Emphasizing the importance of following through with commitments.
Customer Service is a word that Ashburn, Va.-based general contractor Moseley Construction Group does not take lightly. As vice president of preconstruction services, Michael Kujan will tell you, it’s all about principles and a customer first process that is apparent in every aspect of operation.
“We truly emphasize our core values, and we stress meeting clients’ expectations while keeping the budget and scope of work in check,” Kujan says. “That’s what is making Moseley Construction Group grow.”
Don’t just take Michael’s word for it. The multi-family renovation and new construction firm is making a name for its quality relationships, earning a mention from the Washington Business Journal as one of the region’s best places to work in 2013. The firm also has an 80 percent repeat-client rate and a subcontractor base so loyal that Moseley can hit the ground running on nearly all its jobs. According to Kujan, the secret to its good name lies in those aforementioned principles.
Michael explains these values as a “customer first approach, doing the right thing and making the right choices, while doing what we say we’re going to do, following through with our commitments and schedules, maintaining a can-do attitude and having a strong work ethic.”
These values are followed throughout the entire organization and are how Moseley Construction Group evaluates its staff regularly. The company prides itself on ensuring that these values are more than just lip service to its employees. In fact, potential hires are vetted extensively during the interview process to reveal if he or she is a good match for Moseley’s culture. This is part of putting the right people in the right seats to be an effective team.
“When we get a potential new employee, we clearly explain these and stress our core values,” Kujan says. “We explain them to see if the candidate really understands our values and if they fit.”
The company then brings in an outside consultant to administer a profile survey. If the interviewee makes it that far, he or she then personally meets with Moseley’s leadership team for an additional, cumulative assessment.
“We want input from everyone to make sure they they’re a fit for us,” says Kujan.
Adherence to these core values are the legs Moseley Construction Group always has to stand on, especially when it’s touting its core competencies. “We focus and stress our supervision and how we manage our projects,” says Kujan. “If we take on jobs right now without qualified people, our projects will not be managed properly, nor have the attention they should have—and that’s what we’ve built the business on: creating repeat business from our existing customer base.”
When it comes to construction, integrity is all fine and good, but it doesn’t amount to much without a strong skill set to back it up. Moseley—a multifamily expert--has honed a “razor sharp” focus on its specialty.
“We don’t want to be a jack of all trades,” Kujan says. “We have what we call ‘The Moseley Difference.’ We look at ourselves as a multifamily expert. Our goal is --for any multifamily community--when someone needs to get a project done, that they think of us first.”
The seven-year-old firm--which is licensed from New Jersey through Florida, excluding Georgia—has been so successful in this particular niche that it currently has its hands full of work in the metropolitan District of Columbia area alone. Despite its specific focus on multifamily construction and renovation, Moseley’s clients range from large REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts) to residential management firms, as well as smaller boutique developers.
The multifamily construction and renovation segment of work comes with its particular challenges, and Moseley Construction Group has learned to anticipate most of them—not on the client’s dime—with enhanced pre-construction services.
“Frequently, we’ve seen an owner has a project that he or she wants to do, and they send their schematics to an architect, they draw it up, and only to find out later it doesn’t meet their budget,” Kujan says. “So we keep everyone focused on what the budget is and update them regularly if there are any issues –so there are no major cost surprises when design is completed. Our primary objective and what defines success is a final price that matches the Owners expectations.
Such attention to detail is important, Michael notes, because those surprises can be costly, not to mention slow the project starts down. If an owner approves budget changes during the design then he knows well in advance of final pricing and can reach out to the bank and/or investors early in the process to make adjustments if needed.
“A lot of times when we go into these buildings either they are occupied or even if they’re not occupied, clients or developer groups generally don’t want you to start digging around or pulling things of the walls to inspect the existing conditions,” Kujan says. “You have to make a lot of assumptions, which again goes back to our experience. We can make a lot of qualified assumptions, just understanding what we’re getting into, the unknowns of what’s happening behind the walls—especially when it’s a complete gut renovation where we’re tearing out almost everything.”
Apartment communities also don’t want to lose out on tenants’ rent while construction is progressing.
“Apartment communities must continue to upgrade their properties, but at the same time they can’t empty them and lose their revenue,” Kujan explains. “The challenge is being able to keep day-to-day operations moving consistently, but turning the product over to them expediently so they can increase their rent and give their final products to residents without disturbing them too much.”