Meet Brian Schutt, co-founder of Homesense Heating & Cooling. Homesense provides a refreshingly different approach to the industry. No gimmicks. No games. Just honest advice and reliable service from experienced EPA certified technicians. The company offers heating, cooling, and indoor air quality products and services to the greater Indianapolis area through a unique blend of industry expertise, integrity, and empathy. Get to know Brian as he discusses his greatest career takeaways, what the customer experience means to him, and why choosing local service can be the best decision for your home.
Can you describe your mindset when you co-founded Homesense in 2009?
When we founded Homesense (Jesse Cross and I) we didn’t have a big elaborate business plan, we started as homeowners with frustrations around the service we had received, and probably thought we could jump into it. Since we didn’t start as technicians, that homeowner perspective we shared helped shape who we are and what we’ve done. Having that customer mindset from the start, we created a refreshing customer experience built around unmatched integrity.
Why do you feel it is important to be known as a local business?
To scale a business is to create repeatable processes and procedures, and standardization is fine and acceptable, but it does not allow for a lot of process flexibility to meet the unique needs many homeowners need. We hire smart individuals and empower them to make decisions best for the customer. With flexible decision-making, we make real-time decisions to help customers find a more personalized solution.
What philosophies or strategies are at the core of your business?
We call our mission “The Heart of Homesense,” which promotes 11 different pillars centered around trust. We built the business around spelling out how to create a refreshingly different customer experience. There’s something profound about putting our values in writing, which are both outward and inward-facing for us.
What advice would you give to those thinking of starting their own business?
Early on in any business, nothing starts perfectly. Give yourself grace, but make little improvements over time, and know that’s the only way great things are built. Failure is a necessary part of growth, which is not always something you are taught in school.
Best advice you’ve ever received (career-related or not)?
One of my first mentors out of college always emphasized that I should “write it down!”
Typically, we retain less than 10% of what is said out loud. This can be the biggest mistake for people in business. If you’re trying to achieve anything, take good notes. If we think we have reliable memory, we will fool ourselves.
My philosophy is to be the type of service provider you would want going into your mother’s house. The local community seeks someone who has integrity and respect.
What is the greatest challenge in your industry?
Entrepreneurism is where cultural problems get resolved, where we reverse engineer our ideals, and where we facilitate an environment for jobs. Entrepreneurs create businesses that fill in the gaps.
So many of our institutions are outdated and don’t engage people in human ways. If we collectively want to have more people employed in the industry, we need to foster entrepreneurship. There is too little done around policy and innovation.
In fact, there’s such an emphasis on a college education for everyone, as a consequence, we have 100,000 fewer HVAC techs than what’s in demand right now. I would say our greatest industry challenge is the undersupply of well-trained HVAC techs.
Can you tell me about “Goodsense,” the new video series you recently launched?
We launched Goodsense to answer homeowners’ questions while closing the knowledge gap between homeowners and technicians
Essentially, it’s an extension of what we’ve been doing: simplify the complex, take key questions of HVAC systems and break them down into language any homeowner can understand. We’re in an ethical, complex industry, it’s important our clients understand to have meaningful conversations to help them. As homeowners ourselves, we question “how would we want to be served?”
What is one fun fact about you or your business that people may not know about?
One personal fun fact is that I lived in Cabo San Lucas for about 2 years. I worked at a hotel and ran a leadership program for college students during their summer and winter breaks.
As for Homesense, I am very proud to share that we provide a 5 week paid sabbatical to any team member that has been with the company for 5 years. We wanted to honor the commitment our employees made over the long run. This is a really unique opportunity for the folks that work in our industry.
Anything else we should know?
Veterans and Public Servants always get 10% all services!
If you are looking for reliable help with your heating and cooling systems, Homesense Heating & Cooling can help (click here to visit their website). To stay in the loop, be sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram (trust us, you don’t want to miss out on their witty memes)!
Want to be our next Featured Member? Sign up to become an Indiana Original today, and explore all the benefits of joining the community here!