Ep.55: How Your Team Responds in a Crisis with Don Brees and Alex Pajic
It can take one stroke of bad luck to take a remodeling business’s leader suddenly out of the picture — either temporarily or permanently. The repercussions can be wide and economically traumatic if the remaining team can’t pull together and keep the business running.
When Rosie Romero, the owner (and primary salesperson) of Rosie On The House in Scottsdale, AZ, had an off-road UTV accident that left him severely injured, his team had to regroup quickly in an emotional time to keep the business running.
In this episode, Don Brees and Alex Pajic talk to Tim and Steve about how they — and the whole company — handled the unexpected absence of their leader and friend. For six months, the team relied on each other to continue selling, building, and performing at their peak while Rosie was recovering.
Don started working for Rosie On The House Remodeling in 2016 as the Remodeling Project Manager, and is now a Production Manager. An Arizona native, Don worked for Rosie the first time back in 1993 before venturing out to start his own remodeling, paint and drywall company. He has 37 years of construction and remodeling experience under his belt.
Alex began working with Rosie On The House Remodeling in 2017, and is a Remodeling Project Manager and Sales/Design Consultant.He has 18 years of planning, real estate development, and construction experience. Originally from Croatia, he grew up in Vienna, Austria, and worked on residential developments and projects throughout Europe. He has a passion for sustainable building, architecture, and new technologies in building design and project management.
Don and Alex talk about the first hectic days after the accident, and how Rosie’s wife Jennifer offered her support and guidance to the team while dealing with so much else. It was a traumatic and turbulent time, but they both point to how many details were already in place in the organization to help them all pull together and keep moving forward, including:
- Why hiring the right people is so important
- The importance of building information-sharing into your operations
- Having outside resources in place for support
- The adjustments they made
- How to prepare your team for emergencies
- Reaching out to trade partners
- Keeping client satisfaction at the center
- Who plays what role, and how to decide
- The importance of having someone to trust to sign checks and documents
- How they dealt with the emotional trauma
- Why they’re traveling separately from now on
- And more …
It was a trying period, but the company’s structure already in place and the team’s abilities and attitudes got them through it. Most important, Rosie’s back on his feet and continuing to improve after the accident.