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May, 2012

  1. The “It Factor”

    May 10, 2012 by Jeff Forrest

    Does time move faster as you get older, because I can’t believe that it is already May? The first four months of this year have flown by and given all my travels, it’s hard for me to remember very much of it. My staff has been after me for this month’s blog for weeks so I’m finally taking a deep breath and diving in.

    Suffice it to say, the WPC team has been working harder than ever to stay ahead of the competition by doing that “thing” we do well. Those efforts have been rewarded with new project starts such as Oakmonte Village at Lake Mary for Royal Senior Care. This 114 unit assisted living facility adds to the 165 independent living units we completed in 2009, along with the surrounding luxury villa homes. In addition, we started Serenades by Sonata in Winter Garden, FL. Serenades is a senior living memory care facility and our third negotiated project for Sonata Health Care. On top of that, we began renovation work for The Berkley Group on a project in Ft. Lauderdale, FL as well as site work on their Vacation Village at Parkway project in Orlando, FL. Our renovation division started projects for Hilton Grand Vacations, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Marriott International and Starwood Vacation Ownership in Orlando, FL. Thank you to all these clients for putting your trust in us and for appreciating the value we add.

    Speaking of value…at the urging of my new friend Elise Mitchell, I wanted to talk more about some of the things that I think good clients want and need, and how WPC is committed to providing those things. Elise asked me what I thought the “It Factor” was all about, and what the qualities are in an ideal contractor and true partner for clients? I believe the “It Factor” at WPC is our passion and constant never-ending desire to cultivate and maintain our relationships. I hear this talked about over and over again by other companies, but very few of them walk the talk. These relationships include not only our clients, but also our subcontractors, suppliers, consultants, and corporate friends. To answer Elise’s question directly however, I’ll focus upstream on our clients.

    We all know relationships can be difficult. They involve people, emotions, trust, mutual respect, integrity, openness, a willingness to admit mistakes, and above all, the ability to deal with adversity.

    So what if you took a construction company and told your employees that there number one job, aside from providing a safe working environment, was to make sure they took care of the relationship with the client. Of course quality, schedule, and finances are all very important and a requirement in business, but if they focused on taking care of that relationship, they would be creating long term success. Isn’t that what it means to be a true partner? I also think it’s what a client wants and needs. They want us to care about their needs and their job and in turn we are rewarded with more work. The “It Factor” at WPC is displayed everyday by the women and men that work hard everyday to build and keep our relationships.

    I know we’re not perfect and there are plenty of occasions where we could have done a better job. I was recently interviewed for an article and was asked the simple question, “what makes your company different?” Instead of spewing out the usual sales and marketing BS like “we do quality work, on time, and within budget,” which is what every construction company will tell you—I told her, “we’ve been around a long time and made our fair share of mistakes and learned from almost all of them so we’ve got to be different.” She never expected that answer and she asked if I really wanted her put that in the article? I told her that if most people were honest, they’d tell you they weren’t perfect, but that if they apply their lessons learned, they will be better than their competitors. I call that “being a prophet of the obvious,” but then again I think most things are fairly obvious. I’m just glad that most companies don’t do them because it makes us look better.

    There are plenty of things that go into the the “It Factor” and I’ll continue this conversation over the next few months. In the meantime, I better go walk the talk and make sure we are living up to our reputation.