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AC fit for mom

image Maria and Manny Mallen, owners of Air Today Heating & Air Conditioning

SAN ANTONIO - Emmanuel (Manny) Mallen’s business model is simple: he will give the same service to his customers as he would his own mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    The Eagle Pass native was familiar with air conditioning prior to attending Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, but he enrolled there to learn everything he could about it. The commute was long, but the education invaluable.
    After school, Mallen worked for another AC company. The only problem was he was forced to sell as many new units as he could. His job was to convince customers they needed to shell out big bucks, when perhaps a less-costly repair was all they needed.
    This caused Mallen to open his own company in October 2012: Air Today Heating & Air Conditioning. “I started the worst possible time to start a company,” he said.
    The first six months were rough. But with his wife Maria’s encouraging, and his pound-the-pavement efforts, things picked up. He did a little apartment work on the side and passed out his card.
    Mallen can’t thank Maria enough, for not only her support and encouragement, but how she helped the business grow.
    “I’m just the face of the company,” he said. “She’s the brains of the whole operation.” Maria first started with answering the phones and then she learned all the AC technical lingo.
    Maria does all the scheduling, dispatching and logistics. Mallen has never missed an appointment or dropped invoice paperwork. “If it wasn’t for her,” he said, “I guarantee I wouldn’t invoice for a lot of this stuff.”   
    Maria has hired two extra ladies to help with the office. Because of all this effort, “We’re on top of our game,” Mallen said.
    From two trucks to six and now 10 employees, Mallen oversees day-to-day operations. And, as head of his own company, he says, “The customer is our first priority,” not sales “It’s our job to educate our customers,” he said. In other words, Air Today will explain just what they need, not what it wants them to buy. “They don’t know what they actually need,” Mallen said.
    Mallen will go the extra mile to right things right if he has to. “We operate with integrity,” he said. Air Today has a robust work radius: to New Braunfels and San Marcos, to Castroville and Boerne.
    Mallen is big on routine service and maintenance. With Texas’ hot-cold climate, a unit can be strained. Mallen wants to catch inexpensive problems way before they turn into very expensive ones.
    And, having one’s trusted AC company is like having one’s primary care physician: just have one. “There’s plenty of business in San Antonio for everybody,” Mallen said. “Customers need
to have their company they go to; it doesn’t matter who it is.” Just have one.
    “I can train my people to fix just about anything,” he said. What Mallen is looking for is a positive attitude and mindset that puts the customer’s needs first. “Attitude is the biggest thing to us,” he said, when it comes to an employee.  He would like to get more young techs fresh out of school so he can train them.
    With a loyal customer base that is growing, Mallen will expand Air Today as far as the need is. After all, there are plenty of moms out there who need to have reliable air conditioning on hot Texas days.
    Air Today Heating & Air Conditioning is an HVAC contractor, serving the greater San Antonio area. -dsz


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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net