Team Training Is Good for Business
Once upon a time, training was thought of as an exercise strictly intended for new employees; a way to ensure skills were up to par and workers were fully versed in the company’s way of doing things. When employees made it through the initial tests and proved their ability to perform, all talk of training ended – unless there was a big mistake or a change in their role that forced them to adapt.
Today, training is considered crucial to an employee’s ability to perform their duties and the construction industry is no exception. As building trends and technologies change, so must the builders. Unfortunately, not all builders are evolving as quickly as the industry they work in. Others, like Jon Reagon, Vice President of Reagon Homes, leap at the chance to get ahead of the curve.
“We’ve always strived to be at the forefront of the industry and on top of trends, it’s one of the reasons why our company and our homes have stood the test of time,” said Jon.
Even though Canada’s Net Zero regulations only come into effect in 2050, Jon and his team are at the ready with numerous energy efficiency certifications already under their belts.
“We’re trained in R-2000, Net Zero Ready and Net Zero so we’re ready for whatever our clients need. We’re very passionate about energy efficiency. It is the future.”
With so much vested interest in it, it’s no surprise that Jon took to the industry early on. Growing up as country boys, Jon and his brothers did construction work to help around the family farm, discovering along the way that they not only had a knack for it but were quite creative in their solutions, too. One brother went on to become an industrial arts teacher by trade and eventually got the others to join him in the housing industry, honing their technical skills along the way and turning their love of building into a family business.
“We’ve built a reputation for our homes and take pride in our builds – we like that our custom homes stand out a bit. I believe that’s what is going to drive the market – custom, energy efficient solutions, not cookie-cutter builds,” Jon remarked.
But custom builds aren’t the company’s only differentiator.
“One thing that sets us apart from the average general contractor, is that we’re very hands-on. A lot of our work is done in-house. We use our own staff, from licensed carpenters to heavy equipment operators, which helps immensely with quality control. We’re selective about who we work with to ensure the finished product is a cut above. We make sure our guys are well-trained; we don’t just sub everything out to the lowest bidder. A consistent, high-quality product is what we’re looking to achieve in the end, and it takes the right employees to make that happen."
For forward-thinking builders like Jon, training is vital to an exceptional finished product and suggests that builders who are interested in the future of their company and developing their skills consider joining the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
“Being a member is great. I think the group atmosphere helps a lot with keeping up with the new trends and products. Bouncing ideas off one another, sharing knowledge – it’s important to keep up with your craft at any level, no matter who you are on the job site. If you want to be the best you can be, you must continue to learn, whether you’re the roofer or the person installing carpets.”
In Jon’s opinion, training isn’t a question of “should” but rather “how often” noting that regular training helps builders stay ahead of the curve and adapt more easily to industry changes and client demands. As consumers become more educated and gain a better understanding of their options when it comes to energy efficiency, having the right credentials could make or break a business deal.
“You want to know that the person you’re hiring is great at their craft. So, who would you rather have working on your home when it comes down to it: the builder who takes training every year or the builder who has none?”
When your entire business is based on building products that are intended to last a lifetime, it’s easy to see how a skilled crew can make all the difference. But Jon doesn’t stop there. He takes his dedication to his craft and his clients a step further with exceptional customer service.
“Our customers love our attention to detail and how available we make ourselves. I always answer my phone. I like to tell them, “If you start with me, you finish with me.” They aren’t getting passed off to another group if they’ve signed on with us. They’re making one of the biggest investments of their life and I understand that.”
Even when it comes to renovations for energy efficiency upgrades, Jon’s one-on-one attention, coupled with insightful recommendations, goes a long way in helping customers understand their investment.
“I make a point to sit down with customers and walk them through the potential their home has, which always gets their attention and gives them a better sense of how their investment will pay off long term.”
Jon also understands that not all customers are prepared to go all out when it comes to getting their older home future-ready.
“People like to see what they’re spending their money on, so it’s hard to get them excited about cords, insulation, or a heat pump, or triple glazed windows or geothermal products. If the customer isn’t prepared for a full energy efficient overhaul, I usually recommend that they at least get the bones of the project in place. Having the infrastructure there will at least make other energy efficient upgrades possible down the road.”
Jon’s commitment to energy efficiency, working with highly skilled tradespeople and delivering first-class customer service sets him and his team apart from others in the industry, and it’s working for them.
For builders looking to further their business, when it comes to new hires or employees with over 20 years of job site experience, take a page out of Jon’s book. His approach is proof that training at all levels is good for business.
Jon Reagon is a Bronze-level REEB and the Vice President of Reagon Home Builders located in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
He is also a proud member of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – New Brunswick and the winner of their 2020 “Best New Home – Single Detached” award.
Certifications: R-2000 | ENERGY STAR® | Net Zero
For more about the team at Reagon Home Builders visit www.reagonhomes.ca