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The People At LIME: Luke Reiner

Level Up with Nick Lopez | LIME Painting

At LIME Painting, they prioritize building relationships not just with clients, but also within the company. They strive to show love and support to one another, and go beyond just completing painting projects. When asked about his favorite LIME value, owner Luke Reiner chose “love”. He believes that love is essential in creating a positive and supportive work environment.

In this episode, Luke shares some of his favorite memories and experiences while working with LIME Painting, specifically with their clients and members of the company. He talked about a project he did for a high-end interior designer who eventually became part of the LIME family. They worked on a custom home in Colorado, which turned out to be an exceptional project.

One of Luke’s favorite memories was when LIME Painting had their first end-of-year conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was the first time that everyone from the company came together in person, since most of their interactions were done virtually. They were able to build stronger relationships, motivate and support each other, and have some fun playing golf.

Luke’s experiences at LIME Painting have taught him the importance of building strong relationships, whether it’s with clients or colleagues. He believes that love and integrity are key values that have contributed to the success of LIME Painting, and he is excited to continue working with them in the future. 

If you’re looking for a painting company that not only produces quality work, but also values relationships and provides exceptional customer service, consider reaching out to LIME Painting. You can contact them through their website or via Luke’s LinkedIn profile. And as always, remember to level up and support small businesses like LIME Painting.  Keep an eye out for their annual conferences and maybe even join one in the future!  The next one will be held in Cancun, Mexico – a perfect opportunity to enjoy some sun and create lasting memories with the LIME family.

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The People At LIME: Luke Reiner

In this episode, we have another special episode with the people at LIME. I’m very excited for our guest. I won’t spoil his story and background as we’ll dive into it in this episode, but I would like to welcome our newest franchise partner in St. Pete, Florida. Luke Reiner, welcome to the show.

Thank you. I’m glad to be here. I’m excited about the conversation we’re going to have. I love being with LIME Painting.

That’s been the theme of your story at LIME, your passion and love for our craft. I’ve personally been able to see that. I have been very fortunate to work with you throughout your journey. We’re going to share that throughout the episode, so let’s dive in. Let’s get into it. How did you get started with LIME Painting?

I got started with LIME Painting through the relationship that my dad, Jim Reiner, had with Nick Lopez in our church growing up in Denver. Nick and Jim were in a business group together. I was in college at the time. It was 2019. The year started. I was in college at CSU in Fort Collins, studying Marketing and Sales. Coming up that summer, I was looking for a summer internship to gain experience with sales and marketing. I needed it for my Capstone project because, at the time, I was trying to graduate a year early. At the time, I was a junior trying to graduate in May 2020.

I was talking to my dad and asking him, “Do you know anyone that could have an opportunity for me?” He is really involved with working with businesses and nonprofits. He has very good expertise in the Denver area and companies that may need some help. LIME Painting came up. He told me to reach out to Nick Lopez, which I did. I sent him an email.

Level Up with Nick Lopez | LIME Painting

At first, Nick said he didn’t have an opportunity for me, so I followed up and was like, “No worries. Do you know anyone that may have an opportunity?” He came back and responded a couple of days later or the next day. He was like, “Let’s create something. I would love to have you be a part of LIME Painting.” He decided, “Let’s do an internship this summer. It will be something new. We’ll have to work together on it and see if it will meet your needs, and then also if it’s going to level up and help LIME Painting overall.” That’s when the home improvement concierge role at LIME Painting started. That’s where my journey at LIME all began.

What an exciting time to think back on. You’re right. Initially, we didn’t have a position, but clearly, the connection was too good to pass up. I’m glad that we created that role. If you can go back to where you were then, why did you gain an interest in LIME Painting?

I gained interest in LIME Painting overall because of the brand. Everyone knows LIME. The color lime is very visible. Everyone knows who you are. If you’re in a neighborhood, making that neighborhood bleed lime green is a great marketing opportunity. The biggest thing that caught my eye at LIME was the relationship-building we create with not only our LIME family but also with our clients and artisans. We really strive to focus on creating that relationship.

We’re not just there to sell paint, collect the check, and then see if they have projects later on for us to come back to, but we’re diving into learning about our client’s family, connecting with one another, delivering ultimate customer service, and bringing a key lime pie at the end of every job. It’s pretty awesome. Watching our customers smile and being the person who gives that customer service is awesome.

Overall, we work with great artisans. We have great crews that are highly vetted to LIME standards, and then we use top-of-the-line products. The biggest one is we’re working with high-end homes, homes that I strive to, hopefully, live in one day and, hopefully, to pursue my passions, follow my dreams, support my family, keep growing, and strive to be better every day.

You’re certainly doing all those things and on the path. In fact, you’ve been on the fast track. You mentioned graduating early. Was it the only thing you’ve done? You’ve become a franchise partner on the fast track and early from the standard trajectory. A lot of that goes into what you were speaking to. It is your commitment to customers, service, creating relationships, and doing that in a market that’s greatly underserved.

It’s so hard for a custom homeowner or property owner in general to find an option in the market where that service provider doesn’t serve the general market. LIME is the first and only and the largest national luxury painting company. We were started because of the need to provide top-notch products and artisan craftsmen to clients who are familiar with paying more to have a custom home.

They own a custom vehicle. They probably own multiple custom homes. They went to a high-end restaurant the past weekend with friends. Here in the home improvement space and contracting, they struggle to find that type of option in the market where they know, “I’m not going to overpay, but I want a value that’s represented by quality. It sure would be nice to have a company position where that’s all that they do. They focus on people like me.”

It’s been neat to see you dive into our craft at LIME. Over the past few years, you started as an intern and have become a franchise partner in St. Pete there outside of Tampa Bay, Florida. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your journey and what that looked like between joining as an intern and becoming a franchise partner?

It all started with that internship program, the home improvement concierge, in May 2019. I worked throughout the Denver area and worked with Nick Lopez. He’s the Founder. I learned what he does, how he focuses on the LIME way, and how I should focus on the LIME way and do the behavior. In that whole couple of months, I was out knocking on doors, introducing LIME Painting to new homeowners, and then also working with the LIME Painting team there.

Tyler Fuss was still in Denver. We had Joe Latella. I started to get expertise from them. Tyler Fuss is one of the top LIME Painting franchise owners here. I learned a lot working with him. I was able to go to Boulder. I helped knock on his first couple of doors in Boulder. He started that territory in 2019. Overall, it’s doing the behavior, learning, gaining the knowledge and the experience, and seeing if this was something that I could see myself doing one day.

I went back to college. I finished up my last year and graduated early in May 2020. I took a little break. I graduated early. I was like, “What’s next? All my friends are still in college.” I decided to get my pilot license and do something new. I’m all about new experiences. I’m all about going out there and seeing new things. It’s pretty cool how unique being a pilot is. I did that for a couple of months and got my license. I was then like, “I should probably get back into starting a career,” so I reached back out to Nick. This is where things all started in March 2021.

I started as a VRC. I worked full-time. I started getting my own leads and then started doing my own VRCs. Those are the estimates. I came out and showed homeowners what type of solution LIME is going to provide for your home and how we’re going to create a long-term solution overall by using high-end coatings. I was like, “We replace these couple of boards or replace your gutters overall because you have small gutters. You should probably upgrade to better fit your home. We make sure that water exposure isn’t going on the substrates throughout your home.”

I did that throughout the year and had a fast-paced structure. I started off so fast that I feel like my whole life has been starting off. I get right into it. I started in March 2021 and sold close to $600,000 that year. Usually, the main focus is when you start January to March, that’s your big lead gen area. If I start in March, I pretty much miss a lot of the lead gen and building my pipeline. I really had to get fast to the start, work hard, and do the behavior.

I did that in 2021, and then at the end of 2021, LIME Painting had a focus on franchising. We started blowing up and getting new LIME territories throughout the nation. We are close to 30 locations. They needed someone else to go out, train, travel to new locations, train the new owners, and show them the LIME way, how to sell, how to do VRCs, how to produce jobs, and build relationships with clients.

In January 2022, that’s when I started being the national success coach at LIME Painting. That’s all I did. I went and traveled. I proved to myself, “I am a young employee here at LIME but I know what I’m doing. I know the LIME way. I know how to sell paint, provide long-term solutions for these homes, create relationships with these homeowners, get five-star reviews, work with our detailed and quality artisans, and do the job right.” Overall, we’re going to say what we do and do it right. I did that in 2022 and the beginning of 2023. I was then like, “What’s my next opportunity?”

I always wanted to move to a different location. That’s still another thing on my end, to get new experiences and do something new. Let’s level up. Here at LIME, we’re big at leveling up. We’re always wanting to be better every day. I’ve always wanted to be a franchise owner so I was like, “Why not? Let’s be the youngest franchise owner here at LIME. Let’s go and pursue this.” In June 2023, I moved to St. Petersburg here in Florida, which is part of the Tampa Bay area, and has been doing that ever since.

Before you did that, Jim Ward did a lot of the training and mentorship that followed up where Tyler and Joe had initially helped you with training and, along the way, myself throughout. Jim Ward moved to Southwest Florida there in Naples in the Fort Myers area and launched in January 2023. About May 2023 or so, you started making that transition to St. Pete.

It was clear that there was a tremendous amount of need in Southwest Florida. Jim was off to a very hot start. As we wrap up 2023, he had a tremendous first season, but it is clear that customers in Florida benefit from the unique service offering and quality that LIME provides. Clearly, there are plenty of other national locations that pointed to that, but it was a nice benefit that you have a neighbor down the road there in Florida.

You started as an intern. You worked yourself into a success coach position, starting to train locations across the country. You also became the GM in Denver. You used your savings to invest in a franchise and launch there in St. Pete. Congratulations. Clearly, you’ve been on the fast track in many different areas of your life and have developed this passion for the service and the craft that we have here at LIME. You mentioned that you’re interested in new opportunities and experiences. There are plenty of places you could have gone. Why St. Pete?

The biggest thing I chose St. Petersburg and Florida overall is I’ve always loved Florida. I’m a Colorado native so I’m used to the mountains, the cold winters, being a ski bum, and working in Denver. There is always the harsh winter and the snow so we can’t really work year-round there, especially for exterior painting. I’ve always had my eyes on maybe focusing on a place where I could work year round and I can always be painting exteriors and going into interiors. The main thing is residential high-end exterior painting.

I’ve always looked into Florida, the Sunshine State. There’s no better place to go and move. Overall, I chose St. Petersburg, especially the Tampa Bay area. It’s a larger city. They have professional sports teams. I enjoy going to hockey games, baseball games, and football games, and participating in tailgates or going with a group of friends.

Overall, I wanted a city that has young adults like me where I can build relationships with and create new friendships but also be able to motivate myself and achieve my goals. That’s pretty much why I chose St. Petersburg. It’s new and upcoming. A lot of developments are happening, so that’s great for LIME. I can work year-round and reach my revenue goals, who I want to become, and what I want LIME Painting of St. Petersburg to become.

There are a couple of things I’ll add there. St. Petersburg also has great fishing and great golfing. Those are a couple of great perks.

I’ve always wanted to move to the water. There’s nothing better than going to the water, being on boats, fishing, and golfing. The homes here are incredible, being in their backyard and the ocean comes right up to it. It’s not a bad view every day.

We have a saying at LIME. We work in beautiful places for beautiful people with beautiful people. You’re carrying on that theme there in St. Petersburg. You mentioned that you have these aspirations for St. Petersburg. Being the youngest franchise partner but most certainly qualified, what are your goals here over the next couple of years for LIME Painting in St. Petersburg?

Level Up with Nick Lopez | LIME Painting

My main goal is to be recognized as one of the top painting companies here in the St. Petersburg area and, hopefully, be able to be in the whole Tampa Bay area, be able to expand my territory, get all of Tampa, and be a well-known high-end luxury painting company here in the Tampa Bay area. I really want to be able to build relationships with homeowners and be able to get a ton of referrals throughout the year and show that I do great work, exceptional work. I have great subcontractors or artisans. I’m here to do great work. I’m not here to just make money. It’s all about the relationships, the partnership that we have, doing what we say we’re going to do.

How profound is that? Showing up, doing a good job, and answering your phone are differentiators from our competitors. We lead with our values, love, integrity, mission, and excellence. Clearly, you’ve heard Luke speak a lot about relationships. Our services are tailored for custom homes. We take an approach that is much more than painting. We’re doing coatings and surface restoration, meaning that the custom home has metal or masonry, stuccos, or stamped concrete. You mentioned the gutters.

All of these surfaces turnover and are exposed to the elements. Most homeowners or property owners look at the paint and they can clearly see that it needs to be updated. The reality is that all of these other substrates that make up the property are on the same maintenance schedule. They’re all too often overlooked. The frank reality is that paint companies, even quality luxury paint companies, generally local, are doing the painting.

We’re able to go out and educate a client and help train their eyes to understand how the elements deteriorate each surface. We educate that customer on how to properly restore it and coat it so that it’s protected first and foremost, and then all the fun begins with the aesthetics, the design, and being able to transform an entire estate of full property. Every surface will have a protective high-grade coating but you can apply any color. That’s all fun. You mentioned that your two-year goal here is to create a credible and reputable option for customers in the market. That is tremendous. Why is LIME a great option for customers in the Tampa market?

Overall, LIME is a great option because it all comes down to the customer service that we provide to our clients. You’ll be working with me from the very first phase. A lot of times, it might be me knocking on your door and letting you know, “I was in the area and I noticed your paint is peeling along your trim. I’m going to be given some free estimates throughout the next couple of weeks or months. I’ll give you a call back to set the time for me to come out and run through an estimate.”

A lot of times, that might be the first time I meet you or the first time you see LIME Painting at your door. It will be me again coming out for the estimate, showing you what needs to be done with your home, and providing a long-term solution for your home. That’s using high-end products that are meant for that certain substrate like brick, metal, or stucco. There’s a certain product that we need to use to help protect it to create that long-term solution.

I also want to hear what the homeowner’s plan is, what they want done, what colors they want, and what their dreams and aspirations are. I want to build rapport, connect with them, and build that relationship. I love talking about their families, where they’re from, or things they like to do in the area. Overall, once production comes, I was there from the beginning so I know the exact plan. I’ll bring a high-end artisan that I know will be perfect for that job and will do LIME quality work.

I’ll be there every day, managing the job and making sure the right products are being used, making sure we’re painting all the substrates that were included in the proposal, and making sure we’re not painting anything that we’re not supposed to be painting or fixing. I’ll be managing every day, communicating with the clients, and making sure it’s all on track or the schedule is on track. If problems arise, I always let the homeowner know and make it right.

I’m here to serve the clients and then I’m here to provide a long-term solution and show who LIME Painting really is. I’ll be there from the beginning until the end. Once the job’s done, it’s the LIME standards, and the homeowner’s happy, I’ll be bringing a key lime pie to show my thank you, build that relationship, and maybe enjoy a slice of the pie together.

You mentioned something that is really important, which is being accountable. There’s not a lot that can go wrong in painting, coatings, and surface restoration. It’s a pretty straightforward business. When something does go wrong or problems arise, communication is key. You have an organization and an individual clearly that is not going anywhere. They’re not running. They’re there to serve and make it right, in most cases, proactively while keeping you abreast of the solution.

If something’s not coated correctly, more times than not, Luke and the team are proactively addressing that. If not, it’s as simple as recoating, touching it up, and fine-tuning the finish. The other piece there is for whatever reason the project may take longer than expected, which can happen but it isn’t the norm or our expectation, it is proactively communicating that, communicating the solution to fix that, and resetting expectations.

Painting is very straightforward. When you take the approach that we do, we have vetted and standardized high-grade coatings. Luke and our suppliers do a tremendous job of sourcing and vetting artisans. You probably heard that term used quite a bit. The craftsmen and painters that we are using are truly the most talented folks in your market, and we’re intentional about that. We put a lot of groundwork into doing that, building a portfolio of craftsmen who are going to deliver the results that we’re looking for.

A big part of that is our strategic partnerships with our national suppliers. They have long deep relationships and, clearly, LIME is one of their important partners. They are aiding us in that process of building a roster of talented artisans market over market that has proven to be one of our greatest value ads for customers that are looking for that.

You can think of LIME a lot like Uber Black. Let’s say you’re leaving the airport or you’re going to an event and you want an Uber black, a nicer vehicle. Uber has done a great job of sourcing those Uber Black-qualified vehicles so that you, as a customer, can select that as an option, and you’re paired with a highly-rated driver and a nice vehicle. I like to give that analogy because that’s a lot of what we do in the markets that we serve. I want to transition a little bit here and talk a little bit about you specifically. I’m curious. How has LIME helped you to level up in your personal life?

The biggest thing that LIME has shown me is how important relationships are. It’s all about the people you know and who you hang out with, and I believe that. Relationships are key. Building that relationship with a business, your clients, or here at LIME, it is our homeowners is very important. We’re also building our relationships with our artisans and making sure we’re paying them right and paying them on time.

We’re all here as one big family. That’s one big key that LIME has shown me. Another is it has given me a career to level up on, gain new knowledge, and have new opportunities. It shows that I can achieve my goals, be who I want to be, do what I want to do, strive, and hopefully bring a legacy out here at LIME Painting and with my everyday livelihood.

I love it. That’s the American dream. It is entrepreneurship and creating generational wealth and the lifestyle that provides you freedom and flexibility while also empowering you to serve and make a difference in your community. We’re clearly very excited about this venture for you in St. Petersburg. You are clearly very qualified to do so. I can’t even count on two hands or even from memory the number of markets you’ve gone into and launched franchise territories successfully. Not to mention your leadership in our founding location and working yourself into a GM role. We spoke a little bit about your two-year goal in St. Petersburg. What is your long-term goal for St. Petersburg?

My long-term goal here in St. Petersburg is to expand to the Tampa area and be LIME Painting of Tampa Bay. I know that’s all from St. Petersburg all the way up to Clearwater and then the City of Tampa and Davis Island. It would be great to be that well-known in the Tampa Bay area that they’re like, “It’s LIME Painting. They do exceptional work. I want Luke Reiner on my project. I want that crew on my project. I want to build that relationship.”

I want to expand. I want to be able to create an opportunity for other young individuals like myself and entrepreneurs to come and work for me. I want to provide a stepping stone of a career path to help and introduce entrepreneurship, sales, and franchising and show them, “If you put the work in, do the behavior, motivate yourself, and achieve and reach for your goals, you’ll have success.” I’d love to be able to mentor other sales individuals and hopefully, they could turn into franchise owners at LIME Painting one day.

That’s awesome. That is a mark of great leadership. I’m excited to watch St. Petersburg expand throughout the Tampa Bay market. I know that you’ll deliver a tremendous amount of value in the market. That will create a network of raving fans and a reputation that appreciates your hard work and dedication to the service that they’re looking for.

We’ve spoken about your story and your journey. We’ve had the opportunity to learn more about you. I know that there are folks curious about, “How do I follow in Luke’s footsteps? That’s a path for me that will change my life. It will give me the leadership skills and skillsets, in general, to give a lot of value in the market as a professional.” Folks who are interested in following your footsteps, what would be some tips and thoughts that you would give to somebody who was looking to do that?

The number one thing that I would say is to be willing to learn. Try to open up yourself and be willing to learn and connect with individuals. Get mentors and learn from those mentors. If it is something like franchising where a model is already created and it’s a successful model, follow that model. Do the behavior. Do what is shown to be successful and you’ll strive and be successful.

The biggest thing is to do what you love. Find an interest that you want to focus on. Try new things. You may like something. If you go out and try new things, you may like that better. I didn’t know I was going to get into painting sales. It was a new opportunity for me, and it turned out to be something that I really love doing.

It’s more than painting. It’s building those relationships and learning about products. I’m always learning every day. There are new products coming out every year and new ways for us to benefit homeowners. The biggest thing is to do what you love to do, strive to do it, be happy, go out there, be yourself, and be willing to learn. You will have success.

It could be a testament. Those have been all of the characteristics that you have displayed. Clearly, that’s why you’re in the position that you’re in. You’ve always been so humble, coachable, and passionate. You’ve developed a love for the craft that is clear. You’ve surrounded yourself with individuals who can model success.

You’ve committed to the process. You haven’t deviated from the model. You’ve doubled down on it. You’ve trained plenty of other folks. You’ve committed to it, learned it, done it, and taught it. Congratulations. I am most certainly excited to see your journey over the next couple of years. I’m curious. I would like to get some thoughts from you about a couple of points here. One, what is a favorite project that you’ve had while working at LIME? Secondly, what’s your favorite memory?

All my projects that I’ve done at LIME, I loved all of them. Some have had problems and I’ve learned from those. I was able to serve the clients, do a job well done, and still get a five-star review at the end. The number one project that comes to mind is in 2022 when I built a relationship with a high-end interior designer. I did some projects with her clients. We did great work. All of her clients appreciated LIME Painting and appreciated me.

The high-end interior designer and her husband went and started to build their own home in Evergreen, Colorado, which is up in the mountains. It’s a high-end, newly built, custom home. They asked for LIME Painting to be their painter. They wanted to work with me, so I was there working interior and exterior. We did a full new paint and new construction. We painted everything from walls, ceilings, trim, and doors. We stained the whole exterior with three different colored stains to create a blend of stains. It was a really fun project and a beautiful place. It turned out to be an incredible home. That’s probably one of my favorite projects. We started off with bare sheetrock and bare wood. It’s an exceptional custom home in the mountains. Especially with the sunset behind it, it looks great.

It sounds like she got LIMED.

They’re a part of the LIME family. I’m excited to keep on working with them.

What’s your favorite memory?

My favorite memory was in 2021 when we had our first end-of-the-year conference here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which is not too far from me. That was pretty much the first time where we’ve had everyone a part of the LIME family come together. A lot of us haven’t met in person. We’ve only met virtually so it was fun to see them in person and be able to continue to build that relationship with them. It was fun to laugh, talk about work, motivate one another, help one another, go out and have some fun, and play some golf. It was a great couple of days. It was great to have everyone there. It felt like one big family.

I wasn’t sure which memory you were going to choose, but right before you said it, it clicked. I’m glad you said that. We’re coming up on our third conference. Our second one was in person. Year two was virtual, but this 2023, we’ll be in Cancun. It will most certainly present a lot of great memories. There will be a lot of folks meeting for the first time. Much of the world is connected virtually, so that will be a lot of fun. This is the last question for you. I mentioned it earlier. LIME stands for Love, Integrity, Mission, and Excellence. What is your favorite LIME value and why?

My favorite LIME value has to be love. There’s no better thing than being loved, showing love, and loving one another. Here at LIME, we love doing what we’re doing. We love to work with our clients. We love working with our artisans. We love showing love and creating one big family, one big relationship. We want to love one another, support one another, give advice, and teach one another. We also love to make those connections with our homeowners and show them we’re LIME Painting. We’re all about trust, showing love, and doing more than painting and collecting the check at the end.

Level Up with Nick Lopez | LIME Painting

You’ve mentioned relationships and love too many times to count on this call, but you’ve demonstrated it throughout your career at LIME. That’s most certainly your secret sauce or your superpower. Clients appreciate it. Artisans appreciate it. Your colleagues appreciate it. The team that you’re building in St. Petersburg will most certainly appreciate it along with the clients that choose to get LIMED by LIME Painting in St. Petersburg.

This has been a tremendous episode. I really appreciate you taking the time. I know you are very busy living out everything that we talked about there in St. Petersburg. If you have watched this episode, I appreciate you. We appreciate you. Please hit the subscribe button. Like the video. More importantly, drop a comment down below and contribute to the conversation. This is a very dynamic and qualified young entrepreneur. Thank you again for being on the show. If anybody would like to get in touch with you, how can they do that?

You can go to my website. Reach me there, or Google LIME Painting of St. Petersburg. All my contact information is there on my website. Feel free to email me. I’m on LinkedIn at Luke Reiner. I’m happy to talk. I love the conversation we have and I love LIME Painting.

You heard it from Luke. Thank you for tuning in. As always, level up.

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