Bill Howe Family of Companies Builds a Home of Their Own
Since 1980, the Bill Howe Family of Companies has been a San Diego institution as a go-to, family-owned and operated plumbing company. Over the past 40 years, they have grown their team to 260 employees and expanded their operations to include heating, air conditioning, restoration and flood services.
Last year, the company decided to build a headquarters that it owned, rather than continuing to rent office space. “My parents had always had a vision of buying a home for the Bill Howe Family of Companies — a place we could call our own,” said Jessica Howe-Groat, chief financial and marketing officer for Bill Howe Family of Companies and daughter of Bill and Tina Howe, the company’s founders.
As they approached the end of the 10-year lease on their current headquarters, the company started to explore their options. After some back-and-forth with their broker, doing some due diligence on the financial side and exploring what funding would look like, the perfect building became available. Jessica’s first call was to Lucy Romero at Torrey Pines Bank, who was able to help them secure an SBA loan for the purchase.
Although Bill Howe Family of Companies didn’t have an existing relationship with Torrey Pines Bank, Jessica made that initial call to Lucy as the company wasn’t receiving the support it needed from its long-standing banking partner during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When the pandemic hit and we needed resources, we needed a bank at our side and we needed communication, they weren’t there,” Jessica recalled.
Her experience with Torrey Pines Bank couldn’t be more different. The responsiveness of the entire team has been the biggest differentiator for the Bill Howe Family of Companies throughout the process of acquiring and building out their new headquarters.
“It is really a credit to Lucy and Torrey Pines Bank that the process was incredibly smooth. She was very communicative along the way,” Jessica said. “We’ve been around for almost 43 years, and we’ve never had a true home. Now we have training facilities, multiple conference rooms and, perhaps most importantly, room to grow.”
As a result of the experience, this transaction was just the beginning of a new relationship for Bill Howe Family of Companies and Torrey Pines Bank as the company realized that, beyond the SBA loan, it also needed to transition its banking services. While the process of changing banks causes apprehension for many, Jessica has appreciated the support she’s received from the Torrey Pines Bank team along the way.
“We have felt very supported throughout the entire process and are grateful for all of the resources available at Torrey Pines Bank,” Jessica shared. “The client services team has been hyper-responsive, everyone is incredibly knowledgeable, and Lucy checks in with us regularly. It’s been nice to know that we’re looked at, we’re cared about, and we’re not forgotten. That relationship [with our banking partner] is something we haven’t had in a long time.”