The One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning in Ft. Worth, TX, owned by Dustin Hufsey, has experienced significant expansion in the last five years. Going from one location in Ft. Worth, TX, and adding six additional locations took a lot of work.
We sat down with John Whitfield, Vice President of Operations, Tracy Niskanen, Operations Manager, and Derek Feldman, Selling Technician, to see how they’ve made it happen, what has helped their growth, how their new locations in Arizona have increased their Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) sales by about 150%, and how they are able to get back between $50,000 - $120,000 in BuyMax rebates each quarter!
Growing, Growing, Gone
This growing One Hour team has about 150 employees throughout its seven locations. A significant part of their growth and expansion occurred when they acquired their Arizona locations.
Dustin’s parents started the business in 1983 and ran it until 2014 when Dustin took over. When Dustin took over, he began prepping his location and employees for growth by building their infrastructure and hiring the right employees.
Dustin’s explosive growth occurred between 2019 and 2021, as he had the proper infrastructure and staff to acquire multiple locations.
As this One Hour started expanding, they quickly recognized the power the managers from each location they were acquiring could bring to their business. John said, “Bringing on those managers was huge because they have been in the business for years, and that just added to our management team and toolbox. Everyone is really good at different things, and so it just brought more good things to the table for us and helped us generate more revenue by having more training avenues.”
Streamlining Processes Across Locations
As this One Hour acquired new locations, they realized to be the most efficient and to have synergy, they needed to implement the same processes throughout each location. A huge catalyst to their growth was implementing the same culture for everyone.
Each location had a different culture, and the goal was to change that, so each location had the same core values and celebrated the same milestones. This was very important, and the business grew after the culture change happened.
Some things they implemented across all locations were:
- Monthly Celebrations: Instead of waiting until the end of the year to show appreciation to their staff, they would celebrate monthly. If the location hit budget for the month, a party would follow and include raffle items and giveaways to give back to the staff who helped them achieve their goal.
- Character Recognition: As managers, most are looking for issues or problems to fix. This location has the opposite approach. They look for good things that happen and recognize those in front of the whole company. If they see an employee who exemplifies a particular character trait, like availability, they will make it a point to recognize that employee at the monthly celebrations with a certificate.
Tracy said, “I’ve seen this new culture transform the Arizona location where people want to work, and it makes a huge difference.” Each location has noticed an increase in employee retention due to the culture that has been implemented.
Benefits of Selling Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Products
Each location this One Hour owns sells slightly different products, depending on the location and climate. Ft. Worth units are different from the HVAC units in Arizona, which are typically on rooftops. “Luckily, BuyMax has all the product options to make it work across all locations,” John shared.
When Tracy started at the One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning in Mohave County, AZ, they were already selling IAQ products. They typically sell these on just about every install they do, which helps to increase their average ticket size on the sale of new equipment. In fact, when compared to last year, the sales of their UV Light products have increased 165%!
They like including a MicroPower Guard and filter with the installation; their customers love it! Tracy said, “Customers love them. We are constantly reordering filters for the MicroPower Guard and believe our customers truly enjoy them.” They have seen sales on the MicroPower Guard increase by about 140% this year compared to last year.
Take advantage of BuyMax’s consignment program as well. These locations can keep certain products on-site that are on consignment. If they don’t have it on-site, it is harder for techs to sell and offer to homeowners because they don’t know when it will arrive. Knowing it is in their warehouse makes selling the products easier.
The quality of the products is something they love as well. “The quality of the UV lamps exceeds the quality of other manufacturers. You have a product that is better than what the competition is selling and have that edge against the competition; there is no better way to go to market,” John shared.
Invest in Training for Your Technicians on Product and Sales Tactics
Training their techs is another crucial way these locations have ramped up their IAQ sales. John said, “When you sit through training if the trainers can sell the techs on what they do, they can go out and sell the products because they believe in it. The cool thing about BuyMax is I can call them repeatedly, and they will always come out for training. This has been game-changing for us.”
Selling IAQ products to homeowners sometimes takes some out-of-the-box thinking, especially if you are in an area where the HVAC systems are on the customer’s roof and they don’t have easy access to it. Derek likes to take pictures of the inside of the units and then shows the customer what they are potentially breathing in. From there, he talks about how their systems can work more efficiently by adding an IAQ product to help clean the air.
Each location has cross-trained their install techs to show customers the inside of their current HVAC system when they remove it and before replacing it with the new system. They show their customer what has been growing inside their system and recommend adding an IAQ product to their new installation to protect the equipment. This is an excellent opportunity to sell the UV Lights.
Another tactic that helps them sell more IAQ products is offering the homeowners different tiers of products. The basic option may be just the HVAC system, whereas the Deluxe or Optimum package will have some IAQ products tacked on. This gives homeowners the ability to choose the best option for their homes. They generally have a good number of people select the higher tier options with the IAQ products, which helps increase their average ticket size.
Another critical step is to educate the homeowner on the following, so they understand the need for an IAQ product:
- Where does the dust and dirt come from that is inside your unit
- How does it travel from your unit and get into your house
- How do you remove the source of the problem
- How do you kill what is already there
Advice to Other One Hour Locations
Regarding selling IAQ products, Tracy says you should offer training for your technicians. “It definitely helps so they are confident in what they offer homeowners,” Tracy said.
John’s advice is not to reinvent the wheel. John says, “When you go to market with the same products your competitors offer, you compete against price, not value. I love that our products are branded with our name. It is an exclusive product that helps build value for your brand and helps you separate yourself from your competition. This is a huge incentive that many One Hour’s miss out on.”
And to take advantage of the BuyMax rebate programs! These locations can see anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000 in rebates per quarter based on their volume and the season. That is money back to their business and bottom line!