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Success Stories

Making a Splash in the Market with a Killer Brand

Tyler Rasmussen and Greg Villafana have found a strategy to cut through the saturated pool service market in Arizona, and it involves a fresh marketing approach.

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9 Employees

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4 Years Old

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Scottsdale, AZ

We profile Jobber customers and industry experts for #thedailyhustle to learn how they build and operate successful businesses.

It’s tough to stand out in a saturated business market.

So, to meet the challenge of establishing itself in the hyper-competitive pool service market of Scottsdale, Arizona, brothers Tyler Rasmussen and Greg Villafana knew they needed to make a splash with their brand.

“In general a lot of pool companies didn’t care much about having a great logo, an easy to use web site, and just really pushing to make their brand stand out,” says Villafana, the marketing mind behind Brother’s Pool Service and Repair. “We felt like, if we could nail those things, we could come in and dominate.”

Dipping a toe in

The story of Brother’s Pool Service and Repair begins where a lot of good entrepreneurial stories begin: with the principal dissatisfaction of working for someone else.

“My background is in the corporate world,” Tyler says. “I was working for a company in a whole different field, when I was passed over for a promotion. That got me looking at other options. A friend of mine had just bought a pool route back in Scottsdale.”

In the pool industry, it’s not uncommon for service companies to buy and sell established routes (aka a book of business) in order to focus on a given geographic area, or when liquidating a business.

“I saw that the industry was something I could get into without much startup money, so I made the move back home and dove-in,” says Tyler. “A little while later, my little brother joined part-time and we pretty quickly built the business to 30 pools. At the time, we were mostly providing cleaning services.”

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I was working up to seven days a week doing both things, but stuck with it until our own company was more established, bought another 10 or 15 pools from the store I was at, and went to work full-time for myself.

Tyler Rasmussen, Brothers Pool Service Quote

To learn more about the business, Tyler took a job working at a retail pool store and worked in its shop, rebuilding motors and pumps, and absorbing what there was to know about the office backend of the pool business. “I was working up to seven days a week doing both things, but stuck with it until our own company was more established, bought another 10 or 15 pools from the store I was at, and went to work full-time for myself,” he says.

By January of 2016, the business was doing well enough for Greg to come in full-time and start applying the marketing muscle he’d developed in his own previous career.

Making waves with marketing

From the get-go, Greg had a vision of how Brother’s Pool Service wanted to develop its public brand. “The biggest thing off the top was creating a good logo that’s prominent on our social accounts, trucks, and work apparel, and making the web site easy to use” he says.

The company’s web site features a super clean design, clear service descriptions with visual representations, bios of team members to help customers understand they are dealing with real human beings and professionals, an informative blog with equipment reviews and tips for DiY’ers, some great client testimonials and even an online payments tool—all backed by a strong social media presence.

 

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The biggest thing off the top was creating a good logo that’s prominent on our social accounts, trucks, and work apparel, and making the web site easy to use.

Greg Villafana, Brothers Pool Service and Repair Quote
Brothers Pool Service Instagram

“Our primary social media tools are Facebook and Instagram. We’ve also had a lot of success with Yelp and Google. It’s all organic, we’ve never paid for anything,” Greg says. “Content is a big part of our business—not trying to sell, just showing what we do. Everything is linked back to our website. That leads to a lot of inbound queries and people asking us to stop by their pool to talk and provide a quote.”

That effective brand messaging has caught the attention of both residential consumers and even other pool pros. “We’ll get other pool people from Arizona and elsewhere asking us about how we brand, what kind of software we use and such,” says Greg. “I like to use VSCO for managing our visuals, and we always talk about Jobber, the quality of the product, and how the customer service is so on-point.”

With these tools and a lot of determination, the brothers have grown their company into a local-area market leader in just a few short years, and they still see a big, blue ocean of opportunity.

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What's next for the brothers

“We don’t work the routes daily now ourselves, but we’ll still cover them sometimes when our staff is off, or just to check-in with customers,” Tyler says. “Greg will got out to hunt and service some accounts. I mostly do equipment repairs and handle bidding and the back office stuff.”

The brother’s future plan including their second office upgrade and a podcast series called Pool Chasers, set to launch in 2018. “We want to target other people in the pool business to talk about how we worked through our own early struggles in the business and interview people from the big pool builders and manufacturers,” says Greg. “There’s not much out there like this, so we thought it would be cool.”

And who doesn’t like a nice, cool dip in a nice, clean pool?

pool service maintenance

Lightning round with Brothers Pool Service and Repair!

What is your top marketing channel?

Yelp and Google. Yelp messages don’t usually pan out, but when you look at analytics, those who go from Yelp to our site and fill out a form or call—a lot of that is panning out.

‘Pool service,’ ‘pool repair Scottsdale’—being the top listing on basic Google searches is huge.

Social media is not like Google or Yelp. It’s more about brand awareness. Not just for customers. We want people to want to work for us. People want to be a part of your community.

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Social media is not like Google or Yelp. It’s more about brand awareness. Not just for customers. We want people to want to work for us. People want to be a part of your community.

Greg Villafana, Brothers Pool Service Quote

What is the most valuable tool in your work toolbox?

We got everyone iPhones, so there are no excuses. You got a number, pick it up.

What is your favourite Jobber feature and why?

We made a huge transition from Basecamp to solely using Jobber. It’s easy to add a brand new customer to the system, and we use the basic task function a lot. We know everything that has happened for the day just by looking at the calendar.

Outside of work tools, what would you never leave home without before a day in the field?

We all kind of do different things. For the guys cleaning, nobody leaves out of here without a pool caddy. It holds all your chemicals, tools, vacuum heads, etc.

My (Greg) tools are different. I’m blogging and using VSCO for social. Everything is seen online, and you’ve got to show things through the eyes of the owner.

What’s your favourite way to unwind after a hard day’s work?

We work a lot. 5 or 6 until 5 or 6. And we both have families, so we’d have to say it’s hanging out with our kids. Tyler plays softball. I like going to the gym, riding my bike, doing a little skateboarding, hiking, planning travel to someplace cooler. And as entrepreneurs we are always looking at the next big thing.

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