“I think what I have learned, and what has surprised me the most, is that there are many fantastic, small, locally operated businesses that are generally not known by much of the community”

After taking an early retirement from Verizon, Tony Messuri started the Homeowner’s Helper, which connects homeowners with local contractors for projects.

Name: Tony Messuri

 

Age: 56

 

Company: the Homeowner’s Helper

 

Founded: March 2011

 

Location: 12115 Weigela Court

 

Education: bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; master’s of business administration from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio

How would you describe The Homeowner’s Helper?

The Homeowner’s Helper is a... {reg}

Name: Tony Messuri
 
Age: 56
 
Company: the Homeowner’s Helper
 
Founded: March 2011
 
Location: 12115 Weigela Court
 

Education: bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; master’s of business administration from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio

How would you describe The Homeowner’s Helper?

The Homeowner’s Helper is a free-to-the-homeowner referral service that connects homeowners to a network of prescreened, trustworthy, value- and service-oriented contractors for virtually any home project no matter how large or small.

Network contractors include painters, roofers, remodelers, handymen, landscape designers, lawn-care services, plumbers, concrete workers, deck and fence builders, tree trimmers, electrical experts and more.

What is your history with it?

The Homeowner’s Helper was launched in March 2011, exhibiting at the Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show.

After taking an early retirement from Verizon a few years ago, I wanted to establish an added-value service for my fellow Allen County homeowners. Although there are some consumer agencies that offer limited help to the homeowner, I always believed more was needed to help homeowners avoid the scammers and find the best contractors.

After some research, I came across the HRN (homeowner referral network) business model, which has helped homeowners in some larger cities across the United States. I knew then that this was a helpful service that I could introduce to my community.

What is ahead for the business?

In a fairly short period, the Homeowner’s Helper has served more than 220 Allen County-area homeowners, with many homeowners using our service as a “one-stop shopping” source for all home project needs.

My contractor network has also grown to 54 contractors covering a broad array of home project needs. The growth has come predominantly from selective targeted advertising, help from a public-relations firm (JW Public Relations) and an ever-increasing number of referrals from happy homeowners.

What do you like about the work?

I especially enjoy the interaction with the area homeowners and the positive feedback I consistently receive after the successful completion of their home projects. I am also happy to help many of the small businesses in my network who I refer to as “hidden gems.”

These are companies that are locally owned and tend to do little, if any, advertising and are not known to many area homeowners. They are typically family owned and operated, and take pride in offering great service at a price that is usually lower than the larger companies who carry higher overhead costs.

Do any moments there stand out?

I have experienced numerous positive moments from the many enthusiastic responses I have received from homeowners who have used my service. I think what I find especially rewarding is when I help the elderly and other homeowners, such as young first-time homebuyers and single women homeowners who tend to need more assistance in finding the best contractor for their specific home project needs.

What have you learned from the work?

I think what I have learned, and what has surprised me the most, is that there are many fantastic, small, locally operated businesses that are generally not known by much of the community. I find that they offer a consistent high level of service at a great price and will go above and beyond most homeowners’ expectations.

By Doug LeDuc. To suggest an idea for “Career Path,” call (260) 426-2640.

{/reg}{pub}Name: Tony Messuri

 

Age: 56

 

Company: the Homeowner’s Helper

 

Founded: March 2011

 

Location: 12115 Weigela Court

 

Education: bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; master’s of business administration from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio

How would you describe The Homeowner’s Helper?

The Homeowner’s Helper is a...Login to Read Full Story{/pub}

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