Looking Back and Moving Forward: A Q&A with CEO Craig Torrance

As 2023 draws to a close, MCS CEO Craig Torrance shares his thoughts about the year’s big wins and his vision for the company’s continued growth in 2024 and beyond in this fascinating Q&A.

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As 2023 draws to a close, MCS CEO Craig Torrance shares his thoughts about the year’s big wins and his vision for the company’s continued growth in 2024 and beyond.

What were MCS’s greatest successes in 2023? 

We were fortunate to have an extremely successful year in 2023. I’d say our biggest wins were the launch of two new businesses (providing property services for commercial properties and single-family rentals), the completion of a major corporate acquisition in Chain Store Maintenance, doubling the size of our workforce and developing two major Salesforce tech platforms—all while building a winning company culture. 

The acquisition of Chain Store enhanced our offerings via a broader range of interior facilities services (like handyman, electrical, locksmith and plumbing) that complemented our exterior service offerings, boosted our network of third-party service partners by over 30,000 seasoned maintenance professionals and helped drive our physical presence growth in over 25 markets. Developing our self-performing capabilities in these key markets is essential for our clients in the single-family rental (SFR) and commercial real estate industries, and rare in the property preservation industry, which has historically been staffed by third-party service providers. 

Given our many accomplishments, getting the right people, strategy, technology and, most of all, the right mindset was critical to making it all happen. We had a solid financial performance in 2023, and we are trending to increase revenue by 65% over 2022, with most of that growth coming from our new startups.

How do you expect the overall U.S. economy to perform in 2024, and how do you see it impacting MCS? 

It’s difficult to predict as quickly as things shift in both the overall economy and our industry. High interest rates and consumer spending do not bode well for 2024. But the stock market has recently been bubbling, and there are some folks talking about the possibility of reinvesting.  

What that means in our world is the potential for more M&A, more consolidation in the industry and greater investment across different industries. The Fed may need to cut interest rates, but big businesses are feeling a little more optimistic than they were a couple of months ago, so it’s kind of a mixed bag.  

Our business plans have to adapt to that uncertainty. We need to be flexible enough to go into the year with Plan A—along with a bunch of contingencies and the ability to pivot, depending on what we see.  

As you set your strategic plan in motion, what are the keys to MCS’s continued growth?  

Overall, I think organic business growth is more attractive and valuable than acquired growth, but our strategy will employ both. We are always looking for acquisition opportunities across all three business units. There are also some new areas we’re trying to get into, such as direct-to-consumer home remodeling or government facility work. Whether it’s a full or partial acquisition or structured investments in businesses, it obviously must be the right deal at the right price with the right execution model for us to move forward.   
For 2024, we have to make greater investments in technology, improving the way that we allow our work to migrate between SFR, commercial and mortgage. Creating a consistent platform creates efficiency and insight, allowing us to serve our clients more effectively. 

Increasing our network of third-party vendors is another priority, and that ultimately will be unlocked by our technology. I liken it to a dating algorithm—you’re trying to create a vendor management engine that pairs customers and vendors. A big step for us in 2024 will be working toward one tech ecosystem that allows us to service clients across multiple lines of business.  

Why is technology such an important priority for MCS?  

Ultimately, technology is driving everything. If you have a property, whether it’s residential or commercial, we want to be able to serve your needs either through a vendor base or with our self-performing service center employees. The key to unlocking that is the tech engine. Everybody has their own platforms and their space, but largely, it’s about workflow. So we need to ensure that the system we build is flexible enough to allow for all the different requirements and processes we may encounter.  

It’s not lost on me that we’re running at 100 miles an hour. We’re asking employees to do a lot with limited and unrefined processes, as well as new ideas. I probably am to blame for some of that because I encourage productive chaos. But I would rather we stub our toes, pick ourselves up and move on, as long as we’re getting better tomorrow than we were today, versus sitting back and taking a more engineered approach. When you’re a service business like ours, it’s easier to go quicker and grow, and it’s also necessary. 

What makes MCS a great place to work? 

Having great people is the foundation of any great business. Our employees drive the customer experience more than anything, so we try to focus on the employee experience within our company. We find great people and then nurture them. You’ve got to make sure you have great folks who feel passionate about what they do and reward them. If they feel good about their role and your mission, they’re more likely to hang around and help build a culture that reflects that for the long term. That’s our focus. 

Contact MCS today 

In the market for a property services partner? Find out how MCS can help you maximize your commercial or residential properties to drive your own growth in 2024 and beyond. Contact us at info@MCS360.com to learn more.