Building a flawless business reputation in your respective territory is no easy feat, and it’s perhaps one of the most difficult parts of being an owner. Such an accomplishment generally takes several years, a great deal of hard work and a support team composed of strong, diligent employees.
At Northern Virginia Roofing Company, Inc., where over 50 percent of the company’s business is repeat customers and referral based, the team has proven to be just that. In business long enough to serve three generations of families, NVR has built an unwavering reputation that’s bestowed upon them in excess of 40,000 successful projects and over 30 national awards and recognitions.
When the company was founded in 1963, it specialized in residential repair only. Fast-forward to 1998, when current Owner John Francis and wife, Kim, purchased the company from her parents. Following the acquisition, Francis developed a commercial division — which now accounts for 80 percent of its overall business. Many milestones occurred over the next several years, but none were as important as the personnel Francis brought together, including current General Manger Deryl Middleton; Paul Dow, COO of commercial services; Kathy Johnson, vice president of commercial services; and Matt Murphy, vice president of operational efficiency. All of whom, Francis explained, have assisted in fostering the company into the powerhouse commercial roofing company it is today.
“The combination of Kathy’s organizational skills and Paul’s relationships skills gave the commercial division 30 to 40 percent growth over the last several years,” said Francis. “Our goal at NVR is to provide quality roofing, siding and gutters to our customers at a level of service that makes it easy for them. Our motto, ‘We own our decisions,’ is truly a team effort that ultimately leads to quality workmanship and accountability.”
With a sole location in Chantilly, Va., NVR specializes in reroofing, and services northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.
Though the company has completed several high-profile jobs since its inception, one in particular stands out above all others — the roof replacement of The Pentagon following the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000 others.
According to Dow, Francis played an integral role in working with the National Roofing Contractors Association to unite contractors nationwide to aid in the voluntary effort.
Following the replacement, NVR now displays an etched piece of slate recovered from the damaged roof on their front office wall. “It represents a reminder not only of the massive roofing project that NV Roofing initiated, but also how we can come together in times of tragedy to restore a national treasure,” said Dow.
According to the company’s website, for Francis, this job stands as the proudest moment in his career, as the company completed the replacement free of charge. “I believe that it is imperative that businesses give back to the community,” he said.
And the company’s success has allowed them to do just that. In 2009, Francis and a 15-person crew worked 22 hours straight to complete a metal standing seam roof composed of solar panels for the Tripp family — a project that was featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” The integration of solar panels meant producing an extra 5 kW of electricity, helping the Tripp family lower their utility bills. The new house also featured a geothermal heat pump and quadruple paned windows. The project in total took about a week to complete.
Francis described the experience as a privilege for both himself and his employees, and that they were all thankful to be able to provide their time and efforts. He defined the family of four who received the home as, ‘very, very good, selfless people,’ according to a press release at the time of the project. “Even though they don’t have much for themselves, they have dedicated themselves to helping others, especially children,” he continued. “We are all very proud to help a family in our community that is absolutely selfless.”
Passion for Their Craft
Culture and values possess a much greater meaning to the team at NVR — it’s what they’ve built their business on. The company’s mantra, “We Own Our Decisions,” is the backbone of the four core elements (teamwork, family, quality and ownership) that propel the business forward year after year.
NVR strives to present themselves as a ‘relationship building’ company as opposed to a typical ‘one-time’ sales company. They achieve this goal by utilizing service teams and onsite quality control managers who are trained to develop personal relationships with customers and earn their trust.
“What sets us apart from the competition is the fact that our company does not get lost in our success. We never forget our commitment to our customers and our employees. We are a driven team and we all own our decisions to always make sure the customer is satisfied,” said Dow.
This ambitious attitude, paired with strong industry knowledge, is a key factor in ensuring quality workmanship, and gaining repeat customers. Employees strive to make the entire roofing process easier on their customers by managing all service and maintenance issues, and being responsive when questions and concerns arise.
“We don’t focus on what we can do, we focus on what we do … Our team believes it’s impossible to be successful if there isn’t passion, and if we don’t believe in what we are doing,” said Dow.
Utilizing the approach that each project should be likened to working on their own home, the team at NVR welcomes challenging projects and situations. Their desire to uphold company values and those values with their customers has contributed greatly to their overall success.
“We are successful because our vision is clear; we’ve never lost site of the customer’s needs and never take our customers for granted. We never stop earning the opportunity to do business,” said Dow.