Aire Serv of Gig Harbor’s Chris Haywood went through a rigorous interview process in order to become a franchise owner.
Now that he’s past that process, he couldn’t be happier about being open since early November.
Aire Serv has more than 180 locations in the U.S. and Canada, and offers HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) services including full service repair, replacement, upgrades, routine checks and special installations.
Jason Lee, public relations manager for the Dwyer Group, said because Aire Serv is a franchise, company officials travel all across the U.S. looking for people wanting to be entrepreneurs and start their own business.
“Dwyer Group has a team on board to help them transition, and I do the public relations for the group and Aire Serve when they open their business,” he said.
As a franchise owner, Haywood receives support in the form of a national accounts team helping him dedicate more time to running his new business. He also has access to ongoing training opportunities.
Haywood went through a tough interview process in Texas before being accepted as a franchise owner.
James Walker, vice president of operations for Aire Serv, said the interview process is important because the company invests a fair amount of money into each franchise, and he thought Haywood would make the grade right from the start.
“He has a very sunny disposition and is an optimist. You give him any opportunity and he will see the possibility in it,” he said.
Haywood brought his family with him for the interview, driving down to Texas in their fifth-wheel with his wife and two children, age 8 and 7. That made quite an impression on Walker.
“Not a lot of people bring their families for the training, but he did,” Walker said. “I saw how well behaved his kids were and that he is a good family man.”
Haywood said his family looked on the trip as a family vacation and as a bonus, he felt extremely positive about the interview. Aire Serve’s training includes learning about the company’s code of values, which includes 14 steps.
“We want to find out when they come down if they fit that culture. Is this the type of person who treats others like they would like to be treated?” Walker said. “We talk through that and explain that is our culture and our secret sauce.”
During the interview process, the company knew that Haywood definitely followed that code of values.
“Customer service is the most important thing. People first,” Walker said.
Haywood attended Renton Technical College from 1992 to 1993 and has been a technician ever since. He operated his own business before signing on with Aire Serve.
Aire Serv of Gig Harbor is qualified to meet all of its customers’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning needs, and the staff strives to focus on the peace of mind of their customers, who many times call when they are in a state of panic, Haywood said.
Haywood understands and has an ability to empathize with that situation. The company services both sides of the bridge with residential and commercial services ranging from routine preventative maintenance to a brand new system installation.
“Everyone here is part of the team and we work together,” he said. “We have another truck coming the middle of this month and when that happens I’ll be able to go out and help.”
“I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years and I feel like I am the old man in the business,” he said, adding that their licensed, expert technicians guarantee repairs will be done right the first time.
Currently, Aire Serv of Gig Harbor has three employees, and Haywood runs the show.
“We are warranty certified to service every name brand out there and anyone needing service can call us,” Haywood said.
Haywood has lived in the Pacific Northwest since he was 19 and said he and his family enjoy the Gig Harbor area.
“Gig Harbor just has a good vibe to it and we plan on staying here,” he said.
Aire Serv of Gig Harbor is located at 6617A 38th Ave. The phone number is 253-358-7682 and the company website is AireServ.com/GigHarbor.