The Gentlemen Pros are your one-stop source for all your home’s plumbing and heating needs. The name, “gentlemen” is incredibly deliberate. You can count on every interaction, from the call centre where a real person picks up the phone to the technician that arrives at your home, to act with professionalism and integrity.
Brham Trim founded The Gentlemen Pros in 2001; but, although his father and grandfather were both plumbers, he had no intention to following the trade. At least, not at first.
“At a young age my dad would wake me up and say, hey we are going to work! Aw, dad… do I have to?” Trim reminisces. “While my friends played, I worked. Looking back now, however, I am grateful for what he taught me. At the time, though, when I got out of school I decided to pursue dentistry.”
A few years into his dentistry studies, Trim felt something was off.
“I realized dentistry just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t feeding my drive or passion. I shared that with my dad and he said, why not open a plumbing company? I said I never got indentured or signed up in the trades, but dad reminded me that I already had the hours necessary. All those times working with him counted. He encouraged me to challenge the journeyman test.”
At that time Trim was 22 and newly married. He discussed it with his wife, and they decided to give it a go.
He passed the test and registered the business, Action Auger, in 2001. The Yellow Pages were still the main search medium at that time. Having companies that started with “A” was the original way to land on the first page of the book!
However, despite the name, Trim always had the word “gentlemen” in mind.
“One of the reasons I didn’t want to be a plumber, originally, was because I saw how crass some of the plumbers could be. I saw customers getting taken advantage of. There was a real negative connotation associated with those in the industry. So, we were Action Auger, but our tagline was “gentlemen plumbers” because that is what we wanted to be. Being a gentleman meant being kind, friendly, prompt and professional.”
In time, the tagline outperformed the company name.
“In 2008,” says Trim, “I was walking through the call centre and noticed one of the operators pick up the phone then quickly say, ‘okay, bye.’ I wanted to know what happened. She said it was a wrong number. On a hunch, I asked her to call back. The customer was looking for the gentlemen plumbers. I immediately thought, that is so much better as our main name! The Yellow Pages were on the decline, the internet was on the rise; it was time to make the change. That is how Action Auger became The Gentlemen Plumbers in 2008.”
That wasn’t the only time the name would change.
Trim continues, “We focus on the big picture so we can handle all the major plumbing, heating, and gas issues that could go wrong in a home. For us, being in the service industry is taking care of people. That is why we decided, after growing from plumbing to include HVAC, why not add electrical? That division was added in 2019. With this evolution we knew we had to change the name again. We became The Gentlemen Pros: Plumbing, Heating, Electrical.”
Through it all they were growing geographically too. The company had launched in Calgary, expanded into Edmonton, then opened up in Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“Obviously in my early 20s I knew everything!” jokes Trim. “The reality was, I knew how to work hard but not how to run a business. I was paying myself peanuts and owed a lot of money to wholesalers. My pricing was based on calling up other plumbers to see what they charged. The cheapest one was $70/hour. I thought, hey if they can do that, I can do that. But they were all more established and could command that rate. I had to figure out what I was doing wrong.”
As he was contemplating these things, a postcard arrived in the mail. The verbiage was along the lines of, “do you want more time with your family? Are you underpaying yourself? Are you always behind on your payments?” For Trim, it was “yes” to all of that, so he went to the meeting advertised on the card.
That is how he was introduced to Success Group International (SGI).
“I brought my dad to the meeting. We learned SGI was selling systems and procedures on how to take care of your customers, take care of your employees and make a profit… basically everything needed to run a plumbing company. This is what I really needed! Then we found out it was $20,000 to take the course and $1,000 per month thereafter. My heart sunk. I got up to leave, but dad said, wait.
“Dad pointed out two things. He had an unused credit card with $20,000 on it and the course had a 100% money back guarantee. We went for it.”
Trim smiles, “That changed everything.”
“We started to make money. We started to have fun. We provided customer service more in line with my original vision. We continue with SGI today.”
Later, in 2015 Trim had the opportunity to get his MBA and quickly realized the training he received through SGI was the same high caliber of education, but curated directly for the plumbing, heating and electrical industry.
“I was so grateful to learn, grow and have that help.”
In 2007 things were going so well Trim decided to expand The Gentlemen Pros into British Columbia. Fourteen new trucks were ordered, doubling the fleet. Then, on the morning of Thanksgiving he got a call at 2 a.m.. The policeman on the other end of the line told him to hurry to the shop.
It was on fire.
“I was not prepared for what I saw,” says Trim. “The whole building was fully engulfed. One of the great blessings the good Lord gave me at that time was the only thing that was not destroyed: our server.
“We picked up the pieces and moved on, but it was hard! The next month was when the trucks were to arrive and the lease payments for them started. We had to really rally as a group, not just me but the whole family and team.”
The gentlemen values of everyone on the team shone through, as did Trim’s vast support network that he unconsciously grew over the years. Staff, vendors, customers, suppliers, friends and family rallied around The Gentlemen Pros. The brand came back, stronger than ever.
As time marched on Trim’s drive and passion for The Gentlemen Pros never waivered. However, it wasn’t just the business that was growing. It was his family too. Trim started to miss seeing his four children grow up because he was on the road constantly visiting the satellite offices. To achieve better balance, in 2011 the decision was made to close the B.C. market, especially since growth was still ongoing in Alberta. During the COVID pandemic, he took the opportunity to consolidate and streamline operations even further.
Trim says, “If our clients could be a fly on the wall every morning when our team comes in to discuss the work for the day, train or get ahead of issues, our clients would clearly see the love and passion for what we do and how we take care of our customers.”
“The future is exciting for us!” Trim concludes. “We want to continue our growth. I joke that I want to take over the world when it comes to plumbing, HVAC and electrical, but I’m kind of serious. That is where I want to go. We have a lot of great people. I know we can get there.”
#101 – 3239 97 Street Northwest
Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6N 1B7