Topic: Brendan Casey knows how to deliver decks and fences, as well as he knows how to deliver advice. In the words of our guest, “Everybody gives a price. Value is what you deliver.” And that’s just one of the many nuggets of wisdom that Brendan laid on the Carey Brothers in this episode of CBP.
Guest: Brendan Casey, Owner of Casey Deck and Fence
3 Points for Success – Brendan Casey:
1. You have to be honest with your clients all the time. Our integrity will carry us through every situation. Good, bad or indifferent. That will make a difference in the end. And people will remember that. And it’s something that they will recommend us for later.
2. Change the narrative from price to value. So many people, you go only appointment and you’re talking and they’re waiting for the price. And that’s probably the job we were never going to get. So we do try to discuss with our clients and filter out the best we can before we ever go on an appointment. What they’re looking for, if they’re a price shopper, we’re probably not going to be a good fit. Those are people that are seeking us out and wanting us for those designs and things like that. And I really think that that that makes of a big difference.
3. Participate in different award programs. You have to be willing to take risks and you have to risk yourself to go out there, leap with your chin and put yourself up and hope for the awards. And also because people love a winner. When you’re winning awards from your governing body of your industry, whether it’s local industry, national industry, like NADRA people see that it automatically validates everything that you’re saying. It makes life so much easier for you to go out and sell that work.
Carey Bros Pros Brendan Casey Edited.mp3
James [00:00:00] So good to have you with us for this. Another episode of CareyBrosPros. Hi, I’m James.
Morris [00:00:06] And I’m Morris. And, you know, as professionals were always looking for ways to give our pro listeners great information that will help them work smarter instead of harder. In this edition, we’re going to talk decks and fences with our guests, Brendan Casey of Casey Deck and Fence.
James [00:00:23] And we recently had the opportunity to be on a panel with Brendan at the annual remodeling show and Deck Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Brendan, welcome to the program. And tell us first a little bit about how long you’ve been in the decking business, a little bit about the history of the Casey Fence and Deck.
Brendan [00:00:47] Okay. Well, thank you for having me. Yes, I tell you what, I’ve been in this industry now for 38 years. I did this work in high school. I put myself through college doing this work and realized one day while I was working and looking for something else to do, that I thought to myself, you know, the owner of the company I’m working for is a pretty successful businessman. And I really enjoyed doing this work. So instead of going and finding something else to do, I decided to hone my craft and pursue a career in this. Twenty one years ago, my wife and I made the decision to start our own business. Greatest decision I ever made. And I’ve never looked back.
Morris [00:01:30] Wow. The deck and fencing business is pretty competitive. What do you find brings the best clients to you?
Brendan [00:01:39] For me and yes, it is extremely competitive. And we recently did a search in our area and within a 50 mile radius of our location, we found there are over 500 names that claim to be deck builders. And I realized one day that I love what I do and I’m going to do it, but I can not compete with 500 people. That just was not going to happen. And I really thought to myself hard about this and realize that you could be looking at the sheep, but you can’t outrun the rest of the herd or you could be the shepherd. So I decided to be like the shepherd. So our biggest thing is to try to be unique and be different and not be one of that herd of 500. We want to stand out to our clientele. So we try to create a unique type of offering for them and design our debts to be different than everybody else, incorporate things into our projects that make us stand out from everybody else. And that’s why over the years we’ve created a rather significant following.
James [00:02:58] Damn you do good work. How do I know? Well, first of all, I’ve had the opportunity to sit on a panel with you and attitude, as far as I’m concerned, is nine tenths of the installed equation. I think attitude dictates everything. It dictates how much energy you put into the installation, how detailed you are, the kind of manpower you hire. And I just got that.
Brendan [00:03:23] You were just reeking of that. I’m at your Web site. And if you’d like to have a look at it, it’s caseyfenceanddeck.com. And you really have created some beautiful, beautiful decks. I mean, these are works of art and the photography that you do is excellent. I would say the most of this is professionally photographed, just beautiful stuff. So this stuff isn’t cheap. I’m going to guess that you probably do something that is a cut above average. I don’t see anything that’s average about what you do. So my sense is that you may have a challenge when it comes to closing a sale because people, of course, are price sensitive. How does price influence the way you deal with your potential customers? And if it is an issue, how do you overcome it?
Brendan [00:04:24] You know, that’s a great question. You know, and price is. Price is something everybody gives a price. Value is what you deliver. We find that we’re going to create an atmosphere of value for a person’s investment. I think part of what makes us good at that. And believe me, it is an uphill battle. Worse, we’re swimming upstream every time we go in to a sale. But I put myself in the shoes of my client and I look at it like I’m also a consumer. So I understand the value of. Every dollar they’re getting ready to spend. And if I can’t paint the picture that the value is there for their investment, then I’m not doing my job. And the reality is that person could take that same investment and invest it in something else and hopefully make money off of that investment. So we have to be able to deliver to them something that is going to maintain its value for that investment or is a failed investment. So when we design it, we really go through a lot of steps to do little things that are going to again, separate it and make it nicer than anybody else. Put a big feature for us. It’s also the structure of the deck. We’re going to overbuild it because we believe that anyone who’s going to build a large deck is going to entertain on that deck. And you want to have that sense of comfort and safety. One of the big things is, as you see from looking at our site.
Morris [00:05:57] Yeah.
Brendan [00:05:58] We don’t build small decks. No. Most of our decks larger. That’s one of the things that separate us from the herd. Everybody’s out there trying to sell the quick and easy 200 square foot, you know, small deck getting get out, but by having those larger, nicer looking decks on there. And thank you for the compliment on the photography. My wife does most of the photographing a bottle of water.
James [00:06:20] Yeah. Awesome.
Brendan [00:06:22] She’s great.
James [00:06:23] By the way. I want to mention that there are no two decks alike here. And more often than not, I would say the majority of your decks have the designs, different color boards and borders and, you know, herringbone patterns and this and that.
Brendan [00:06:39] That is definitely a a feature of ours. That’s a pet peeve of mine. It’s something that I really enjoy doing is one in the 38 years that I’ve been honing my craft. I have never once put a butt joint in a deck. And I know that sounds weird, but we always create unique board patterns to eliminate the butt joints. So everything that we design is is based on a need. So I love the color contrast, the accent, colors and things like that. So once we transitioned into these newer composite materials to cap composites and things, it gives you so many options for trying to be unique and using your imagination. And hopefully that shows in the type of work that we did.
Morris [00:07:28] What about structure? How do you approach structure? I know that you must have some sage advice on that.
Brendan [00:07:35] You know, I do. And I have a very good friend of mine who is at one of the local permit department. So anytime I have question one, I go to them. And that’s one thing that I would say is don’t ever guess if you’re not sure, seek the advice of a professional. It was a big deal for me. One of things I had to learn was I don’t know everything. And the key to being better is, is finding the right people that do know the things that you don’t know. So I’m very quick to go to a structural engineer, sit down with them and have them help me out and design something usually unable to get pretty close with my my structure and design from the years of experience. But having that engineer stamp on my drawings makes all the difference in the world. As a matter of fact, in the Deck Specialist magazine that we all write for ya. I just wrote my most recent article is about that exact thing. Being able to go and get an engineer to sign off on your drawings and override the ability of so many different jurisdictions. We have 25 different jurisdictions in all within 30 to 40 miles of us that have a different opinion on the code book. But once we have a state engineer stamp on our drawing, the book is closed. That’s the final say. So really, my advice on that is it when in doubt, seek the advice of the professional. It’s worked a couple extra dollars up front, then the headache down the road.
James [00:09:07] Why do that when I can give my customer a cheaper price? It costs money to get that stamp. Oh, boy, I can hear you.
Brendan [00:09:13] Yeah.
James [00:09:13] I love that. All right. Listen, Brendan, you know, we sat on that panel and you just threw a piece of sage advice after piece of sage advice to us and the audience there at the Remodeling Show and Deck Expo. So now here at CareyBrosPros, we like to give our pro audience three points for success and we’d like for you to share three of yours.
Brendan [00:09:40] They want my very first point for success is honesty. You have to be honest with your clients all the time. Today, the client and even in the past. But clients understand if you’re not telling them the truth. And so I make it very clear through myself. Everybody in my company. Never tell the client a lie. It will come back to you. So be honest. Our integrity will carry us through every situation. Good, bad or indifferent. That will make a difference in the end. And people will remember that. And it’s something that they will recommend us for later. Another one of the things that I do and already sort of touched upon this is I’m a big believer in changing the narrative from price to value. So many people, you go only appointment and you’re talking and they’re waiting for the price. And that’s probably the job we were never going to get. So we do try to discuss with our our clients and filter out the best we can before we ever go on an appointment. What they’re looking for, if they’re a price shopper, we’re probably not going to be a good fit. Then there’s no sense in us wasting their time or ours and going on the appointment. So we were able to change that narrative and find out who’s looking for the value and then be able to deliver the value that just made our job 100 percent easier. And those are people that are seeking us out and wanting us for those designs and things like that. And I really think that that that makes of a big difference. One other thing that I have found that has been a major key to our success towards participating in different award programs. You have to be willing to take risks and you have to risk yourself to go out there, leap with your chin and put yourself out and hope for the awards. And and that also because winning the awards when people love a winner. I mean, that goes without saying easy to back the winning horse. Things like that. Everybody root for the winning team. So when you’re a winner and you’re winning awards and you’re able to put those awards on your Web site, on your letterhead, on your e mail, things, in your brochures and stuff like that, and people see that they’re hiring a winner and you’re winning awards from your governing body of your industry, whether it’s local industry, national industry, like NADRA people see that it automatically validates everything that you’re saying. So the old pictures worth a thousand words. People see your photo. They see a picture of the award. And it makes life so much easier for you to go out and sell that work.
James [00:12:30] Wow. Great tips.
Morris [00:12:32] Very good tip. Our thanks to Brendan Casey, owner of Casey Fence and Deck. Learn more about him at CaseyFenceandDeck.com.
James [00:12:41] And remember, you’ll find our guest information as well as additional podcasts, videos and articles at our website. It is CareyBrosPros.com