Episode #6: How Software Companies Are Helping Contractors Think and Play BIGGER with Tom Howard

Change Your Filter with Tall Paul

Key Insights

  1. The internet & SaaS is becoming more prevalent in the home services industry 
  2. You can always dream bigger and get better
  3. Never be afraid to fail

Tom Howard on Change Your Filter

80% of home service contractors don’t make it past $1 million in revenue. Our friend Tom Howard is on a mission to change that. In episode 6 of the Change Your Filter podcast, we had the chance to sit down with Tom, who is the current VP of Customer Experience at ServiceTitan.

Who is Tom Howard?

Tom Howard is an experienced president and serial entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the home services industry. Tom got his start in the HVAC world at 15 years old, and from there, the rest is history.

Tom has owned multiple HVAC contracting companies throughout his career, all of which have grown at a tremendous rate. With a heightened level of ambition, Tom was ready for a new chapter and accepted ServiceTitan’s offer to become VP of Customer Experience in January 2020. As the VP of Customer Experience at ServiceTitan, Tom continues to operate his own contractor companies in Sacramento, Fresno, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas.

Tom is a very disciplined & motivated individual. He is consistently up by 5 am to exercise and plan his day, has his first meetings by 6 am until about 8 pm, and consistently works through the night. Tom states that a lot of his discipline comes from his time being a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, where he went on a missionary trip to Hungary for two years. While on this trip, he was met with an intense work schedule, where he was only allowed to get 8 hours of sleep a night. While sticking to this strict schedule, he found that he was able to reprogram his brain to build habits, and has had a disciplined agenda ever since.

The Pressure

Tom notes that when he first started with ServiceTitan, he felt a lot of pressure to not let people down. He had tons of contractors relying on him, in addition to his new organization. Throughout the onboarding process, it was recommended that Tom acquire an executive coach. Tom was lucky enough to have Keith Mercurio agree to be his coach. 

Keith has helped Tom grow tremendously, both professionally and personally. Not only has Keith helped with current issues, but he has helped Tom get over personal issues stemming all the way from childhood. Tom credits a lot of his success to Keith bringing awareness to these issues that were affecting his everyday life. 

Keith helped Tom get over his fear of letting people down by having Tom acknowledge the fact that when you wake up, you have to understand you are probably going to let people down. Tom now understands that you must be okay with the fact you may let people down – that’s just the consequence of trying to perform at the highest level. It just so happens, a lot of the time, you won’t let people down. If you constantly worry, you will not push yourself to try new things. Tom wants everyone to “imagine what you could be if you weren’t afraid of failure.”

COVID

When Tom first started with ServiceTitan, COVID hit. No one knew what was going to happen to the industry, but Tom & his team ensured they would help their contractors by providing them with all of the tools they needed to be successful. Since no one knew what was going to happen to the market, Tom wanted to make sure ServiceTitan contractors grabbed a majority of the growth opportunity during that time.

The team started building a COVID project release which included a contactless experience and a daily activity tracker. They had their developers drop everything they were doing in order to create this new project and got it done in 6 weeks, which is almost unheard of in the software development world. In addition to new software tools, the company even started putting on webinars that had nothing to do with home services (like applying for PPP loans.) 

Due to this amazing turnaround and strategy, ServiceTitan exceeded their plan of new sales growth through COVID. Tom states that he was “in literal tears” when he heard how much money their contractors made during COVID. 

Although COVID is over, Tom feels that there is another market correction happening. Houses are down, the stock market is down, and inflation is on the rise. Although a shift may happen, Tom is confident that ServiceTitan will always continue to push through and give their contractors everything they’ve got to make sure they have the ability to see continued growth.

Gaining Recognition

Fifteen years ago there wasn’t an investment group out there that was looking to invest in SaaS for home services. No one thought the companies were big enough, sophisticated enough, or even thought they were smart enough. Unlike many others, the owners of ServiceTitan did not give any thought to this negative outlook. They knew they were going to make an amazing product and start building tools that would be on par with the likes of Fortune 500 companies.

Fast forward to today, and there are possibilities of an IPO for ServiceTitan. The world is starting to understand the opportunity within the software space in the home service industry. People are starting to see that contractors are not just “hillbillies,” but that these contractors are doing amazing things. Tom states a lot of this shift in SaaS for the home service industry happened because of COVID. People started seeing that even in COVID, the home services industries were continuing to grow when all other industries seemed to continue to get hurt. ServiceTitan has even added C-Suite execs from companies like SalesForce and Splunk, showing confidence within this industry.

Product Enhancements 

Even after all the success, ServiceTitan continues to improve and build new products on a consistent basis. Tom notes:  “We are listening” to the customers, and are always acknowledging their feedback on how they can better serve their contractors. One product enhancement that ServiceTitan is working on is increasing the usability of marketing data. 

ServiceTitan is not planning on replacing marketing agencies, but instead offers more accurate and accessible data so that the contractors can relay this information back to their team in order to increase marketing performance. To do this, ServiceTitan has tied data back to Google so that their contractors can export conversion rates back to Google Ads, allowing Google to optimize for what ads are working best. Most contractors used to have to do this manually, and now that ServiceTitan does this for them, the rate of return is skyrocketing.

ServiceTitan is rolling out an enterprise hub. This will allow companies with multiple locations to manage multiple call centers, utilize roll-up recording, and even allow contractors to connect different accounting systems like Oracle. These are just a few of the many product enhancements that ServiceTitan is working on.

Helping Contractors Grow

Last year, the average company using ServiceTitan grew by 25%, and the average commercial company grew by 16%. Tom notes that in order to grow, the best way to do so is not to sell software to new contractors, but instead to help current contractors grow. ServiceTitan wants to continue to build features and benefits that help contractors consistently grow and set them apart from their competitors.

Tom gives a lot of credit for ServiceTitan’s success to the community. One big reason that ServiceTitan is able to help so many contractors is because they have contractors helping each other within their ecosystem. They may have a client in Texas find something that works really well for them, and that contractor will put on a webinar to show other contractors in different states what they have learned. Because of this, they even launched a ServiceTitan community. 

What’s Next

The internet is not a fad, so you must figure out how to take advantage of the new digital environment, get out there, and execute. In order to be successful in this volatile environment, you must change your filter to how things were done in the past and understand how things will continue to change in the future.

Tom is a big believer that you can never dream too big. There are so many things that need to be built, and Tom is excited to be a part of it.

If you are interested in working with ServiceTitan, shoot Tom an email at  [email protected]!

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Episode #6: How Software Companies Are Helping Contractors Think and Play BIGGER with Tom Howard

Change Your Filter with Tall Paul

Key Insights

  1. The internet & SaaS is becoming more prevalent in the home services industry 
  2. You can always dream bigger and get better
  3. Never be afraid to fail

Tom Howard on Change Your Filter

80% of home service contractors don’t make it past $1 million in revenue. Our friend Tom Howard is on a mission to change that. In episode 6 of the Change Your Filter podcast, we had the chance to sit down with Tom, who is the current VP of Customer Experience at ServiceTitan.

Who is Tom Howard?

Tom Howard is an experienced president and serial entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the home services industry. Tom got his start in the HVAC world at 15 years old, and from there, the rest is history.

Tom has owned multiple HVAC contracting companies throughout his career, all of which have grown at a tremendous rate. With a heightened level of ambition, Tom was ready for a new chapter and accepted ServiceTitan’s offer to become VP of Customer Experience in January 2020. As the VP of Customer Experience at ServiceTitan, Tom continues to operate his own contractor companies in Sacramento, Fresno, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas.

Tom is a very disciplined & motivated individual. He is consistently up by 5 am to exercise and plan his day, has his first meetings by 6 am until about 8 pm, and consistently works through the night. Tom states that a lot of his discipline comes from his time being a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, where he went on a missionary trip to Hungary for two years. While on this trip, he was met with an intense work schedule, where he was only allowed to get 8 hours of sleep a night. While sticking to this strict schedule, he found that he was able to reprogram his brain to build habits, and has had a disciplined agenda ever since.

The Pressure

Tom notes that when he first started with ServiceTitan, he felt a lot of pressure to not let people down. He had tons of contractors relying on him, in addition to his new organization. Throughout the onboarding process, it was recommended that Tom acquire an executive coach. Tom was lucky enough to have Keith Mercurio agree to be his coach. 

Keith has helped Tom grow tremendously, both professionally and personally. Not only has Keith helped with current issues, but he has helped Tom get over personal issues stemming all the way from childhood. Tom credits a lot of his success to Keith bringing awareness to these issues that were affecting his everyday life. 

Keith helped Tom get over his fear of letting people down by having Tom acknowledge the fact that when you wake up, you have to understand you are probably going to let people down. Tom now understands that you must be okay with the fact you may let people down – that’s just the consequence of trying to perform at the highest level. It just so happens, a lot of the time, you won’t let people down. If you constantly worry, you will not push yourself to try new things. Tom wants everyone to “imagine what you could be if you weren’t afraid of failure.”

COVID

When Tom first started with ServiceTitan, COVID hit. No one knew what was going to happen to the industry, but Tom & his team ensured they would help their contractors by providing them with all of the tools they needed to be successful. Since no one knew what was going to happen to the market, Tom wanted to make sure ServiceTitan contractors grabbed a majority of the growth opportunity during that time.

The team started building a COVID project release which included a contactless experience and a daily activity tracker. They had their developers drop everything they were doing in order to create this new project and got it done in 6 weeks, which is almost unheard of in the software development world. In addition to new software tools, the company even started putting on webinars that had nothing to do with home services (like applying for PPP loans.) 

Due to this amazing turnaround and strategy, ServiceTitan exceeded their plan of new sales growth through COVID. Tom states that he was “in literal tears” when he heard how much money their contractors made during COVID. 

Although COVID is over, Tom feels that there is another market correction happening. Houses are down, the stock market is down, and inflation is on the rise. Although a shift may happen, Tom is confident that ServiceTitan will always continue to push through and give their contractors everything they’ve got to make sure they have the ability to see continued growth.

Gaining Recognition

Fifteen years ago there wasn’t an investment group out there that was looking to invest in SaaS for home services. No one thought the companies were big enough, sophisticated enough, or even thought they were smart enough. Unlike many others, the owners of ServiceTitan did not give any thought to this negative outlook. They knew they were going to make an amazing product and start building tools that would be on par with the likes of Fortune 500 companies.

Fast forward to today, and there are possibilities of an IPO for ServiceTitan. The world is starting to understand the opportunity within the software space in the home service industry. People are starting to see that contractors are not just “hillbillies,” but that these contractors are doing amazing things. Tom states a lot of this shift in SaaS for the home service industry happened because of COVID. People started seeing that even in COVID, the home services industries were continuing to grow when all other industries seemed to continue to get hurt. ServiceTitan has even added C-Suite execs from companies like SalesForce and Splunk, showing confidence within this industry.

Product Enhancements 

Even after all the success, ServiceTitan continues to improve and build new products on a consistent basis. Tom notes:  “We are listening” to the customers, and are always acknowledging their feedback on how they can better serve their contractors. One product enhancement that ServiceTitan is working on is increasing the usability of marketing data. 

ServiceTitan is not planning on replacing marketing agencies, but instead offers more accurate and accessible data so that the contractors can relay this information back to their team in order to increase marketing performance. To do this, ServiceTitan has tied data back to Google so that their contractors can export conversion rates back to Google Ads, allowing Google to optimize for what ads are working best. Most contractors used to have to do this manually, and now that ServiceTitan does this for them, the rate of return is skyrocketing.

ServiceTitan is rolling out an enterprise hub. This will allow companies with multiple locations to manage multiple call centers, utilize roll-up recording, and even allow contractors to connect different accounting systems like Oracle. These are just a few of the many product enhancements that ServiceTitan is working on.

Helping Contractors Grow

Last year, the average company using ServiceTitan grew by 25%, and the average commercial company grew by 16%. Tom notes that in order to grow, the best way to do so is not to sell software to new contractors, but instead to help current contractors grow. ServiceTitan wants to continue to build features and benefits that help contractors consistently grow and set them apart from their competitors.

Tom gives a lot of credit for ServiceTitan’s success to the community. One big reason that ServiceTitan is able to help so many contractors is because they have contractors helping each other within their ecosystem. They may have a client in Texas find something that works really well for them, and that contractor will put on a webinar to show other contractors in different states what they have learned. Because of this, they even launched a ServiceTitan community. 

What’s Next

The internet is not a fad, so you must figure out how to take advantage of the new digital environment, get out there, and execute. In order to be successful in this volatile environment, you must change your filter to how things were done in the past and understand how things will continue to change in the future.

Tom is a big believer that you can never dream too big. There are so many things that need to be built, and Tom is excited to be a part of it.

If you are interested in working with ServiceTitan, shoot Tom an email at  [email protected]!

TRUSTED BY HUNDREDS OF CONTRACTORS

“It’s really easy to set up. I had an online store and was selling products within 48 hours of talking to these guys.”

Jeff K, Ductworks Heating & Air Conditioning

“The Contractor Commerce team has been easy to work with and has even customized a few things to fit the needs of my business!”

Chris H, Dick Hill and Sons Heating and Cooling

“We have several subscription customers already. This just means recurring revenue for us with no additional overhead or managing.”

Jason C, Advent Air Conditioning

WHAT CONTRACTORS ARE SAYING

“The fact is, consumers would rather shop online than in person. If you don’t build an e-commerce presence, you won’t have the opportunity. Now is the time.”

Lou Hobaica, Hobaica Services

“It was scary-easy to get set up. It’s plug and play. I drive people to the site, and I collect on the backend. Contractor Commerce takes the order, processes the order, and ships it…any HVAC company would be crazy not to start an online store with Contractor Commerce.”

Bob Reilly, Courtney's Heating & Cooling

“Working with the Contractor Commerce team is simple. It’s great. They’re understanding, and they will do anything possible in their power to accommodate your needs. It’s an added service for us…it’s good for our customers”

Jeremy Shellabarger, Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning

“Having our website store powered by Contractor Commerce gives us a unique competitive advantage in our market. Our friends in the industry look at our website and say, ‘Wow! That’s super cool. I don’t know why my company isn’t doing this.”

Lizeth Melisa, Comfort Pro

“Having an online store from Contractor Commerce is great for our customers! It is convenient and easy for customers to order filters. It saves time when they can go right to the website, place their order and have the filter delivered within a couple of days. Plus, the Contractor Commerce team is great to work with. They are very responsive and helpful and I know they really care about my success!”

Karen B, Liberty Comfort Systems

“It’s really easy to set up. I had an online store and was selling products within 48 hours of talking to these guys.”

Jeff K, Ductworks Heating & Air Conditioning

“The Contractor Commerce team has been easy to work with and has even customized a few things to fit the needs of my business!”

Chris H, Dick Hill and Sons Heating and Cooling

“We have several subscription customers already. This just means recurring revenue for us with no additional overhead or managing.”

Jason C, Advent Air Conditioning

HOW IT WORKS

PRICING

CONTACT US

HOW IT WORKS

PRICING

CONTACT US

By |2022-06-10T01:12:19+00:00June 10th, 2022|Podcast|Comments Off on Episode #6: How Software Companies Are Helping Contractors Think and Play BIGGER with Tom Howard
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