Since 2007, the state of Florida has one of the strictest building codes in the United States as a result of the devastation caused by eight major hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004 and 2005. The state revised its code requirements for all residential construction and remodeling. “What’s important to know about Florida is we have issues with storms that other parts of the country don’t have to deal with,” Home Performance Alliance (HPA) President Gary Delia says. “In our state, it’s required to use high-impact glass or code compliant shields on any window replaced in designated wind-borne debris zones. However, homes are not always reinforced properly, and we saw evidence of this last year with Hurricane Michael when it devastated Mexico City Beach in the Panhandle of Florida.”
Communities in the Florida Panhandle were exempt to the impact protection provisions for homes built beyond one mile off the coast. The idea was that the Panhandle wouldn’t experience violent hurricanes like the hurricanes that hit the rest of Florida in 2007 and 2008. But then in 2018, Hurricane Michael happened, which was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Panhandle.“To see the destruction left after Hurricane Michael was gut-wrenching because the destruction was in fact preventable. Some homeowners tried to use shutters or competitor’s ‘impact windows’ and those failed. There is a home left standing that was seen on almost every news channel after the storm, which was dubbed by some news outlets as ‘The Miracle Home,’” Delia says….
Headquartered in the picturesque city of St. Petersburg, on Florida’s gulf coast, Home Performance Alliance (HPA) has been providing impact, energy efficient windows and doors since September 2011. Things were somewhat different back then, however, with CEO and President Gary Delia conducting operations from a one room office with a small personal investment to cover all expenses and fund his own ‘American Dream’.
Applying all of his 30 years’ experience of working within the industry, Gary threw himself into creating a best-in-class service for residential homeowners who desperately needed HPA’s exclusive product line in order to keep their homes and families safe. Within one year, sales had reached the $1 million mark, money that was used to invest in personnel, technology and other resources, with this figure rising to $20 million by 2016. Today, the company operates from a 25,000 square foot facility, has two other locations one in Ft Myers and the other in Jacksonville, and revenues should hit $35 million this year.
“HPA’s customers run a broad spectrum of socio-economic categories, however it is the housing market in Florida that makes all the difference,” Gary begins. “A large percentage of Florida’s homes are in urgent need of upgrades and remodelling to get up to scratch with the state’s stringent building codes, which themselves are in place because our peninsular is notoriously susceptible to some of the worst storms and hurricanes in the world. Additionally, our temperatures during the summer months can average around 95 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity. This puts pressure on air conditioning systems and causes high electricity bills. Our windows and doors are made for us by an award-winning manufacturer called Custom Windows Systems, A Pella Company Windows and have been shown to actually reduce energy bills by up to 40 per cent…..
Gary Delia created Home Performance Alliance, a Florida-based, specialty remodeling company in 2011, after spending thirty years in the home improvement industry. He started his career working for a well-known remodeling company in the northeast, going from a young general manager to the company’s president fourteen years later. “I had some great mentors who taught me a lot,” Delia says. “I worked as a company executive and president and also as a consultant, over the years. I specialized in helping large home improvement organizations generate more profits. I was kind of a turnaround specialist that would correct deficiencies and stimulate profits in organizations, both on the manufacturing side and the retail home improvement side.” Today, after only five years, Home Performance Alliance has become a $20 million dollar company, ranked 32nd in Remodeling Magazine’s top 550, nationwide. That growth has been due, not only to Delia’s hard work and innovative ideas, but also as a result of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right product, and with a unique way to market it. All of these have contributed to the company’s success.Delia talks first about the selling: “This industry (Home Improvement) has metamorphasized over the past 10 years; some strategies that worked before became ineffective and cost prohibitive, such as telemarketing. So, if you were going to stay in this business and be successful, you definitely needed to be a change agent. One of the components of how our company has changed the most is in the area of marketing…..
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