Building Connections and Trust
“There is only an upside to being open and honest. If not, you are asking people to trust you when they don’t know what you’re doing. We allow our clients and design teams to look behind the curtain.”
Chad Brewer is a born builder. His dad has worked in construction his entire career, so Chad grew up on jobsites, and construction is all he’s ever wanted to do. When he graduated from college, he turned to his dad for recommendations on good companies. Lucky for us, Balfour Beatty was on that list. Chad started with us as a project engineer in 1998, and he has worked his way up the ranks to operations director for the Fort Worth office, but he has never forgotten his first projects, and the lessons he learned.
On Chad’s first project, the client believed all contractors worked in their own best interest and didn’t care about the needs of the client. This lack of trust made the project challenging. Chad’s next project was the exact opposite. The owner, design team and the Balfour Beatty project team worked very closely together. The project was fast tracked and demanding, but everyone liked and respected each other. So even though the team worked hard, the project went smoothly, and everyone had a lot of fun.
“The fact that these two projects happened back to back, and the experiences were so extremely different, really impressed on me the importance of connecting and building trust,” says Chad. “I’ve spent the rest of my career trying to prevent that first project from ever happening again, and trying to recreate the second project.”
Chad originally worked in our Dallas office, but he lives in Fort Worth. When we decided to increase services to our Fort Worth clients, Chad jumped at the chance to join the team. His first assignment was the 185,000-square-foot, North Richland Hills Municipal Complex. There was only one hitch, the client was frustrated. On Chad’s first day in Fort Worth, he headed to the North Richland Hill’s police headquarters to meet Chief of Police, Jimmy Perdue.
“I don’t have any sales techniques when I meet with a client. All I can do is listen and give the best recommendations I can give,” says Chad.
Chad discovered Balfour Beatty was expanding so fast in Fort Worth, Chief Purdue was worried we might be too busy for his project. “In 2014, we broke into the ranks as one of the top three contractors in Fort Worth, and our office was hopping,” states Chad. “The municipal complex project was kicking off, and Chief Perdue needed to know that his project was important to us.”
Chad included Chief Perdue and the design team in all post bid meetings so they could join in the discussions with the subcontractors. Chad stresses the significance of this approach. “I think it’s important for the owner and design team to the see the level of detail we go through. They need to see us discussing logistics, planning, scope and price,” says Chad.
Chief Perdue has enjoyed working alongside Chad. “Throughout our project, Chad has done an excellent job of listening to our needs and wants. This allowed time for us to examine different options,” says Chief Perdue. “During this process, he provided input on our ideas and identified cost and overall project impacts. Rather than direct, he guided, allowing us to reach our decision.”
Chad’s rules for connecting with others are simple, but impactful:
Words to live by, Chad.