Gavriel Puig, CEO of Houston Remodel Pros drops by to discuss industrial and retail renovations.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: And welcome back to Texas Business Radio, TexasBusinessRadio.com is the website. If you go to the website, you’re going to see the entire show in beautiful high definition video. Go ahead and connect with us on social media while you’re there, as well. Call in your questions. 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. That means call in now, call a later, call in at 3:00 in the morning, 24 hour line. I don’t really have an opinion on it.
We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. We’re going to talk a little bit about remodeling, and with the hurricanes happening in Houston over the last year or so and all of the remodel projects going on, we thought we’d have some experts on here to talk to you a little bit about how that process works. How the economic outlook of that industry is looking right now, because it’s changed completely over the last year.
Gavriel Puig is the CEO of Houston Remodel Pros, is that right?
Gavriel Puig: Houston Remodel Pros. That is correct.
Matt Register: HoustonRemodelPros.com is the website. Gavriel, welcome to the show sir.
Gavriel Puig: Thank you so much for having me to be on air with you guys. And thank you so much again.
Matt Register: Well, tell me about Houston Remodel Pros. What do you do, and who do you do it too?
Gavriel Puig: Okay. So, we are a group of technicians and a group of engineering, architecture, all combined. We’re here in Houston, we work locally, Houston only. We’re known as Houston Remodel Pros. We take ugly projects and turn it into nice and beautiful, part of the new community. Perfect.
Matt Register: We’re talking residential? We’re talking commercial? What part of this market are you guys in?
Gavriel Puig: We do primarily residential and commercial. We love retail. We love retail and industrial. For today, we love to speak a little bit more in detail for your industrial and retail side, and that’s an industry that we love to renovate and invite people, business owners who have a place to be invited.
Matt Register: So you work with guys that are just, say, going in and leasing a new spot and they need to remodel. On the industrial side, you’re talking about a lot of oil and gas and a lot of a pretty big infrastructure?
Gavriel Puig: That is correct. But most people don’t see is the industrial side, during the downturn of the economy, new companies came in, old companies came out, new companies came in. So they are taking over these new leases, these new property leases, and they want to be able to provide something upfront whatever, they invite their customers. So, and there is a huge, huge, huge, number of these properties out there that are focused strictly for industrial owners. So, we are out there providing financing for their projects, inviting them to come into Houston, and helping them get something better for their employees, get a better employee infrastructure, as well as for their guests.
So, we’re helping these industrial projects. And also one good thing, beyond industrial, you have the retail section. Did you know that there is almost like 700 new businesses on every district that are putting their license and looking to set up a new DBA or an LLC? And most of these businesses, we did this study, and I will present it to you sometime later on today, that about 60% of these businesses are looking for a new retail, physical location, a new location somewhere within the Houston area. And most of them, they are looking to bootstrap, even though there’s a lot of help from your SBA programs and different programs, we are out there. We’re inviting them to come to set up their business to start operating. And we’re facilitating that process by providing them in house financing.
Matt Register: Yeah. Got it.
Talk to me about the changes that have happened over the last year or so, because of the hurricane, because of all of the, and, in fact, because of the growth of the Houston area, a lot of contractors, general contractors are having a very hard time with the labor market. They’re having a hard time with the materials market, where materials are going up. How do you guys manage through some of that?
Gavriel Puig: Well, one thing, we decided to be different from every other contractor, is that we’re not only the contractors, we have in house labor. We bring in the people to get trained, individual people. Any normal people out there, if you are out there looking for a job, you’re more than welcome to come into the construction arena where there’s good pay, but we expect results. So we have our own traded school, and we’re doing a lot more different things than another other contractors.
We build all- of our technicians are in house, they are certified, and we have a good system in progress that we believe we’re delivering safety, which is security, having people that you know of, second background check, they must be legal here in-
Matt Register: The United States, yeah.
Gavriel Puig: The United States. So that’s a priority for us. So we’re providing good pricing, good security, great technicians, and a vision where we like to come in, bring out your vision into fruition.
Matt Register: Well that’s a very different business model than a lot of general contractors out here, because most of them, I’ve sold several general contracting builder type companies, and very often, there’s not a whole lot to them. They do a lot of work but everything’s hired out. And when you have a market like we had with Hurricane Harvey, and all of a sudden everybody needs these subcontractors, without real tight relationships with your subs, you have a problem, right?
And you’ve avoided all of that. You have your own. You end up building your own crews, training your own crews, and you have them as employees. So that ends up being a non issue for you guys, right?
Gavriel Puig: That is correct. That’s something that we’re proud of doing, something that makes us different, something that we work as a team. That’s a team generating business, providing technicians with food on the table to their families, and be able to, at the same time, provide a great service.
Matt Register: Sure.
Gavriel Puig: To homeowners and business owners.
Matt Register: Well, and provide a service for folks that need work, as well, right? Because they can come and get a well paying trade job after they go through this training. Interesting stuff.
Gavriel Puig: Absolutely.
Matt Register: How much through the recovery is Houston from Hurricane Harvey? What do you think? Are we mostly recovered?
Gavriel Puig: After the last hurricane, what we are seeing is about a 70% completion in the total restoration.
Matt Register: About 30% left.
Gavriel Puig: About 30% left, and this priority for people, homeowners, businesses in the east side of Houston, the Katy area are still looking to get their foot afloat. They’re waiting for sources and resources to come in and help them with a renovation. A lot of people lost everything. That’s the only property they had.
Matt Register: Sure.
Gavriel Puig: So a lot of businesses were affected as well. I mean, there were businesses with almost five feet of water inside their establishment, restaurants, I’ve seen banks.
Matt Register: Yeah, it was a tremendous amount of devastation, and if they can’t afford to get it repaired, you might be able to help with that.
Gavriel Puig: Absolutely.
Matt Register: That’s absolutely interesting.
Now on the residential side, you guys do residential remodels as well, right?
Gavriel Puig: I love doing residential. Residential is a matter where it’s an opportunity that each individual person should have. I believe if you own a property, you deserve to live in the property of your dreams, whether it’s today or tomorrow.
Matt Register: Sure.
Gavriel Puig: But meanwhile, adding that potential value, increasing that potential value to your residence will have a great effect, a positive effect into our community, and as well as your living. So I love doing something in residential. There is a lot of great neighborhoods, and we cater to all of the neighborhoods. We provide financing options, in house financial with a lot lower interest rate than anybody else out there. And beyond that, we can do many multiple things with the residential project.
Matt Register: Absolutely fascinating. Gavriel Puig, is the owner of HoustonRemodelPros.com. Thank you very much for joining us.
Gavriel Puig: Excellent. And you can find us as 832-460-0974, 832-460-0974. Houston Remodel Pros-
Matt Register: .com. Got it guys. We got to go. We’ll be back.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.