By Deborah Bostock-Kelley.
In 2018, after years of traveling throughout the country for his career, when Eric Campbell finally decided to come off the road, he was looking for a franchise business that could be he and his wife, Christy’s legacy. He wanted a company that shared his values. With healthcare finance and consulting background, Eric searched for a process-oriented business. When he discovered Neighborly, the Mr. Electric brand’s parent company, he knew he found his perfect match.
“The values mimicked my own,” he said. “As a finance guy, I’m very process-oriented. With a franchise like Mr. Electric, there are processes in place to ensure every customer receives the same high-quality electrical service, and everybody is charged the same prices. The customer is getting things done by code, by professional electricians.”
In less than two years of starting Mr. Electric of Lutz, Eric has over 170 five-star reviews on Google touting his company and employees’ professionalism serving customers in the Tampa Gulf Region.
He has already outgrown two offices and is moving on to the third, recognized as the fastest-growing franchisee in the Mr. Electric system. His one service van has graduated to nine vans, and his licensed and bonded electricians share over 250 years of experience in his team of 15.
Though Mr. Electric has always followed safety protocols of shoe booties and gloves, social-distancing, face masks, and sanitizer are a regular part of the pandemic’s service procedures. For his team and his customers’ safety, Mr. Electric employs state-of-the-art technology, Service Titan, allowing the customer to electronically sign and approve any quotes for work or remit payment for an invoice via text. For services outside or in a garage and not in the customer’s home, contactless service is available.
“The customer will be in their home and won’t need to talk to us person-to-person. We can show up on-site, tell them what we need to do, how long it will take, send the estimate, pick up the phone, call them and ask how they would like to proceed. We’ve done that a lot, more than I would have thought, over the last six months. They can look out their window and see us visually doing the work, all without contact.”
That same technology allows a grapevine between all electricians in Mr. Electric of Lutz’s employ. If an unusual problem arises during a standard troubleshoot call, a response is at the electrician’s fingertips. He simply clicks an app to talk or sends his question, photos, and even video of the issue to the team.
“If the Service Professional runs into an issue that he or she hasn’t encountered, they can put it into our app, and other guys on the team can help lead them through the issue. This has been a huge help on troubleshoots.”
Eric said the most common issue in residential calls is replacing an outdated electrical panel, outlets, wiring, or installing new fixtures.
Eric explained the danger of keeping an electrical panel past its shelf life.
“An electrical panel only has a 20 to 25-year life before you should think about replacing it or have someone evaluate it and give you an assessment.
Oftentimes you go into a home to look at a problem with a receptacle or a switch – something going on in a couple of rooms – and we open the panel. We see the panel is 40 years old, the company who manufactured it is no longer around, so we’re unable to get the proper breakers that go into it, and they may be known fire hazards. They’re several panels on a banned list that we run across all too frequently.”
Though Eric himself is not an electrician, he has no problem getting hands-on for his customers in other capacities. In a recent removal and installation of a chandelier in a 25-foot foyer ceiling for customer Abbey Shandra, Eric and his service manager, Alan Hancock, were on site for the service. Eric was happy to lend a hand to be his employees’ gopher.
“I handed them a screwdriver,” Eric joked. “I can do that kind of stuff.”
Mr. Shandra posted on Google his appreciation for having the president of the company oversee the installation.
“I opened this company to A – hire people and be a productive member of society and B – for my wife and me to build something for our retirement…if I ever decide to retire. We strive to do the right thing for our customers. My integrity means the world to me. If I can’t do something right, I’m going to figure out how to do it right, even if it costs me money.”
Eric said what he likes most about being the president of Mr. Electric of Lutz is helping people.
“We are truly keeping people’s homes and workplaces safe from their electrical system. Sometimes we go into a home and shake our heads in amazement at how unsafe their electrical system is.”
Sometimes technicians pull out a receptacle and discover it is completely burnt. Frequently work done by unlicensed contractors or untrained handymen necessitate an urgent call to Mr. Electric to repair the repair. Homeowners don’t realize that saving a few dollars could become a dangerous fire hazard.
“You have to pay for a professional. An analogy is you go to a doctor to see a doctor. You don’t go to the guy at Target for a medical consult,” he explained. “Our employees are licensed, insured, drug-tested, background-checked, wear a uniform, and have clean vehicles. We aren’t parking in your driveway, dripping oil. We are professionals.
When I go to bed at night, I know I can sleep well because I’ve helped homeowners and business owners by keeping them safe, and I’ve employed guys that I feel very comfortable having in your home, and I’m glad to be able to add to the Tampa’s workforce.”
Mr. Electric is open weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM. Call (813) 461-3030 for an appointment or visit mrelectric.com/lutz to learn more information. In November, Mr. Electric of Lutz offers customers $50 off whole home surge protection installation.