APB Co-Founder

Russ Stephens

Russ Stephens is the Co-founder of the Association of Professional Builders (APB) and a Business Strategy Specialist.

Russ Stephens on stage presenting

About Russ

In 1983, at age 19, Russ’ business journey began selling cleaning products from a van in South London. By the 2000s, that company was a leader in productivity and ROI. But Russ’ goal was always to move to Australia. So in 2005, he sold his company and assets to apply for Australian residency.

In 2006, Australia sought entrepreneurs, not investors. So, Russ acquired a high-end custom home building company. Despite challenges, Russ invested heavily to learn the trade.

Then came the Global Financial Crisis. At that point it became virtually impossible to sign contracts on high-end homes, so Russ had to pivot quickly.

Calling on his 25 years of experience and together with his daughter, Sky Kolade, Russ looked to provide services to other residential home builders. 

Russ knew how to produce the systems builders needed, such as building contract proposals that looked professional and contained the key elements that progressed an opportunity into a sale. So they started sharing those systems and templates, covering contract preparation, period contract agreements, and safety documentation, with other builders.

Russ Stephens with his daughter Sky
Russ Stephens Headshot

The safety documentation business took off. However, it wasn’t a purchase that builders were excited to make. It was something they needed rather than wanted.

After each sale was made, the conversation always shifted to sales and marketing (which is what really excited builders). It was these conversations that led Russ and Sky to create a digital marketing agency for builders, which then led to forming APB as you know it today.

In 2021 Russ Co-authored an Amazon best-selling book, 'Professional Builders Secrets', which has sold over 3000 copies and has over 50 5-star reviews.

That same year, Russ also became a member of the Forbes Business Development Council, an invitation-only community for senior-level sales and business development executives.

Today, Russ lives on the sunny Gold Coast with his wife, has two grown kids and loves motorsport. You’ll find Russ heading to the track to race most weekends.

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The journey and vision behind the Association of Professional Builders, started by Co-founders Russ Stephens and Sky Kolade in 2014. Get to know us better and be part of our story.