Quest Builders Group

Quest Builders GroupQuest Builders Group emphasizes it is just the right size to provide high-quality interior contracting services to clients. 

By Chris Petersen

In a market filled with construction firms of all sizes, interior contractor Quest Builders Group Inc. sits somewhere in the middle in terms of size. That doesn’t bother owners Patrick Fitzpatrick and Eric Derector, however. They see the company’s size as an advantage that allows it to perform high-quality work and build long-term, trusting relationships with its clients. As the company continues to lead the market in New York City, Quest Builders Group remains committed to ensuring that the qualities that have made it a leader don’t get lost in its forward momentum.

Founded in 2001 during the peak of the residential real estate boom, Quest Builders Group today serves a broader cross-section of the New York interior construction market. Fitzpatrick says the company has followed the ebb and flow of various sectors to take on interior construction projects for clients in the commercial, retail and hospitality industries. “We kind of go with the trends in the industry and follow those,” he says. “[These are] all cycles that we’ve experienced during the course of our 15 years.”

Although Quest Builders Group has become one of the leading providers of interior construction in the New York City area, Fitzpatrick says the company wants to keep its growth manageable. By maintaining a moderate size, he says, the company will be able to continue to offer its clients the advantages that have brought it its current level of success.

All Shapes and Sizes

Derector says Quest Builders Group competes against every size and shape of contractor in the New York City market, from huge construction firms to “man in a van” contractors. That means the company has to tread lightly when bidding for projects. “For us, we have to be very conscientious about how we’re pricing projects because we have such a diverse group of competitors out there,” Derector says.

Even though Quest Builders Group doesn’t have the largest staff or the lowest overhead in the market, Fitzpatrick says the company does have something to offer that not many other interior contractors do. Thanks to the company’s relatively modest size, he says, Quest Builders Group gives clients the feeling of a family company in which he and Derector can be personally involved in each and every project. “We like to have our finger on the pulse,” he says.Quest Builders Group box

With the principals of the company so closely involved in each project, Fitzpatrick continues, clients of Quest Builders Group gain a level of comfort and peace of mind that they might not find with other contractors. The company’s clients understand that the team they meet with at the initial presentation will be the same team that finishes out their project. “Sometimes that’s what it takes,” Fitzpatrick says. “It takes for clients to have that comfort level.”

Derector says the culture within Quest Builders Group also allows for it to offer clients more transparency with their projects and create a more collaborative atmosphere. For example, the company embraces technology to provide clients with real-time information about the progress and status of their projects to help them make fast decisions and reduce costly delays. “We try to use technology the best we can to enable the project team to make decisions on the fly,” Derector says. “I think construction’s always had a bit of a rough-and-tumble reputation, and one of the things that sets us apart is that we’re a progressive company and we bring a bit of a refreshing edge to it.”

Working Harder

Although the company’s size serves as an advantage when dealing with clients, it also means Quest Builders Group has to work a little harder when trying to get onto the preferred vendors lists of many potential clients. Fitzpatrick says getting the company’s foot in the door with many of these potential clients is one of the biggest challenges Quest Builders Group faces, but it is one that the company is capable of meeting. Fitzpatrick says the company puts in a lot of extra time and effort to meet with potential clients and put its name out in front of them, calling that added effort an investment in the future of the company. That, combined with the company’s growing portfolio of successful projects, gives Quest Builders Group a better chance of winning more work in the future.

Another challenge for the company is coping with the schedules of projects, which Derector says seem to shift around without warning. This makes it difficult for Quest Builders Group to allocate staff and other resources, but Derector says careful planning and the ability to think on its feet allows the company to do so successfully.

If there’s one thing Fitzpatrick wants to see in the future for Quest Builders Group, it’s that the company not become a victim of its own success. He says the company does not want to grow so large that it loses the personal touch and attention to detail that has made it so successful in the first place. “I’d rather do $50 million under control rather than $100 million out of control,” he says. “You’ll probably end up with the same margins at the end.”

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