WOMEN IN BUSINESS INTERVIEW SERIES | COMPLETE RESTORATION SERVICES
A Business Woman in Boise
Corey Langdon, COO, CFO and Co-Founder of Complete Restoration Services, is obviously used to wearing many hats. As a mother, business owner and little league coach she always gives 100% and consistently proves you can be a boss, even in a primarily male-dominated industry. We sat down with Corey to discuss her career and how she keeps balance in a busy world.
So, first, before we dive into these questions; can you tell us a little bit about Complete Restoration Services and what you guys do?
Complete Restoration Services is a locally owned and operated restoration company. We started it in June of 2008. CRS cleans up all commercial and residential losses. Including; water damage, mold damage, fire damage, smoke damage, odor removal, sewage damage, reconstruction, crawl space cleanup, asbestos & biohazard damage cleanups, etc. Everything small to large ranging from residential to commercial properties.
How large of a project can CRS service?
We've handled multiple large losses just under $500,000.
Let's start at the beginning. What were you like in high school and how do you feel about that now?
In high school I was quite shy and introverted - I focused on school. During my senior year, I took multiple college classes at CSI for college credit. I wanted to get it done and I wanted to move on to bigger and better things.
What did you imagine your life looking like after graduating from academia?
I didn’t really have a picture in mind for my career. After graduating college my main focus was starting a family and staying at home to raise my kids. My career came second to my family.
Are you from Boise originally?
I was born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho. I moved to Boise in 2003 to go to school at BSU. My first 2 years of college I was a psychology major and then I changed to horticulture. I graduated BSU in 2008 with a bachelor's in horticulture with an emphasis in business.
What was your motivation to start doing this kind of business?
It was my husband's idea to start a restoration company. We started the company in 2008 right before we got married. Chris worked in the industry for five years prior to wanting to start his own company. He taught me the ins and out of the business. I worked part-time for the company writing estimates while I stayed at home with the kids and slowly took over more and more over the years. The storm of 2017 really kicked my restoration career into gear. We were so busy, I started working over 60 plus hours a week to keep up with demand and I have not slowed down since.
As a young adult first breaking into your career, what fears did you experience and what did you do to combat those worries?
My biggest fear was we relied on business relationships to refer us work. We were a very small company at first and needed just a few jobs to get by. We lived paycheck to paycheck and it was scary. If we didn't have work, we didn't take a paycheck. There was no real way to combat the fear. The fear drove us to get our name out there and make more connections.
So how do you win clients over?
We win people over by the quality of work we do. We are a family run company. We’re not a franchise like most of our competitors. You can call the office and speak to Chris or myself. Plus, we hire only the best. Our crew is amazing and the customers love them.
What would you say was the most important step you had to take to get to the position you're in now?
The big step was finding the right people for the job. Over the past couple of years, we hired two top-notch industry professionals. They both came from California and worked for larger restoration companies so they know the industry extremely well. They both came with an idea of what they wanted in a career. Their ideas fit right in with how we wanted to expand our company. Today, they each head a division within CRS. They make my job easy most of the time. By years end, I plan on transitioning out of operations. My main focus will be financials and business development.
What's your next big goal? Where would you like to see yourself in the next coming years?
CRS has some major changes in the works. We recently switched accounting and operations software. Our old software limited us on what we could report and there was a time lag with being able to run reports. With the new software in place, we will be able to focus our business on what we do best.
We also upgraded our facility. Our old facility was 6,500 sqft, our new location is 20,000 sqft. The new building is equipped with top of the line content cleaning equipment, smoke chamber, large warehouse for content storage vaults and conference area for training. Our conference room has already been booked for its first training class which is scheduled for the end of June.
The change in software and the larger facility will allow us to grow our company. Our vision is not to be Goliath. Our vision is to specialize in the fields we are best at and increase growth within those divisions. Currently, the biggest problem we face is a local unemployment rate of 2.6%. We are having a hard time finding employees.
Do you have any advice on balancing work and non-work life? How do you keep those things separate? How do you stay sane in both realms?
I am not the best person to ask on that subject!
I had a hard time separating my work and personal life. Chris and I were married for 10 years and went through an amicable divorce this year. While married, business never ended for us. We made the mistake of bringing it home and not leaving it at the office.
My life right now focuses on my kids when I have them and my work when they are with Chris. I also work a lot after they go to sleep at night to stay caught up. Chris and I have a great relationship and are extremely good business partners.
It is hard being a single parent! My kids are extremely active and participate in numerous sports. Not only am I a dance and a karate mom I really enjoy coaching my son’s Little League Baseball team. My days with my kids are non stop with all their after school activities and my work days tend to be 12-14 hour shifts at the office.
I keep my sanity by working out, traveling, golfing, hiking and mountain biking. I put in the long hard hours so when I do have the opportunity to get away I can.
Who is a woman that you look up to?
That is a really tough question.
One of my passions is to follow the stock market. So right off hand, I think of women like Mary Barra the CEO of GM. I can’t imagine what hurdles she had to overcome to be where she is now. But… the person who stands out to me the most would be J.K. Rowling. She is most famous for writing the Harry Potter series. Her writing has impacted children and adults, men and women. Her personal story is even more influential. She grew up on state benefits, her writing was rejected time after time and yet she still became one of the wealthiest women in the world. She lost her billionaire status when she donated her much of her money to charity. Her perseverance and generosity are something to look up to.
And bring it back to where we began. If you had to write a letter to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell her?
Don’t be afraid to fail… Be confident… Don’t change who you are for someone else… Study harder! Apply to more colleges and don’t let emotions drive your decision on where to go to college!
I don't regret anything I've ever done in my life, but looking back it would have been beneficial to slow down and not rush thru the early years of my life.
You said you’re studying horticulture… Just out of curiosity, what is it that you like about plants?
They are a lot easier to figure out than people. They have specific needs and if their needs are addressed they will thrive. People are complicated and plants are straight forward. I enjoy beauty, all the different types, and colors. They can change the feel of any situation. Plus, we can not exist without them.