Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Management, Business Tips, Success Story

Florida giant Del-Air ties new construction to service and replacement through ServiceTitan

Pat McManamon
May 15th, 2024
4 Min Read

The 40-year growth track for Del-Air Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical in Sanford, FL, has been steady and special.

Since its founding in 1983, Del-Air has grown to seven locations, 600 employees, 400 trucks and $140 million in business – all to take care of its 17,000 residential and commercial customers.

It had been so successful that in 2022 it drew the attention of private equity investors. In November, Astara Capital Partners purchased the business. Del-Air CEO Rick Rogers said Astara would allow Del-Air to be debt free and have the liquidity to invest in the business and its people. 

It also fostered efforts to bring synergy to the Residential New Construction (RNC) and the Residential Service and Repair (RSR) facets of the business.

“We have sort of filled the gap and created the silver bullet on making that work,” said Rob Haines, Director of Marketing for Del-Air.

Haines said that new construction can be a low-margin business, and one problem with one builder could mean losing 300 homes. By focusing on both, Del-Air can be involved in the building and installation of new HVAC units, then for their care and service once the residence is purchased. Call it a hand-in-glove approach.

“We found that there's a happy medium there,” Haines said. “We make them work together, which is sort of an ideal situation.”

That unique situation is helped by the business’s CRM software. Del-Air added ServiceTitan early in 2023.

“ServiceTitan, technologically speaking, is able to facilitate both of those business types,” Haines said. “ServiceTItan simply integrated everything.”

That helps facilitate the scale Del-Air strives to achieve. In late 2022 it made its first acquisition since being purchased by Astara, and its plans are to continue to add new businesses when it makes financial and logical sense.

“We've got the customer base of the RNC side, and then we've got growth happening in terms of investment in marketing,” Haines said. “I think this year, probably for the first time, RSR will be a larger side of the business than RNC, which is huge.”

Del-Air also is a business that proudly makes every effort to take care of its employees. One of its innovations: Allow team members to be paid daily, as opposed to weekly.

“ServiceTitan is one of those tools that covers multiple things to help you perform better and make more money,” Haines said. “We can provide daily pay; that makes people happy. We can provide benefits that nobody else can provide, the 401(k) type benefits, and bonuses.

“There’s all these tools that we have available, and ServiceTitan is part of that toolbox that not only helps the business to be maintained, but also grow in a successful direction.”

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One of the key benefits Del-Air found ServiceTitan provided was its integration of all elements of the business.

“Previously with RNC, everything was very segregated,” Haines said, adding “individual silos” of sales, technicians, operations, dispatch and inventory decreased efficiency.

“With ServiceTitan, it all came together in one solution, where everybody can see all the parts in all the silos,” Haines said. “Instead of them operating separately, all are together in a system.

“As a leader, you can go in and ask, ‘What’s the inventory look like?’ You can go in and see how much we sold and you can see where people are in terms of fulfilling jobs. All in one place.

“That’s the main thing – there is a one-stop solution instead of multiple things that had to be managed.”

Haines said Del-Air worked with ServiceTitan to refine and implement the best approach to RNC. He said that interaction helped bridge the gap between simply installing a new system in a home and creating a longtime customer.

Or, as he said, “Create this long-term lifespan of a customer.”

Haines said ServiceTitan also brought an ease of use that helps the team.

“It was night and day for them,” Haines said. “If you knew the old world they were used to, from there (ServiceTitan was) something to learn. Sometimes people don’t change well or react to a change in management well, but when something complicated gets simplified – like setting up a maintenance agreement so that they can do it very quickly – it’s a huge win.”

In that regard, Haines said the company’s management always stresses it is making changes for a reason.

“All the benefits help them to understand we are doing things in their best interests.” Haines said. “They understand it’s for their benefit as well. Then they see things like the automation that ServiceTitan provides and they’re totally happy about it.

“It helps morale across the board.”

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