As our service manager, Jeff Ferrand works behind the scenes to ensure that everything is in place before our mini homes are delivered and that everything is perfect once the homes are in place. Havill’s is one of the few mini home suppliers to still have an in-house service department, and we couldn’t do it without the brilliant Jeff leading our team.
“It’s a big advantage to the customer that there is an in-house service team. When you have to contract stuff out to other people then you don’t have that same control over it,” Jeff explains. Having these things done by an in-house team ensures that all work is completed to Havill’s exacting standards.
Having an in-house service team was especially useful for our homeowners after Hurricane Fiona hit. We were able to clean up and do repairs in our communities fast because we didn’t have to wait to hire sub-contractors. “Thankfully our communities and homeowners weren’t hit very hard and we were able to drive through the communities and just check out everything and check up on people, make sure that everybody was safe,” Jeff explains.
When there’s no hurricane clean-up to contend with, Jeff and his team ensure that home sites are ready for power, sewer, and water hook-ups, build the framework and erect skirting around the home, look after any drywall repairs or adjustments needed inside the home and build the decks and stairs. Then, after a year his team will go in and ensure the home is still level and fill any stress cracks in the plasterwork associated with the ground beneath the home settling (a normal process with siting any mini home). “With the right team, the right gear and the knowledge, it’s not too difficult to do. But we strongly advise that the homeowners don’t do it by themselves,” Jeff says.
Jeff joined Havill’s in April 2019, initially working under our legendary Service Manager Merlin, who had worked with us for an incredible 50 years. Sadly, Merlin passed away just over a year after Jeff joined Havill’s. “Merlin was truly the backbone of the company for such a long time,” explains our Sales Manager Viola, “When we lost him we all felt that loss throughout the company and weren’t sure what the future of the service team held until Jeff stepped up to try to fill his very big shoes.”
“Our company president Alan Havill offered me the opportunity to try leading the team for three months to see if I enjoyed it. I did, and after three months Al offered me the position,” Jeff explains, “And I’ve been leading the service team for three years now.”
Clearly, the position has been a great fit. What Jeff loves most about his job is the people that he works with. “It’s a healthy work environment with no toxicity. We have such a great team, both in the service department and in the office,” Jeff says, “I’ve had jobs where I dreaded going in to work, and there are some difficult times and challenges here but there’s never a day where I come to work or leave work and I’m disgruntled.”
Jeff and his family recently moved to Wittenburg to better access all the country pursuits that they love. Until he started renovating the house they had bought he didn’t realize that he had in fact moved into a modular home manufactured by Kent Homes in 1972. At half a century old, the home required some updates. “As I started tearing the home apart I saw the Kent logo stamped on the tub and the studs,” he says, “It’s so funny that my job now is servicing Kent homes.” It was clearly meant to be, and we’re so happy to have Jeff as such an integral part of Havill’s team.