Style Construction Management Ltd.
Style Construction Management of Toronto is a full service contractor that has been producing top of the line professional office interiors for more than three decades.
THE COMPANY’S ORIGIN dates back more than 30 years to its founder Frank Sloan, who, until branching off on his own, had been working with a large real estate developer in Toronto. When it became apparent that particular business was faltering, Sloan astutely saw the writing on the wall
and so, instead of waiting for an inevitable pink slip, decided to proactively take the initiative in starting his own small construction company.
“He really started tapping into the real estate community,” notes his son Chris Sloan, who spoke with The Canadian Business Journal, and
now heads up Style Construction Management as President. “He was close with a lot of real estate brokers and agents throughout the GTA and began getting referrals from tenants of theirs that had been moved into new space.”
Sloan joined his father at Style Construction in January, 1999 right out of university and learned a great deal about the industry while working alongside his dad. Frank Sloan retired from daily operations about two years ago, leaving Chris to take full control of the company. Two other key individuals working with Sloan are Chelsea Valcour, who serves as project manager and Zenon Moucessian, the team’s project coordinator.
“Chelsea is a terrific project manager with a great personality and wonderful at building relationships,” Sloan notes. “She gets along great with clients and sub trades all love working with her
and she really knows her stuff. She is integral to the business.”
Moucessian has been with the companyfor almost a year now in the role of project coordinator.
“He was in the same situation as me when I started – fresh out of university and starting his career,” Sloan adds. “He’s a terrific guy who’s a hard worker and is learning quickly.”
Organization… Coordination… Execution…
This is a catchy tagline that was first used by Sloan’s father Frank and it’s remained synonymous with the company’s motto ever since. Organization is bringing the scope of work together into a cohesive package and getting all the appropriate trades together; the coordination ensures everybody is in the right place at the right time and knows what they are doing; and the execution, which is produces
the work on time and on budget.
“It’s our guiding principle, if you will,” Sloan replies.
As with most companies, the state of the overall economy impacts on Sloan’s business, but as commercial contractors, without residential projects, Style Construction primarily relies on activity within the market itself.
“We’re about 95% referral based that most often come from real estate brokers,” he tells us. “As long as they are moving people around, be it upsizing or downsizing, there’s always something that needs to be done.”
Regarding expansion for Style Construction, Sloan says he’d like to focus on working more with the client base he currently has, and that includes about 800 commercial real estate agents in the GTA that he actively markets towards.
“I’d like to become more of the ‘go-to’ name for more of them,” he reflects. “I’ve got a solid stable of guys who call me regularly with any opportunity that comes up.”
Business in general is becoming more competitive each and every day, and such is the case for Style Construction. Sloan has a strong read on that element of business and recognizes he must always develop innovative ways to promote the company’s services to remain at the forefront.
“We don’t compete on price alone,” he confirms. “Oftentimes when we’re in a bid situation our price may not be the lowest, and that’s okay, as long as it’s competitive. What I try to sell myself on is going above and beyond. We offer peace of mind and comfort and confidence in our clients that we can get the job done on time and on budget. There are times when other contractors will submit bids with no margin and hope to make money on extras and nobody wins that game. I will not play that.”
Sloan says the strong reputation of Style Construction is such that he guarantees his clients will be provided with optimal service and a top quality final result. That includes looking deeper into a set of drawings to see if anything has been missed right from the start. There is no cutting corners or compromising integrity and quality. Sloan always insists that his clients are fully aware of all costs up front, and that they will never be blindsided half way through a project by additional unforeseen costs to complete an extra aspect of the project that had not been accounted for prior to construction. Maintaining an excellent level of business ethics is a must in order to develop a long standing trusting relationship with clients.
“Our relationship with the client doesn’t end once they move in,” Sloan reveals. “We stay in contact and ensure that everything is working properly even several months after the fact. One of our regular practices is that after they’ve moved in we’ll send the painters back a few weeks later because there are always small scratches and scuffs on the wall, so we’ll do some touch ups and make sure the space still looks brand new a month or two after they’ve moved in.”
Among some of the company’s high profile completed projects include finished décor for Syncapse, Javelin Technologies, Elizabeth Arden and Cartier. Another one of Style Construction’s marquee clients is Diamond and Diamond, the high profile injury attorneys in Toronto.
“We did their offices about two years ago and they were really happy with it,” Sloan proudly states. “They really have some great design features with a nice reception area and offices. We’re just finishing their office expansion now. They continue to be a great client and a booster of ours.”
There are several core factors that Sloan believes can be attributed to the success at Style Construction. “First and foremost it’s relationships,” he responds. “I’m continually networking and go to industry functions and events and shake a lot of hands to make sure people know who I am.”
“We also have great relationships with our suppliers and sub trades that we’ve worked with for as long as 20 years in some cases. We share a lot of the same values and vision. As a team we work hard to make sure the client is satisfied and I know they appreciate it.”
The success of Style Construction over the past three decades is undeniable and the business continues to flourish. Sloan is very humble when asked where he would like to see his company in the not too distant future.
“In five years from now if I can look back and say I had a stable of 50 guys who would regularly call me and now I have 100 guys I’d be pretty happy with that,” he says. “I’d like to have one or two more project managers here in the office with me. That said, I’m not looking to grow a conglomerate here; I want to keep it lean and mean.”
As President of the company, a great deal of Sloan’s time is spent networking, which on top of attending conventions and symposiums, means sitting down with clients and brokers for countless lunches and business dinners.
“It’s my staff who are the project managers so I’ll go out and do initial meetings with clients including the costing and budgeting,” he notes.
“Once we get deeper into the project I hand it off to the project manager and they run with the ball from there.”
Dedication and commitment to excellence are imperative for Sloan and Style Construction Management. But added to that, it’s evident in talking with Sloan that he holds a genuine passion for the work that his company provides, and that goes a long way in crafting a top quality final product.
“The great thing about this business is that it’s something new every day,” he says. “Meeting new people and taking on new projects.”