Pairing business and family is as common as pairing peanut butter and jelly. And when done right, it’s a recipe for success.
Jarrell Signature Inc. was founded in 1994 by Darrell and Tomi Jarrell. Their humble beginnings stem from Darrell’s time working as a handyman and it has since evolved into a contracting company offering general contracting services to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Their primary focus is on new home building, remodeling, and home additions.
“My dad started the company as a handyman,” says daughter and Business Director Bethany Jarrell. “And then, as it grew, he became a builder for different companies. Now we’re primarily a residential remodeling and custom home building business. It’s always been my dad’s passion to be in construction.”
While Jarrell Signature Inc. has been successful over the years, business hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
When it’s not all smooth sailing…
“In 2008, when the big housing market crashed, the only way for most custom home builders to survive was to find another market where they were still willing to spend money on their houses, and that was remodeling,” Bethany says. So, they adapted. “That was how we ended up shifting gears from custom home building to large remodeling projects. People figured the housing market would find a way, somehow, to adjust after the loss. So, people invested in their homes, it was money they could get back out as soon as it became a buyer’s market again.”
Jarrell Signature Inc. has a small staff made up of family.
“There’s five of us,” Bethany says. “It’s all family, and then everybody else is a subcontractor.”
“On the business side of things, because we’re family run, we have to remember that we are family first,” she says. “We don’t talk to each other purely professionally. There is a balance between the professionalism and the personal. But we don’t sacrifice the personal relationship for the business. For instance, I don’t work for my dad, I work with him. We’re a team.”
These family values don’t stay within the confines of the business – they are also extended to clients. Taking a few extra steps to make customers feel cared for has brought tremendous success to Jarrell Signature Inc. over the years.
The “20 minute” factor
“In terms of customer relationships, one of the small things we do that has made a great impact, is that if it can be done in 20 minutes, we just do it,” says Bethany.
What she means by this, is that even if the task is outside the scope of the work they’re assigned to on a particular project – for instance, if it’s something that’s simply a preference that the homeowner has – if it can be done in 20 minutes, they’ll go ahead and do it.
“It buys us a lot of good will with the client,” she says. “And they feel comfortable spending the amount of money with us because we’re taking care of little things along the way.”
“Examples of this include replacing light fixtures in other parts of the house, so that it’s more cohesive with the part that was remodeled,” she says. “Sometimes it’s changing out doorknobs after we’ve changed the hardware in other parts of the home. We’ll change out door knobs in the rest of the house because it looks better for everything to match. Other times it’s things like having a cleaning crew come in during the middle of a project. Even though it’s still going to be a mess, sometimes that extra knockdown of the dust is helpful for the client to feel less like their life is chaotic because we ripped apart their home.”
Taking these small steps to make clients feel cared for, much like a family, is important to Jarrell Signature Inc. And it’s this attention to detail and willingness to do the small things along the way that sets them apart from their competitors.