Meeting the Needs of Owners
Wier Enterprises is a general contractor and construction management company based in Houston, Texas. The firm has an outstanding résumé of beautiful buildings demonstrating the work it does, but it is the company’s reputation for honesty and dependable service that has carried it to so much success.
“How we’ve been successful in business,” says Steve Wier, company owner and president, “is that we take care of business. We keep owners happy.” Keeping owners happy is something of a truism at Wier, and the principle runs through every aspect of the business.
The company believes that building strong, long-lasting business relationships through hard work and integrity is vital to running a successful construction company. Doing business in this way has resulted in the company working predominantly with repeat clients.
Building car dealerships and kidney dialysis clinics make up a large portion of its work, and it has built hundreds of each, but the company also works on offices and commercial buildings, industrial structures, retail stores and much more. The vast majority of the projects on which Wier works are negotiated, rather than competitively bid. Because the company works hard to maintain relationships, the jobs often come to it.
Steve Wier graduated from Texas A&M University in 1982 with a degree in construction engineering and spent nearly a decade working in commercial construction. During the course of his work in the field, he had noticed that, when they would bid a job where the client did not have a contractor involved during the design, they would pay the architect and often end up without enough money to fund the build. “I realized that there was a market for somebody who could work with the owners and keep the cost under control,” says Wier.
Wier Enterprises was built on this idea, and now, the company is recognized as an asset to the many clients with which it works. The team is brought into projects when preliminary designs are being drawn and works with the owners and the architects to offer advice regarding the viability of the project’s costs. Working closely with customers and offering guidance from the beginning helps protect the building owner’s investment.
Steve Wier believes wholeheartedly in the value of hard work and honesty in business, and it was these values that spawned his company. There was a point early in his career, when he intended to leave the field of construction entirely. A few months after having resigned, he began receiving job offers from architects and owners he had worked with in the past.
The company started with dry cleaning stores followed by car washes, but when a company he had worked with on a car dealership called to hire him for a similar project, things really began to take off. From that point, automotive projects became an important source of business for Wier. From its very beginning, Wier treated every job, regardless of size, with the same level of care and the same work ethic.
During this time, a local hospital began directing patients who needed dialysis treatment to private practices. Doctors were opening dialysis clinics throughout the region to absorb the overflow, and Wier happened to have a working relationship with a person involved in one of those projects who requested that he bid on the job. He did, and the quality of service that customer received from Wier resulted in more job offers. Today the company has constructed over three hundred dialysis clinics and generally has around five under construction at any given time.
Wier’s regular territory includes Louisiana and Oklahoma but the majority of the work it does is in Texas. Within these areas, the company projects that it will do more than $170 million of business this year. “People do work with people they like,” says Wier. “You have to be able to keep owners happy. We’ve been able to do that.”
Keeping customers happy might be a simple thing, but it is something that Wier has been able to do quite successfully for many years. By keeping low overhead, the company has a competitive edge on pricing, and by treating subcontractors fairly and with respect, it has formed relationships with dependable workers who are happy to work on job after job. Wier’s success is built on the idea that if it does good work, the work will keep coming. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, in my opinion, to know what you have to do to be successful,” says Wier.
This is a relationship company, and well over seventy percent of its work is negotiated with returning customers. When the company approaches new prospects, the references and testimonials from those returning customers tend to be persuasive.
The company takes great pride in its reputation, and when it does make a mistake, it is committed to making it right and works hard to be fair to everyone in everything it does. This instills confidence, and once a customer works with Wier, they tend to stay with Wier. Competitors who attempt to lure the company’s clients find that the relationship and the confidence they feel are difficult barriers to overcome.
The company was recently awarded two, $40 million Lexus dealership projects. Many of Weir’s competitors are multinational corporations, but as a result of its reputation and assurance of quality work, the company consistently land projects of enormous scale. Wier is one of the top twenty contractors in Texas, and according to Steve Wier, it is simply a matter of taking care of business and doing the right thing. “There’s no secret to it. Just get out there and do what you have to do, and you’ll grow,” says Wier.
The company truly embodies the values of its founder. Steve lives by the rule of treating others as he would want to be treated and is not afraid of hard work. He has thoroughly ingrained these qualities in the culture of his company.
“We’re friends before we start a job, and we’re friends after we finish the job. It’s just like anything in life. If you have someone you like being around, you’re going to want to work with them.”
“There are a lot of people out there who can build buildings,” says Wier. “It’s funny; I don’t really have a salesforce. The whole company is our sales force. I don’t want to have people out there just selling work. If my guys are doing things right, that’s sales.”