Pym & Cooper Custom Homes Inc. makes its case as one of the province’s best.
MENTION THE NAME“Pym & Cooper” to homebuilders and homebuyers across Ontario and you will hear positive feedback on the personnel, processes and projects that have made the company one of the region’s top homebuilders. If feedback isn’t enough, one quick look at Pym & Cooper’s award portfolio will convince you of its “best-in-industry” status.
“I started out in the electrical distribution business in Ontario in 1984, and I already had earned a professional reputation before we moved here,” says Brent Pym, owner and president of Pym & Cooper. “By age 24, I was president of the Calgary Electric Club and chairman of public relations for a large Alberta-based electric trade show by the age of 25. At age 26 I decided to move to St. Catharines in Ontario.”
Where many young business leaders would be satisfied and maybe even a bit complacent with their early success, Pym was just the opposite, using his move to Ontario to branch out across the industry. He initially stayed in the electrical sector, then recognized he had an even larger opportunity when he met his business partner Jim Cooper and established Pym & Cooper in the late 1980s.
“We started out just by purchasing a couple of lots to build homes on, without even anticipating that our business would grow so much,” Pym says.
By 1991, Pym had bought out Cooper and assumed his current role as sole owner. This is right around the time Pym coined the firm’s slogan, “Building on tradition,” as the foundation for the firm’s core values and commitment to clients. Just two years later, American developers selected Pym & Cooper as the builder for the $60 million residential Crystal Beach Tennis & Yacht Club, a private community concept property that boasts 155 custom beach homes and a spectacular 1,000-foot shoreline.
“One of the things our customers still find important is that we are a true custom builder with the partners, policies and procedures in place to get the job done on time and on budget,” Pym says.
Pym & Cooper’s partners help the company build award-winning homes while meeting unusual client requests. The firm is a member of the Canadian, Niagara and Ontario homebuilders associations and partners with Aristocrat Floors, Fairview Custom Landscapes, Enns Cabinetry and Renomark as vendors.
“Our trades and suppliers are major part of our success,” Pym says. “We have selected firms and tradespeople who share our same passion for perfection and commitment to our customers. Some of these businesses have been with us since day one, illustrating a level of loyalty and trust that is unsurpassed.
“Communication between our firm, our trades and suppliers and the client is critical for success,” he continues. “Our site manager is available on a daily basis to give instant feedback, but a lot of the key communication to keep the client up-to-date and satisfied happens behind the scene. We share all reports and schedule of dates because we believe at least 90 percent of our job to run a successful project is communication, and we treat it that way every day.”
A diversification of design is another way Pym & Cooper is able to satisfy a wide range of clients.
“We can do just about anything, and our ability to see the interior design, architect and homeowner all the way through the process is a plus,” Pym says. “Our ability to grasp and hold onto a client’s and architect’s vision is something we can produce with minimal feedback. None of the houses we build ever look the same.”
This is because Pym & Cooper respects the privacy of its clients and never sells their blueprints or design plans to attract new clients. “We always respect our clients’ privacy and the right to hold onto their original ideas and designs,” Pym says.
What gains even more respect for Pym & Cooper are the dozens of individual and group awards the company has won in the last two decades. These awards have mainly come from the Niagara and Ontario homebuilders associations. The company also has been nominated for awards from the Canadian Home Builders Association.
“We enjoy being recognized as a winner because we know the judges are not biased and it has a positive benefit on our business in the long-term,” Pym says. “The custom home industry is so competitive in our region that it has a great effect in boosting the morale of the employees and management. The awards really bring a renewed sense of pride with each one we win.”
Pym & Cooper definitely has earned its keep in 2015, bouncing back from the second-worst winter ever to complete building on a large residential estate at Niagara Falls. With that done, the company is addressing the growing amount of projects in its pipeline for the remainder of the year.
“After 30 years in the business, we are fortunate enough to pick and choose our clients, so more is definitely not better,” Pym says. “I like to keep things in control and under wraps so we can under promise and over deliver. We are only as good as the people who work for us, and so far they have taken us a long way.”