Follow-Up File: Social media is boosting Central Coast Waterproofing's business

Name: Bill Leys

Job: Owner

Business: Central Coast Waterproofing

What he said then: In March 2010, The Tribune reported that Central Coast Waterproofing typically sees an increase in business after an active rainy season. “It ends up causing me to gain work in about two years,” owner Bill Leys said. “Water gets into a building because of faulty flashing or a slow leak, and it doesn’t show up until a couple years later when something starts rotting and begins to physically fail.”

The Arroyo Grande company renovates, repairs and maintains waterproof decks, including balconies and rooftop decks.

Leys also promotes maintenance education to prevent damage.

What he says now: Central Coast Waterproofing’s 2011 revenue was up about 20 percent over the previous year. Leys attributes the increase only partly to weather.

“We’ve been doing total renovation kind of jobs,” he said. “That’s seen an uptick, as well as the economy turning around and people wanting to put a little money into improving their property. People are feeling a little bit freer with their cash.”

But those looking for a bargain should look elsewhere , Leys bluntly tells prospective clients. He positions his company as a high-quality option, not a low-cost one.

A key part of this strategy is www.centralcoast  . It regularly attracts work from as far away as Los Angeles and San Francisco. About 60 percent of the company’s jobs occur outside San Luis Obispo County.

“Between the website and social media, it’s where I’m getting most of my business,” Leys said. He links his Wordpress blog to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. “It’s hitting all of those sites at once. That’s what brings people in.”

The blog also helps his site rank higher when people use search engines such as Google.

His expertise earned Leys an invitation to speak at The Journal of Light Construction’s LIVE Residential Construction Show in Portland, Ore., last month.

And in September, he spent three days waterproofing the swimming pool in the Oakland Zoo’s tiger exhibit.

A cat lover with five domestic felines, Leys donated the labor. He said getting to interact with the wild animals was a rare opportunity.

Central Coast Waterproofing, which employs up to five contract workers at a time, may add a Southern California branch in the future.

“It’s all about having the right people,” Leys said. “The Los Angeles market is lucrative enough that even with the competition there we’re holding our own. I’d like to expand our presence.”

Have an idea for a followup? Each week, The Tribune checks in with a business it has reported on before. Send suggestions to: followupfile@thetribune