Local Resident Launches Contract Management Company
Writer / Angela Cornell
One of the quirks of the English language is that it borrows words from other languages to fill its own vocabulary gaps. Some of these words are so common that we don’t even think about it, like cookie, which is a slightly anglicized version of the Dutch word koekie.
Others aren’t as common, but still appear in English dictionaries. Take concierge, for instance. This word refers to a custodian or manager who is in charge of making sure that visitors are connected to and receive the services they need. Examples of a concierge include a bellhop at a hotel, a doorkeeper at an apartment complex, or even a butler at a mansion. The word also describes Ron Gibson’s business, Lakeshore Concierge Services.
Gibson has always been familiar with the Lake Maxinkuckee area, thanks to spending weekends with his grandparents on the lake. After moving to Culver about 10 years ago, it didn’t take long before friends and neighbors started asking him for recommendations for local contractors, laborers and service providers. In March of 2020, Gibson decided to start a contract management services company that promoted local businesses. He spent most of last year tracking down contractors.
“That’s why my database is unreal,” Gibson says. “I know no one else who has taken a year out of their life to sit down with people and ask, ‘Well, who would you recommend?’”
Gibson and his wife Cindy’s mission is to connect lake residents in Marshall, Fulton and Starke counties with the best contractors possible. The types of services vary.
“We have people on our list who do landscaping, window washing, cleaning and moving furniture,” he says. “Basically, if there’s a need and you don’t know who to get a hold of, that’s what our responsibility is – to find someone who can get it taken care of. It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is.”
From the moment a client contacts Gibson, he tries to keep the process of getting the project done as simple as possible.
The first step is learning what project the client has in mind. Do they need dinner reservations for Friday? Are they coming in for a weekend trip and want the fridge stocked before they get there? Are they looking for someone to landscape the yard? Do they want to build on their lakefront property, or put a deck on the house they already have?
Once Gibson understands the client’s needs, he lines up the three best quotes from local businesses. After the client picks their preference, Gibson hires the contractor.
“The contractor works for us, not the homeowner,” he explains. “We oversee the project. We make sure that utility line locations are done and the building permits are taken care of. It makes it easier for the contractor and it also makes it easier for the homeowner.”
Once the project is completed, the homeowner pays Lakeshore Concierge Services, who in turn pays the contractor.
There are two audiences that Gibson wants to reach. First are those who live around the lake, both year-round residents as well as those who own vacation homes.
“I want to help them find a contractor to match what they actually want to do,” he says.
The second audience is local contractors and service providers, for whom Gibson strives to line up work.
“My job is to help you find business that you otherwise might not be presented with,” he says. “I’m not looking to hire a crew, I’m looking to hire you. I’m not here to control your business. You give me a quote on whatever you charge. I present it to the homeowner. If they say, ‘Yes, that’s who we want to use,’ then that’s who we use.”
Gibson hopes that his influence will only strengthen with time.
“I see us becoming the go-to place,” he says. “If you need help with something, call Lakeshore Concierge. They’ll get you taken care of.”
Lakeshore Concierge Services has a list of more than 1,000 local contractors and service providers. Let Ron Gibson help with your next project by calling 574-360-0371 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Any contractor or service provider who wishes to be in the Lakeshore Concierge Services database is also encouraged to contact Gibson.