New York, NY The New York Real Estate Journal recently sat down with John Meyers, CEO and president of Pumping Solutions Inc., for a question and answer session. The pump sales and service company serves real estate companies, commercial establishments, colleges, and hospitals all across the New York Metropolitan area.
Q: How did you get started in the business?
A: Well, I always knew I wanted to start my own business. Back in the day, I was trained as a plumber, but I was always looking for a way to take this trade and turn it into something more profitable. A way I could scale it, something unique. I started working for the transit authority in New York and that’s when I was introduced to larger capacity pumps. On the job site, we would always have to wait for the pump guy to show up because he had a speciality trade outside of ours. I realized at that point that this is a good business to look into.
Q: What did you do next?
A: I thought about the future and realized all of the options I had learning about this speciality trade. I could become a wholesaler or start a fix and repair facility, and I discovered it was a pretty lucrative business. So all I had to do was learn about the pumps and study them.
I went to work for a pump and service company, as a basic pump mechanic. They were a distributor for the New York metropolitan area for pumps, controls, etc., and I took that job to learn exactly how to run a service sales company. I realized that if they could do it, I could do it just as well. So I decided to go out on my own.
Q: How did your business grow?
A: Word of mouth. My clients were satisfied. I had accounts like Related Management, Archstone Builders, Soho Realty, RY Management, Douglas Ellliman, Equity Residential, Brown Harris Stevens, Rose Associates, and New York Health & Hospitals. As people who worked for those management companies move onto different jobs, they brought us along with them. We’ve never had to spend a dime advertising. I’ve been blessed with the fortune of being busy and I think my employees have a lot to do it with it. Our employees have been dedicated to our customers and a big part of growing the business.
Q: Who are your clients now?
A: Commercial and residential real estate, hospitals, institutions all across the five boroughs in New York and New Jersey. We try to provide great customer service and respond quickly to our customer needs.
Q: Why is your service so important for these buildings?
A: Our area has many tall buildings. You have to realize, that everything comes and goes through the pumps. The heating, air conditioning, and hot and cold domestic water. There are a lot of things that go wrong if the pump systems aren’t working. The tenants in the buildings won’t be happy if they don’t have running water. Pumps make a building come alive. If the pumps aren’t working, the building cannot provide essential services to their occupants. I responded to many emergency calls over the past 25 years. With my plumbing background and the addition of working with the pumps, I have extensive knowledge on how these systems function as a whole. I have serviced many of my customers for years and they trust my company to find the problems and fix them.
Q: And your mechanics are available 24/7?
A: Our mechanics are available 24 hours, seven days a week. We are mostly a service based company so when tenants and managers aren’t happy with how things operate in their building as far as water and heating, that’s when we come in. We fix problems with water pressure, heating, cooling and focus on the hydraulics of the building. We enhance the living experience of tenants. We want the water to run quietly and efficiently. We’ll pump water out of buildings when it floods, handle emergency shutdowns, provide equipment maintenance, etc. Our goal is to prevent and predict downtime and resolve any issues as fast as possible. We are very proud of our level of customer service.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of this business?
A: After we finished a job, that our customer is pleased! It’s nice to know that we fixed their problems and they can count on us. It’s a team effort. That is what’s most rewarding.
Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through starting this business?
A: How to manage my employees and how to make them comfortable when they are working hard. It’s a tough job. I have to let my guys know that I respect them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. That and money management! Stay away from lines of credits.
Q: What is the future of Pumping Solutions?
A: We are a family-owned and operated company and soon Pumping Solutions will be expanding. We are also focused on educating our younger employees for the future. Training and education is extremely necessary and important to long-term growth. We will grow smart and strategically as our main goal is always to respond to our customer needs quickly and efficiently and leave a professional touch on everything we do.