Building Connections: Building Trust, Building Business
Companies that Building Connections represent are dedicated to maintaining high standards and quality in the industry
Building Connections provides innovative business development through the organization's growing customer base.
Networking, cold-calling, emailing, event-hosting, informational lunches and other strategies provide opportunities for member companies to diversify their clientele and bid on new projects. At the same time, Building Connections brings value to property managers of commercial and residential communities by offering high-quality, pre-certified companies for their contracting needs. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.
The companies represented by Building Connections are Professional Plumbing and Design, Florida Southern Roofing and Sheetmetal, Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating, D & D Painting and Restoration, LLC and The Wright Way Emergency Water Removal.
"Building Connections is a great resource," said Ben Wittman, VP of Professional Plumbing and Design. "We know the companies, and more importantly, the people behind them, and can refer each other with confidence. From a social perspective, we do BBQs with them, put together meet-and-greet events and generally have a great time together."
Ben's brother, Matt, president of Professional Plumbing, agreed, adding, "Getting to know the people involved in the other member companies helps them trust you, and vice versa. We also band together to do mutual sponsorships – for example, the Community Associations Institute and others – to give us better bang for our dollars and our charity dollars."
Brian Wallace, president of Florida Southern Roofing and Sheetmetal, has found multiple benefits from his company's affiliation with Building Connections. "The roofing industry goes hand-in-hand with plumbing, HVAC and renovations, especially within the condo market," he noted. "Our connections there are invaluable in terms of referrals. Additionally, it's really nice to have someone to talk to who's experiencing the same frustrations and successes. I knew Allie (Hueter, president and founder of Building Connections), so when we were looking for a new business development person I talked to her about becoming a part of her group. I don't think anybody had tried an independent rep before, but it made total sense to me. It's a trustworthy way of networking with other companies in similar, but not the same, line of work."
Sean McCutcheon, president of Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating, added, "We've really bonded with these guys. The referrals are great, of course, but more important are the business and social connections. We are not competing, we're supporting each other, and that's a good thing. I have total confidence in the companies involved in Building Connections."
He continued, "We are all individual owners, which means greater accountability. Contractors come out of the woodwork then disappear. That doesn't happen with this group of guys who are part of Building Connections. We are tight now and work hard to get the word out. We all have the same goal, and that is quality work at a fair price, while being good community stewards."
While their work is a little more specialized, they have also benefited from the unity of Building Connections. "Just knowing there is someone you can trust to share your thoughts with is very comforting," he said. "They've all gone through the same cycles, and we are here to help each other."
Building Connections was created because Allie Hueter, after working for different companies in the restoration industry, realized she could help more than one company at a time position themselves in the service contracting market. With over 20 years of connections in the condominium and residential communities in southwest Florida, and holding everyone to a high standard, she focused on companies that are in similar fields but not in competition with each other to share contacts and ideas, and to see those ideas through.
Hueter noted, "The companies that Building Connections represents are dedicated to maintaining high standards and quality in the industry. These are companies with heart, diligence, integrity and longevity. They are experts in their fields who are dedicated to the safety and education of our communities. I have been very selective and am extremely proud to market and represent each one of them. Getting this group together can be a task because each business is so busy and the owners are all so involved in the community, but once it is done, there is so much energy in the room – a real "think tank" scenario. All major decisions for the group are decided together. There is a lot of respect for each other and their trades."
The companies are family owned and operated, all give back to the community and are led by men and women committed to representing the best the industry has to offer in terms of customer service, efficiencies, education and value, mixed in with a dash of fun.
Hueter summed up the success of the group by citing "relationships, integrity, trust in fields notoriously challenged and competitive. Building Connections companies will not undercut the industry, will not try to sell something not needed, and are companies doing business to stay in business. 'Family owned and operated' means something to them. As Sean McCutcheon has said, "I have children in this community. I have put my personal name out there."
Each of the companies in Building Connections is a member of Community Associations Institute (CAI) and Ask the Seal, two vital organizations in Florida's construction industry. Building Connections, LLC serves at numerous CAI events and has proven success in connecting and maintaining relationships through this organization. According to Hueter, Ask the Seal is the area's best business-certifying company.