Managing Success

Project management at Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, Ariz., is extremely important to the builder’s success. The strong management style distinguishes the builder, and co-owners Tony Calvis and Gary Wyant believe their project managers are the best at what they do.

Strong managers work best with people who want to be managed, which is why the duo locates customers who want to be a part of such an organized construction process. “Most people when they embark on something new, they want to have leadership, especially on a project like a home,” Calvis says. That leadership involves explaining why some decisions are good, even if they’re not the decisions a client would make. And when it’s explained, they understand.

Most clients buy into the Calvis Wyant project management style. Being extremely organized, covering all the steps, and making sure every item is selected before construction begins appeals to most clients, Wyant says. “It avoids problems later because there’s no stopping in the middle of the project.”

When the team begins work, new clients are given a three-ring binder workbook filled with questions. The questions cover all areas of the house, including how the owners plan on using it, and all the features they want. “Requiring them to use the workbook makes (clients) think about things they haven’t thought about before. We may ask about special artwork they need a location for, or the dining room and how many people will sit around the table. We have them talk about issues, and we start designing,” Wyant says.

While relationships with clients can be fantastic, they won’t mean much if relationships with subcontractors are not healthy. Calvis Wyant has excellent relationships with its subs, and for good reason. “Right now, if you are a general contractor who subs do not want to work for, you’re in trouble,” Calvis says. “They are only working for generals they like to work for.”

Calvis Wyant has been in business for 20 years, and its subs have been with the builder for almost as long. “A third or half of our subs are original. And it isn’t fair to not pay them on time, or not have a job ready on time,” Calvis explains.

There’s definitely a difference in the work Calvis Wyant gets out of its subs compared to what others receive, Calvis says. “We constitute a significant portion of our subcontractors’ work. If we’re 50 percent or even 20 percent of their work, that sub will at least take our calls and be responsive to us.”