How Our Family Business is Still Growing After 40 Years—Austin Rabine, CEO, Rabine Group

Have you ever thought about your kids taking over your business? Or what it would be like for a successful transition of leadership from you to the next generation to take over the company? If you have, this is the episode for you.


Our guest today, is Austin Rabine, CEO of the Rabine Group. Austin has grown up in his family business and has done everything from paving parking lots, snow removal, and building an international drone business.

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Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success Podcast, where each week, we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. The question as we open today is, have you ever thought about your kids taking over your business one day, or maybe what it would be like for a successful transition of leadership at your company from you to the next generation of company leaders or family leaders within your organization? If you’ve ever thought that, then this is the episode for you.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:37):

Our guest today is Austin Rabine. He’s the CEO of the Rabine Group. Austin has grown up in his family business that’s celebrating 40 years of operation, and he’s done everything at the company, from paving parking lots to snow removal and building an international drone business, which is pretty awesome. I’m excited for you to hear him share that story with you. I’ve had good fortune of being around the Rabine Group and Austin and his father and their whole family now for over 15 years. I’ve worked with them as a client. I actually had the opportunity to spend some time working directly for the company for a couple of years, and now, just celebrating as great friends, mentors, advisors, and working together in a variety of capacities professionally, so I’m so honored and grateful to share this interview with my good friend, Austin Rabine.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (01:34):

I’m Austin Rabine, the CEO of the Rabine Group of companies. We’re based out of Schaumburg, right outside of Chicago, but we are actually a national company, and we have a few businesses that are global as well, so we focus in the facility maintenance and construction space. My dad actually started the business right out of right out of high school in the paving space and has grown it from there. Now, we’re a national paving company. We also do SITE Technologies, which is site assessments for facilities that I’ll talk a little bit about today, and that company is actually global, so yeah, a lot of good stuff.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:13):

That’s really, really cool. Well, we have a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners that tune in and franchise companies that listen in and a lot of them prop probably have kids in the business or thinking of their kids growing into the business, so I’m always fascinated when families are able to successfully manage the dynamic of a family business and growth and people stepping into leadership roles over time, so I’d love for you just to share some experience on how that’s been working with a lot of family in your business, Austin.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (02:51):

Yeah. Yeah, no, I mean, it’s definitely been interesting, but it’s been a lot of fun. I mean, there’s 11 different companies within the Rabine Group, about, and we have, I mean, I don’t even know if off-hand I know how many family members we have in the business. I’ve got my sisters in the company, I have cousins, I have aunts and uncles in the business, so it’s definitely been a big focus ever since my dad started the company in 1981, so this is actually our 40th year in business, so that’s kind of exciting.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (03:25):

I grew up in the company, so I started, I actually had a few of my own businesses in high school and in college, and then after school, I came into the business pretty early on. I really wasn’t sure that I didn’t know for certain that it was something that I wanted to do. I always wanted to make my own path or have my own business or kind of start something on my own. I always enjoyed construction. I always enjoyed paving. Like I said, that’s what I did through high school and college and my own businesses, laboring out the field and prepping driveways and mowing lawns and snow plowing and all that kind of stuff, so I enjoyed that type of work.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (04:08):

But coming into it, I was kind of like, “Okay, I’ll spend a little bit of time within the business, get to know everybody there, understand the company better, and see where it goes,” right, so I was getting some good experiences. I really did a little bit of everything. I mean, I was in operations. I was in sales and marketing, worked for you for a while while you were at the company, which was great, and then did estimating, like I said, project management, so I really got a good experience throughout all of the businesses and all of the different roles.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (04:43):

Then eventually, I went into our national business, which is Rabine Paving America, and that company works in all 50 states, and we work for companies like Walmarts or Lowe’s or Home Depot, big box retailers, large national real estate investment trusts. We don’t actually self-perform any of that work, so we sub that work out to local partners, and then we manage that, so we’ll have a contractor that we have a good relationship with in Hawaii or California or New York, wherever the project is, and then we’ll manage that, so we’ll manage the relationship with the client, we also manage the relationship with the contractor and then we’ll have a project manager of SITE doing all of the quality control, quality assurance, communicating with the facility, communicating with the clients, and then back to us, and then we do all of the tracking and just make sure that the project is really to the quality that we would expect.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (05:40):

That business, to me, was really interesting because it was just a lot more scalable, in my opinion, than any of our other companies. Our other companies were self-performing paving companies or a roofing company, snow removal. When you want to scale a business like that, it costs a lot of money to purchase equipment, so you have to hire a lot of people to really scale that business, and you got to find a different location. We actually are in Texas and Maryland. We have offices that we self-perform out of, but it’s a much slower scaling process, whereas with the national business, we can increase revenue pretty dramatically without having to buy new equipment, buy millions of dollars worth of equipment. We don’t have to hire a ton of people. We’ll have to hire a few people to manage the work, but it’s a much more scalable, and then also something that was always interesting to me was technology. I always thought that there was a lot of different technology opportunities in that business as well.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (06:41):

Yeah, so I started working at Rabine Paving America in operations and eventually became the general manager of that company, which eventually turned into me founding a company of SITE Technologies because we were doing these facility assessments for companies where we’d send a project manager or an engineer out to their facilities and they would walk a property, they would come up with a scope of work and a condition of that facility, and then we would turn around a PDF or Excel document on budgets and maintenance and capital improvement plan. It was a really slow, old process, right? With some of our distribution center clients, we’d fly these people all over the country to walk these facilities and take some photos from their phone and come back and put together this report, so it was expensive, it was really time-consuming, but there was a lot of value to our clients, but we couldn’t do it every year just because of how expensive and time-consuming it was.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (07:42):

Eventually, we started to explore drone technology, which, which we found that there’s, I think, today there’s like, I want to say that there’s over 20,000 independent FA-certified drone pilots in the United States, so we, kind of like in an Uber model, tap of those pilots as data capture people that we’ll send out to the site, we give them the flight plan, and all of those things, and then we get all of the imagery back and then we’ve built technology, and we’ve built a platform where our engineers now, rather than flying out to a site from their computer, at the office, or at home, or wherever they are, can review all the images and start to build out those same condition reports and budgets for our clients, so I founded that within Rabine Paving America, and my dad and I, we had decided that, “Hey, that there’s a real opportunity here,” so we spun that out into its own company, and I spent two years managing that business as the CEO of SITE.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (08:45):

Then eventually, in January of 2020, my dad was looking to bring somebody in to run all of the companies at that point for a handful of different reasons. He wanted to focus his time elsewhere and he was looking at hiring somebody to bring them in. I had a conversation with him and it’s something that at a certain point within Rabine Paving America I knew that I wanted to do, and so we had a conversation and just decided that, “Hey, this is a good opportunity and time, rather than finding somebody from the outside, for me to come in and take over all the businesses.”

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (09:25):

Then we’ve recently actually hired a CEO at SITE, which is doing great, so he’s running focused on that business, and then I’m focused on all of the group of companies. But yeah, family businesses, there’s a lot of challenges. My dad and I didn’t always get along, but it’s been great. I wouldn’t change it at all and I’ve learned a ton. There’s a lot of opportunities that I’ve had because of our family business that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and yeah, yeah, it’s been good. It’s been a lot of fun.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:58):

Yeah, totally such a fun ride. You touched on something here that I has that I’ve always been impressed with about you and your dad and just the Rabine Group of companies, which is this focus on technology in and differentiation. A lot of the industries that you’re in are viewed really kind as old industries or not fun businesses to be involved with, so I’d love for you to just talk a little bit about how you as an organization have integrated technology and what your maybe culture looks like a little bit as well with that.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (10:39):

Yeah, no, definitely. You’re right. I mean, my dad, even early on, one of our early taglines or slogans was “Discover the difference.” What he meant by that was what you’re talking about, right, like, what are our differentiators? What are the things that we’re going to do different from our competitors to set us apart, right? For him, when he was starting it, there wasn’t really the same technology available, so for him, it was, what kind of equipment are we looking at? We were one of the first companies to have a 3D laser screen for exterior parking lots, so he was looking at equipment and what type of materials and all of these different things that we can really use to set ourselves apart, and so that was always a focus.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (11:30):

Now, today, our slogan, instead of “Discover the difference” is “Innovating to serve.” Again, along the same lines, we want to continuously innovate within our industry, and I think that that was what you had mentioned about an old, antiquated industry that’s slow to adopt new technology. That’s also something that really got me excited about being in this business is because I saw that. I’ve always been really interested in technology, and whether it’s a new app or a new service, or I remember when Uber started, and all of these different, cool businesses that came from technology, and because we’re so slow to adopt those different things, one of the things that we’ve looked at is, “Okay, let’s look at these other successful businesses, and how might it be able to relate to ours that hasn’t been adopted yet?”

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (12:25):

I think that it’s always been something that’s been in our culture and that we’ve talked to our team about, so it’s been a pretty natural… I think it’s just a passion within the company and it makes things exciting. We’re always looking at new things that they don’t always work. Sometimes they do work and it turns out great, but it’s fun. We’re constantly learning, we’re constantly trying to do things better, and improve the way that we’re working within our industry.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:52):

Yeah, I love it. Just for a sake of the discussion for maybe someone that maybe listens into this interview later on, and they’re saying, “Boy, I’d love to figure out a way to integrate some new systems or technologies or take what other industries maybe are doing or other companies and figure out how to apply it to my business or my industry,” what does that process usually look like? I mean, I’m thinking in my head, is it you’re in a lunchroom conversation, or just a random off-the-cuff text message? Talk through something that maybe goes on.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (13:30):

Yeah. I mean, I could give a good example that recently happened. It’s happens in a bunch of different ways, right? It’s like it might be a new business model that I read about, or I try a new service, and I’m like, “Oh, wow, that’s really interesting,” and start to just think about our business, whether it’s how we’re managing equipment, or how we’re managing trucking, or materials, or how we’re capturing data and just really start to brainstorm. A lot of times, I have two notebooks with… Actually, I’ve got three notebooks with me, so I always have a few notebooks with me that I’m jotting down ideas or just making sure that I’m constantly brainstorming on these things. That’s just fun to me. It’s kind of like daydreaming, right? It’s something that’s fun. It might not always turn out into something, but sometimes it does.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (14:17):

Recently, my dad had a… My dad’s a big networker and he’s always talking to new people and that’s what he loves to do is meet people and hear other people’s stories, right? He was recently at an event talking to somebody about NFTs and crypto and the metaverse and all the new technology, or these new things that are out there that’s just like to most people, including myself, I don’t totally understand it, right? Anyways, he set up a call with these two experts in crypto and they started to talk about just the different opportunities that are out there.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (14:56):

From there, I started to list out a handful of different things within our business where I’m like, “Well, I could see an opportunity to take crypto or NFTs and innovate in the invoicing and billing process and how that’s done and contracts. Will something come of it? I don’t know, but it’s just fun to think about and think about how these different things could potentially innovate in our industry in the future. Yeah, so literally that happened, I think it was Friday we had that conversation, so it’s just a lot of different networking with people, talking about people, different businesses.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (15:39):

SITE came about in a similar way. One of my dad and I’s friends has a venture capital fund that’s in the property technology space and he was telling us about one of the companies that they were looking at and that’s where the idea of SITE started. I was talking to him and then I got in touch with the founders of that company and we just started to brainstorm different ways that we could innovate how we were capturing data and how we were assessing facilities. I wish I could say that there was a specific full formula or routine something that I do, but it’s not, it’s really just talking to people, learning about different industries, learning about new technologies and then thinking about how those things can apply to specific, doesn’t even necessarily need to be the overall business model, but there could be a little piece of the business that it could apply to.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (16:34):

Again, like SITE, that was just like one small service that we were doing for our clients. We were assessing their parking lots kind of as needed. We weren’t even really marketing it that much, or we weren’t making a lot of money off, it was kind of like, “This will be good for us to build relationships,” right? Talking to these people that my friend had introduced us to, I applied it to that specific service, and I was like, “I really think that we can make a difference if we use drones and we use AI and we use a platform to be able to assess these facilities in the future rather than walking them.”

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (17:12):

But when we were walking the facilities, we were doing 30, I think it was like 30 to 40 a year, and that would take a few months to do. Now, this year, the last few months in a row, we’ve been doing 600 facilities a month, and we’ll probably do close to 10,000 facilities all over the world this year, so it’s just really changed the space, and so yeah, just having conversations with people.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:41):

Well, that’s incredible, and well, it really sounds like it comes from you at the top really having an open mind to this and a willingness to consider and explore new ideas and understand that sometimes they’ll work and sometimes they do.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (17:56):

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, no, you’re right. I mean, I think that that’s, again, part of the reason that our industry is so slow to change is that people aren’t they’re not always open to it. Again, relating it back to SITE, I talked to, I don’t know, countless number of people within our industry that were like, “No, you can’t do it. You have to have boots on the ground. You can’t capture the imagery from drones. There’s no way.” Here we are, we’re doing 10,000 assessments a year, and for the biggest property owners in the world, so it really is, you’re right. It’s having an open mind into it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:29):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s incredible, the growth. I’ve followed your growth with it and the awards you’ve won and recognition, so you’ve done awesome, awesome things in building that and the Rabine Group as a whole, so I love-

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (18:44):

Thank you.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:44):

… Yeah, yeah, I love the work you’re doing. One of the things I’d like to do here is jump into these four questions we ask every guest before they go. Question number one we like to talk about is a miss. Has there been a miss or two along your journey and something you’ve learned from it?

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (19:05):

There’s been a lot of misses. I think that that’s, like I think for most people, and myself included, that’s when you learn the most. Before SITE, there were other kind of businesses and business ideas that we had within the company that didn’t really work out, or were services that we were trying to provide that didn’t work out. One that comes to mind, and I don’t think that it’s… One was, like I mentioned, Uber, I remember my dad and I were talking about Uber when it first came out and I was showing him, and this was at the dinner table with him at my parents’ house, and we started to talk about how this model could relate to the trucking industry, and how can we turn the trucking industry, and how can we use technology to make it more efficient?

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (19:55):

It’s a big cost to us and our business, so if we can make that more efficient, hold drivers accountable, because it had kind of a similar problem, where it was a lot of owner-operators, so it was a guy that would own his own truck and operate it, so there’s a lot of those, so it was a very fragmented industry, much like what Uber did with cabs, kind of a fragmented industry, and so there’s a lot of similar similarities to it and that business.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (20:23):

It was funny because it didn’t work out. My dad and I had started it. We brought somebody in to be a founder with us and spent probably a year-and-a-half on it, two years, and it just wasn’t going anywhere, and there’s a lot of other things within the business that started to take up our time. I put a bunch of my own money in it. At that time, I didn’t have a lot, at 24, 25, whatever I was, so that was definitely a miss.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (20:50):

Funny enough, fast forward a few years, we actually did it again with a different partner, my dad and this other partner that he brought in, and it’s gone really well, and that business is still continuing to thrive and do well. I think that in that case, the thing that I learned was we brought somebody in and I didn’t have a ton of time to spend on that specific business. It was kind of like it was mine and my dad’s like idea, right, so we knew the industry and we knew why it would work and how it would work and we brought somebody in that was very smart and talented, but I think didn’t know the industry as well, and so that was part of it, and I didn’t have enough time to spend on it. I was running the national business at that time, and so it failed.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (21:39):

I think that it just mostly a lack of time and focus on that specific business. I think that the reason that SITE’s worked out is because I went 100% in to just that business for two years, right, so proved out the concept, built the technology, got good clients on board, and now we brought somebody in who’s going to really take it to the next level, so yeah, there’s been a few of those where we’ve started and I’ve lost some money on businesses. There’s always mistakes throughout the year that are made and I think just constantly learning from those is so important.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:16):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, and how about on the other side? How about a make? You’ve shared a whole bunch already, but is there anything else that stands out that you’d like to share?

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (22:27):

SITE, like I’ve talked about, is definitely a big, big win, and that’s something that I have very proud of. I think it’s really changing the industry on how we’re assessing facilities and how we’re looking at them and what we’re doing with data, so that’s been something that I’ve been really proud of, but I’ve already talked a little bit about that.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (22:48):

I think that right now our company is in a really good spot. I came in January of 2020 from SITE over to Rabine. January of 2020, and then COVID hit, right, so it’s it was a really, really tough year for all businesses, and ours included in that, so we had to make a lot of tough decisions, put a lot of plans in place to make sure that we would still come out of the pandemic and be successful and we did that. Like I said, it was a really tough year, and we had to make a lot of decisions that were tough and I didn’t enjoy.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (23:28):

But coming out of that, we’ve had a really great 2021, and we’re finishing the year strong. We grew a lot. The team right now that we have in place is just phenomenal. Everybody’s working together and very cohesive and on the same page, so I mean, I think that it’s the struggle of 2020, I think, put us in a really good position for this year, so I’d say that that’s kind of like a win and something that I’m currently pretty proud of and where we’re at with our team and where the business is today.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:03):

Yeah. Wow. Wow. Yeah, no kidding. You take over literally and in a couple months in, wham.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (24:11):

Yeah, yeah. I think my dad saw it coming and he didn’t want to deal with it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:18):

Oh, that’s great. Well, let’s talk about this idea of a multiplier. We always like to ask everyone, has there been a multiplier you’ve used, whether it’s been personally, professionally at the business that’s helped you expand and grow?

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (24:31):

Yeah, I think that a little, kind of like what we’ve already talked about a little bit, I think that one of the big multipliers for us has been just constantly open to change and open to new ideas. I would say some people think that it’s a problem and we’ve had some successes and not, but we are constantly starting new businesses, right? Last year, we started, I think it was in like October, we started an HVAC and mechanical business. Before that, we started a doors and docks business, so we’re always starting these new businesses and it’s typically with people that we’ve known for a long time and then are experts in those specific industries. Then we can also relate them back to the current clients that we have, so I would say, just for me and our business in general has been just constantly learning about other people and other people’s businesses and the things that they’re doing has been a really big game changer for us.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (25:31):

For me, personally, I’ve been pretty bad about it lately, actually, but I try to meditate, I try to spend some time where it’s like I turn my phone on do not disturb, meditate, and really focus on something and try to come up with, whether it’s brainstorming, and like I said, it’s tough, I mean, because I enjoy doing that, but it’s really tough to find that time and make sure that you set that aside. There’s always something that you can fill it with, right, so that’s also been a really important thing for me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:05):

Yeah. Yeah, thank you. Thanks for sharing that. Well, the final question, Austin, we like to ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (26:14):

Oh, man. I think that for me, it’s for sure being happy in what I’m doing, right? I’ve been in certain positions within our company where it’s like I’m not having fun coming to work, I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, and you’re in a bad mood all the time, and so for me, I think it’s like enjoying what I’m doing and what I’m building, and as soon as I’m not doing that, then the business won’t be successful, the team around me isn’t going to be successful, so I need to make sure that I’m in a good space and enjoying the role and enjoying the things that I’m doing.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (26:55):

I think, really, it’s the success is it’s like wanting to… I’m trying to… Maybe we’ll edit this part out. It’s about controlling my time, I think that that’s one of the biggest things for me is I want to make sure that I have control over my time and how I’m spending my time, whether that’s in business and the things that I’m focusing on to improve our business or start new companies, whether that’s personally or with family or my girlfriend, whatever that is, I want to make sure that I’m in control of my time. Sure, there’s always going to be things that are on the schedule that I might not want to do, or that I just have to do for the business as a whole to have as much control over my time as possible. I think that’s success for me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:53):

Yeah, that’s awesome. I think that’s a great summary.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (27:55):


Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:57):

Well, one of the things, Austin, I’d love for you to just have a moment here to share just anything that you were hoping to maybe get across or share with the audience that we haven’t had a chance to talk about yet.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (28:10):

I think we covered most of it. I think it was a good conversation. I mean, yeah, like I said, when it comes to family business, I’ve been very fortunate and I really am thankful for the people that I work with and a lot of them are family, so it’s kind of fun. My sister is three offices down, so I see her most days when I’m in the office, or she’s in the office, we’ll have lunch once a week or whatever. It’s really not just the family that I have that’s in the business, but also the other people that work here are friends and family. It’s like everyone’s very, very close, and that’s one of the most important things to me in our company is making sure that we have good people and good relationships within our business, so yeah, I think that’s probably about it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (28:57):

Yeah. Well, and I echo that sentiment. I mean, I love the Rabine Group, and having had the good fortune to work directly with you and the family. It’s awesome. Even being several years removed at this point, I still feel like I’m part of the family.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (29:12):

Yeah, you are.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (29:17):

I love it. Well, I’m just curious, the growth that Rabine and the whole group of companies has had over the last many years has just been unbelievable in some regard. I mean, it’s just been incredible how the company has grown and changed. Where do you see this going now? Where do you see the company going? What’s the future look like?

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (29:44):

Yeah, so I mean, we’re going to always continue to look at new innovations and technology that we can bring to our industry. I think that a few things that we kind of have on the roadmap are we’re looking at new locations, right? We’re out of Schaumburg here. Our headquarters are in the Midwest, so we self-perform all over the Midwest. We opened an office in Maryland four years ago, maybe five years ago now, and then earlier this year, we opened an office in Dallas, and we’re going to look to continue to expand that way. We want to look at different markets that we want to be part of and that we’re currently doing work with potentially nationally and how we can better serve clients in those areas. That’s one of the things that we’re going to continue to look at.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (30:31):

Then each one of those other businesses that I talked about, like mechanical and HVAC and doors and docks, roofing, we’re going to also look to grow those and follow the same markets because it’s a lot of the same people that we’re working with, so we’re going to continue to build that, and ultimately, I think that as far as services go, we’ll be a full exterior services maintenance and construction company, and then as far as SITE, I think that it’s part of the group of companies, but it’s a little bit different because it’s in the same space, we have some of the same customers, but it is very technology-driven.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (31:13):

In that, we’re currently doing, we’re assessing pavements, we’re assessing roofs, we’re looking at facades, so we’re going to turn that into a full exterior facility assessment business, and then we’re going to look to bring that to the interior as well, so we’re going to look to find different ways of capturing data and information from the interior facilities, and then turn that into a very similar product just to add on. That business, to be a tool that any property on or property manager can use to really run their facilities and run their day-to-day, rather than going to Google Earth and street view, and when they get a call from one of their tenants or clients, or they need to look at something, now they come to SITE, and they can pull it up and they have very high definition, detailed imagery and data from each of their facilities.

Austin Rabine, Rabine Group (32:06):

Yeah, so there’s just a few of our future goals. I mean, I’m excited. I think that there’s a ton of opportunity. Again, because of the team that we have, everyone’s on the same page and all-in on continuing to grow in our industry.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:24):

Austin, as always, it’s just great to connect with you and hear what’s going on. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your time and being a part of our show today.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:34):

Let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. Takeaway number one is when Austin talked about how at the Rabine Group, they’ve used technology to springboard and grow their business faster, and the example he gave, one of them I should say was when he built that company, SITE Technologies, where it was something they developed internal for their company, and then saw that there was a real market opportunity and spun it off as its own enterprise. Before, they used to walk 30 or 40 properties a year in developing the kinds of reports that they put together, and now, today, they’re going to walk and prepare these reports, I should say, not walk the properties anymore, but use the technology to put together over 10,000 reports on a global basis for their customers. That’s pretty substantial in how they’ve done that.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:30):

Takeaway number two is when Austin shared his definition of success. I thought it was excellent, very well said when he said success to him was being able to control his time and how he spends his time personally, professionally, and just being in control of his calendar and where he intentionally spends his time. I thought that was a great reminder for all of us, especially here as the new year is underway and we’ve got lots of goals and ambitions to try to accomplish for the year.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (34:02):

Takeaway number three that he shared was how his organization is constantly open to change. It’s not something you oftentimes hear, especially some of these industries that are viewed as old industries or old businesses. For example, with them in the paving business or in the roofing business, these are sometimes viewed as old that don’t really change a lot, but their organization is focused on being open and willing to change, and if you don’t do that at your company, I think it’s important for you to maybe take heed and think of how you can incorporate some of those ideas into your own business, and if you say you do it at your company, maybe figure out, do you really, or do you just say it? That might be something to think about and something I need to do for my own business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (34:48):

Now, it’s time for today’s win-win. Today’s win-win is really focused on Austin’s discussion orienting around working with family and friends in the business. He said he likes to make sure that he has really great people to work with just good, solid people to work with. He said a lot of times, that just happens to be friends and family that come to work for the business, and sometimes these are people who come to work for the company that later become close friends or family of the business. I think that’s a great takeaway for us and a great win-win because if you can have fun with what you do and fun with the people you’re doing it with, it certainly makes business a lot more enjoyable in how you spend your time and what you’re doing. I thought that was a great takeaway and the Rabine Group and what they’ve done at their organization is a great example of how you can hire friends and family and do it well and make it work, and 40 years later, the company is, seems to be positioned for that next phase of growth in its organizational life.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (36:05):

Austin, thanks again for a great interview. That’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review, and remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to take their franchise company to the next level, or to franchise your business, please reach out to us at Thanks for tuning in and we look forward to having you back next week.

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