you and your business that it becomes a tight-knit team that wants to help you and your business perform better. I made friends very fast there because they were so open and welcoming.
What does a Next Level visit involve, and how has participating in it helped you?
We went to a DreamMaker location in Michigan and sat down with the franchisee’s employees, interviewed every single one of them, interviewed him, took a look at his books and took a look at his site, and we critiqued each individual part of the business. We found the strengths and weaknesses in the business and brought them up with him so that he could make improvements.
The group gets you working with people who are in the industry, running their own DreamMaker businesses and doing it well. I can ask them any question I need to, and you don’t get that support when you’re out on your own.