Visiting so many businesses lately has reminded me of my days in International Sales for AT&T. I had forgotten how much I love learning about small businesses and their owners/entrepreneurs. I will admit though that it is a little more fun knowing I do not have to close a sale to meet my quota at the end of these friendly AHA meetings!
Last week I was invited to visit Zurn Plumbing Service. I have known Lisa Zurn Burns via email conversations for several years and I have passed by their building many times while in Chamblee and always thought about stopping by but haven’t until now.
I am so glad she invited me otherwise I never would have known their community connection! Ted and Wendy Zurn (Lisa’s parents) moved to Dunwoody from Florida in 1985 and started Zurn Plumbing with one truck working out of their home on North Peachtree. About a year later business was already booming so they bought property in Chamblee and have continued to expand their footprint on the same block by buying up adjacent parcels of land over time.
The Zurns raised their children in Dunwoody. Lisa and Matt both graduated from Dunwoody High School…Lisa in 1994 and Matt followed three years later. I was fortunate Ted was working the morning of my visit and was glad to have met the founding father. He and Wendy are apparently working less while Lisa and Matt are now running the business for the family. It is truly a family affair as Matt’s wife, Julie, also works at Zurn part-time. Both Matt and Lisa live in nearby Peachtree Corners where their children attend Cornerstone Christian Academy and Wesleyan.
Just like when I was working in sales, I figured I should do a bit of research to find out more about Zurn so I could ask intelligent questions. I had not visited their website in a while (I have not needed a plumber thank goodness). I was so impressed with their website and slightly intrigued about their “recipe section” LOL. The website is GREAT….it is professional, easy to navigate, informative and watching the video about the Zurn family just makes you want to do business with them!
Lisa seems to run the office and handles the human resources/accounting side of the business. Everyone I met was so nice….it really seems like a great work environment. They have lots of plumbers and I was curious where Zurn finds them! I have college aged boys and know that “plumbing” is not found on typical college curriculum. I know so many twenty somethings and have therefore witnessed that college isn’t for everyone and trades like plumbing, welding and electrical are hot commodities right now. A pandemic does not stop leaky pipes, broken water heaters, clogged sinks, etc.
Did you know that a plumber apprentice can start out making $30K/year and potentially earn an eventual six figure salary? Read more about careers and certifications and applications for Zurn jobs here. I love the idea of learning via “on the job training” and apprenticeships. Apparently, Ted Zurn teaches some of the apprentice classes himself! 99% of their plumbers start with no plumbing experience whatsoever. After 3 years, they take a journeyman’s test and then 2 years later can earn a Master Plumber” certification. Matt was out on a job site so I did not get to meet him but he’s a certified “Master Plumber” like his dad.
Do not worry…the newbies do not work alone and there is so much experience among their staff. Lisa told me that solving problems and providing exceptional customer service is every Zurn employee’s goal. They will not leave a job until the customer feels comfortable. Zurn employees pride themselves on “taking the time to figure out problems ” and are all highly trained, state licensed and fully insured plumbers. Plus, they offer a lifetime guarantee on your sewer and water service replacements.
When I asked her about pricing, she told me that have a “flat rate/menu” type pricing structure. Once they have done their problem solving investigation and understand how to fix the issue, the plumbers review their price book and share with the customer the price. Customers agree to pricing before any work is done. Zurn provides an elite service with guarantees and warranties and are therefore not necessarily always the cheapest nor most expensive service. All Zurn trucks are privately owned by the company and equipped with sewer cameras and several commonly needed items (such as hot water heaters).
Shortly after I bought my Dunwoody home in 2002, we had to replace our sewer pipe from the house to the street. It was a messy process that required a big muddy trench in our yard. Lisa explained to me that Zurn technicians are now certified Perma-Liner installers. This new trenchless technique for sewer drains and sewer pipe repair means no more wreckage in your yard. It is also a faster, more efficient solution to get your pipes back in working order.
The next time you need plumbing services (water leak detection, sewer repairs, drain cleaning, water heater repair/replacement, gas lines, water filtration, or precision pipe lining) you should visit Zurn Plumbing Service’s website. They have plumbing tips, seasonal recommendations, promotions, and even a few family recipes! I follow them on Facebook too and enjoy their tips and funny posts.