Quy Bui is the owner of Exteriors Plus LLC, a roofing company located in Savage, Minnesota that services homeowners across the Twin Cities.
A native of nearby Bloomington, Bui’s childhood was an adventurous one, his upbringing untainted by many of the concerns that parents today share.
“I grew up in an era where there wasn’t a lot of crime. We were able to run around the entire Twin Cities without fearing for our safety,” Bui says.
“And there was no technology. You simply got outside and you got your hands dirty. That’s how we created character.”
An energetic entrepreneur who thrives off taking the road less traveled, as a teenager Bui struggled to follow the trajectory many of his peers were on.
“I hated working a 9 to 5,” says Bui, who post-high school quickly realized that a career involving Corporate America was not feasible.
To account for his apathy toward traditional employment, Bui quickly began experimenting with various entrepreneurial pursuits.
“At first, I had a kiosk at the Mall of America that did engravings on dog chains,” Bui recalls, but soon he opened a car performance shop where they focused on installing automotive tint and sound systems.
For a few years, Bui and his associates were able to stay in business, but then the car performance industry was decimated by the emergence of e-commerce, which effectively rendered his business obsolete.
“I then got into the mortgage industry and wrote loans for a couple of years,” Bui says, but before the Bloomington native could establish himself in that industry, the American economy endured a painful recession in 2007, and Bui was once again scrambling to devise his next entrepreneurial pursuit.
America’s economic downturn is ultimately what led Bui into the roofing industry, where Bui, in harnessing his charisma and natural sales skills, began selling roofs for a local company.
Bui enjoyed the heavy commissions and fast-paced nature of life as a roofing sales rep, but he quickly realized that his employer’s values didn’t align with his.
“The way he operated his roofing company wasn’t ideal, and after a year I determined that I could run a roofing business on my own,” shares Bui, who in 2010 opened Exteriors Plus LLC in Savage.
In the thirteen years since its inception, Exteriors Plus LLC has become a reputable roofing company within the community, not just for their expert craftsmanship and attention to detail when they install roofs, but Bui has also done what so few of his contemporaries have by cultivating a stellar work culture where people are prioritized over profits.
“Roofing sales reps gravitate toward this industry because of the money, but money can be the root of all evil, and I think, if you’re in the roofing industry for the money, and not prioritizing customer service, then you’re in this business for the wrong reasons,” Bui explains.
“Here at Exteriors Plus, we have created a culture that is here to help homeowners, and we know that if we have the right intentions and execute on our daily tasks, then everything else will fall into place.”
Based on his track record that spans over a decade, Bui is consistently doing what so many other roofing contractors fail to account for, and while the humble and stoic Bui doesn’t consider himself to be the roofing industry’s premier expert, he acknowledges that there are glaring holes in the way other roofers operate their businesses.
Most notably, Bui says he has come across many roofing contractors with grandiose ambitions and honest intentions, but often these same roofers make the fatal mistake of routinely overpromising and underdelivering to homeowners.
“Essentially, they never do what they say they are going to do,” Bui deadpans.
“This includes losing communication with homeowners and not following up when jobs are in progress, and that’s when their reputation diminishes. It sounds silly, but if a roofing contractor simply does what they say they are going to do, in many ways that will separate them from a big part of the market.”
Additionally, many roofing contractors new to the Twin Cities landscape struggle with cashflow management, and even though they may understand the nuances of how to conduct proper roof replacements, ultimately these roofers can’t maintain financial integrity, and eventually their house of shingles collapses.
“Often I see roofing business owners robbing Peter to pay Paul, and as you’re doing that it is tough to create a sustainable business,” Bui mentions.
“Roofing business owners who have poor money management skills end up not being good business owners.”
Although Bui is critical of other roofers in the industry, the mastermind of Exteriors Plus acknowledges that running a profitable roofing company that specializes in customer service is no easy venture.
In fact, Bui admits that he didn’t feel like he hit his stride as a business owner until seven years in, at which point the roofing industry became inundated with new technology.
“As we grew the company and started to understand the direction that the roofing industry was going, we began leveraging technology to make our processes more efficient in order to better service our customers,” says Bui, whose keen awareness elevated his roofing company into the next stratosphere and established the entity as a staple of the Savage community.
For homeowners in the Twin Cities who may be looking for a new roof in 2023, there are a litany of traits that they should be examining when vetting potential roofing contractors, with Bui recommending that reputation and longevity be at the forefront of any search.
“It’s very simple: look at a company’s track record. The turnover rate in the roofing industry is very high. For context, 80% of roofing contractors in the first two years will fail, and then 95% will fail within the first five years,” Bui notes.
“So if a roofing company is able to be sustainable day in and day out over the course of many years, then it’s likely that they know what they’re doing.”
But Bui also encourages homeowners to discuss contingency plans with roofing contractors, should something on the job not go according to plan.
“Another thing to consider when talking with roofing contractors is try and gauge if they have your best interests in mind, meaning if something goes wrong, will they come out the next day and rectify the issue, or will they take two weeks to return your call and come up with a plan of action?” Bui says.
“Again, those are some things that sound relatively basic, but a lot of the other roofers that I have met over the years really struggled to prioritize the needs of homeowners.”
For Twin Cities homeowners whose roofs have recently been affected by hailstorms, or may sustain hail damage in the coming years, Bui urges those who are affected to work with a roofing contractor who can repair all aspects of their home, not just high-ticket items like roofs or siding.
“The roofing portion of an insurance claim is usually the most profitable, and general contractors can do the roof in one day,” Bui contextualizes.
“But if a roofing contractor is only addressing the big-ticket items on a claim, like the roof, they’re not truly servicing the homeowner. They’re just replacing the roof and then leaving the homeowners with the scraps and little idea of what to do next.”
At Exteriors Plus LLC, Bui and his team are a full-service contracting company, meaning they can handle everything exterior related on an insurance claim, including:
Siding, gutters, windows, decks, and mesh screens.
“We are a general contractor, and we are here to service our customers and their claims, and we do that by assisting with every part of the insurance restoration process,” Bui explains.
“We’re there to make sure we can take any potential headaches away from the homeowner, and that will allow them to breathe easy and focus on their families or whatever else they have going on in life.”
As for the future of Exteriors Plus LLC, Bui is committed to owning and operating his roofing company for many years to come, but he’s also begun investing in real estate and other business ventures, the aim being to develop ancillary sources of income for both himself, and his employees.
“The goal is to create other streams of income beyond just my roofing company, and that’s what I teach my team as well, is don’t just make a good living working in the roofing industry. Take your money and create a sustainable way of living so that you will be financially set.” QS