Team Spotlight: Getting To Know LeafFilter Of Seattle
LeafFilter has offices across the United States and Canada. While all share the same values and company philosophy, each office has its own unique team and culture. We sat down with Michael Castrataro, Operations Manager of the Seattle office, to learn a bit about operations in the Pacific Northwest.
Leaf: Thank you for joining us today, Michael! Can you tell us a bit about your team?
Michael: My pleasure! Yes, I’m an Operations Manager, I run daily operations for the Seattle market.
Leaf: When did you join the LeafFilter team?
Michael: It’ll be four years this May.
Leaf: Wow, four years! The company has seen a lot of growth and expansion during that time. What kind of changes have you seen on the local level?
Michael: Oh, yes. I’ve definitely seen a lot of changes… very impressive changes, actually! I think one of the biggest changes that we’ve seen on the local level is monetary – we’re producing a lot more than we were a few years ago, which has a lot to do with team growth. Our location expanded significantly over the years, and we ultimately moved the office about two years ago to a new location that’s quadruple the size of the old building.
Leaf: That’s incredible, and it definitely puts that growth into perspective. What kind of weather do you guys face out in Seattle?
Michael: The weather in Seattle is horrible! I’m originally from New York, so it took me a while to adjust to the weather in Seattle. It rains a lot. A lot. But more importantly, we don’t have a very harsh winter here. It very rarely dips down below 45 degrees, but our winter consists of about nine months of just gray, dreary, misty fog. And then we get lucky because come about July, the sun starts to peek out. We have nice dry, warm summers here, very rarely exceeding 80 degrees.
Leaf: And what does the landscape look like? I know a lot of homeowners with LeafFilter in the Pacific Northwest get gutter protection to prevent pine needle buildup. Is the same true in Seattle?
Michael: Oh, yes. We have many pine trees out here. 90 percent of what we deal with is pine needles and pollen. There’s a lot of pollen out here, too.
Leaf: Sounds like your team keeps pretty busy!
Michael: Yes, we keep pretty busy on the local level. But when it comes to LeafFilter, I consider all of our employees to be a part of the same team. Our call center in Vegas and our call center at corporate. Our marketing team – they’re out there getting information to the call center. The call center team is doing a great job of setting appointments for us. Moving over to sales, there are 22 sales reps in my office and two more in training right now. Our sales reps are doing a wonderful job connecting with customers – not being too pushy, being polite, and caring – and helping those customers solve a problem. Then our install team comes in, and it’s up to them at that point to make sure LeafFilter lives up to expectations and to take what the sales team promised and make that a reality. David, Rob, Casey and Dylan work hard every day to keep that promise. It’s all about customer service. At the end of the day, the customer needs to be happy.
Leaf: I love that perspective. You mentioned that two new people are joining your team – that is so exciting! What goes into training for those positions?
Michael: Training right now for my sales reps is a three-day training, and it’s a mix between classroom and field training. So the reps were in class today from nine in the morning to about one o’clock in the afternoon, and they’re learning the different approaches to selling, the steps that we use in the house – we use a six-step selling process, so they’re learning that. How to present the product, how to measure the product, how the product actually gets installed, and then out in the field they’ll head out with me on an appointment to go meet a customer. Or they may head out with one of the more tenured reps I have in my office. They might even go out and visit some installations and then hang out with those installers and actually watch the product being installed for a couple of hours.
Leaf: That is so cool and hands-on! It sounds like your team is very well-acquainted. How would you describe the culture of the Seattle office?
Michael: That’s a hard question! If you put us all together as a team, I would say that it’s more of a family atmosphere. I’d say my team is very close-knit. If you come to one of our meetings, it’s more of a picnic, honestly. I joke around that we never get anything done because we’re too busy talking and eating. But having a mix of very tenured employees versus new employees is actually very good because the tenured employees help the newer employees, which I like to see because sometimes it’s not just me up there talking, it’s the person that’s out in the field every single day helping the person that wants to learn. That’s what I like most. It’s a very open, friendly workplace.
Leaf: It definitely sounds that way, and I can tell that you really love working with this incredible team. Do you think big things are coming for your team in 2022?
Michael: Yes, of course. Every year we increase our goals from a monetary perspective, and as a team, we’re going to hit them. But I also hope we continue to see more of the same in terms of the culture of the office because it’s fantastic to work with this team.
Leaf: Do you have any particular memories from working with your team that you’d like to share?
Michael: Oh, there are too many memories with this team to count! I still have my first hire here all these years later. The team has grown a lot, but there are a lot of the same people working here who were on the team when I came into the location. We have a lady by the name of Florence on the team, and she was my first new hire. She’s kind of the mom of the bunch. Florence really keeps things running smoothly. She’s always taking care of everybody, you know? Making sure they’ve got their paperwork together, making sure they’ve got their lanyards and pictures on their lanyards. Some of my favorite memories include seeing Florence take care of everybody and keeping the team on track.
Leaf: It sounds like you’ve built something really special in Seattle.
Michael: Definitely, but like I said – we’re all one team, no matter which part of the organization you work in. Building this great company culture has really been a team effort, and I love being a part of it all.
At Leaf Home, we’re all on one team striving for success. Are you interested in exploring opportunities with our team? Check out the Leaf Home careers page to find opportunities near you.