After years of working behind a desk in the financial industry, Craig Carter was ready for change. Eager to make the leap into the home improvement industry, he decided to start a home painting franchise of his own in Greensboro, North Carolina—his hometown for the past 20 years.
But still, he was hungry for something more—Carter’s true passion was helping owners transform their homes. So, in 2009, he sold his painting franchise and decided to give his existing network of clients an enhanced line of services. This time, he’d serve them as a licensed general contractor.
With that, Carter launched Revolution Fine Kitchen + Baths—a full service remodeling firm offering design services as well as fine cabinetry and installation. Business picked up quickly throughout Greensboro. But still, building his own business from the ground up wasn’t without its challenges.
“Business was great for Revolution Fine Kitchen + Baths, but I knew I eventually wanted to get my hands dirty in much larger renovation projects—things that were beyond kitchens and bathrooms, like home building. But as an independent business owner, we didn’t have the systems and support in place to make that a feasible goal,” Carter said.
That’s when he learned about the great opportunity to become a partner with Alair. Backed by more than 10 years of experience and 82 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, Carter could take advantage of the brand’s proven blueprint and leverage its back office support to take the home remodeling business he had always dreamed of to the next level. So, in the fall of 2016, under the guidance of Duane Johns and Dave Young (Alair regional partners in Charlotte), Carter began the process of transitioning his business to Alair of Greensboro, North Carolina.
“In 10 years, I probably could build up a company of my own with the right systems in place, but I wanted to streamline the process without needing the marketing, project management, software and accounting,” Carter said. “Tapping into a franchise model that has already proven to be successful was a no brainer. There are many other existing remodelers and builders that have transitioned their business to the Alair model—that gave me the confidence to do the same.”
According to Carter, Alair’s Client Control method was the biggest differentiation point—and it ultimately convinced him to invest in the brand. Through a combination of transparency, proprietary design software and unparalleled communication, the brand empowers clients to control each and every stage of the construction process, providing data down to the cost mark-up level that competitors simply choose not to share.
“We have seen the proof that putting the power into the hands of our clients ultimately makes for a stronger brand connection. Those connections are critical, because the reality is: there is pent up demand for housing across the country. Millennials are buying and building much more than people predicted they would. They are not interested in buying a new home that was built with cheap materials and inferior construction. They want quality craftsmanship throughout their new home and Alair brings this experience to them in the most cost effective way possible,” said Rob Cecil, Alair’s chief development officer. “We are also seeing them buying older properties that were well built and are located in desirable neighborhoods and then immediately renovating to their tastes and needs, so that’s providing a huge opportunity for growth in the renovation market. It’s supply and demand, particularly in urban markets, and we are tapping into that massive growth in a way no one else can.”
As Carter continues to work toward the official launch of his Alair business, the brand’s training has made the transition a seamless one. The support from his regional partners, Carter added, has been especially helpful, and knowing they are just a phone call away should any issues come up has been reassuring.
“It’s been such a positive experience with Alair. Being able to be a part of a much larger network—one in which we all have the same goals in mind—has been incredibly exciting,” Carter said.
Now, as a single unit partner with Alair, Carter will be focused on building and renovating homes across the Greensboro community—an area that he believes is moving in a positive direction when it comes to homebuilding and renovation work. Backed by Alair’s unique approach, Carter is confident that he’ll be able to secure leads and take on more projects than ever before.
“My goal is to become known as a trusted provider of great, high-quality and transparent projects for home owners that are looking to build their dream home or take on a large renovation project,” Carter said. “For as long as I can remember, that’s been my dream. And I’m fortunate to have found Alair to help make this a reality.”