Rob Stalvey III wasn’t always interested in being part of the Southwest Florida plumbing and irrigation business his father, Rob Stalvey Jr. had operated. “I was just going to stay for a little bit,” the younger Stalvey says, “then go do my own thing.”
Some 15 years later, Stalvey is still there, and the entities under the Coastal brand have since grown into a $4 million home services enterprise on the cusp of some big growth. The holdings include Coastal Irrigation and Plumbing, Coastal Outdoor Lighting, Coastal Lawn and Pest and Mister Mosquitoes. Stalvey worked his way up in the business then bought an ownership stake in 2013. Rob Stalvey Jr. semi-retired in 2015.
A key move Stalvey made with the company was to expand into pest control. Some pest control companies, both national brands and local operations, started offering lawn and irrigation services a few years ago. Stalvey, seeing the trend, sought to reverse it, and in 2018 the lawn care company added pest control. That unit has since grown 30% a year, compared to 5% to 10% annual growth in lawn care services. “Now that we are doing both, we are a much more competitive company,” Stalvey says. “It’s grown rather quickly.”
The pandemic has stunted the growth of the pest control segment somewhat, Stalvey says, mostly because the sales strategy that works the best is door-to-door and pitching current lawn customers. With the coronavirus lingering, there have been few in-person sales opportunities. In response, the sales team created some videos walking around properties, to show the things Coastal crews can do. “People have responded well to that,” Stalvey says.
Customers have also responded well to the company following through on a philosophy of not over-doing it in water use, fertilization and electricity. On that front, Stalvey and his crews pay close attention to not having water runoff on laws and using energy-efficient lighting.
A fourth-generation Floridian, Stalvey says the company’s ability to shift to new ideas, in sales and in responding to customer’s environmental concerns, is what motivates him to grow the company even more. “I love being able to come in each and every day,” Stalvey says, “and lead the company in the right direction.”
Coastal Lawn & Pest Inc of SWF
Years on the Gulf Coast
Married with two children
High school diploma
What community group or organization are you most involved with?
What's the weirdest job you've ever had?
Printing paper delivery to NASA Cape Canaveral base
What's your top tip for being productive?
Take care of one task at a time, and finish it before moving on to the next. Multitasking doesn't work; you end up with a bunch of task completed poorly.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be?
Real estate sales
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