As part of our ongoing "Getting to Know Your Local Businesses"
series, we sat down this week with Jeff Wisdom, owner of Planet Smart Development, residential and commercial construction/renovations company.
Tell us a bit about your business: What does your business offer and how long have you been around?
Planet Smart Development was brought to the light of day in Fall 2021. We are a full-service residential contractor offering services ranging from new flooring and painting to kitchen and bath renovation, to additions and expansions. We are also versed in insurance negotiations for major damage build back. Have you ever experienced damages from a flood, freeze, fire, or tornado? Did you feel lost or shortchanged by the insurance company’s offer for your build back? We started Planet Smart Development to be able to help people in these situations.
Planet Smart Development is the brainchild of Jeff Wisdom & Nick Siegert, to expand client reach by increasing the focus and type of work we can offer from being solely commercial focused to now adding the residential design and construction services, all the way up to custom ground-up new construction homes.
How did you decide to get involved in this line of work? How did the business get started?
My name is Jeff Wisdom. If you ask my mom, she will say that as a kid, if I couldn’t be outside riding my bike or swimming, I was building different models out of Lego’s, experimenting with new design ideas, or laying in the living room watching home improvement shows and drawing out what I thought was a better design. As I got older, I got involved in Boy Scouts, and pursued just about every opportunity to build or design something. In high school, I took four years of architectural drafting and four years of wood shop classes with numerous state level awards at the TSA competitions in Waco. After high school, I took classes at Texas Tech towards a degree in architecture.
Upon leaving school, I have had experience working for an automotive franchise in furniture, fixtures, and equipment ordering and procurement, working for a general contractor managing the in-house design build department. I also worked at an architect & engineering firm preparing shell building and tenant finish out plans, then took a role with Harris County and the Federal Government in different construction management roles.
Between the pandemic, and starting this company, I also gained experience in a flooring and renovation company. All these varied, yet related experiences culminated in a well-rounded and well-versed background in design and construction management roles to guarantee success with your project. So, I ask, what can we design and build for you today?
My business partner, Nick Siegert, is a graduate of the school of Hard Knocks Life and has been in the construction industry for 40+ years. Starting with concrete construction, slowly adding different trades and experiences in construction culminating in a commercial construction company, Creedmoore Construction that was founded in the early 2000’s. Today Nick focuses on large commercial developments ranging from retail centers to warehouses, and government buildings with varied construction types ranging from concrete tilt wall to pre-engineered steel construction. Nick’s first major contract for recurring work was with The Home Depot and pioneered what we know of today as their Home Services “Let us do it for you” division.
Tell us a couple things you are proud of about your business. What are you known for? What separates you from the competition?
Planet Smart Development specializes in residential construction services. We have wholesale accounts with many material vendors and can supply all materials and labor in a unique turnkey package for your peace of mind. Additionally, we don’t ask you to do anything other than help pick out the final appearance and design you want in your home or office. We are currently building our own office 100% with cash and no loans, meaning we can focus all of our time dedicated to your project, and not worry about how we are going to pay this bill or that bill.
Additionally, we are offering in house financing powered by Enhancify, which is a loan program offering unsecured loans geared towards meeting your needs, with loans available up to $250,000. Rates as low as 3.99%, and terms as long as 12 years without any hidden fees. We feel this is a better option for our customers, unlike the 0% promotional financing programs where origination fees of 3-10% either eats into the business profits or are added to your bill without knowing about it. The best part is that, with Enhancify, the loan can be 100% funded in as little as 3-5 business days so that your project can begin.
What is your favorite part of running this business?
My most favorite part of running Planet Smart Development is the ability to help people and see their dreams come to reality in front of them! After all, it is too expensive to be cheap! Many people think they are getting the best deal possible by using the cheapest bid out there, but we don’t focus on cheap, we focus on quality! So much so, as owner of the company, I will not send a crew into your home that I would not trust to do work in my own home!
Who is your target market or ideal customer/client?
The majority of our business (80%) is in residential construction. Our ideal residential customer is a homeowner that loves their home, but is tired of the old, outdated décor. We also love helping people that have been devastated by a natural disaster and need someone they can trust! The other 20% of our business comes from commercial interiors. For this side of the business, we seek to work with clients who are expanding their business or want a fresh, new look. We strive to have their new office built to meet their needs and have them done right and fast so that they can get their place of business open and ready for clients!
Can you tell us something about yourself as the business owner? What is your background?
I am an Eagle Scout. For my eagle project I led a team of youth with the design and build of 5 bat nursery houses and created an educational program about bats for a nature center in Northwest Houston. I am also constantly in search of new trends and techniques that make certain that what we offer you as OUR client, is constantly on the cutting edge of design and construction trends.
Are there any special promotions, annual sales, or special events that you'd like to mention?
We offer 5% off for first responders (Police, Fire, EMS), active-duty members of US Armed forces with an ID Card, or have been honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces and have a copy of your certificate of honorable discharge, or if you are a current year teacher at a Houston area school. We take pride in helping those that are putting everything on the line to help others succeed in a safe and knowledgeable life!
Is there any other information you'd like your potential customers/clients to know about your business?
Our salespeople are more than just salespeople; we are construction management professionals that will be onsite at least once a week during your project (often more than once a week). Our team handles customer relationships, project measurement, design and estimating, material selections, and project management. We strive to earn your 5-star rating on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp! We ask that if you can’t give us a 5-star rating, that you speak with us, and give us the opportunity to address any issues you might have and earn that 5-star rating! Many businesses today either succeed or fail based on their online ratings that are generated solely by you, our customers!
How do you see your business growing and improving over the next couple of years?
In two to three years, we'd like to grow to a point that we can sub-divide the entire city of Houston into a pie, and have sales people that are geographically focused on your projects. Our goal is limit the drive time for our employees so that they are able to put more time into our clients projects; ultimately being able to spend more time with their family. We hope that by the end of a project, you feel like we are part of your family, and look forward to working with us on the next project!