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When I was a young builder in the early '80s, there was an old-timer in town who worked with a couple of his sons, a small crew, and a handful of good local subcontractors. Despite never advertising, these guys took job after job away from me (and other competitors), selling them for prices much higher than I could have imagined anyone getting at the time. Their workmanship was good but nothing extraordinary, and - in my opinion - their building science was stuck at 1955. Still, there was something about them that kept them working for the best clients, doing high-visibility projects at the highest possible selling prices and, I'm guessing, the highest profit margins. Thankfully, they usually worked on only one job at a time, so once they were booked up they'd be out of our hair for a few months.
At the time, I often wondered: What did that old-timer know that I didn't?