Owner’s Service Roots Set Tone For Award Winning Nanaimo Company
NANAIMO – Jeff Boehm has made a habit of delivering for his customers.
The owner of Boehm Construction Ltd. says the firm’s dedication to customer service is the key to success, something he learned while operating the local Domino’s Pizza franchise prior to founding the building company.
“The customer is always right, and I insist on the customer being right and happy,” Boehm says. “That is way more difficult to operate that way in construction, compared to the restaurant business. Sometimes we had to eat a certain cost if a mistake is made on the job site, but it’s the right decision to look after our customers first, and it’s certainly paid dividends.”
Boehm Construction started building spec homes and still does, but along the way the company has earned a solid reputation specializing in new home construction, renovations and multi-family developments. Boehm is well known for his activities on ice, as he is currently President of the Nanaimo Adult Hockey League, which oversees several hundred recreational hockey players in four different age groups.
While owner of the Domino’s outlet, Boehm skated onto the ice between periods at Nanaimo Clippers games, tossing boxes of pizza to sections which responded with the loudest cheering when he cupped his hand to his ear in an “I can’t hear you!” gesture. Every Clipper fan knew who Boehm was, as did Domino’s, which nominated him as its Manager of the Year in Canada at age 19 while he was in Saskatoon.
“Bill Bestwick came knocking at the door one day and asked if we wanted to take over the pizza sponsorship role,” he recalled. “I told him if I did, I would be the one that would be tossing the pizzas, and he agreed. People still recognize me for that today.”
That unique style of personal branding helped him launch Boehm Construction Ltd. in 2004, and he hasn’t looked back.
“What’s really funny and interesting about the growth we’ve experienced is that it really has been organic,” he observes. “We have only simply responded to the needs in the marketplace, and with our growing reputation for the work we do, we’re really trying to keep up with the demand.”
Boehm Construction is a team of 24 people, half of which work the tools and half in the office, including project managers and coordinators.
“We have an established system for how we run projects from day one, starting at sales,” he explains. “Very early on in the project we provide a rough cost projection, then we ask clients to hire us with a one-page contract and deposit to price and design it.
“We’ve found over the years that unless you are on the clock and being paid, you can’t accurately price a renovation or construction project,” he adds. “Without doing that, you’re destined to fail, so we plan our projects thoroughly.”
A referral from local Architect Nathan Middleton led to another modern styled project when a Vancouver developer contacted him to build 10 modern, uniquely designed duplexes on Norwell Drive.
“They took a few months to sell out possibly because they look so different, and I think that speaks to the conservative nature of our community here in Nanaimo,” he states. “That’s changing with the influx of people from the lower mainland and places like the prairies, but it is still conservative in terms of being hesitant to embrace modern designs like this one.”
One of their recently completed projects is Kerrisdale Corner, a multi-family building at 1726 Kerrisdale Road that has been named a Finalist in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards.
“That is a property I owned with a partner and sold, and we still had the designs for building a townhouse on it,” he recalls. “The new buyers hired us and we discovered rare species of Garry Oak trees there, so we went back to the drawing board to save them and ended up building a nine unit townhouse development.”
Boehm notes that introducing new design ideas would also benefited other construction firms – while also enhancing the community with new looks.
“By doing so, I believe they will grow their businesses, because ours sure has,” Boehm states. “And we get an even better looking community because of that type of change.”
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