Owned and Operated #61 - Tech Stack in Your Home Service Business

What's In A Stack?
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In this episode of Owned and Operated, join hosts John Wilson and Jack Carr as they discuss the home service business tech stack, which includes software for EOS, bidding, and the overwhelming presence of  Service Titan. Drawing from their own experiences, they share insights about various CRM systems, with a particular emphasis on ServiceTitan. The discussion underscores the significance of streamlining your tech stack and the undeniable advantages of adopting a flat-rate pricing system.

Episode Hosts: 🎤

John Wilson: @WilsonCompanies on Twitter
Jack Carr: @TheHVACJack on Twitter

Special thanks to our sponsor: Service Scalers: 📈

Looking to scale your home service business? Service Scalers is a digital marketing agency that drives success in PPC and LSA.
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Owned and Operated Episode 60 Transcript

 I'm John Wilson. Welcome to Owned and Operated. Twice a week, we talk about home service businesses, and if you're a home service entrepreneur, then this is going to be the show for you. We talk about our own business in residential plumbing, HVAC, and electric, and we also talk about business models that we just find interesting.

Let's get into it.

 Alright, thanks for tuning in to Own and Operated. Uh, today, Jack and I have a listener submitter submitted question about bidding software and how to price it and how we think about that. So, we dive into a couple different softwares that home service companies use. We do spend a lot of time talking about ServiceTitan, because that is what both Jack and I, uh, use, and we think is the ultimate destination for home service companies.

Not sponsored, uh, genuinely. It's just a good software . Uh, but check out the episode. It's a good one. We do, we do a pretty good dive.

 Hey, today's episode is brought by Service Scalers. So Service Scalers is a home service marketing agency. And what they do is they help home service companies like me, like you, like Jack, drive leads in an affordable rate and at scale. So they've run two of our brands for a little bit over a year now, and they're doing an awesome job.

Uh, so we're really excited to partner with them because we know that we've been really happy with what they've done for us.

 Dude, how's your week? Hey, John, how you doing, man?

The week's been good, though. We, uh... Yeah, how was plumbing? There's been some plumbing has, uh, it's slowed like you suggested. Um, but we've moved pretty much into full maintenances.

So every single person that's coming in is getting maintenance, maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. So the plumber's been busy. Um, we're seeing how he fits in, in kind of the rotation of being able to flip. Um, and sell kind of higher  ticket items. Um, but so it's been good.

And yourself? Um, yeah. Good week. Uh, I was on vacation last week. That was a lot of fun, uh, down the Caribbean. And then, um, yeah, you chugged a, like a pot of coffee. Len I've missed our recording last week. That was funny.

Um, and then we're, we're like, And I'm, I'm especially thinking about this right now, because we're, uh, I think I've been told you were in heavy recruiting mode, right? So, um... So I, like every day I, I personally have about five interviews, uh, sometimes more and it's been like that for weeks and, uh, today, like when you meet these people that are like, Oh my gosh, this is a needle moving person.

It just like it juices you up. Um, so today we had, we had a needle mover come in, uh, and those are, yeah, those are fun. Those are fun offers to write because it's like. You, you write these offers that are like, Hey, this is a risk. Like, this is like, I'm taking a real tangible risk on this individual because I think they can move the needle.

Um, but yeah, there's, it's kind of like closing a deal. It's closing a deal. It's, it's like, uh, recruiting for the MBA or something. You feel like you're getting this rockstar to come in. And, uh, so, so yeah, so we're really excited. So, um. We've been interviewing hardcore and like we're getting better and better and the candidates are getting better and better So like we're starting to see Like every day it's relatively normal now to find million dollar plumbers and million dollar electricians like every day That's that is becoming normalized.

That's a normal thing for me now like I've talked today. I talked to a four million dollar salesperson in HVAC and that's we're excited about that tomorrow I talked to a three and a half million dollar salesperson in HVAC Monday. I talked to a million dollar electrician And Tuesday I talked to a 900, 000 electrician.

And how are you, how are you driving this, this kind of recruiting traffic, right? Cause we, we've talked about this before. There's, there's your demand side of the revenue generation, right? You have to give those guys the leads that they need to actually perform that. But then you still need that rockstar.

How are you driving, getting those rockstars?

So we, uh, it's, uh, we like, We expanded how much we interview. We hired a second recruiter, and we made it like a real part of our business. So the recruitment went, became a commissioned sales role. So now, like, they're, they're incentivized and they're commissioned to get people in the door.

There's two of them. Uh, we might even get a third in the next couple months. And their whole job is to, like, load down the schedule with interviews. Like, we're expecting 25 interviews a week. Out of those 25 interviews a week, like, we're probably only gonna hire 3 5. But those 3 5, like, because we're seeing so much volume of candidates, those 3 5 are gonna be the best 3 5 that is out there for that given role.

So, like, each week, every Monday at 9am, I sit down with recruitment. Here's the focus of the week. This week was HVAC service  

and ISRs and an install manager. So like go out, get those, get those roles done. We're going to push as hard as we can on getting those roles done. Um, and then they just, yeah, load, chase it down, load down the schedule.

Gosh, that's awesome. It's crazy. That's so exciting. It's crazy.

Yeah. I mean, it, it feels like that, that feeling when you hire someone really good, feels so good. Oh, yeah. Too, it's almost like a little rush. Yeah. Um, to get someone good inside the door who, you know, is just gonna act like, like you said, move the needle.

Move the needle.

Yeah. So, yeah.

Uh, that's fun. Yeah. We're, we're, we're doing the same, so we're looking for, uh, service manager for Yeah. That, that, uh, one or the deal that we're doing that's about 60 miles away. Sure. So we're looking for someone 'cause we wanna be. A step ahead and we walk in the door having someone that can help do that transition right out the gate.

Yeah Um, so we we have some pretty good candidates that come in just indeed though We're not we're not driving 25 or uh interviews a week, but still we got five or six Which well most

of those 25 ex business owners Most of that 25 is indeed right now. Like we're adding more stuff to it. We're adding like counter days We're adding all this other stuff, but those 25 are indeed Or a lot of referrals.

The market's changed Yeah. Yeah, markets

changed. Refuels are always my favorite. The markets changed, the labor markets changed, but like February of last year, you could not get anybody even to get in the door. Totally. And now, you're getting actual people who are driving traffic, so. Yeah,

and what we're finding is like, we're getting a lot of like private equity dropouts.

Like, like very high performers that were in a business that got acquired and they absolutely hate it. And these guys are like freaking rock stars. Like. Yeah. Like the, yeah, the four million dollar comfort advisor. We've gotten several of them that were in businesses that were acquired and they hate the acquirer.

It's just been a bad fit for me. So, uh, we're seeing that a lot, and we're seeing a lot of layoffs. Like, this, or, or companies can't keep their guys busy. So like, I talked to a million dollar electrician. So that's what we're seeing. Yeah, I talked to a million dollar electrician yesterday. Like a million dollar electrician.

If, if there was anybody I would be keeping busy, it's that guy.

Right? It's the one guy that's actually driving.

Yeah, like this guy's driving all their value. And I know this company. They only have like two electricians, and I bet the other one's not. Um, and he's getting 20 hours a week. So, we're seeing a ton of that, where they, these companies like, uh, they're just not keeping their guys busy.

So, you know, they're looking like crazy. But yeah, right now, like if you're growing, and if you're building, and if you're doing all the right stuff, if you're driving leads. Like, there are some rock stars out there that aren't getting hours at their current workplace, and it's a good, it's like a good moment.

I've never had a recruiting environment like this before.

Yeah. No, I'd agree. We've seen the same exact thing. It's, it's one is the, the, the service manager we're looking for. Yep. And the ones that we've been seeing are certain franchises who have gone in, brought out a company. Sure, sure. Laid off the old owner.

Yeah. So they know how to run businesses, which is a good, good, uh, starting point, but where we have a series of interviews this week, and then what we have also have seen is people just not been able to keep their employees business. Totally.

So, yeah. Um, it's been tough. Yeah. It's been wild. Yeah.

All right, today we're talking, uh, this was a user or like a listener generated topic with softwares.

Yeah, and so we think that there's some value in going through just kind of tech stack. Just average, and this goes across, I mean, obviously we have Experience in service spaces like plumbing, HVC, electrical, but I know that you can use these for other services as well. Roofing, siding, the whole nine. So I've heard of people using these all the time.

So I mean the most obvious place to start and I don't know if you'd agree is probably your CRM system. Yep. Let's do it. So we, we know the, we know the big one and we've already talked that we are on differing sides of this. So the, the, the CRM system is going to be how you dispatch, how you manage it. Um, how you manage your client list, everything like that.

So there's a third party apps that carry it. So QuickBooks has it, square has it. Mm-Hmm. built internally into their kind of payment processing systems. Um, you have field piece pro, uh,

house call and ServiceTitan. Jobber house call's a big one. Jobber. Yeah. People, people seem to really get into jobber and House call as like viable options per jobber.

Yeah, we started off with Razor Sync, which was just kind of a very small one, but did an alright job. So where did you start, is kind of a great question.

Yeah, so, um, like 10 years ago, We didn't have a CRM, that wasn't really a thing, like, I bet I could find pictures. We used to use a whiteboard up on the wall.

Uh, like, I sound like such a boomer, but like, like, I came Did you fax people too? Yes, we did. We actually did. And we had um, yeah, so like, I'll walk you through our tech stack. So like, what would happen is you walk through the front door, and there was one call taker. And like, across the ca across from the call taker would be a, a whiteboard.

That was written, like the technician, the name, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, whatever, and then the tech on the left side, and it was color coded, uh, in dry erase marker, for, uh, like what type of work it was, so AC work, plumbing work, heating work, um, I've come such a far way. Yeah, yeah, and like that was it. I actually held my first State of the Wilson Uh, in front of that back in 2016.

Which was like, we had like 7 or 8 people, and it was like Hey, we're gonna go paperless, and here's how we're gonna do it. Uh, and I have a picture of that from, yeah, like a long time ago. But, so yeah, we had that, we had a fax machine right next to it, and then right next to that we had a three, a three dot matrix printer, where it printed out on like white Yellow and red paper and that was the physical work order that you take to the job You'd write it up by hand.

You'd go fill out your paper time cards

And so which one was your first though? So yeah Just did you go straight into service Titan or did you pick a you know kind of bounce around for a little bit at?

It so it was so long ago there I feel like there was one other one called CS2 But I think that was just pricing. I don't think we actually used that to like dispatch or anything. So I think we went straight in um Straight in that's wild. Oh my

gosh, that must have been nice though. I mean that that kind of conversion straight Yeah, yeah and like right out the gate I, you know, I, they at least give you legacy pricing, like the grant grandfather, even the cheaper pricing.

So, I mean, the one, the one downside to service Titan from somebody who's just switched is the price. I mean, you pay rather than a flat rate fee or a monthly fee that some of these other companies charge you service time charges you per. Managed tech. Yeah. So what that means is every tech you get you have to pay three four hundred bucks per month And it adds up quickly however, the value that it drives on the back end is That's amazing.

They're just data tracking, um, true CRM and being able to, to manage employees and how they're going. You know, I've never used job or I haven't used any other ones, um, other than razor sink. But the, the, the switch from a kind of mediocre low level, um, but cheap to service Titan. I mean it was night and day.

Um, though I do miss the low cost of, um, you know, I think we're paying 2, 400 bucks a year with, with razors. Yeah. And, and we're probably getting up to 2,400 bucks every other month. Yeah. Um, on ServiceTitan. So a hundred percent. That's, that's the

true downside. A hundred percent. And I think, um, anytime I like, I think, we'll, I think we'll talk about the other ones.

Uh, we're ServiceTitan user, so we've been on ServiceTitan since 2017, so that probably was the very first one that we went on. Mm-Hmm. , um. And, uh, we left Service Titan back in 2019 for about six months and came back because, like, we moved to Field Edge, which was really rough at the time, uh, and it was cheaper.

We did it for cost. Which was not the right reason. Um, and I've dealt with a lot of other CRMs because we bought all these companies at this point. And only two of them have been on ServiceTitan. Of the seven companies that we've acquired. And the other, or of the nine companies we've acquired. And the other seven have been on something else.

So, uh, we, we see a lot of smart service. Um, which is like a very old CR, CRM. I don't even know from when, um, we see a lot of that. Uh, I think tough to use. We did our first house call pro one, not that long ago. House call pro is actually kind of cool. It had a bunch of really cool stuff. Um, that service Titan doesn't have, and it was, I think it was meant to be very user friendly.

Uh, so Housecall, we can, I think we can spend a lot of time on Housecall Pro and Jabber. I haven't personally used Jabber, but I've, I've heard a lot of good things. But, so, I've also heard a lot of good things. Yeah, so, Housecall Pro is a home service, uh, software. So, it's the same, it's the same basic concept as Service Titan.

And what you end up... But sort of trading off as you, uh, drop pricing is capability, right? So like, there's going to be something that it cannot do. All of these CRMs do, like, let's say the five most important things. Like, they give you a job board, they give you pricing, they let you track your customers, they sync up your phone calls, and they let you do payments.

Like the five most important things that run your business day to day. Any software in the, in the field trades is, is gonna do those things for you. Um, what you, what you get, the bigger you get is data. Like more and more data. Like more robust reporting. Um,

Yeah, and just to, to touch on that. So I think when we were using RazorSync, we had Razor sync.

We had get earth for quoting. We had like six different softwares that we were using individually, which, you know, service Titan does all of them. Single singularly. So we didn't have to like jump between. This nightmare of, um, a smorgasbord of apps, um, and then on top of it, I would run like three or four Excel spreadsheets to track certain items and then have to pull reports and then modify those reports in a macro.

And it was a nightmare. Service Titan just does it all for you, which has been really nice. So for example, um, commissions, right? So commissions, service Titan handles your commissions for you. It handles your, your, you know, time cards for you. That wasn't the case in Razor Sync. So you do get a cost benefit analysis of switching over to that if, if you actually use it.

But the one thing I will say about service Titan is you need to have, it's like a new phone. You need to put all the data in there. You need to set it up and it takes time, but once it's there, it's like it. It has all the capabilities. Yeah, you just have to get to that

point. Yeah, and I think it's a big I think you just sort of if you didn't say it you were like right up against it.

It's a big software So the way we use service titan is probably very different from how you use service titan Because we have like there's more people so it's sort of like the bigger the team the more robustly you can use it And we're not even using it. We're probably a power user Uh, but we're not using some of the capabilities that they have because we have not built out that infrastructure inside our business.

But the nice thing is, when you do go to build out that infrastructure, there's something waiting for you. And that was one of the things that I've struggled with. Um, we tried to use Housecall Pro in an acquisition earlier this year, and I think it's a really great solution for like a one to three million dollar business, but the moment you need more, it's really tough.

Like, I couldn't get reporting. Like, I, I literally could not get it. I couldn't figure out how to do it. I called tech support. They wouldn't, like, I couldn't just get a clean revenue report by invoice type or by anything other than like, here's total dollars. Um, and like, that's not a very complicated in my mind.

That's not a very complicated need, uh, of just like, Hey, how many water heaters did I put in? Right? Or how many panels did I install?

Uh, Yeah, and so, that's where the tricky part comes in though, right? Is you have to have, you have to set it up to have all those individual job types, and all those individual business units, and all those individuals so that you can start pulling those reports.

And so, from what I've seen on the other softwares, they just don't have it. They have a, just a gross and that's it. Um, which once again, like you said, one to three is not bad. Uh, you, you know, you're not, you might look at that. You could pull the spreadsheet, you could search water heaters, you could, you know, extrapolate that out or, or take that out and do it all in Excel.

But the, the speed at which you need to do that as you grow, cause you don't have the time to start building your own macros every, every Tuesday. Um, You know, it's, it's cheaper just to go in and buy the software.

Yeah, so a lot of the, I get asked that question all the time of, Hey, how quick should we get on to service Titan? And my main feedback. On that is like why would you want to switch twice? And and most people are like hey the price like it's really expensive and i'm like absolutely but Like, what else is expensive, right?

So, like, to me, we see Service Titan as the same as like, Hey, I onboarded a technician and I have to give him a truck. This is the same problem. Like, that's a 500, 800 payment, whatever it is. Service Titan's a 200 to 300 payment. Like, whatever it is per user. So, that's how we see it. And, from my perspective, the cost on a one man or two man show is the same cost per person that I have.

In an 80 truck operation, which is like if you're driving the appropriate revenue per tech And if you're driving the appropriate gross margin per tech You should be calculating that in the same way You'd be calculating in a truck payment or a fuel or anything else that you do on a per individual basis Because I don't like there is a very real cost In time and focus of switching CRMs.

And trying to save, like, ten grand over the course of two years, so you can get a cheaper CRM, to me, is just like... We're missing the

forest through the track. Yeah, no, I, I see it. My, my thought is always, um, my thought on it's always you're getting so much less value, right? So the value proposition from ServiceTitan is that when you have 80 employees, you can run a quick report and get that average order value.

Yeah. Average. You can get all the data, right. When you have two employees, you, you know what? It's right. It's you and two other guys who meet every morning in your garage, right?

Yeah, I think you're missing the compounding though, of like what you build, like at this point, like, yeah, we pay a lot of money for service Titan, but also the amount of money that we have put into service Titan, like in real direct dollars in systems that we built out in workflows that we built out in processes that we've designed inside and using service Titan.

Those are completely different on any other software. And if you have to remake those every time you switch so you can save a few dollars, you're spending way more than you would have just spent on the software. Like, how you handle, I mean, dispatch is totally different, how you train on it is totally different, so you have to design new training programs, how you pick up the phone is different, scripting, notes, job booking, like, everything is different, so having to, like, restart the cycle of training is different.

Is just like, distracting the team. I was thinking about this with um, Chris Hoffman. They were not on Service Titan. I don't remember what they were using, but they just switched over to Service Titan. And I'm trying to imagine, switching at his level, like, they have millions of dollars of labor, probably into building out systems, for their previous...

Software which is crazy to me and like we're probably not very far off pretty soon

You know, it's one of those questions of how much value and how much is that worth early on?

My curiosity right is it's always such a difficult Choice in the in the early stages of when you have limited capital what you want to spend it on And that ten thousand dollars, I mean makes a huge difference Um, and so I don't know You know, I don't know what the answer is.

I don't think that it's wrong to start off with something else. Um, especially one of these really great softwares. I mean, I've seen, you know, recently 1. 6, 2. 1, you know, 2. 3 million dollar companies that are running off of QuickBooks pro with their QuickBooks CRM system. So I mean it's possible to get to that point and the switch there isn't that hard.

But you do have a good, I mean, you don't have a good counterpoint that is it better to at some point when you can afford that or when you're on the virtue of being able to afford that you do take that that leap because you can only get so big on those. Um, at least I'll call them tier tier D CRMs. And then it really does start to cause you pain.

And then when you do switch, it does cost you money. So, I mean, Yeah.

Yeah, and it costs you a lot more than just like direct dollars. So I, I liked, uh, something that we've really tried to focus on and I've done it wrong plenty of times is like, what is the best thing? Like, it's a begin with the end in mind.

Like, where am I going to be? So, um, if I'm, if, if I'm, if you're going to be a big business, then the, you're Titan. Like, that's the only current viable option above a certain point. In, uh, in the trades. So like, why not just start there? No, I, I'll agree

with that. If you have any aspirations for growth, you should be switching to service Titan.

Um, if you are, you know, one to three, I think that that's kind of the key. Under one, if you're just trying to get your feet off the ground, you don't want to drop, yeah, that 10, 000. Um, I mean, I don't think it's that hard to switch at one. You're, you're, you don't really have that much. You're not pulling all that data.

Um, and then. Really, you're getting into a flow because I mean, I saw two guys, two guys in the van produce 1. 6 last year on, on, like I said, just QuickBooks. So, I mean, hustling, hustling. That's amazing. But, uh, you know, they did it and their wife stands for the phone and, and the wife is, the other wife is a bookkeeper.

So, I mean, there's ways to get there. But at that stage, if they wanted to get to the next level, start hiring people, get a dispatcher, do that whole, you know, the really, the The growth plan then because they were maxed out. They're not going to get any bigger. They just don't have time right to you guys can only do so much Yeah, so

so that's yes.

See around. So what else you using tech stack? Yeah, what else you using besides

that question? I came in was specifically around How do you quote right? How are you quoting? So yeah, okay Titan has its own quoting system That's what we were using for a while. We were using get hurt Um, which is a, I liked her earth was a great, I don't know if I'm saying that right either, but I think it is, um, it's, it's a kind of a broker for banks.

And so what it does is it allows you to prequalify people, allows you to send them a quote, um, and then it shops it out to like 30 banks or something. So it was a great little piece of software. You know, I,

okay. Yeah. I'm like Googling it right now. Okay. This is, I've never heard. It like

shops that information out to banks that you give them.

And so. It was kind of great. I mean, we, and then it lets the customer pick which one they want, what APR, what blah, blah, blah. So we didn't have to, you know, do any kind of finance percentage. There wasn't any points we had to pay on our end. Um, the banks just covered all interesting. And it also has a great quoting side, which is what we used for a long time.

The one downside, which if anyone from hearth is listening is you didn't have the ability to add additional. Optional quotes, right? And so the theory that I believe it has helped us So john and I were talking about this. We went from when we're using hearth about an eight to nine thousand. I think we're in 9100 Average, um, order value on new units.

Um, now we're up to 11, 11 and change. The thing is 11, 800 last time I looked. And so when you give the customer, I guess the philosophy behind it is if you don't offer, it's always a no. Right. And so the customer comes and says, Hey, I want a new unit, whatever. Give me the price. And you give them the base price.

When you give them the base price, you never give them the opportunity to have the option to go with a CR 16 or CR 17 or an inverter or any other options or, or IQ or duck cleaning or whatever. And so, When you do that switch, um, to a different software. So we moved to price book plus, uh, which has been a great software.

And I'll, I'll screen share in a second. Um, you, it's very easy. This, the CA, the CA or we call them a project manager. She is able to build a quote in less than 10 minutes. That is actually five quotes and then presents that to the customer. They get five different quotes on, you know, five options. And what we find is people generally don't like to pick the cheapest.

They pick somewhere in the middle, maybe the second one or the third one, which drives up average order value. Let me share that for anyone watching.

  📍 Yeah. Yeah. And why are, why are you pulling it up? I think, uh, like I said earlier, Any, any CRM is going to have some type of, uh, like, well, maybe not any, but Housecall Pro, Jobber, Service Titan, they're all going to have some type of price book built into it that lets you quote stuff really quick.

Because, I don't, we've never done an episode on pricing, but, like, flat rate pricing is the only way to go. Like, so, you have to have a book, it has to be two to three hundred items long, you have to be able to quickly present price, you have to be able to present price on the spot to the homeowner, complete the job, get paid.

That's how the model works. That's how the

model needs to work. So, by the way, I'm not getting any money from Pricebook Plus. I'm just, I really like the, the stuff.

They're just a data company.

So they, they partner with York, they partner with, uh, Ferguson. Yeah. And so they keep all the pricing on the back end of whatever... Price that we get from, from York, they see that data and they populate it. So we don't actually have to build. We just, let's say, Hey, what are, what are they wanting? And then they kind of build the rest of that around our, um, our preconceived, um, data.

That we want to put in so like, can you see my screen?

What does Pricebook Pro? Yeah, I can. What does Pricebook Pro cost? Uh, so

we work with M& A Supply here in Nashville. They're, they're a smaller family owned company. They have a, some kind of deal with Pricebook Plus that we got the first year free. I think it cost us though, I want to say like three, four thousand bucks and it was all cover.

So I, I know that they have these deals with, um, different, uh, supply warehouses. Uh, that you can go in and you can say, Hey, can you use some of my, either my co op money or whatever and put it towards this and they will, so it was free for the first year, but it costs us, I think 2, 800 next year or something like that.

But yeah, you can see, um,

2, 800 a year, what is that per

user? We don't, we have one user. I mean, we just have a general, I don't know if I'm going to get in trouble for saying that, but yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm guessing maybe if you have more CA, I think it wasn't, we didn't pay more per user. You pay more per line.

So we are selling York through this. We also sell train and Goodman. Um, if we wanted to have Goodman in here and we wanted to have Train in here, it was 28, 28, 28.

Cause it's right there. Yeah, I was talking to someone else today about truck replenishment and they talked about how, well maybe that's different from Pricebook Pro.

Is Pricebook Pro the same as Pricebook Plus? I I don't, I don't know. Okay. Okay. So they were talking about how price book pro helped with like truck. I thought price book pro was

what a service titan offered. Is that not it? Oh, so this isn't service titan. No, this is a third party, the API in the service titan.

Oh, okay. And so when you book jobs through here, like it, it goes in there, but yeah, you can, I'm going to stop screen sharing in a second, but you can see it does good, better, best premium. And so a lot of times we get, you know, we offer a good and someone picks a better, right? And then you, you see that price jump up.

You can, Oh, there's even a basic in here too. So even the price between basic and, you know, better is 4, 000. Uh, it gives it also APIs with our, um, uh, financing with it, whether it's Wells Fargo, Synchrony, whoever you use, and then you can put plans in there and it automatically shows the customer their monthly cost if they were to finance it.

So there's a bunch of stuff that like that you can do. You can add, you know, if it's an upstairs unit, you can add fees for that so that it's really streamlined. You see there's accessories, none are selected, but you can put accessories, you can put duck cleanings, you can put whatever you want in here. Um, and it makes it really easy to change on the fly.

So, um, that's been, that's been huge for us. I mean, 2, 000 on an average order ticket is, um, I mean, it's a big deal.

Yeah. Yeah, that's huge. How Why not put that into your crm as like just a part? We

tried the the service titan and maybe we tried it incorrectly Um, but we we had to go in and we had to build individual quotes So we'd have to build five quotes in service titan.

Um, and that just took so long Whereas that you put in one One set of data that you're looking for and it builds those five out instantly for you Yeah, so it was really quick Um, and so like you said the key to that is when you're sitting in front of a customer's house You know, you don't want them waiting three four six hours to get five quotes.

Yeah, plus it's all really easy They can pick they can sign. I mean it takes away all the friction. So I mean it's been huge for us I'd highly recommend them but You know, it wasn't something that we were able to really do until we got to a point where once again we were using ServiceTitan and we had the ability to, um, take the time to go put in the data so that on the back end it populated correctly.

What are you guys using?

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, so we just use ServiceTitan. So, uh, we did try an external price book last year for HVAC and I don't remember the name. But it was like, it was very similar to this. So it was meant to be simpler, it was meant to be whatever. Our previous HVAC service manager was really passionate about implementing it, um, because he had used it as a comfort advisor at a previous HVAC company.

But, it was a mess, and it was unnec like, it was unnecessary. So, we, we had put in all this time into trying to, trying to figure it out, and it's like, really, we just... In our, in our position, and yours, uh, is likely different, but like, in ours it was just like, all we actually had to do was learn how to use service type embedding.

And so I, I truly

do wonder if that's what we have to do. If this is an unnecessary, like if you can build a form or a template or something where you can just slap it in and go.

You can build a template to do, yeah, you can build a template to do what you're describing. That's what we do. Uh, I don't know how other CRMs work, if you can templatize the price book.

You know, honestly, I think, don't overthink it. Like, a printed paper price book is still good. Like, we have, we still have printed paper price books out right now. Um, like that's a part of our presentation. So... I think, I think the main thing, the question that was asked was like, hey, what's the tech stack, what's your bidding software, but like, I think that's probably the wrong question, and the question is like, what's your pricing strategy, what's your pricing philosophy, is it flat rate, like, a bidding software is just how you do the math.

And like, that can be in Excel, that can be in, that can be in anything. I think the much more important thing that you need to dial down is how are we actually pricing? Um, and how are we going to present that price? And it can be on paper, for as far as anybody cares. That's, that's much more important to me than like, what tech stack are you using to present it.


I mean, I thought it was more so what, let me, I mean, we could probably pull it up. I don't, I don't remember the specific verbiage.

Yeah, I don't think it matters. I think we covered probably the important stuff. Um, so, I hope that helped a little bit. So, ServiceTitan, Housecall Pro, Jobber, all good options.

Um, most, every company out there that is large, I'd say like above 5 million, has moved or is moving over to ServiceTitan, just because there's not really another good option out there. Um, and ServiceTitan will cover pretty much every industry out there. You can go on their website, check it out. But they cover roofing, they cover commercial, they even cover new construction stuff


I saw that recently, yeah. And is there any other software that you use outside of the ServiceTitan, uh, umbrella that you absolutely love that you want to, to, to plug here? Cause, I mean, I think that there's some other ones out there that are killers.

Yeah. So our, my philosophy, and I'm very stubborn about this, Uh, we're like, like very stubborn.

So, what, what inevitably happens is when you succeed in your business and you grow, when you do the thing you know you're gonna do, every new piece of information is so hard to train on. And it, like, it has to get disseminated out. And every different login, and every different thing that gets put onto the iPads, and every different training module...

Is drag to the business So we are very deliberate that if it's not like we want you to have access to good leap financing Service titan and slack and like we don't care about anything else because that is all that you want and need to have access to to do your job because we've tried adding other things but like It's just really hard like when the average team size is 25 people and like you add this new little thing Oh, we're gonna add this for this and oh, we're gonna add this for this thing and oh over here Here's this thing that like this perfect little sass that fits our needs Exactly.

It's it's just so confusing and it's so hard to train on it. So hard to scale so like simplicity really becomes More important than like those getting those little tiny things solved it. No, I think that's fair. Other people may disagree That's how that's

the trajectory of a business, right? It grows grows grows and it kind of inflates inflates and then it gets to a point where it goes Oh, we are too inflated and let's go back to simple and then you drive back down to a yes Kind of yeah, and that would be kind of along the same


I mean, that's the last year of my life Has been like simplifying the business as much as possible like hey, why are we multi location? We really should be one. Why are we multi brand? We really should be one. Why do we have like this system over here for compensation and this one over here? Let's just make it one.

So like Anything that you do to like slightly complicated It probably doesn't seem like a lot right now But like run that out a couple years and like it's really hard to train on it's really hard to keep going It's really hard to like run disparate systems Uh, it just creates drag. So, we, we, I am very stubborn about, like, I want the least amount of things on someone's iPad.

Yeah, I think the only extra one that we have that you don't have is, um, Drive. We have Drive on everyone's iPad. Google Drive. And we use Google Drive to get people everything that they need. Any kind of, uh, outside of Slack. They can keep all the files and all the brochures and pamphlets on this, this, and this.

So that's been nice. But yeah, I'm with you on that one. Like I said, we were running six

softwares down to one. We actually used ServiceTitan Forms for that. Oh, I knew there was something

to do. So, you know, someone told me the other day that ServiceTitan actually has a pretty decent chat function too, so you could get rid of Slack.

And I said, eh, I kind of like Slack. Um, what's your thoughts there? Have you tried the service? Yeah.

TitanChat? We're using Slack. Yeah, we haven't tried it. Yeah, we're using slack for the moment, but like we're trying to get more stuff off of slack. So like some of our communication, like task management, uh, used to be slack.

Now it's on service Titan, uh, our, our daily truck replenishments that's going from slack to service Titan. So like really word. Like an ideal scenario is that our team never has to leave one app. That would be perfect scenario for

us. No, I, I agree. And it's, I think that's the way to go is to drive it all there.

It's just once again, it's the learning building. And then once it's implemented, it kind of sticks around and that's how you scale. I'm on board. Kind of. Once you hit 1 million. Anyway.

I feel like we got somewhere with uh, with tech stack, so um, yeah, we try to keep ours pretty tight. It's been more complicated in the past, but really, like, simplicity is the name of the game for us right now.

Yeah, and the worst part, I think, of the inflated tech stack that we end up seeing is yeah, that 2, 000, it's free this first year, but next year it's gonna cost us 2, 800.

And then we add another line. It's another 2800 and then you have service time at 000 And then you add price blah blah blah and you know that that creeps up on you real quick, too Um until you realize that you have a reoccurring monthly well

and indirect costs Of like the indirect costs of whose labor is going to go into it to keep them two disparate price systems updated to make sure that they're always matching.

Um, I don't know. It's a lot. It's a drag.

Definitely agree. Well, that's awesome. I'm glad that we aren't that far off of at least idealistically what you guys are You know, so there's no difference between a 3 and a 20. Um, at the end of the day It sounds like it sounds like the goal is kind of the same Maybe one or two three softwares and then

keep it simple.

Keep it. Yeah, keep it simple. Yep. Yeah, we we even I Refuse to change financing companies for about a year and a half because it made me download a new app Like that's how stubborn I am about it But I'm I am convinced and I can never be unconvinced that this is the right This is the right move because I'm like, every time someone tries to do this, like little niche problem solving thing of like, Oh, Hey, I found this thing.

We can do this thing. I'm like, yeah, this might work for your team at five people, but like, let's run this out six months. How does this work for the rest of the company? How does this impact 138 people? How did in two years, how does this impact?

250? The key is you're not building for yourself. You're not building for the team you're building for the future team.

Right. There's five of you now. Is this going to work with 20? Is this going to work with 30? Is this going to work, you know two years when you leave and someone else comes in are you going to maintain this? So yeah, it's huge. All right. Well, that was a good episode.

Uh today we talked about tech stack Uh twice a week. We're here talking about home server stuff  

Um, if you guys want to hear something specific, we are open to uh topics. So we'd love to hear from you

Yeah, heck. Yeah. Awesome guys.

 Thanks for tuning in to Owned and Operated, the podcast for home service entrepreneurs. If you enjoyed today's episode, please hit the like button and subscribe to the podcast. If you have any questions or topics you'd like us to cover, feel free to reach out. You can find me on Twitter at at Wilson companies.

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