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Growing a business is a challenge on its own but what if you were trying to do it with your significant other? That’s what Greg and Carol Rau have done at Apple Tree Homes in Lawrence. Today we’ll spotlight their story to find out what additional challenges working with a spouse creates, their passion for building custom homes, and how technology impacts their business.

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Show Notes For This Episode

Family businesses can be found all across the state, but it’s still unique to see a husband and wife duo running a company together. All the pressure that comes with ownership is elevated even further when a couple is all-in.

But it can also be a very rewarding experience as we find out from Greg and Carol Rau on this episode of the Small Business Big Deal podcast. They bought Apple Tree Homes in 2007 from the founders, David and Beth Reynolds, another husband and wife team that built the business and brand. The transition worked very well for both parties and led to where they are today.

The Raus are very active in the community and you’ll find them participating in a number of local organizations and groups. Since taking over Apple Tree, they’ve continued the tradition of baking homemade apple pies and building homes that meet the exact specifications for clients. We’ll spend a good bit of time talking about how they got into this business to begin with and what challenges have they faced working side-by-side.

Homebuilding is a competitive industry that requires businesses to find ways to stick out from the competition. We’ll discuss the ways in which they’ve done that. Plus, we’ll talk about the technology that’s used by both clients and the owners when a job is being done.

A few of the things we’ll get into from the business side on the show:

  • Managing multiple projects at the same time.
  • How customized can a job be?
  • Why putting time into a business website is so important.
  • Who would they consider a mentor?
  • Advice they’d give young entrepreneurs.
  • How to stay updated on the industry and continuing education.

Listen to the full episode with the player above or click on the timestamps below to hear more about the Raus and Apple Tree Homes.

[2:06] – Greg and Carol Rau join us for the show.

[3:39] – Greg’s background and how he ended up in this profession.

[4:23] – How Carol got involved in the company.

[6:33] – Advice for working with your spouse.

[11:01] – How many homes are you building at any given time?

[11:45] – How customized can houses be?

[13:50] – What ways do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

[15:37] – What technology do you use in your business?

[18:33] – Does the internet and all its ideas for homeowners make the job more difficult?

[19:28] – Why business websites are so important.

[22:41] – What do you for continuing education?

[24:23] – Any mentors that have played a role in the growth of the business?

[27:02] – What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?

[30:09] – What’s the best compliment received from a customer?

[33:06] – Favorite part of building a home.

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Podcast Reviews
  • Get takeaways in every episode
    May 5, 2021 by Meljofield from United States

    Every episode provides insights on how to overcome challenges of being an entrepreneur from people who have been in the trenches. Tracy does a great job of asking all the right questions to help her listeners gain knowledge that will help them in their entrepreneurial journey.

  • What a great resource for entrepreneurs!
    April 23, 2021 by Dr Sabrina from United States

    Tracy is passionate about inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs with what is possible. She brings on guests who are sharing their school of hard knocks experiences to support their fellow entrepreneurs in having successful businesses that have real value.

  • Brilliant
    February 1, 2021 by HB x from United Kingdom

    Love every word. So much wisdom here!

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