The ETC of Sason Builders: A Vision For A Better Way To Build
The ETC of Sason Builders: A Vision For A Better Way To Build
RJ Diaz / April 27, 2015
Although a young company, Sason Builders brings Principal Yosi Sason’s 30 years of experience on Long Island performing virtually every construction trade to the New York City market. Founded by Joshua Sason, entrepreneur and CEO of the investment firm Magna, Sason Builders was established after he and his father Yosi noticed a void among NY general contractors specializing in premium service and quality. Recently, I met up with Bill Weidner, Director of Business Development, to discuss the company and the distinct approach it takes with its residential and commercial projects.
What is the advantage of being backed by an investment firm?
Beyond just financial support, the core of our relationship with Magna lies with their active strategic advisory and hands-on involvement in the business. This kind of support affords us great advantages that other builders in the space don’t necessarily have, such as operational and logistical support, and an in-house marketing team that can really help us accelerate some of our business objectives.
Who are the key personnel at Sason Builders?
As Principal, Yosi is responsible for project management and estimation. I manage the relationships, perform outreach and development, and lead various marketing initiatives. We have junior personnel that assist us in lead generation and client relations. Additionally, we have a dedicated team within Magna that assists us with due diligence, paperwork and the proficient filings required by the work we do.
Is the company licensed by New York City?
Yes, Sason Builders is licensed with the Department of Consumer Affairs as a Home Improvement Contractor. We’re also insured and bondable.
How many projects are you working on?
We completed two projects last year, and currently, we have one in contract. We have another 6 in development.
What types of projects do you typically work on?
We’re a boutique construction company built to handle a variety of residential and commercial projects for some of the most discerning clients in the city. Our focus is definitely on achieving high quality results. We’re currently bidding on 3 co-op apartment renovations, a condo gut renovation, and a large custom office build-out.
Where are most of your projects?
Our focus is Manhattan, but we will evaluate projects that make sense in Northwest Brooklyn.
Would you agree that the most important factor in the success of a renovation project is communication?
Communication is important, but listening is even more imperative. I come from a background in residential real estate brokerage, appraisal and mortgage finance. Sitting and speaking with thousands of homeowners, you understand that you really need to listen to what your client is trying to accomplish. Some projects may seem similar on the surface, but this is never truly the case; each job is unique, and you really need to approach it that way in order to deliver results that exceed expectations.
Do you have any minimum project size?
We generally don’t work within parameters such as project size. We evaluate opportunities — if we can add significant value, and it makes sense for us and the client, then we’ll pursue the job. If we’re not the right partner, however, we’re honest and explain why. Transparency is really important to us.
Is it true that the impetus for Sason Builders was the renovation of Yosi’s son’s apartment?
Yes, that’s true. Joshua, prior to having his father perform the renovation, had received many proposals for the work he had envisioned. But they all came back with wildly inflated prices, among other things. Yosi resisted initially, but after seeing the bids, felt compelled to take on the project. He knew that Joshua’s project was challenging in some areas, and didn’t want to see his son continually get hit with inflated change orders on top of the original base quote.
What do you see as Sason’s Builder’s competitive advantage?
We consider the relationships we’re creating with our clients the most important aspect of our business. We have an affinity to working with people — listening to their needs, and partnering with them throughout the entirety of the construction process — that we believe is novel and fresh. Yosi’s ability to understand every trade having done it himself allows us to really reinforce that perspective and earn our clients’ trust. This, combined with our mission to deliver premium service and quality standards, has seemed to take notice with many of the people to which we’re speaking. Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that detail matters; the relationship with your builder matters; trust and transparency throughout that process matters.
How does Sason Builder’s create a balance between high quality work and schedule?
Yosi is very good at managing our subcontractors, always maintaining the schedules to which he commits. We also make a concerted effort with prospective clients to discuss the appropriate expectations and timeline regarding their scope of work. More than once we’ve had to decline jobs because we felt we could not deliver the level of quality we offer under unrealistic deadlines.
What do you think is the most difficult aspect of building a project in New York City?
There are so many moving parts. In New York City, you aren’t able to drive up to a jobsite and simply unload your equipment and materials. You have to excel at scheduling. You need to prepare for inspections, co-op and condo boards, management companies, project meetings and architect visits. Understanding, planning and carefully managing the requisite logistics of a project are critical in New York City. It’s a lot different than doing a project in the suburbs.
Do you find it difficult to source out the specialty trades and subcontractors able to provide the high quality of work expected on your projects?
We’ve been able to develop many great relationships since our first project (Joshua’s penthouse renovation) because of the quality of work we’re doing. Beyond developing new business, I also work to build out our relationships with subcontractors. We receive plenty of recommendations from architects and other tradesmen and each week we try to speak to a handful of subcontractors with work we admire.
Do you choose your subcontractors based on price?
No, we don’t. We consider their work, the materials they use and perhaps most importantly, whether they can communicate with us honestly and transparently.
What is Sason Builder’s approach to using social media as a marketing strategy?
No one is going to do business with us simply because of our website or social media pages. I firmly believe that three things need to exist first — I call it ETC. The client has to believe that you can execute, they have to completely trust you and there has to be personal chemistry.
It was great to sit down with Bill and talk shop. I can relate to their approach, pursuing projects that are the right fit for Sason Builders as well as their clients. With the company bringing a premium offering to the New York market, they will be able to build an impressive portfolio of projects. It seems to be just the beginning for Sason Builders…
RJ Diaz for RenovatingNYC