It’s something true locals understand. Growing up in Traverse City before it was “On the Map” had its advantages. There is still a set of locals who refer to the mall as “The New Mall”. Olsens will forever be on Front Street. And nothing will EVER replace Taco House. Traverse City also comes with its own history. A bit of which is slipping away. William comes from the viewpoint that if a 120 year old down town victorian can be saved, it should be.
William graduated from St Francis in 1995 before heading off to WMU. With a degree in Management and Marketing, William was hired by the original founders of Home Depot. He was a member of a team that would forever change how Home Improvement products would be sold. Berrie and Authur had decided to step away from the business, and Bob Nardelli was taking over as CEO. The focus of the company was shifting to a true Fortune 500 Company. William worked on a team that developed the “Product Knowledge” cards for aisle associates. Home Depot gave William an opportunity, few in the building industry will ever receive. He was able to travel to all the major building supply manufacturers, and receive first hand training on how they designed, and expected their products to be installed and used.
After three very informative years, William wanted to return to his roots. His Father was a serial entrepreneur, establishing several successful businesses. At the age of 14, William was running a very small mail order car accessory from his bedroom, complete with his own credit card machine. It was time for him to be his own boss.
William’s Father suggested he give real estate appraising a try. It had a low cost of entry, and required the skill set William had developed for valuing properties and projects. The work was very steady, but a bit too clinical. 6 Months later, he answered a craigslist ad from a young entrepreneur from California and things would grow from there.
David was in his early 20’s as well, and looking for someone in the Detroit market to value potential real estate deals for him. William took a chance, and started working part time for him, while still running his new Appraisal Business. David would send William potential homes to preview. William would view them, give estimates for repairs, and after repair values. Based on this guidance, David bought 1 property, followed by 3……until he had purchased nearly 70 properties.
In the beginning, William started doing the rehabs himself. Then brought on a near dear friend, Scott, who was attending law school. The two friends would rehab homes in Detroit in the evening and weekends. As the weeks turned into months, William hired Micheal, David, Kristina, Mario, Giovani….. And the team just continued to grow.
Enter the “Great Recession of 2007/08” . While the majority of companies were contracting, William’s grew faster and faster. International and out of State investors were pouring into the depressed markets Michigan had to offer. Over the course of 10 years, Williams teams renovated more than 1100 properties!
As the recession ended, William pivoted again. He began buying older homes that were considered “no longer economically viable” and began to renovate them. Before there were shows on HGTV, William was renovating 100+ year old homes, with all the modern conveniences of a new construction.
Word of mouth referrals have driven our entire business. We’ve never placed a single ad, purchased a radio spot, or posted our faces on a billboard. Just satisfied clients sharing their stories with Friends and Families.
In 2014, the opportunity to return home presented itself. A dream property directly across the lake from Williams childhood home came on the market. Within 6 hours, he had placed a purchase agreement, and the latest chapter began.
In 2018, word came that the office space William rented, was being purchased so it could be torn down, and yet more nondescript condo’s could be built in its place. William started looking for a property with character and soul, that he could purchase and preserve.
Late one evening, the perfect property presented itself. A property originally built by Perry Hanna in 1851, had presented itself. It had been ignored, and abused for decades, and small apt building. Within 20 minutes of listing, William had rushed a full price offer to the realtor, along with an impassioned letter promising to save it, and NOT tear it down.
In just 5 short months, Williams team has completely renovated the property! Research unearthed its original color (Blue with Colonial Red Trim). With a nod to the period, the original exterior windows were replaced with new modern energy efficient windows installed on the inside, preserving the exterior history, and adding modern functionality.
The exterior now sports the only FULL wrap around porch, with a beautiful gazebo directly on the corner, adorned in a wonderful Colonial Red Roof. The mixture of texture, color and building materials has not only transformed the property, but the entire entrance to Front Street (From Long Lake).
This stewardship, of our unique small town, is what RDB is all about. Anyone can build a new home. Anyone can replace a roof. Not just anyone can look at a property, and see past the facade. RDB is unique in its ability to not only make the physical repairs, alterations to a property. But also its ability to design, render, and source the materials that make each project truly unique. It may be a 200 year old beam used as a mantle, a live edge dining room table built to set off a dining room, or the use of metal roofing as accents. RDB has the skill set needed to bring your vision to reality.
Family and Friends have been pushing to take RDB Public. This entire web site, etc, comes at the encouragement of the friends we’ve made in the SlabTown community, GTACS, referrals from our Real Estate Clients etc. They have encouraged us to start sharing more of our story. Showing people the day to day work that goes into building something that our children will one day be able to take over. Encouraging the next chapter in our story.