We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Frankel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
One book that has impacted my thinking of leadership and communication since I’ve read it is The Paradox of Choice. In the book, it explains that if you give someone too many choices, they can’t and won’t make a decision. In thinking in terms of our business, this resonated with me. If our customers have too many choices in front of them (for example flooring options), it can overwhelm them in their decision. Eventually, they may make a decision, but it could ultimately impact their timeline and lead them to create uncertainty in their own thought process. If you decrease the number of choices a customer has, we can limit unneeded anxiety and create a better experience for our customers. The book has helped me to keep Frankel Building Group people-centric and to keep the experience of the customer top of mind.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Frankel Building Group is a family-owned custom home builder based in Houston, Texas. We offer a true one-stop shopping experience for home buyers with award-winning architecture, construction, and interior design. After growing up and watching my father successfully run our business, I decided to start my own career in the building industry, building starter homes as a Construction Superintendent at Newmark Homes. After this, I went on to work as a Construction Manager for a new building company called Lindenwood Homes, which was later acquired by John Lang Homes. Throughout my time at Newmark and Lindenwood, my father and I would go to breakfast in the mornings and constantly talk about home building – I was able to learn a lot from him. Then in 2006, I joined Frankel Building Group in a full-time capacity. A few years after I joined, we began to build each of our residences to LEED for Homes standards, allowing us to create more energy-efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly homes than those conventionally built. I’ve learned a lot along the way, but one of the most important things I’ve learned is to understand that the only way to way to excel in homebuilding was to be a part of the initial contact with our potential clients. Up until about 10 years ago, I’d never been a part of the introductory period of meeting potential clients but understood why I needed to be that first point of contact for my clients. During the introductory period, the client is getting to know you to see if your company is a good fit for them and vice versa. This time is crucial to set the tone for the client, expectations for the company and a relationship moving forward. I realized that through the process, I’m able to answer questions on the front end and truly become the face of the company, all while building the trust of my clients. Throughout the years I’ve been able to gain an irrefutable grasp on what makes a great home builder. Alongside my father, my brother Kevin and I have been able to grow the family business together to become one of the top residential architecture and custom home builders in Texas.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many great local restaurants in Houston for anyone to try out. With friends, I’d start by bringing them to Buffalo Grille for breakfast. It has such an inviting atmosphere, with great comfort food – it’s a Frankel family favorite. To get a good feel of Houston, I’d stop by Armadillo Palace for its ambiance, live, local music and cocktails. For dinner, I would bring friends to one of my longtime favorites, Mala Sichuan in Chinatown. I’ve been going there for years and it’s one of the greatest dinner spots in Houston. With so many diverse and cultural flavors throughout the city, there’s no limit to where we can bring friends and family when they’re visiting.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve had many influential people to help shape my career path. Two influential figures that helped shape me early on as a home builder were Steve Von Hofe at Newmark Homes & Jim Lemming at Lindenwood Homes. These guys provided me with amazing opportunities, invaluable education, and insight into how a great operator ran their business. The most influential figure in getting me to where I am today is my father, Jim Frankel. He started Frankel Building Group in 1988. Growing up, I always listened to my father talk about running a business and the operations needed to make a business successful. Although I didn’t start working with him right away, he helped me learn the ins and outs of home building – from how a home comes together to how a home is financed. My career and passion for the home building industry would not be the same without these people.