Typical Roles at a Tiny House Business


A tiny house business is essentially a construction company, staffing a number of builders with different specialties to construct the houses. Administrative staff to support the tiny house building efforts are very important to the success of the business as a whole. You’ll want to hire a receptionist to take phone calls and talk to clients, as well as a real estate agent to sell the homes. With such large amounts of money moving around, an accountant/purchaser is another necessity.

General Manager

The general manager oversees everything from a high-level perspective, managing all aspects of the business, from marketing to operations.

Typical Salary: $70,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Guide direction of company
  • Ensure sales targets are met
  • Ensure clients are pleased with the results

Who to Look For:

  • Experience in solar power industry
  • Business degree and experience managing people
  • May be filled by the owner

Builder

A builder physically builds the tiny house to planned specs. They may specialize in a particular area of the house such as roofing, framing, or interior finishing.

Typical Salary: $14/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Working with lumber, drywall, and other construction materials.
  • Frequent heavy lifting

Who to Look For:

  • Construction experience in timber structures
  • Any certifications are helpful to establish legitimacy
  • Knowledge of tiny homes is great, but not a requirement

Electrician

You’ll want an electrician to wire up the electricity in the tiny houses as they’re being built. This role could be filled by an experienced builder.

Typical Salary: $23/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Running electrical lines through walls
  • Installing switches, lights, appliances, generators, etc.
  • Ensuring the safety of the electrical system.

 Who to Look For:

  • Experience or certificate in residential electrical work
  • Knowledge of local electrical codes

 

 

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will sell your houses to customers (if that’s your business model).

Typical Salary: $60,000

 What Does This role Entail?

  • Marketing and salesmanship
  • Meeting with potential customers
  • Negotiation

What to look for:

  • Previous realty experience, or experience selling other high-value assets
  • Strong salesmanship skills
  • Marketing ability

Finance Manager

A finance manager works with customers to create plans to finance the cost of purchasing a tiny house.

Typical Salary: $60,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Evaluating credit applications
  • Creating custom finance plans for each customer
  • Building rapport and ultimately making the sale

What to look for:

  • Prior finance experience or degree
  • Salesmanship ability
  • Communication and presentation skills

Receptionist

A receptionist handles office communications, directing calls and handling miscellaneous office duties.

Typical Salary: $10/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Answering phones, taking messages, and directing inquiries
  • Performing miscellaneous office tasks as needed

What to look for:

  • Outgoing, friendly personality
  • Ability to multitask
  • Detail oriented

Tiny House Business Hiring Tips


Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

When hiring for a tiny house construction business, it is not vital that every employee have prior experience with tiny houses. Many of the skills used in the construction and real estate businesses are transferable to a tiny house business.

When you launch the business, you, as the owner, may assume the role of general manager at first to ensure it gets off on the right foot. You’ll need to hire a team of builders to construct the houses, but keep the build team small until you can get a sense of both your production capacity and the market’s demand. Hiring a receptionist or administrative assistant can free your time up to manage marketing and branding efforts. If your business offers financing for clients, you’ll need to hire a finance manager, and possibly an accountant as well, to develop financing plans that work for both your business and your clients. A real estate agent is a good hire to get customers in the door and ultimately make sales. Building great tiny houses is only half of the challenge — you also need to sell them!

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

Most of your hiring needs can be met with traditional methods: online job boards and local postings are two common methods. Builders in particular have additional options: consider contacting local home builders associations to find members who may be interested in working on tiny homes. Additionally, ensure you hire builders with different ranges of skills so that every part of your tiny homes are built to the highest quality.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most tiny house companies look for builders who are:

  • Highly dependable and trustworthy
  • Independent workers
  • Experienced in residential construction

 Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • Tell me about some recent construction projects of yours that are similar to tiny house construction.
  • What areas of home construction do you have the most and least experience in?
  • Describe a time you’ve performed a job while under stress.
  • Talk about a time a client was not happy with your work, how did you attempt to resolve the situation?

When hiring your builders, establishing their dependability and quality of work is of paramount importance. There are a few ways to accomplish this, but one of the best is simply to contact their references. Talking to people who’ve hired or worked with that builder in the past is an opportunity to get extremely valuable information, so make sure to prepare a short list of specific questions to ask them. Example questions that you might ask references are:

  • How long ago did you work with them? What type of project was it?
  • How easy were they to work with? Did they take criticism well? Were they receptive to changes in the build plan?
  • Did you and the builder disagree on any significant points? How did you resolve them?
  • Was the project completed on time?
  • Ultimately, would you hire this builder again? Why or why not?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll


Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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