Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Informational Interview With Steven Martinez Owner and President of Allright Construction
I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Martinez a very successful general contractor who started his business in 1993. Before he began Allright Construction Steven worked for himself as a plumber, a specialty he learned while in school at Fresno City College. In 1993 Steven Martinez founded Allright Construction his first office opened in Fresno, he then went on to opening one up in Kerman California; he is the owner and CEO of this company. Allright Construction is a licensed general contractor in the state of California with a specialty license in plumbing and roofing. I received good answers from questions I asked Steven about his background, business and how Real Estate relates to construction.
Q: What was your educational background before you began your own business?
A: "I graduated from Tranquility High School, and then I went to Fresno City College where I received my Associate's degree and a trades certificate in the specialty of plumbing".
Q: What made you get into the construction industry?
A: "Before I started my own comstruction company I was a self employed plumber and I learned general construction while working in the field".
Q: What type of construction does your company focus on for example residential, commercial, industrial etc?
A: "Allright Construction is a commercial and light industrial contractor. Our extensive experience includes work performed for Naval, Air Force, National Guard, Army Corp of Engineers facilities as well as Veterans affairs and National park services throughout California".
Q: In which direction do you see the Real Estate trend heading towards in this market and Economy?
A: "I believe upward once the banks fix the problem when it comes to legitimate lending. But as far as sales goes what a lot of people are doing right now is remodels".
Q: What kind of promotions or advertising strategies do you find the most effective for your business?
A: "We like to advertise our company by meeting face to face with our clients or our soon to be clients, we also go to conferences, seminars and matchmaking which are similar to mixers where people go to socialize and have the opportunity to talk to people about your business and meet new contacts".
Q: What do you find that is the most difficult about your job?
A: "Scheduling is the most difficult about my job becasue it is time consuming trying to organize the work schedule for the jobsite because it is diffcult to predict if everything is going to go as planned on the jobsite and at the office".
Q: How has the bad economy affected your business if at all?
A: "I predominantely do business with the government entities, their budgets are tied with the economy so if they cut back then fewer contracts are sought. It all depends on their budget so if they cut back then we also have to unfortunately do some cut backs in our company to try to readjust".
Q: What is a typical day for you at work?
A: "What I do each morning is review progress on all the jobs we got going on. Then I go onto resolving issues pending or that are going on throughout the day. At the same time I have to Re-plan and Re-schedule do to unforseen events that occur".
Q: Does owning your owm business cut into your personal time? If so how do you manage that?
A: "Yes it does. I try to organize my projects and duties by priority. I also give more responsibilities to my managers which frees up some of my time. If i weren't to have done that I not have any type of recreational time and most important any time for my family".
Q: What are your goals for the future of your business?
A: "Our goals are to excel in government contracting and be a contractor that can deliver projects at a reasonable price continuously".
Q: For someone starting off in your company what is the typical career path to the top of your company?
A: "Well for a starting position we prefer someone with experience, someone who can organize and can manage personnel and project issues, someone who learns and progresses to improve himself as well as the company. We have positions starting from intership, field managers, project managers, superintendents, quality control managers, estimators, and contract manager. It just all depends on what type of job the person is qualified for or what type of job that person is looking for".
Q: What is the connection that real estate has with the construction industry?
A: "In my opinion the connection there is, is labor because there are many laberors and subcontractors that have flooded the government contracting sector".
Q: What kind of classes/workshops would you recommend for a construction manager to take to understand real estate better?
A: "I would recommend financing courses as well as courses that teaches about contracts because for the most part that is what that industry revovles around".
Q: What makes you different from your competitors or other companies in your industry?
A: "What makes us different is the size of the company. Large firms usually don't view small projects as profitable. I on the other hand can perform small projects at a resonable profit".
Q: Do you find it hard or easy to keep up with today's technology in order to keep up with your competitors?
A: "I find it both hard and easy simply because understanding and practicing using technology helps guide turnarounds, although you can easily over commit by taking too much on, when technology you rely on fails".
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steven Martinez who opened himself and took time from his busy schedule to interview with me. I hope this interview will help a lot of us learn more about his company and this industry. I found Steven's perspective on this industry, Real Estate and the economy very interesting as well as the very valuable information and input he gave us. I know this will help me as I will be going into this industry as a construction manager.