Mike Manning of MGM Builders on Thirty Years of Business

“As you can tell, I’m passionate about building homes,” says Mike Manning, owner of MGM Builders. This fall Manning and his wife, Anne, celebrate 30 years of business. In the past 30 years, MGM Builders has built more than 200 homes. In this installment of our MH+D Inside Out series, Manning explains what it’s like to build a business for decades, as he prepares to someday pass it down to his children.

Q. Tell us about starting this business thirty years ago.

A: It’s always been a passion of mine to build homes. I worked for my grandfather growing up, building houses. When I was out of high school I went into the Coast Guard and became an electrician. I did that for five years. When I moved back to Maine, I met my wife, who happens to be a great designer, and we have been here ever since. We built our first home in 1987. This fall, the business is having our 30th year anniversary, 200 homes later.

Q. You have two sons and one daughter. Do you think your children will carry on the business after you?

A. Oh, definitely. We’re already talking about the next generation of leadership, and my sons are already involved. The boys are bringing in new ideas, so we’re growing. This year we’re going to expand further into custom homes. I’m 54, but I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon. And the boys are pushing me to keep growing.

Q. How do you create relationships with the people whose homes you build?

A. Part of connecting with people is learning their story. In our first interview with clients we find out about their family. When you’re designing a home, the clients might not even know what they want. From our experience of living in eight different homes and raising a family, we’ve learned a lot, and we pass that knowledge on to clients.

Q. What’s most important to you when you build a home?

A. Longevity. We want to build something our clients can pass down to the next generation, too, just as we are passing our business on to our children. I’ve told the kids since they were little, “Your name is more valuable than wealth.” My father told me that.