Keep your eye on the long-term goal and remember that everything falls into place over time and with patience.
Real estate agent and developer, David Van Hoesen, designs luxury homes for families throughout Greenwich, Connecticut. As a local, David uses his knowledge of the community and connections to local businesses to exceed the needs of his clients.
As a child, David took great joy in taking apart and rebuilding his toys and household items. Over the years this fascination with constructs and engineering never waned. Becoming a contractor and real estate manager was the natural fit for his career.
In 1981, David ventured into his own company, as a client-centric, real estate agent and manager. His comprehensive services have helped home buyers and sellers for the last thirty years. From start to finish he has dedicated himself to working with his clients at their pace as they learn to navigate the real estate market. Over the years the Van Hoesen Realty Corporation has forged many positive relationships through this approach.
In 1990, David Van Hoesen took his entrepreneurial side to the next level by building “Spec” homes, and in 2010 he opened Alpha Building and Construction. This venture allowed him to take his love of construction to a new level, focusing entirely on the luxury home development market in the Greenwich, Connecticut area.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Over the years, I knew I wanted to work both for myself but also in a way that I could serve others. As a realtor, I’m able to do precisely that. It is a pleasure to be with people and help them make one of the most significant choices of their lives. I spend time learning what their needs and wants are for a home. Once we’ve found something that fits their needs, we address their wants. The process has proven to be valuable for families over the years.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get up early every morning. After spending time with the family, I typically walk the dog at the crack of dawn with friends then go to the job sites to meet with my sub-contractors. After that, I get into the office usually around 9:00. Once I’m settled behind my desk, I connect with clients, respond to phone calls, and review my calendar for appointments. From there, my day is based around my clients. Each appointment is set, and I meet the clients where they are, and we go from there.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Careful research and conversation with my clients and development team. I pride myself for working with the best people possible to get the highest quality product and design. Besides learning about clients, I also make it a point to stay apprised of the current housing market. By doing this, I’m able to identify styles and methods to serve the people I work with. Between careful research, customer conversations, and market appraisement, I’m able to create an action plan for each individual or family we are working with.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am enjoying the nature of today’s market. While there are some challenges to face today, it is becoming more global in nature. People from all over the world will come to the area to purchase a home. This has become the case for many areas across the country and at times the world. It is exciting to watch and fun to create homes that cater to such a varied and energized market.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Consistent contact and follow up with my customers. I maintain meticulous files on each client, then I follow up by calling them and updating the information as needed. Over the years, this has made it possible to ensure that when a client returns for another home, I know enough to get started right away. And when a client returns to you, you feel like you’ve done your job well enough to be remembered. Each client should also feel they were as valued. Keeping good records allows me to make every one of my clients feel that value.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Have confidence it will work out. Keep your eye on the long-term goal and remember that everything falls into place over time and with patience. I know it was far too easy to seek quick cash instead of building broad. Over time, I have learned the value of spreading the knowledge, improving the connections, and taking my time with each project or customer. It makes a huge difference from where I started.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that despite how some people view the markets right now, we are in a perfect place for real estate. There is a growth potential that is just starting to be tapped. With new home construction moving toward more home automation, there are also more options opening up for improving people’s lives. With Alpha Building and Construction, we are always investigating opportunities and ways to develop what we can offer.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I keep my clients in the forefront of my mind while running my business. Instead of looking at each one as a dollar sign or a number, they are the people who I strive to bring value to each and every single day. If it’s in paperwork efficiency or a phone call, I make sure their needs are a factor in my planning and growth.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Putting my clients first has allowed me to build relationships and develop long term success. Relationships with your customers are far more valuable than gold, and it returns value in the millions. With time and patience and client focus you will see a developing customer base become loyal clients and friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to grow my business or create new connections for the future.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Finding the right way to hire a person. It is not easy to know when you have the right person for your office when you are just beginning. Hiring an accountant or someone to do the typing and filing can be as critical as a partner in a major corporation. I had to learn how to interview, take useful notes on a person, and make a constructive decision about how well each person fit into the overall plan for the company I was hiring them for. It took a lot of practice, but I’m really proud of the team of people I work with today.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Apps seem to be the way to go. If you can fill a need that allows you to create an app with a monthly fee, you’re really paving the way for success in today’s market.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I would say the best 100 I’ve spent recently was an event for some of my teammates. It was just a friendly get together, and we had it catered. Everyone works so hard, when you can give them something to look forward to, they know that you value their time and energy. I was really happy to be able to do that for everyone.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
This may sound simple, but my calendar is the most critical piece of software. It updates when I do, and I carry it around in my pocket. I’m able to get alerts before every appointment and stay on track with critical deadlines. The phone book in the phone is also a tremendous asset.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Whenever possible, I suggest everyone reads Think and Grow Rich. It has been a real eye opener for me and helped me to develop a vision for my future.
What is your favorite quote?
If you can see it, you can make it happen.
I can’t recall where I heard it from, but I firmly believe that’s the case. If I can see what a client is asking for, I know we can find a way to make it happen. That is so empowering and applies to everything in life.
- Clients are the most valuable part of your company.
- Putting my clients first has allowed me to build relationships and develop long term success.
- Everyone works so hard, when you can give them something to look forward to, they know that you value their time and energy.
- My calendar is the most critical piece of software.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.