By Kathleen Ganster
Gordon “Gordy” Parker, 56, has worked as an aviation contractor mechanic for years and literally all over the world, so to say he is “handy” is probably an understatement.
So when he and his wife, Anne, 59, were looking for a second business, one of the businesses that caught their eye was a handyman franchise.
“We were in Germany and started doing our research – we found a franchise that was very veteran friendly and seemed just what we were looking for,” said Anne Parker.
Since Gordy is an Air Force veteran, the couple felt it was a good match. And since they were headed back to their home in Longs that they had recently built, it seemed the ideal time.
In June 2010, the couple opened “Gordy the Handyman.” Since Gordy still travels to various locations around the world to locations by military installations – right now he is working in the Middle East- Anne oversees the business. With years of experience as an administrative assistant, bookkeeper, and office manager under her belt, it is a role for which she is well prepared.
“It’s challenging some days, but I love it,” she said.
Gordy the Handyman provides handyman services and says no job is too small
or too large. The Parkers work with home owners, rental agents, real estate agents, and commercial properties. Currently, they have one full-time and four-part time employees.
The Myrtle Beach area is a great place for this type of business. “This area is a Mecca for retired folks and they don’t want to be bothered fixing things. That is what we are here for,” she said.
Like many of these people, the Parkers moved here when they fell in love with the area during a vacation.
“We are lucky, because it is the ideal place for our business,” she said. The couple built a house here four years ago.
Both of the Parkers came to their business with experience in owning a small business. Gordy had owned a tool rental business and worked part-time as a contractor and Anne offered support services.
“We both had second careers so that has made this easier,” she said.
Anne said that despite the recession, it was a good time to start their business – in fact, maybe because of the recession; it was the perfect time to start a handyman service.
“People are more likely to fix things and want to stay in their homes when times are tough than they are to move to a new home,” she explained.
Gordy the Handyman also specializes in remodeling to make modifications so that as the residents age, they can still comfortably live in their homes. “For example, we can modify a shower to make it easy to walk into or have hand-rails, or maybe lower counter tops so they are easier to use,” she explained.
“And we appreciate our customers so much. After all, it isn’t like taking your car to a mechanic – they welcome us into their home to repair things for them,” she said, “We take that very seriously.”
The Parkers have recently started a second business, Parker Property Management and Homewatch Services, where they visit and maintain properties of absentee home owners to make sure the properties are well-maintained when empty.
“A lot of homes here are second homes for people and they may only be here a few months out of the year. We go in to check to make sure things are ok and if they aren’t fix them,” she said.
The service not only makes sure that the home is ready for the owners to occupy without worrying about maintenance while they are here, but can also prevent costly and damaging results.
“If there is a leak or broken window, there can be all sorts of damages, making it a lot harder and longer to repair plus a lot more expensive,” she said.
When Gordy is home from his stints overseas, Anne said he jumps right back into the business.
“I just give him his tools and send him right out,” she said.