Aerial Management holds the keys to success
Building up the great state of Wisconsin
Located in the heart of Wisconsin, Aerial Management has cemented itself as a leading, well respected, locally-owned construction and property management company. It is well known for providing the highest quality of craftsmanship to ensure the many beautiful and energy-efficient homes for which it is understandably recognized for. Focusing on providing a first rate client experience, the company has constructed a home path to be envied.
We recently spoke with Houston Havenor, the company’s chief executive officer. Havenor, who resides in Chippewa Falls, told us more about Aerial Management and the many hats he wears to ensure the highest quality for the many homes his company constructs and the properties it manages, as well as top marks in customer gratification.
With a myriad of duties to perform every day, Havenor jokes that he is essentially the chief cook and bottlewasher for the company that started some seven years ago now.
“My position includes being a crew leader, a superintendent, a project manager, being an estimator and handling customer communications and human resources,” he informs.
How did it all begin? It was, says Havenor, a family affair and a labor of love.
“My wife (Danielle) and I started the company as we were building our first rentals,” he explains. “At that time, I owned another construction company with a partner, called Havenor Construction. I ran that business for roughly 10 years. My partner and I had different visions of the future, as he wanted to keep working for other general contractors, and I wanted to branch off and do more custom builds. I ended up leaving the company and had a couple of customs to build, so I basically transformed Aerial Management to a construction business and property management company.”
Mr. Havenor observes that his line of work isn’t easy. It’s a thing that requires a lot of hard effort, and it can have its challenges, such as long days and long workweeks, including a ton of weekend work on a regular basis as well.
“Monday through Friday, my early morning starts at 4 or 5 a.m.,” he reveals. “I try to respond to important emails pertaining to the week. In the summer, we start work at 5 a.m. if we are out of the town ordinance or in a country setting to get a little more work in, with the work day typically ending around 4 p.m.”
After work is officially over, other duties remain. Havenor finds himself typically dealing with homeowners or fielding calls from potential customers, managing relationships or setting up meetings. Then, come the weekend, he may be working Saturday and Sunday for a few hours each to do payroll, project budgeting, organizing the upcoming week’s work schedule, completing estimates and a whole lot more besides.
Pride in a job well done
What inspired Havenor to go into the construction business, all those years ago? That, he says, like many veterans of the construction industry, was all down to a sense of profound pride in a job well done.
There is, he adds, a great feeling of pride and satisfaction—a deep sense of accomplishment—that comes “once the project is completed, knowing that the building or business that we have just built will be there for a lifetime. That rewarding feeling is priceless. Our main goal is to provide the best building we can for a homeowner or business owner with the budgeting in mind.”
Havenor also noted that construction is quite often all about numbers: square footage, dimensions and, most important of all, certainly for the customer, pricing. He points out that most of Aerial Management’s custom homes fall within the square footage range of 1,850 or so for the first floor, with a basement put in underneath.
“Price points vary significantly,” he also informs, “but they would range, with most of our builds, between $425,000 and $900,000.”
They’re some attractive prices and attractive homes, and very lovely they are, too. One is a single-storey residence in nearby Eau Claire, going for $425,000. This charming beauty features a three-car garage, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen boasts a gleaming island with a smooth surface ideal for preparing all those gourmet meals; just the sort of thing any cook would love. There is also a laundry room, a breakfast nook, a foyer and an unfinished basement that is quite spacious and a perfect project for all those DIY dads.
Havenor continues that the company has a total of six employees.
Further, he adds, there are “countless subcontractors we rely on for specialty trades, such as plumbers, electricians, concrete masons, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) and insulators. The list is endless!”
Making it all possible
As with anyone in the construction industry, Havenor knows a man is only as good as the tools he uses. Helping make it all possible for Aerial Management are DeWalt Tools, Milwaukee Tools, various suppliers of lumber, stone and brick and so on, as he points out.
“Our main tools are DeWalt and Milwaukee, which are all cordless,” he says, “and that helps out tremendously. Our suppliers range, but the Arrow Building Center (likewise located in Chippewa Falls) would be our main supplier for most of our projects.”
Where does Havenor see his company going in the next 10 years or so? He looks for a moment into his metaphorical crystal ball to tell us the answer. Knowing the future and planning for it (and the changes that usually come with it) are a lot like designing a new home or business building: you must be careful in your work and meticulous with your schematics.
“We foresee our company continuing to work on some set plans,” he says, “maybe around four to six set plans. I feel the biggest struggle for homeowners is visualizing the outlook of a house and having a hard time starting from scratch when it comes to designing. Having some set plans with options to modify would be extremely helpful. We will definitely start moving into light commercial construction. Towards the end, we will be managing projects as a consultant or project management business.
“There are challenges that are already present in the knowledge of the industry, such as managing subcontractors and making sure they follow through with their specific jobs and tasks,” he adds. “Keeping everyone current on job changes is also very important. With this knowledge, the opportunity will come as the reward, and it will mean the best building built with the budget at hand. It will be something you can show your kids and other family members, showing them that this project was built by our company, and that is the most rewarding facet of our job.”
It’s a highly responsible and multifaceted job that Havenor performs very well. Properly managing all the employees and subcontractors on a daily basis is another ingredient crucial to Aerial Management’s success. You’ve got to realize efficiencies everywhere and maintain them to the best of your ability and know-how.
“Wasted time translates to wasted money,” he declares, “so making sure people know what they are doing is key to having a successful and profitable project. Plus, good communication is another essential key to this as well.”
Havenor spoke once more about his wife, who helps handle the property management side of the business. The couple has three children: Hazel, 8, Bryer, 6, and Willow, 4. Many children whose parents work in the construction industry often grow up to go into the business themselves. Will that one day be the case with the young Havenors? Che sarà, sarà, their proud father says.
“Our kids have no pressure on what they want to do,” Mr. Havenor reveals. “We just want them to grow up loving what they do. That being said, it would be amazing if they find their way into the construction industry. All of our kids have had to come to jobsites with me, and I can tell they are amazed that we built these houses or businesses. These are some super-rewarding moments for me!”
Right now, the company doesn’t have a Website, but that is coming, as he assures.
“We are currently working on setting up our Website,” he says, “as well as a client portal to help manage project changes and potential budget problems that may arise from the changes. Once complete, this should be an excellent tool for us to utilize on a daily basis.”
AT A GLANCE
What: a construction and property management company, located deep in the heart of the Badger State
Where: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Website: The company’s Website, www.aerialmgt.com, is currently under construction and will be available soon. In the meantime, be sure as well to check out Aerial Management’s Facebook page.