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Home Business Success Story: Homeowner Referral Service of Michigan, LLC
After more than 30 years in varied administrative jobs, Robbie Meyer of Brownstown, Michigan decided that it was time to go to work for her self. The last position she held was as a credit manager for a company that was in shambles. The job cost her long hours away from home each week and Robbie finally decided that if she was going to work that hard again, it would be for her own business.
But finding a business that suited her interests as well as her lifestyle was no easy task. Robbie and her husband already owned a small building company that demanded some of her time each week. And, in addition to being active in their local church she was also the caretaker for her two children and senior citizen mom. She needed to find a career that would allow her to work from home and still earn a decent living.
After months of searching, Robbie read an article online and immediately recognized her opportunity. The article was about Debra Cohen who had launched a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business in New York as a resource for homeowners seeking pre-screened home improvement contractors. The business concept immediately appealed to her for a number of reasons:
First, operating an HRN would allow Robbie to create a flexible work schedule, which would accommodate her family responsibilities.
Second, Robbie recognized a need in the suburbs of Detroit for this type of service. Through her husband’s remodeling business, she had heard numerous horror stories about homeowners not getting a fair shake from disreputable contractors who were operating without the appropriate credentials. Robbie felt that an HRN would be an ideal way to not only help homeowners in her community but to also assist reputable contractors promote their services and build their businesses.
Finally, the monthly operating costs for the HRN business as outlined in Debra’s program were minimal which meant that it wouldn’t require a large capital investment to get started.
In the summer of 2002 Robbie purchased an HRN Business Package and three months later launched Homeowner Referral Service of Michigan, LLC—the first HRN in the state of Michigan.
Robbie’s HRN has been very well received by both homeowners and contractors. As Robbie explains, “Homeowners are pleased that they do not have to worry about the background of the contractor working in their home and the contractors are very happy to get the work.”
The month following the launch of Homeowner Referral Service of MI, Robbie’s HRN was featured in a local paper and that’s when her business took off. Homeowners from all over Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties were calling Robbie for contractor referrals on jobs big and small. Robbie set to work at locating and screening enough reputable contractors to handle all of the work. And, she succeeded. To date, Homeowner Referral Service of Michigan currently has a stable of 34 contractors ranging from general contractors and painters to landscape designers and electricians. Her network is growing daily yet she is extremely selective about the contractors she will include in her database. This proud business owner even admits that she would rather turn down a job than refer a contractor who she felt wasn’t up to her HRN’s standards.
Robbie landed her first job for a chimney sweep after only one week in operation—a whopping $6.50 commission. Now she is referring jobs with price tags of more than $20,000.00. Her largest job to date is a new home construction project, which is estimated at $375,000.00!
“Things are going very well here and I just love this business! It is very rewarding. I have been blessed with some very good contractors and also grateful and easy-to-work with homeowners. One man just e-mailed me after one of my contractors left his house and thanked me for making his life easier. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
For more information about how to launch an HRN in your area, click here.
Top Ten Misconceptions About Running Your Own Home Referral Network Business