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Pentair Pool Builder Software May Just Be a Game Changer

We take a look under the hood at Pentair Pool Builder and discuss the software with developer Tommy Reynolds.

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Pentair Pool Builder Software May Just Be a Game Changer

These days pool builders are searching for best-in-class software that can help them save time, improve efficiency, and communicate better with customers. Pentair Pool Builder is a software that aims to do exactly that. While there are plenty of solutions out there geared toward design, few applications exist for managing a pool construction business. Pool builders in general prefer a system that offers flexibility, ease of use, and reliability. Consequently, Tommy Reynolds, the developer behind the software, said his app is the game changer that the pool industry has been waiting for. We had the chance to discuss the software with Reynolds on the Pool Magazine Podcast and got the opportunity to learn more about the features and benefits.

One on One With Pentair Pool Builder Developer, Tommy Reynolds

For Reynolds, the path toward developing the app started with building a pool. A seasoned software developer and entrepreneur, he was having a swimming pool of his own built and discovered that communication throughout the process was lacking.”I was going through building a pool and had some experiences. I felt like as a consumer, I should be a little bit more connected. That was kind of the premise of me getting involved in starting this project,” said Reynolds.

Frustrations With The Pool Building Process

For Reynolds, he felt that he knew what to expect before construction began but once things got started is when he felt the need for better communication. “When we got to construction, there were a few communication gaps. A lot of times they use subcontractors, and their availability could be at the drop of a hat. They’re going to be at your place unannounced to work on the pool.” explained Reynolds, when describing the frustrations.

“My dog had been let out a couple of times,” said Reynolds, “and so I just thought, ‘I wish there was an app that I could put on my phone that would tell me when someone’s going to be at the house, I could put the dogs away.’ I just felt like, maybe there’s an app for this. I approached my builder and asked him, ‘Do you have an app for me to use?’ And he said he didn’t. My next question was, ‘Does anybody have an app?'”

“He’s been building pools for 25 years, and an industry expert, and so he said he didn’t know of anything for the customer,” explained Reynolds, “so that really started the creative juices flowing and made me think I should just take this on as a passion project for him and I to work on something. I figured, if it works out, he can share this with the next customer, and then they could benefit from what we built.”

Reynold’s builder recognized the potential of what they had developed in a short time frame and began showing it to his Pentair dealer who took interest in the app and invited Reynolds to demonstrate it for the senior leadership team at Pentair. “I was invited to go to the International Pool & Spa Expo to show them what we’d been working on,” explained Reynolds, “When I showed them what we were doing, they said, ‘This is pretty cool and we’d like to be a part of it.'”

Reynolds, who began working locally with pool builders in Texas said word began to get around fast. “Once we got out there, we really knew that we had something. There’s a real demand and need for this type of product. So we started working with builders locally and then it just grew to what it is today,” explained Reynolds.

Learn more about Pentair’s new software for pool builders – Pentair Pool Builder

Communication is the #1 Challenge for Pool Builders

“I think the biggest challenge that a lot of pool builders have is just with communication and managing the customer’s expectations along with inner office communications and their subcontractors,” said Reynolds, “what Pentair Pool Builder really does is it addresses the communications gap. We start with the sales lead management process. When a salesperson goes out to the job site, they can begin taking photos and uploading those right then and there. We relieve some of the stress and friction just by allowing them to do things on the spot. The mobile application allows that salesperson to manage that lead throughout the process.”

Problems That Pentair Pool Builder Solves

Pentair Pool Builder promises to solve a few different problems that contractors face on a daily basis. Their mobile-friendly app enables builders to simplify job costing with real-time pricing updates and easily create instant estimates and change orders that be signed electronically. With a robust built-in CRM, salespeople can efficiently manage their leads and sales with better visibility.

Pentair Pool Builder is feature packed and has numerous cost saving benefits.

Core Benefits:

  • DITCH PRICING SHEETS
  • LESS WINDSHIELD TIME
  • EASY COMMUNICATION
  • EASY CHANGE ORDERS
  • HELP MANAGE MORE SALES
  • EASY INTEGRATION

What Pool Builders Are Saying About Pentair Pool Builder

  • “It gives the designers the ability to see what’s going on in real time.” – Susan Rodriguez, Office Manager, Cypress Custom Pools 
  • “It’s a very efficient app, and it has helped streamline the building process. For everybody.” – Tommie Fleeman, Project Manager, Backyard Oasis

Simplifying Pool Construction Management

Custom tailoring the pool construction management experience to a variety of contractors was key in developing a tool that can be universally adopted, said Reynolds. “It’s a completely customizable process. So how they build their pool may be different than someone else. They’re able to customize that experience to their process,” he explained.

“The construction module of the software is basically the orchestration of producing a swimming pool,” said Reynolds, “from the time they excavate it to the time they put water in it. All the processes that happen and all the people that it takes to make it happen are managed through the software which provides the ability for scheduling of resources. There are also notifications to let people know when it’s their time to do the job, as well as let other people know what’s happening on the job site.”

The integration of camera monitoring into the software system also promises to lower the amount of windshield time between visiting job sites, explained Reynolds. “Generally the project superintendents are having to drive job to job to check things out. Once we introduced the job site monitoring capability that we now have, it allowed them to do that remotely. Now, they can actually cover more jobs in a single day than they would by driving around to check on those jobs.”

Listen to Our Entire Discussion

Learn more about Pentair Pool Builder take a deeper dive by listening to our conversation with Tommy Reynolds on the Pool Magazine podcast. For those interested in learning more about the software or taking a demo, visit Pentair’s website.

4.9/5 - (10 votes)

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

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MariaEbbert
MariaEbbert
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Contractors and Builders

Pool Tile Installation Starts With Using Proper Materials

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Pool Tile Installation Starts With Using Proper Materials

Proper pool tile installation on vanishing edge walls will prevent clients from thinking that the pool wall is leaking.

It all starts with using the proper pool tile material. Once water begins to infiltrate behind the tiles of the swimming pool, a whole bunch of problems can arise.

Efflorescence in Pool Tile

Efflorescence is carried to the surface from the shotcrete, thin-set or grouts. Even epoxy setting materials can promote efflorescence.

When It Comes to Pool Tile Installation, Setting Materials Make a Difference

Epoxy setting materials are not 100% epoxy. Many still contain cement-based components. The technical sheets for most epoxy thin sets and grouts contain a disclaimer about efflorescence.

Efflorescence in pool tile can occur even when using epoxy setting materials.
Efflorescence in pool tile can occur even when using epoxy setting materials.

Water Getting Behind The Tile

After the vanishing edge is turned off, areas on the wall may continue to be wet for hours – simply from water trapped behind the tiles. This is where many pool tile failures occur.

Water streaming out of cracks in the grout when the vanishing edge system is on, is another indication of voids behind the tiles.

But when a customer sees any sign of water on the “dry side” of the wall, they immediately think the wall is leaking. While this may sometimes be the case sometimes, in most instances, it is merely an improper tile installation.

Pool tiles can chip, crack and pop off over time when using the wrong setting materials.
Pool tiles can chip, crack and pop off over time when using the wrong setting materials.

Prevent Tile Failures – Know The Codes

The TCNA specifies that 95% of the tile must be in contact with thin-set. This can be achieved by back buttering and knocking down the comb/gauge marks. Failing to provide movement joints causes the corners to split and crack as well.

Swimming Pool Expert Witness

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Contractors and Builders

Pool Repairs With a Purpose

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Pool Equipment Repairs

There are plenty of pool companies in Las Vegas. In a landlocked desert town where over 23.8% of households have a pool in the backyard, you’d better believe swimming is big business. Consequently, with the number of swimming pools, there is steady and consistent repair work for knowledgeable professionals with the right know-how. One of those firms which stands out not just for their expertise, but because of their particular mission; is Purpose Pools.

The Henderson-based company has been making a name for itself throughout the Las Vegas region by providing reliable pool equipment repairs and warranty work. Recently we caught up with the owner, Scott Reynolds, on the Pool Magazine podcast which gave us some insight as to what his firm is doing differently in their local community.

Performing Pool Equipment Repairs in an Underserved Market

“Las Vegas is just booming right now and has been for decades. I’ve lived here for the majority of my life. When I got here many years ago we were at a population of about 200,000, now we’re closer to three million. We’ve got upwards of 5,000 people moving here every single month. The need for pool professionals is growing. We’re projected to reach 4 million residents by 2055,” explained Reynolds.

Reynolds, who has eyes on the field when it comes to new pool construction in Sin City, says that while things may be slowing down in other parts of the country, pool companies in Las Vegas are still inundated.

Demand Seems Unphased By Recession in Las Vegas

News of a recession and inflation has been circulating throughout the media but so far Reynolds says, “We just aren’t feeling it yet in Vegas yet. That’s probably due to the offset of new homeowners coming into the Valley. Each and every month, we’re helping more and more homeowners and haven’t really seen signs of that slowing down yet.”

“Post Covid, the pool has become valuable as a safe place to recreate with friends and family. I know we’re feeling it at the gas pump and other places, but as far as homeowners continuing to invest in their pools, we’re still seeing that as well as them leveraging their home warranty and manufacturers warranty to help offset those expenses,” explained Reynolds.

“We provide equipment manufacturer warranty work for some of the top builders in the nation here in Las Vegas, and based off of my conversations with them we see no signs of slowdowns. Some of these builders are more than a year out,” said Reynolds.

Las Vegas Homeowners Continue To Reinvest In Pool Equipment Repairs & Upgrades

Reynolds, whose firm is one of the leading pool equipment installation and repair firms in town, says that this year’s interest has been white hot as far as homeowners reinvesting in their existing pools.

Popular Pool Equipment Upgrades

“What’s been really hot this year is we see a lot of consumers looking to upgrade to a variable speed pump,” said Reynolds, “these new pumps can help consumers save up to 90% on their utility bills and operate much quieter than a conventional single-speed pump.”

Requests for pool automation have also dramatically increased says Reynolds, “I’d say it accounts for around a third of our business,” he explained, “they want to add ease, control and comfort to their swimming pool.”

Another popular upgrade homeowners are looking to make in light of the recent spike in chlorine prices is upgrading their pool to a saltwater system. “Chlorine is getting so expensive that there are companies willing to finance a bucket of chlorine,” explained Reynolds, “It costs around $3,000 to upgrade to a salt system, but again we’re seeing homeowners willing to invest that money into their pool to realize the cost savings on chemicals.”

The fact that demand remains high in Las Vegas is good news for the industry. It’s also been instrumental in helping Reynolds grow his pool equipment repair service company. His firm, Purpose Pools was established with the mindset of helping his local community. Consequently, the firm has been doing just that since its inception.

Partnering With Professionals

Reynolds’ firm has partnered with many of the leading pool construction companies in Las Vegas to provide warranty work for pool equipment repairs. Consequently, he’s also working with many of the leading pool service companies that don’t handle equipment repairs. “There are a lot of pool service companies in Las Vegas that do a great job at cleaning and maintenance but just aren’t very knowledgeable when it comes to repairs. We partner with them on installations and repairs and train them up a bit so that they can better service their own clients,” said Reynolds.

Pool Equipment Repair Company Finds Ways To Give Back to the Community

The mission of the firm is also stated right in its company name ‘Purpose Pools’ and one that Reynolds and the company take seriously. “The very foundation of our company is to support our community. It’s in our name and in our actions. What we do regularly is, donate to charities. Our customers nominate local charities and donate their old pool equipment to be recycled. Essentially, all of that money that is recouped from recycling is donated directly back into the Las Vegas community,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds says he finds it fulfilling to be able to donate to local charities by recycling old pool equipment.
Reynolds says he finds it fulfilling to be able to donate to local charities by recycling old pool equipment.

Some of the organizations that Purpose Pools have been able to help recently include the March of Dimes, St. Judes Children Research Hospital, Las Vegas Rescue Mission and the list goes on and on. “It’s cool that we’re able to do this and amazing that our customers are willing to contribute by allowing us to take their old components, recycle them and at the same time are helping us give back to this incredible community,” said Reynolds.

Listen to our entire conversation with Scott Reynolds of Purpose Pools on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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Contractors and Builders

Premier Pools & Spas Elevates New Talent in the Pool Industry

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Premier Pools & Spas Elevates New Talent in the Pool Industry

Partnering with the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, Sacramento-based company is able to educate and certify young professionals

When Lance Irby came to work at Premier Pools & Spas for owner Keith Harbeck back in 2012, he didn’t even know what a skimmer was.

“But I found out pretty quickly!” he jokes, now 10 years into his career as a pool professional and sales manager at Premier Pools & Spas in Sacramento, California. Irby’s previous industry “experience” consisted of one public swimming pool lesson and some construction work. He rose to become the man his mentor Harbeck calls “the best pool salesman I’ve ever met.” That’s high praise considering Harbeck founded Premier Pools & Spas in 1988, a company that is now the world’s largest pool builder with franchises in over 60 locations.

Like many construction businesses, pool builders have struggled to attract and keep young talent like Irby. It’s something that Harbeck noticed and felt compelled to change.

“Although we have some salespeople here that had worked previously for other builders, it’s not really what we do anymore. And that’s true in other places, too, even in scheduling and supervision,” says Harbeck, who himself started cleaning pools as a kid. “I think it’s far more important to hire for character as opposed to skill. We can train and teach in this industry.”

Premier Pools & Spas - Sacramento, CA
Premier Pools & Spas – Sacramento, CA

Certification programs raise the bar

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) supports that goal of bringing new life into the industry. PHTA sets professional standards and provides education and certification. Irby took “every single class” PHTA offered last year and became a Certified Master Pool Builder & Design Professional. It’s the highest level of certification under the PHTA Certified Pool Builder & Design Professional Pathway powered by GENESIS® and offered in-person and virtually.

Premier Pools & Spas just signed up 43 more people to begin their certification tracks this year, an investment Harbeck champions and that Irby says “really fast-tracked” his abilities.

Harbeck and Irby both say the message is clear: “This is a career. It doesn’t have to be just a job.”

“I had other jobs before I worked at Premier Pools & Spas. I would clock in at nine and clock out at five. And I knew when my breaks and my lunchtimes were, and it was mundane and repetitive,” Irby recalls. “Our industry is quite dynamic. I don’t know that we always represent ourselves as an industry, as a very professional environment or destination for skilled employees.”

Weathering change all comes down to customers and employees

“Dynamic” is an understated way to describe a long career in this business. The constant change is one of the reasons Harbeck has stuck with the business for these 30+ years. Technology has impacted everything. The move from phone book listings to online and text message advertising and communication. The digitization and increasing complexity of the permitting process. The shift to 3D software and virtual reality in sales and design. These are all areas that require new approaches.

“When I started in ‘88, yes, there were some elaborate pools, but not like today. There are so many features and options, and things people can add to swimming pools. It’s a much different product and a much different consumer,” Harbeck says. “So, it’s a relatively young industry when you stop and think about it.”

The technological acceleration comes as the swimming pool business is booming. It’s a flashback to the recession for Harbeck. Business peaked pre-recession when he was building 1,000 pools a year in the Sacramento area. By 2008, he was building 260 pools a year. It nearly put him out of business.

“It was the Great American Pool Depression. We had a 75% decrease in business. What it did teach me then, as always, it comes down to your customer service and your reputation,” Harbeck says. “The experience of building a pool has always been my passion. So, as we came out of that recession, I redoubled the focus on that.”

Harbeck hit the streets. He went door-to-door putting up fliers to drum up business. It worked. Premier Pools & Spas survived and thrived. For the first 10 years out of the recession, the business grew at 20% per year.

Training the next generation of pros

Last year Premier Pools & Spas saw a whopping 37% growth rate. Harbeck doesn’t bank on that being sustainable. Instead of stepping back from the day-to-day he has dived in deeper, especially where it comes to training up his next generation of leaders, like Irby, who in turn champion his emphasis on customer service.

“Keith is a great teacher. He treats people well. He is kind. He is humble. And when you’re that way as a leader, and then you instill that in other people throughout the organization, it just has a trickledown effect to even how we treat our customers,” says Irby.

Now Irby’s brother has joined him in the pool business. He says he will keep spreading the message that the pool industry is the place to be, that this is “a very good career (that) will take care of your family.”

Consider the newest Irby in the business just one more person who will be starting a PHTA certification program soon. Irby says he knows how it makes people feel to be empowered in their careers.

“Everybody was extremely excited about what they were learning,” he says of his team’s GENESIS® journey. “There was a lot of positivity on the job site the next day after being online. It’s a lot of work, but very fulfilling.”

https://www.phta.org/membership/be-a-part-of-phta/phta-deep-dives/premier-pools-spas/

Photo Credit: Jovan Valdez

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