Doing the job right
For McPherson Building Services, building homes is more than just a business – it’s a passion. The people there understand that a home is not just a building, but a place to live, to love, to grieve, to celebrate, to hope, to grow families and to enjoy life. That’s why the company treats every project as special, and provides only the utmost professional care and service.
The company was first formed in 1992, initially doing residential additions and renovations in the Wagga Wagga area under the direction of founder and owner Tony McPherson. By capitalising on a steady stream of successful projects and word-of-mouth referrals, the business was able to grow progressively in size and reputation, and took on a staff of five people – including carpenters, office staff, and an apprentice.
With more staff, a new building franchise, increased customer interest and best business practice, McPherson was able to enter the new homes market, where they provided a personalised project to every new customer. Soon after, the company’s expertise, professional approach and reliability gained them an enviable reputation and a strong foothold in the competitive commercial sector.
Friendly and personalised service
“Building isn’t like buying a pair of shoes or a new car, it’s a very personalized purchase,” Tony explains. “With our clients, we’re in their lives for six months and need to meet their expectations – which can sometimes be admittedly difficult. Most sales don’t involve dealing with someone for six or seven months, and that can mean a lot of tension.”
“So what sets us apart is we care,” Tony says. “We listen to our customers, try to satisfy them even through the periods of stress, and genuinely care about what they want out of their project. I’m not the kind of builder that sends Joe out once a week – I’m personally on the job every day, working on your project, and making sure I know exactly what’s going on for the customer.”
“It’s all about transparency and honesty,” he continues. “It’s absolutely key that I can communicate with them clearly what we’re doing, and that they trust us.”
For McPherson Building Services, it’s especially important to take into account the needs of every customer, and consider those needs during every step of construction.
“We very rarely build the same house twice,” Tony says. “For people, we have to change our approach just as much. Different people and different personalities means a relationship that gives and takes as necessary based on the person, because everyone wants to be treated differently.”
Tony adds that all of those values are shared by the company’s trusted roster of subcontractors. “Most of my subbies have been with me since day one,” he explains. “A few have gone by the wayside because they don’t meet my expectations, they don’t do the little things that matter to the client, they don’t clean up their mess, or the quality is subpar. But most I have stuck with, and we will continue to stick with.”
“That longevity is important because they know my expectations, and I know their quality,” he says. “There’s a trust there, I know they can be in someone’s home and won’t do something inappropriate. They are there representing me, after all. If there’s a problem, the client doesn’t blame the subcontractors, nor should they. That’s why it all has to be done right – not half right, not mostly right, but right.”
The work McPherson has done over the last 20 years has been repeatedly recognised and rewarded by the Industry as a whole. The company has been commended many times at the HIA Riverina Housing Awards, and their achievements include awards for 2007 Spec Home of the Year, 2007 Bathroom of the Year, 2008 Spec Home of the Year, 2010 Custom Built Home of the Year, 2010 Special Purpose Housing Award, and more.
Last year, McPherson Building Services won the 2013 Professional Small Builder Renovator of the Year Award. Tony credits that win to the clearly defined processes the company had when it came to dealing with customer enquiries, pre-sale, construction and after-build work. The judges particularly commended the company’s attention to staff training, team building, and client communication.
“I was so amazed that we could win that,” remarks Tony. “We’re fairly small builders and it was for the ten million and down category, so that meant we were competing with people five times as big as us. So we’re pretty proud to win that, especially since we had no expectations to take home the award.”
“It all goes back to dealing with our clients well,” he continues. “By doing that, and caring about what they want, we ensure quality. We also have a formula for the right sales, high same standards, systems and processes – basically a lot of little things that added up to the one big thing.”
Moving forward, Tony says he aims to keep improving on that formula. By doing that, he hopes to maintain the company’s consistency of quality, and grow its reputation even further. However, he also believes that remaining hands-on is vital, and so he’s not looking to grow in size.
“We’re happy where we are,” he explains. “I’m hands-on throughout the entire process as is. If we were to get even larger, it may mean we would turn over more money, but we would also lose control and no longer interact with the client as much. As such, we’re doing just fine as is.”