An Interview with CotY Winners - Mitchell Construction Group

Posted by on 26 May 2016 | 0 Comments

TomMitchellIn his youth, Tom Mitchell spent his summers working with his dad.  Early on, he did mostly basement and deck work.  By 1987, he was building his first house.

In talking with the team at Mitchell Construction, it’s clear that they have built their business on two themes – craftsmanship and teamwork.  We started our conversation talking about the CotY Awards.  Year after year, Mitchell’s projects have won local EM NARI CotYs.  And, Mitchell has had repeated success winning national CotY Awards for their work as well.  I walked in hoping they could share the “secret sauce” for their CotY success – but I quickly learned that winning awards isn’t what defines Mitchell’s company.  The awards come because they are firmly rooted in a company culture that fosters excellence.  They believe that “craftsmanship is the key to EVERY part of their entire business process.”

In the early 90’s, Tom decided to focus on remodeling work to build his business.  He absorbed all the information he could about professionalizing the business.  He participated in Remodelers Advantage and knew he wanted his company to an “award winning company.”  Not only would that help him in marketing his business to clients, but he looked at it as a way to build company pride and morale.  He knew his people were excellent – but he wanted them to know that the rest of the industry knew they were excellent too. In 2003 he entered and won his first CotY Award.

Not only does Tom attribute Mitchell’s success to his employees, he is quick to give credit to his clients too.  For him, the relationship is key.  His team works to dig deep to understand what his clients need – and creates unique designs that focus on those elements.  What is seen in the CotY entry is purely a reflection of their needs.

What are Tom’s key pieces of advice for someone entering an awards program for the first time?

  • Have good writing in the narrative.  Tell the story.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the pictures.
    • Have foresight in taking your “before” pictures.  Take more pictures than you think you need – from every possible angle. 
    • It is fine to take before images on the phone – but the “after” pictures must be professionally done.
    • Give your photographer your “before” pictures.
    • Consider the time of day – some amazing pictures are taken at night!

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