Interview with Lucas Cellino from Cellino Plumbing & HVAC

Interviews with the nations leading plumbing businesses. Discover what marketing efforts actually work and how you can grow your business to the $1M + mark & beyond.

Listen in as we interview Lucas Cellino from Cellino Plumbing & HVAC. They are a full-service Plumbing & HVAC company serving the greater Buffalo, NY area. Their operation has 23 trucks and is growing by over 35% year over year. Lucas shares some amazing insights on how they keep their phone ringing, trucks running & business booming. One of my favorite quotes from this interview is “We run a Marketing Company that happens to do Plumbing”. That is awesome! On this episode of The Plumbing and HVAC Internet Marketing Show Allison interviews Lucas Cellino from Buffalo, New York. Cellino Plumbing has recently expanded to become Cellino Plumbing and HVAC in the past few months and they have really gained a footing in the market. Cellino Plumbing and HVAC has grown by 35% in the past year and they now have 23 trucks running. Listen in as Lucas shares the secrets to his company’s rapid growth.


Lucas’s father started the company about 25 years ago. He grew up playing with plumbing fittings rather than Lego and he always knew he wanted to join the business. He began helping his dad in the business after school from a young age. 8 years ago he took over the duties of the office manager which included payroll, managing the website, and social media. He knew nothing about websites and SEO at the time. Since then he has learned so much about SEO and Pay Per Click.


Now that the business has grown Cellino Plumbing and HVAC has an internal marketing staff as well as using Plumbing and HVAC SEO. When they were a smaller business with only 7 employees the office manager was in charge of the marketing. The business really began to see a lot of growth when they began to use Plumbing and HVAC SEO 2 years ago. Marketing can be defined in many ways and Lucas considers marketing an integral part of the business. He realizes that every part of the business involves marketing. He says Cellino Plumbing is really a marketing company that does plumbing. Do you have staff that is devoted solely to marketing?


Training is an important part of the business. And even Lucas is constantly training. He has 2 business coaches that help him learn more about business. Cellino Plumbing and HVAC has service managers for each department which includes, plumbing, heating and cooling, as well as underground. When a new helper comes in they train on Nexstar and in the warehouse for 2 weeks first. Lucas thinks that it helps have someone friendly to help train new employees and this also helps them retain staff. Do you utilize employee training in your company?


Employee retention is key to long-term success. Part of their retention strategy was creating a mission statement to live by. Their mission statement includes 5 company values. They really live by their mission statement and have metrics to measure each line in the mission statement. Their metrics include quality checks to measure customer service and workplace happiness. Their mission statement also includes giving back to the community. They do this in a unique way. Listen to this episode to discover how Cellino Plumbing and HVAC gives back to the community and how this also increases their revenue. How does your company give back to the community it serves?



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If you are ready to take your Plumbing, HVAC or Home Services Business to the next level and drive more leads & sales…we’d like to offer you a FREE LeadFlow Acceleration Session. Click below to schedule a time now. Here’s the video transcript for your reference: The plumbing marketing profits podcast interviews with million dollar plus plumbing and HVAC business owners on how they market and grow their companies in today’s economy. You’re directly from the most successful leaders in your business and discover what they are doing to keep their phone ringing trucks running and businesses. With your host, Josh Nelson, hey, this is Josh Nelson with plumbing and HVAC SEO, and want to welcome you to this episode of the plumbing and HVAC marketing profits podcast.

Today, we’re super excited to be interviewing Nicholas Rizal from pack plumbing, heating and air conditioning, their full service contractor plumbing HPC, serving the greater Staten Island market, and they’ve had some great growth over the last year. So Matter of fact, they’re the grown from four trucks to six trucks and on pace to do $2.4 million this year. Next year, some really cool insights on how they’re leveraging the internet, social media, email marketing and variety of other cool internet marketing strategies to keep the phone ringing trucks running and business booming. So I really love this episode. Check it out. Hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us today. My name is Allison. And I am interviewing Nick, the marketing manager over at pack plumbing. This is for our engaged newsletter and our podcast. And so Nick, thank you again for joining us today. Can you tell everybody a little bit about yourself and a little bit about tech plumbing? Sure. I just want to thank you guys for having me. Thank you, Allison for asking me to come on. So yeah, pack plumbing has been around for about 40 years over in Staten Island, serve in local communities in the New York area. The business was started by the campy own family, Mr. Paul Campion senior, started the business back in 1978. And then his son Paul kept beyond who’s the owner now was going to school earning his plumbing license.

And then little few years after that, he developed the heating and air conditioning trade show, then the business eventually became pack plumbing, heating and air conditioning in the early 90s. So I’ve been here for a little over two years now I started is as a customer service representative. And basically a CSR just answering phone calls. And then while the business was by came here, we were undergoing a big change. Because before I came in, I used to be primarily construction company. So we Eric, our operations manager rewrote the business plan to be mostly residential. So we started doing the residential side of the business. And when I came on, I took over the marketing role. So that’s kind of where we are here. And from CSR to marketing manager to a little bit everything, that’s kind of my role at PAX.

That’s amazing. So then, you know, it’s not uncommon for a lot of people to come in as a CSR, then kind of work their way up to something like a marketing manager. So we congratulations on that. And then to can you tell us a little bit about maybe how big the company is, the number of trucks that you guys have? We already talked about the services. So you were originally just plumbing and now your plumbing heating and air conditioning? Did that, you know, bringing on that second industry? Did that take a toll on the company? How many? You know, how many technicians? Did you have to bring on board for that to happen? Yeah, so basically, what When I came here, I mean, one thing I could say about this company, it’s all about growth. You know, I started, like I said, as a CSR. And then quickly, you know, I was growing into other roles. And you know, we When I came here, we started what about four trucks on the road, then about a year after we got to five, and now recently, about a month, month ago, we got to six. So you know, the growth is definitely it’s progressing every year. Last year, we did about 2.1 million in revenue. This year, we’re looking at an increase to up to 2.4 million in revenue, we’ve increased the number of tax we brought on to the year, we keep increasing office personnel and making a lot of changes around the office. I mean, as far as the HPC side of the business, obviously, that was in the early days, we brought, we brought the guys here, early 90s, I believe Paul brought that side of the business.

And they were doing about 18 trucks on the road at the time, but it was mostly new construction. So we kind of Eric Paul, they kind of wanted to try to get out of that business. And unfortunately, they had a family tragedy that had to kind of put the business on hold during the late 90s and 2000. So Eric came in rewrote the business plan to make it pretty much residential. And that’s kind of where we stand today. And we’re growing with the amount of services that we provide now. I mean, we’re a lot different company than we were even when I was just here two years ago. Wow. Okay. So definitely, I mean, I can I can only imagine, you know, whatever tragedy that could have been, and then pausing the company for some time, but it’s, it’s very nice to know that I mean, the company never went 100% over under, and never really closed its doors, but kind of just lay low for a couple of years. And then now we have use Eric was his name. I’m sorry. Yes. Yep. Eric, that is? Yes. So he is rewriting the business plan and kind of getting everybody on board.

And so the position that you find yourself in today, what I mean, what essentially do you do as the marketing manager. So basically, I handle all the marketing as far as social media, our newsletters, all our new marketing ideas that were seems to be throwing in every week, you know, I’ll go into a little bit while we do. So as far as you know, we’re very creative. You know, we obviously use also we have a huge social media presence with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, we obviously work with a lot with Google rely on you guys over a plumber SEO. Deanna, especially as our girl that she runs our, our AdWords account. And obviously, our SEO, we’re also involved with Google local services, Angie’s List, so we’re not that big of a fan of Yelp. And we also do a little bit more we do the online blogs, door hangers, yard signs, thank you cards, gifs for customers, Constant Contact newsletters constantly, we’re usually sending those two, three a month. And we also have a smile programme, which is, you know, for customer may be having a bad day, or text or fill out a form that is triggered directly to our CSR. And say, you know, customer, for example, we had this recently a customer wants to dog. So you know, she seemed a little sad, or our technician went, filled out a smile programme thought would be nice to send her a box of chocolates. We did about a few days later, and the customers thrilled and tears.

So you know, it’s little things like that, that we try to do is you know, just to serve our customers at a high level. That’s amazing. That’s so nice. And that definitely just builds a community between or relationship really between the community and yourselves as a company. So that’s, that’s awesome. Yeah, one thing I could tell you here is we are we are pretty well known because, you know, setting on being not as big of a place as people may think. But it seems like everybody knows each other. And the fact that Mr. Campion Paul has kept the business in the same spot for you know, 40 years. We’re located on port Richmond Avenue on the corner, and everybody sees our trucks. Everybody knows our Paul’s, I don’t know, obviously, you guys have seen the logo, folds the cartoon image on the logo, and everybody sees that. They love it, they instantly think of Paul. So you know, our presence is definitely felt on the island. Definitely. I had the pleasure of meeting Paul, over at one of the one of the meetings that that was held a couple of months back, and he is just the sweetest person. He is Yeah, he’s incredible. He’s incredible. He’s a war vet. So he’s a hero as well. Amazing. Amazing. Well, okay, so now jumping into a couple of media questions. So you said, social media is huge is a huge thing for you guys.

Do you, like combine that maybe with direct mail or anything like that? Yes, well, especially with the growth now, we have kind of reached out to some other companies to work with our direct mail. And we started some postcard campaigns lately, in order to prefer air conditioning season, excuse me, we the door hangers and direct mail we try to work hand in hand. So if we’re hitting a certain area, with our direct mail, we want to we want to slam them with our door hangers Two weeks later. And then two weeks later, we want to hit them want to know that direct mail and the door hangers, again, we want to hit those certain areas, you know, 234 times in that in such a short time period, you know, this way, they get the perception that that we’re this monster company. And meanwhile, obviously where we are big company, but we’re a small business continuing to grow. And I think the fact that if you continue to hit those same areas over and over and over, that’s going to create that presence that you’re looking for in the in the community. Awesome. And so then, I mean, that’s, that’s a great tactic, just staying on top of that, and I’m sure, having you as a direct marketing manager kind of gives that responsibility away from from the owners, and allows you to really, you know, play with that and be on top of that, I know that there are a lot of owners who may be struggling with trying to juggle too many hats.

So what would you say to anybody who was on the fence with hiring a marketing manager to kind of take over this role for them. And be quite honest with you, it’s a necessity, you know, I look at, especially in New York, like for, for a contracting company, the amount of work for an owner and service manager, operations manager is just too much to handle for one person alone. And then you bring the other aspects of the business, and then the phone calls, and the marketing and the purchasing. And you just you need to bring in the correct people and people that you could trust, to run that side of the business and know that when you’re dealing with with, you know, say permits, which is something big in New York, for an owner, they constantly have to deal with building departments and getting the right permits, you have to know in the back of your mind that you have someone in the office, you could trust to run your marketing, run your advertising, know that when you guys are getting slow, and you see two, three calls on the board, that you got blast out an email within an hour, you know, promoting a special or just gaining interest, or let’s say, you know, it depends what you’re looking for, if you’re looking for estimates, and you just want to interest, you know what to send out, but it’s just important to know, as an owner, to have that, you know, that that feel of comfort, that you have someone in the office that’s constantly on top of it.

And I would say if you’re on the fence about that, just looking at our company alone, it needs to happen. Because you know, before I got here, they were doing very little marketing, but it was a small company. So you know, they didn’t have the manpower to get to it. And once you bring on the correct staff, the growth is, is very fast. So once you develop that marketing role, and really now down that position, you’re going to see instant growth in your company and success. And so then how would you say I mean, especially, so you work you partner with us? Like you mentioned, Deanna, she has nothing but positive things to say about you guys, she loves working with you. She’s the best. Yes. So how about maybe some listeners who may not be using our services or or anybody for that matter? Um, how important is it to you know, outsource your internet marketing. It’s extremely important, you know, everybody, you know, when you start up your internet and you marketing, you think in the back of your head, that, you know, you could just do it on your own and you but unfortunately, you know, SEO, we’re not experts, and you guys are and we realized that after constant phone calls I had with Christian before we actually, you know, went on and signed the agreement with you guys had multiple phone calls with Christian about what we could do to get our presence on Google. Because let’s face it, everybody goes to Google, everybody uses Google, you need a service, you go into Google, you’re looking at the reviews, you seeing what Google suggests, and you’re not going to look past the first page where, where it’s 2019, it’s our generation that unfortunately, a lot of people just don’t have the time, or maybe they don’t want to. So in order to establish that Google presence, we needed to work with a professional SEO company to get us higher. And you know, when we type it in promise that now and and you see us on the front page, that’s a big difference. And before we you know, obviously, we started working with you guys. And if you could see the numbers alone, from that we brought in just from organic SEO is extraordinary. So without you guys, I don’t think we’d have the growth that we have today. There’s no question. That’s amazing. Thank you. I mean, we love partnering with you guys.

And you know, it’s always been our goal here to create relationships with our clients, and to help them and watch them grow. And so having those conversations, you know, which calls are converting into higher paying leads, which market are we going to be going up? Okay, that you know, that zip codes not working? Let’s try another zip code. So it’s a pleasure working with you, again, thank you for partnering with us. And so kind of to ask about maybe your training, I know that you’re the marketing manager, but I’m sure you go undergoing some some management training with company. Are there any organizations that the group has or that the company has partnered with, to help you help you with your training? Yeah, so as far as on on our side, and in the office, what I basically did is I came in here as a CSR. And ever since I came in here, you know, I was attend local webinars that they’d have on the island, they’d always have classes, you know, Paul and Eric are part of a lot of communities here. So there’s constant involvement. Paul, you know, as a member of a lot of organizations like the Association of contracting farmers for New York City style Rotary Club, he was the YMCA state board, past chairman of the YMCA of Staten Island, he was a member of the contracting plumbers Association, he was trying to take one else. He was a also a founder of que se, the quality service contract is that was Paul, and then Eric himself is also part of the Chamber of Commerce. And he was, you know, former president of the young republicans group.

So any, you we have a lot of, there’s a lot of networking that goes on. But as far as training, I would say that, we’re starting to really invest more into that, you know, you see with the growth, that sometimes if you move too fast, and without the proper training, you know, you see a lot of mistakes. So now we’re working with individuals like we always have technician training, we have brand companies, you know, such as we work with a mon Atlantic’s Bosh, whatever, they’ll come in, teach our guys in the morning, maybe go over and installation or whatever.

And then as far as the CSRS, you know, we’re going to be working with our selling pros coming up, and they’re going to nail our CSRS in the front, make sure they perfect on the phone. So one thing I could say is if you’re in a employer, and you’re invested, and you want to grow, and you want to better yourself, management here will always provide any training that you request. Amazing. And so, you know, these organizations obviously cost money, but, you know, you don’t see a return on investment in the front on the front end of things, you know, these training opportunities, these Chamber of Commerce, so you’re, you’re, you know, the networking groups that you’re a part of, you don’t see a return on investment, because that’s not a client of yours. But in the long run, all of these organizations really do pay off. Absolutely, you know, you I understand you’ll to small businesses, you know, they look at money, and they obviously, don’t always have the budget to spend maybe on marketing training, but the investment pays off in the long run when your employees grow, and they better themselves. And you know, those those networking groups I mentioned, it’s amazing. The amount of business we get from them, you know, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, how many customers actually come from them. So you know, the networking, the training, they play hand in hand, and they’re so valuable your to your business.

That’s amazing. And so if you can just give me maybe an additional nugget of wisdom, or insight that you’d like to share, maybe to an owner, or maybe even to a CSR, who, who dreams of maybe even climbing the ladder, where he or she finds herself or himself in the office to maybe become a marketing manager, I know that a lot of people, especially in the millennial age group, you know, their social media savvy. And so they understand this internet wave. And so I know that can be an asset to these companies. So these owners, I know that they have these people around them, they just may not know how to find them. So what can you tell to someone to maybe find that person to help them? You know, the first thing I say is keep looking, you know it for an owner, there’s there’s a lot of options available that for recruiting.

And we To be honest, we don’t use any paid recruiting on the air, we do it all in house, we do it through networking, we do it through social media, so just establish, I would say, your online presence, and then the right people will follow as far as bringing in the right talent. And then as far as the CSR side and growing, just my best advice would be to always, always ask questions, and always bring ideas, even if you think they’re dumb, or if you don’t want to mention it, a lot of people may be afraid to mention their ideas, don’t. Because this is a type of business that’s always changing. And you know, especially for young people, and technology and marketing.

It’s something that our generation seems to have a good eye on. You know, we were very technology technologically savvy. So I would say for someone around maybe my age, I’m 27 years old. But I started here when I was 24. So you know, at that point, I was fresh out of college, you know, I was very eager. And this was my, one of my first jobs land and out of college, and they gave me a chance. And once you really continue to work and throw your ideas out there, they’ll stick the right people here them, and you’re going to get your shot, and it’s going to be worth every week. Thank you. That’s amazing. Well, thank you again for joining us today.

It’s been a pleasure talking with you. I know that there was a lot of valuable information shared that both business owners and employees will benefit from So thank you again for for jumping on this with us. No problem. So thank you guys, you know, for everything you do. We really appreciate it all. Yeah. Thank you. Hi. How’s it going? Well, I hope you get amazing value from that interview. If you’d like more ideas, strategies and techniques on how to more effectively market, your plumbing HPC or Home Services business online, go to plumbing there you’ll find the interviews just like this, and the opportunity to schedule a time with us to just kind of talk about your business and how we can help you implement similar strategies in your business. So plumbing head over there now and I’ll talk to you soon

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