Sunshine State expansion continues for the rapidly growing moving and removal franchise, with Fort Lauderdale as the latest location
College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving franchise owners from widely differing business backgrounds are drawn by our multifaceted business model and core values. Others already work in areas that align with moving and junk removal, but they come on board for the same reasons.
New Fort Lauderdale franchise owner Richard Tommer falls into the latter group. A commercial real estate broker, Richard saw the demand for professional, reasonably priced moving and removal services. He found a lot to like in the College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving model and set up shop in November 2015.
What were you doing before College Hunks Hauling Junk?
I’m a commercial real estate broker and have a background in property management. I am familiar with owning my own business and with what goes on around commercial and residential moving and removal. I wanted to add to my business portfolio, but not with just any company. I really like what College Hunks stands for in terms of mentoring young people and making a difference in the community.
I’ll still be doing commercial real estate work, but what I do is very niche: my main clients are automotive properties. I don’t do that full time now, so I look forward to developing a lot of time to getting my College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving venture up and running successfully.
How did you find out about College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving?
I saw Nick and Omar on Shark Tank, and then I’d also seen their commercials — and of course I’d seen the trucks. I knew this was an area I wanted to look into, so I really didn’t explore any other franchises. I like that this is a business that doesn’t carry inventory, that can be light in terms of a commercial footprint. I just want to provide a service, and this certainly does that.
What sets your College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving franchise apart from other independent moving and removal companies?
I have seen a lot of junk removal and moving companies over the years, and what College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving offers in terms of its core values is different from all of them. We do what we say we’ll do. There is honesty and integrity behind every transaction. We recently did a job for a gentleman who said that if we were woodworkers, he would call us master carpenters. The training we provide and the attitude our guys have going into someone’s house and dealing with customers are really special. We treat customers as if they are family.
What do you need to do to be successful in this franchise?
Be ready and able to do some hard work and put in some time. You’re developing a business, and that takes some energy. But there is so much support available to you, and if you live the values that have been set forth, you can succeed.
Who are your main customers?
Right now we are working with a lot of contractors on the commercial side, and with home owners, property managers and brokers on the residential side. We’re really trying to mix it up. We have mostly been doing hauling since we opened, but we’ve just gotten going on the moving side and have a lot of those jobs lined up already,
We are reaching out to a lot of groups so we can grow both sides of the business successfully. We are talking with Realtors, the property managers association and chambers of commerce to grow our commercial business. We are very lucky that our general manager came out of the staffing industry, so he is very well connected with a lot of companies that we can reach out to.
There are a lot of Realtors — and boards of Realtors — around here that we can focus on. We also are doing guerrilla marketing, things like putting out door hangers and advertising in the newspaper. We’ll be launching some social media campaigns, as well; we’re still getting all of that set up.
What does a typical day look like?
I like to start early, get in and look over the book of jobs before my manager and I talk to the teams. Once they’re going, there are office issues to handle, and then hopefully I can get out and do some networking and marketing during the day or early evening. And while the guys are out doing jobs, we follow up with them to make sure they have what they need, and that the customers are being well served. When they come back we round up, recap what went well and what needs work, and then the next day we start it all over again!
What do you like about the business?
There are a lot of pluses. I like the interaction with other franchise owners, for one; everyone has been extremely helpful. I really like talking to clients and getting their feedback. All I ever hear is how great our guys are, how they really are hunks and how they do everything they’re supposed to do and more — who wouldn’t want to spend some time doing that?
In fact, I’ll tell a couple of stories that brag on our team and show what I like about doing this, how we make a difference:
We did a garage clear-out for a couple who’d been living in the same house for 50 years and were going to be moving. When we got done, the wife came out and said that she was going to have a dinner party in there, because she hadn’t seen that floor in 50 years!
Another time, we did a shed removal for a gentleman who was about to be fined by the city. We got it done within the time frame he’d been given, did it with the inspectors standing there and met all their requirements. It’s really great to be able to accomplish something like that, save someone a lot of hassle and have them be so grateful for your work.
Would you recommend this franchise? Why?
I would tell someone that if they’ve thought about this business and it’s something they can picture themselves doing, to go for it. It’s a great system, and the support is great. No two days are alike. You don’t carry it home with you at the end of the day, except to think about ways to grow the business based on what you’ve been learning. It’s a great way to work with young people and mentor them, and to do good work for very appreciative customers.
Learn more about owning a College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving franchise
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