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Keil Zepernick has played a stunt double in best-loved action movies like The Avengers, Venom and John Wick. When the pandemic hit, he knew he needed to pivot to find a new way to provide for his family.
That’s when a franchise coach introduced him to more sustainable career options: ProLift Garage Doors and Renew Crew, two outdoor home service franchises that operate under parent company Premium Service Brands.
Zepernick’s eco-friendly power washing franchise Renew Crew opened in April and services the Clermont, Lakeland and Celebration areas. His garage installation and maintenance franchise, ProLift, hasn’t opened yet, but will service the same areas.
Since the year round warm climate ensures the community spends a majority of their time outdoors, both of these outdoor brands are absolute necessities in Central Florida.
Follow ProLift Garage Doors on Facebook.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Welcome to Franchise Marketing Radio, brought to you by SEOSamba. Comprehensive high performing marketing solutions for mature and emerging franchise brands. To supercharge your franchise marketing, go to seosamba.com. That’s seosamba.com.
Lee Kantor: Lee Kantor here, another episode of Franchise Marketing Radio, and this is going to be a fun one today, we have with us Keil Zepernick with ProLift Garage Doors and Renew Crew. Welcome, Keil.
Keil Zepernick: Thanks so much for having me.
Lee Kantor: Well, before we get too far into things, before we started, you mentioned that you started out with renewed crew and then have just recently expanded into ProLift Garage Doors. So let’s talk about that journey. Tell us about Renew Crew and what attracted you to that franchise.
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, actually, when the pandemic hit, I just kind of looked around. My wife looked at me and we have four kids and she’s just like, what are you going to do now? And honestly, I just looked back and I was like, I have no idea. I was not prepared for something like this. And and I started trying to look around to see what was what’s something that we needed during the pandemic. And I was trying to just forge ahead and just think, man, what what is something that that I can do? What is something that I can invest in? What is something that we need in this time? And and that’s when I ended up finding these two companies, the garage doors, pro Lyft and Renuka, the pressure Washington.
Lee Kantor: So and then tell you, you had a career obviously before this, and it was something that the pandemic disrupted your work.
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, I have. The last 12 years I’ve been in the film industry doing stunts and acting, and I’ve also done some stunt coordinator for TV and film.
Lee Kantor: So I guess the pandemic happened and then everything is just kind of on hold. And then I guess the glamorous show business life, what they don’t tell you is that when they’re not working, they’re not getting paid, right?
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, yeah. Super glamorous, right. I was actually up in New York in March of I guess it’s two years when everything happened. And so they gave me a phone call. I was about 11 thirty at night. They said, you need to get out there, shut down the city. And and that was that was the start of it for me and just got my first flight out and and then everything just kind of changed, didn’t know what was going to be what was going to be like. You know, what we’re filming is going to be like what was anywhere on set going to be like if we were going to do more stuff, it was going to be smaller contact context and especially doing something like stunts and fighting. It was definitely a chance that there was going to be less and less of that where you’re actually touching other people and getting in their face.
Lee Kantor: So now what kind of what was the light bulb that say, you know what? Out of all the infinite things I could be doing, I think I will consider buying a franchise.
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, I think that was that was definitely a crazy thing in my head, but one of the things that I always want to do is my wife and I just talked about having the ability or and not not necessarily taking stuff away or being so concerned about what we don’t have. But we always wanted to be able to provide people that that don’t have something. You know, we wanted it to just always just kind of prayed God brought on my shoulders. I can carry more for people that can’t. And we looked for opportunities to where we can start something to where we can literally just employ people and, you know, in support families. And and when I found out about premium services, more specifically pro Lyft and Renuka, I got pretty excited about just the the family nature that they had, the accountability of a franchise. And those things really excited me.
Lee Kantor: And then you’re based in central Florida, right? Yes, sir. And then so that obviously that territory was available. Correct, and then so you said, OK, I’m going to start with renewed crude, that’s that’s pressure washing, right?
Keil Zepernick: Yes, sir. Yeah, originally I wanted to start with the garage doors. And in Florida, you have to have a general contractor on your license with you because the exterior wall has to be rated for hurricanes. And because of that, I kind of switched over into the pressure washing first. Lots of ways, lots of ceiling, lots of hard water with sprinklers and other things like that in Florida. And so I was able to do this and and it’s been a pretty good fit so far.
Lee Kantor: So now, was it hard transition to go from kind of that movie set TV set world to, you know, now this is your own thing. You’re answering your own phones. You know, you’re doing all the kind of work out there. I don’t know. You probably subcontract out the the cleaning part of it. But, you know, this is your show now.
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, it’s definitely my show. And that’s that’s definitely a heavy weight that that I’m burning, I’m taking on. It’s completely different. Was it hard? It was. It’s very hard previously to you even stunts. I, I play professional sports. And so this is the first time I’m really having to sit down. I’m having to go through just my payroll and my numbers and my financial fees. And there’s just so much there’s so much that that comes out of it. But it’s everything that I’ve done up to this point has definitely prepared me for it. But it’s it’s never really an easy transition in the beginning.
Lee Kantor: And so now when you got to going, was that thrill of getting your first client? Was that like kind of. Kind of similar to how was when you were getting your first gig or the first big show you were on?
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, I think I think the first thing is always exciting. I like to joke around. I’m six foot 10 and and and so I’m pretty large and people get a little intimidated when I walk in the room. But people that know me for a while, they just feel like I have kind of shrunk and I don’t seem so big anymore. So it’s kind of like getting your first gig, getting your first job, getting the first service. You’re you’re pretty excited. But it’s also about just consistency in the long haul and and trying to provide work for my for my workers, trying to really sustain something that’s going to last. I wanted this to be a legacy for my kids. So I know that it’s exciting the beginning and I don’t want to demean that. But at the same time, I’m just like, OK, you know, it’s just another job. And I have to prepare for the next steps. Like, one of the biggest things that I’m looking at is everything with this franchise, with these franchises is what I’m doing today is affecting two weeks from now, you know, so that’s a that’s a big step for me. Just understanding that and seeing that as it’s developing.
Lee Kantor: Now, talk about once you decide that, OK, I’m going to get a franchise for, like, cause you’re narrowing down the world, right. Because you could have done anything and then you decided to franchise and then from within franchise, there’s infinite seemingly choices within that. How do you kind of keep whittling that down? It seems very overwhelming.
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, I think it is it’s kind of like you want to go with the best, not necessarily what the product is or what the service is, but the best organization. And I really feel like Premier Services has done a terrific job right now with a new crew. My coach, Ty Anderson. I mean, he’s been phenomenal and he’s there every step of the way. So they’re really working with me, going through it, their call center. The other things that that comes to that I never thought that garage doors or pressure washing was a sexy thing at all. I could tell you that, you know, I was looking to add more things that I thought that I want to even maid service. I was like, man, I’d like that because I like my my house to be clean all the time. But it was kind of more of a need. I was just thinking, man with garage doors, what’s the largest entrance into my home, you know, you know where we’re at in Florida. People are out most of the year. They’re coming in and out of the garage bicycle’s or in and out of the garage. And then I’m just thinking about pressure washing aways and other things like that. So I was just kind of looking at what is really a need in the area. And that’s what I went after.
Lee Kantor: And then so you kind of have it narrowed down to home service, like you weren’t thinking, oh, I could be you know, I could teach kids gymnastics or, you know, something that was aligned with your athletic background.
Keil Zepernick: Yeah. I mean, it’s funny that you say that because me playing being a former professional basketball player and a college high level college coach, my wife wanted me to open something that that was more doing plyometrics or focusing on like fitness.
Lee Kantor: There’s there’s a million fitness franchise.
Keil Zepernick: You know, honestly, when I was coaching, I had to do so much and I hated having to tell kids. I say kids. I mean, college students just recruiting them that they can all be a starter. Right. And you have thirteen starters. That’s not going to happen. You can only have five at a time. And and it got to the point to where you were having to compromise some of the things that you were saying to some of the people to really be successful. And that’s not where I wanted to be. And so I want to do some that was that that was, you know, reoccurring something that was non-food base because I didn’t want to deal with people necessarily getting sick. I don’t want to deal with stuff where people were going to call me all through the night. And, you know, at the end of the day, you know, it’s pressure washing. At the end of the day, it’s it’s a garage door. You know, it’s it’s not something that’s going to be too technical.
Lee Kantor: So now how far how how long have you been doing it?
Keil Zepernick: We open up our doors in May for the pressure washing and and hopefully here in the next couple of months, we will we will launch the garage doors.
Lee Kantor: So you’re pretty new at this, or is it kind of how you imagined it?
Keil Zepernick: Honestly, I didn’t know what I was, what I was imagining. I thought one would be pretty complicated and in two would be even more complicated. But I figured while I was in the midst of it, that this was the time to just kind of forge ahead. I just I really liked that the system that premier services has just everything that they’re putting together. It seems like it in mesh is all very well, from what I know. And that’s how I continue to just walk through this process. So picking a second one up in the midst of that, using the same system seemed like it was it was a good fit. And just to go all in.
Lee Kantor: Now, what do you need more of? How can we help you?
Keil Zepernick: Any more advertisement, any more advertisement and a more detailed oriented workers, but I think that’s that’s everywhere. I mean, I have a great team. I’m excited about where we’re going. It’s just it just takes time. It just takes time.
Lee Kantor: So now do you think that your background in sports is going to help you in terms of managing your people?
Keil Zepernick: Yeah, absolutely. Understanding character, being able to look people in the eye. That was a big thing for for me. And stunts as well is with with being a stunt coordinator or doing stunts, you have to be able to look someone in the eye and trust them and trust that they’re not going to hurt someone. They’re not going to they’re not going to hurt an actor who’s being paid a million dollars to a project. So there’s a lot that has to do with that. And just being able to kind of read people’s body mind as well.
Lee Kantor: Now, how has the selling part of this been, is that an area you’re comfortable in?
Keil Zepernick: It’s all new to me, really, but but ultimately, it’s about selling something that I think that has some value. So I think that when your garage door breaks, I mean, you need to get it fixed, you know, with pressure washing. A lot of the people that were going after or the target area or the Asian communities, so or the people who are who have pavers and their driveways and they’re getting oil stains or fertilizer stains on them. And so you really want to protect and you want to protect your investment. Obviously, if you’re paying for it, it’s kind of like an insurance. You didn’t you really don’t ever want to pay for it until you need it.
Lee Kantor: So now if somebody wants to get a hold of you, what’s the best way to do that?
Keil Zepernick: One of the best ways to do that is to just go to the Renew crew, clean dotcom website and and just request service. So that will take you to a zip code to the area. Obviously, if you’re too far from me, from us, there probably be another new crew that’s closer, hopefully. But if you’re anywhere close, I will get right to me and and we could potentially service your home.
Lee Kantor: And then the premium service brands is the kind of the parent company of both of these. Do you know their website?
Keil Zepernick: I believe it is premier services.
Lee Kantor: Let’s see if I can find it. You caught me off guard. Yeah, sorry. I mean, I just wonder if there’s people out there that want to learn more. It sounds like you’re a big fan of theirs.
Keil Zepernick: I definitely am.
Lee Kantor: And then I just want to make sure that we have a way to connect folks who might be thinking about their own franchise to check them out if if that’s something that
Keil Zepernick: Its premier service brands with an S at the end. Dotcom.
Lee Kantor: Good stuff. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story today and congratulations on taking this step. I know it’s hard. I know it is new, but it’s important. Like folks like you are serving the community, like you are the kind of the unsung heroes. You’re kind of grinding out there doing the work that needs to be done. And I think it’s important to appreciate and celebrate what you’re doing. So thank you.
Keil Zepernick: Thank you so much for having me. And one last thing I have to I’m not I’m not getting paid by them. But one of the things is kind of saved me, I think is a book called Profits First. And that’s been a huge help to me to just make sure that I’m not spending money that I don’t have as a kind of get lost in some of the bills. But but that’s been a huge help. But but thank you so much for your help. I appreciate it. Thanks for the time.
Lee Kantor: Yeah, I’m a big fan of that book as well. That’s how we run our business with that same with that same philosophy as pay yourself first. Amen to that.
Keil Zepernick: Yes.
Lee Kantor: Well, thank you again, Kyle. And that’s pro-life garage doors and renewed crew. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on Franchise Marketing Radio.