“It’s not personal; it’s just business.” We’ve all heard this popular saying before…but business IS personal, especially to Keith McLeod of Conroe, Texas. “I love meeting customers,” Keith tells Postcards when we discuss Highlander Roofing and Renovations. Servicing the Conroe/Montgomery/Woodlands area, Keith has been building his customer base with the goal of being that “home-town” guy clients and community trust. Integrity is what fuels his passion for helping others achieve exactly what they want in their homes—at both a fair price and with quality work well done.
We meet in his family’s home of nine years in Conroe and visit with his wife and daughter while he hurriedly cleans off after a busy day laying tile. His wife Erica and daughter Daire travel often to L.A. and New York, as 10-year-old Daire pursues acting and singing roles in film and theatre. She is currently an active member at the Creighton Theatre in Conroe.
Erica is a consultant and “momager” with a warm smile and an upbeat manor, which is matched by her daughter’s animated and precocious personality. Erica talks about her husband with admiration on her face. With a strong sense of family and strong ties to his Scottish heritage, honesty and ingenuity are the pillars on which he builds his work ethic and reputation. “His mindset is ‘hold fast.’ ‘Hold fast’ to your family, your beliefs…and he has that same mindset toward his customers. He has this very personable, innate ability to connect with people.”
She turns to her daughter, who is at the kitchen sink. “Hey dear, I’ll ask you this. How would you describe your daddy’s business? What does he do for people?’ Daire comes to join us with a grin on her face, happy to be included in the interview. “How I would describe his business is he does do tile, he does do roofing, but I also think that my dad likes to help people; he talks to me and really connects to what I’m saying. He doesn’t act like, ‘I’m just here to do a job.’ He actually has a physical conversation with you, and you can connect with what he’s saying. And for some reason, he’s got this weird charm, and I think it rubs off on you,” she replies (yes, she is 10!), sending her mother into a burst of laughter at her mature and quick answer.
Keith walks in wearing a kilt, hat, and a clean “Highlander Roofing and Renovations” T-shirt. On the front of Keith’s kilt is a sporran, a rabbit fur pouch from Scotland. Keith and Erica married at Dunvegan castle in Scotland, the castle his clan lived in for centuries. He asks his wife and daughter, “How did it go?” as today Erica and Daire attended an audition for a part in Broadway’s The Sound of Music, an endeavor that would land young Daire with the big dogs, after being serious about theatre since February. Their family loves the thrill, travel, and adventure that come with doing this together.
While we continue our visit with Keith, Erica and Daire leave us to go film an audition tape across the house in a room they have transformed into a studio. In the background while we talk, a gentle ballad from The Sound of Music is sung in a clear, young, angelic voice.
One of Keith’s favorite aspects of his work is the opportunity to help people make their home better as honestly and personably as he can. Highlander Roofing and Renovations can help with all your basic home needs, whether it be decks, fences, roofs, remodeling, painting, or a project you’ve been waiting for the right time to start. He really does a little bit of everything! The differing challenges keep him interested, and his love for people is embodied in his visits and interactions with customers.
He began working in construction during high school, and has since traveled all over the world to places like Africa and Siberia to build crew quarters and work in instrumentation on oil rigs. He began Highlander Roofing about 3 years ago, starting out only doing roofing, and has since added the renovations expertise. His many years of experience have allowed him to develop an eye for flaws and potential problems, even if they are unrelated to the work he is doing for the client. If he sees something that needs fixing, for example a broken pipe, he wants to ensure all the issues are taken care of, even when it means hiring someone else to do a different job. He keeps his customers’ best interests at heart and treats them like he would his own. Keith will always take photos to show customers exactly what the problem is, therefore giving them a “before and after” reference to show progress, and to have an end result to compare to the beginning of the project. He uses photos in order to best inform the customer on work that needs to be done; it’s his way of guaranteeing a noticeable and comparable difference, laid out honestly. “I think of everyone as part of my family. I’ll do whatever I can at a fair price. When I go to a house, I’m going to tell them what I see, what I don’t see, and what I can do for you. I want them to be comfortable knowing, ‘Hey, this guy is gonna be here.’” Keith prides himself on building a rapport with clients and keeping himself accessible and involved.
Ultimately, the goal is to grow his business to a point where he will handle all the personal aspects of the business, while hiring project managers and contractors for the hands-on. Keith justifies his all-in attitude toward work and community with the line, “You only have one ride on the merry-go-round.”