The Allegiance Family History
Approved Home Pros follows the story of Sarah Wood and how she took over her father’s legacy and company. She shares how she decided to take ownership of Allegiance Heating & Air Conditioning and how she recognized the importance of maintaining her father’s old school values.
Details On “The Allegiance Family History”
Sarah: Okay, before I was a heating and air contractor, I was in mortgages. I went and I worked for Chase Manhattan Mortgage at the age of 18 years old, and then I moved on to escrow shortly after for when you buy or refinance a house. I ran a desk and I feel it prepared me for what it is I do now in the sense of running a desk and dealing with clients, and working with my employees. I feel that job really prepared me. My father’s business before I took it over, he started out as an appliance repair, Alliance Appliance, and he shortly turned that into a heating and air conditioning company. He was the sole owner, one-man shop, for many, many years, and that’s the way he liked it. He had a strong work ethic, and I feel that really has influenced the way I run my business. So although we are new-school in communications, I feel the guys and myself, and the office staff here really have taken on that old-school work ethic that he was so great at. The old-school work ethic is just about showing up. When you say you’re going to be there, you’re there. You’re fairly priced, you do the job, you do it on time, and you give the client all other options and you just work really hard. I think showing up on time and doing what you say is the key to having a good work ethic. Communication. He answered the phone, he had great customer service, and that is why he had such a strong customer base. My father passed away in 2009, which was very devastating for a lot of people. Family, friends, his clientele base was devastated. It was a rough time. He just didn’t wake up, unfortunately. And like I said, it devastated a lot of people around him. He was just a really classic, great guy. And I was on maternity leave from a different industry, escrow, and I didn’t want to go back particularly. I wanted to be home with my baby, and it just all kind of came together at that moment. I just thought, hey, let’s pick up the phone, let’s call his clients, let them know what’s going on, and let’s see if I can dive into this new industry called HVAC, heating and air conditioning. After I picked up the phone and called his clients, I soon realized that they not only trusted him, they trusted his family. They were willing to give us a shot at working with them, and helping them the same way my father did. So that’s when I decided we’re going to do this. We’re going to dive into it. We’re going to capitalize on what he started. We’re going to continue the legacy of Jim Rotter. Because he was one-man shop, and he ran the office as well, there was not really any organization to it. So that’s where I was able to come in with my ability and really organize it and modernize the office with technology and installing the scheduling system. We got a couple of vans, hired a couple techs. We wrapped the trucks. We did everything we needed to do in order to grow and carry on. For the first five years, we worked under my father’s contractors license. At that time we were really able to grow, hire a couple of technicians, hire some office staff, move from my in-home office to an actual shop and office space, which was very rewarding. It let me know that I was on the right track. That I was really able to run this business. And after the five years, after qualifying for my license, I was able to study for the test. The hardest test I’ve ever studied for. And I got my own contractors license. Here we are, nine years later. We went from a one-man shop to over ten employees, however, we’re still very family-oriented. I love to involve my employees in any event that I do, whether it’s a contractors association that I’m involved in or a community event here in Santee. I love to have them with me, and just seeing what I’m doing on the field in order to help this company grow and succeed. My mom recently came in to help me with the phones over the summer because we just got that busy, which is such a blessing. I love having her here in the office. She keeps things in order. She runs a tight ship, but that’s her work ethic as well, and I get a lot of what I do and how I am because of her also. I can only hope at this time my dad would be proud looking down at everything that I’ve accomplished. I hope that he knows that it’s because of what he has instilled in me, the work ethic, everything that he did, everything he did to grow his own company really inspired me and that is why I am here doing what I’m doing today, and I know he would be proud of me.
Jordan: We followed Sarah’s story tonight throughout the show learning all about how she carried on her father’s legacy by jumping into the world of heating and air.
Sean: We’ve seen, the past, we’ve seen where you are today. What’s the future hold? What’s your vision for Allegiance in the future?
Sarah: My vision for Allegiance is to expand. We want to go ahead and grow from about 10 to 20 within the next two years. Possibly add another trade to heating and air.
Sean: Lots of goals.
Sean: And you can do it, I’m sure, because of the way you have grown so far. Because you’re willing to not sacrifice certain key things for the growth.
Sarah: Oh, that’s right. One thing I really don’t want to sacrifice is my customer service base that I already service now. I want to be able to maintain that relationship while growing. Community service and community involvement is huge. I want to be able to sustain those relationships and continue with community involvement.
Sean: Yeah. That’s been a foundation that you’ve been built on since really the beginning of the company.
Sarah: Yeah, it’s what’s really helped my growth.
Jordan: These high standards are really impeccable. We know your father would be proud of you, but also your employees are very proud to work for you. We have a little special surprise for you if we could roll the video now and let Sarah see maybe some feedback that her employees had to share.
Jon: I’ve worked for Allegiance for approximately four years now. It’s been a real blessing because I’ve been able to work not only full time for the Navy, but I’ve also been able to work part-time for Allegiance, which has helped me expand my knowledge base and prepare for after I retire from the Navy.
Lawrence: So I started here at Allegiance Heating & Air as a helper, a tool runner, duct runner, and with the knowledge of the fellow employees around me and the situation Sarah has given me the opportunity to work in, I have grown very drastically in this company. So now I’m sitting here as one of the leading techs.
Kassi: It’s been great for the last two years working for Sarah. She pays really close attention to her employees and what she has to offer them.
Jon: Sarah’s one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. It is amazing to work with somebody who is willing to listen to your input.
Lawrence: Sarah is an amazing boss. She’s a little bit different than your traditional boss. She’s more included in not only your work life, but your personal life. She helps you in truly every way she possibly can.
Kassi:– I would just like to thank Sarah for the opportunities that I’ve been given at this company and to work with her, and all of the things that she has done for me personally.
Lawrence: Sarah, I just wanted to say thanks so much for the opportunity for me and my family to grow with this business. I thank you literally every single day for the opportunity that you give us.
Jordan: Sarah, this is obviously, you’re really emotional. They’re so thoughtful and so sweet what they’ve had to say. How does that make you feel?
Sarah: Oh, gosh, it’s just super emotional. It makes me feel proud. Yeah, it makes me feel proud for how far we’ve come, and I could not do it without them. They are the reason why we’re here. The culture that we built together, that is why we’ve been able to succeed and grow how we’ve grown.
Jordan: And we really appreciate you sharing that with us today.
Sarah: Oh, I’m so sorry.
Jordan: I’m sorry to make you cry on live TV.
Sean: This is authentic emotion.
Sarah: I’m a crybaby.
Jordan: We’re really connecting. I mean, Sean, this is what Approved Homes, Approved Home Pros, I should get our brand correct.
Sean: Yeah, get the brand right.
Jordan: Aims to do. We really want to show the people behind the company. Sarah’s whole story and what we’ve just seen now, why the company culture makes Allegiance a perfect example of what you’ll find at Approved Home Pros.
Sean: It’s exactly the type of company that, when I met Sarah and learned about the culture and the people, I knew they needed to be a part of Approved Home Pros.
Jordan: Well and the growth and the culture and the foundation, so many of our pros embody that.
Sean: It is something that runs throughout the entire network. It’s a part of our continuity. The best pros with the best people with the best cultures.
Jordan: And we’ve got everything at Approved Home Pros, right?
Sean: Just about any category you might want to cover. You can go onto approvedhomepros.com and find them, or you could call us anytime and we’ll help you find whatever you need for any trade.
Jordan: And of course everyone is screened and vetted by our experts. Sarah at Allegiance Heating & Air are just one of the examples of passionate, dedicated pros that you’ll find when you use Approved Home Pros. So whatever it is that you need for your home, rely on us and search for free right at approvedhomepros.com.