It’s been more than 20 years since Joe and Mark Kelley took over Kelley Construction from their father, and the company has continued to thrive under their leadership. While Kelley Construction has grown, their passion for the work and their commitment to every customer hasn’t changed.
“We work hard to do the right thing,” explains Joe Kelley, the company’s president. “And we stand behind our work.”
Mark Kelley, vice president, adds that they follow a simple rule to keep customers happy. “We do what we say we’ll do.” For both of the Kelley’s, it’s about pride in their company and the work they do. “It’s too hard to build a reputation, and too easy to tear it down,” says Joe. “You have to be successful.”
Their pride doesn’t cross over into arrogance, though, explains Mark. “It’s about confidence in the quality of your work and your ability to do a good job.” At Kelley Construction, they want their customers to feel that sense of confidence from every employee at every level, from the executive offices to the job sites.
In fact, that emphasis on top-notch, dedicated employees in every role is an integral part of their overall sales approach. “When you have a strategy like we do, to secure repeat business, operations plays just as much a role in sales as business development,” says Joe. “If you do a good job and you meet or exceed the customer’s expectations, they don’t have to look anywhere else for their next project, they call you back.”
With an 80 percent repeat business rate, it’s a formula that’s clearly working. And it helps them develop strong relationships with their customers at every stage of a project. They come back to Kelley not only because of the quality of the work, but also because of their reputation and the sense of stability that comes from the forty years the Kelley family has spent building the business. “We’re built for longevity,” emphasizes Joe. “We here today and we’ll be here tomorrow.”
The two brothers have never taken the trust of the customers lightly, and they work hard to maintain their clients’ faith in their work through the integrity and commitment to excellence they bring to every project. It’s something they learned from their father and that they in turn have passed along to the third generation of Kelleys working at the company.
Their goal for every job, whether it’s a first project or one of many, is to understand the complete, accurate vision of the customer and take that vision from concept to reality. And while they can choose the work they want to do, they really enjoy finding solutions for the tougher jobs.
“We often go after the challenging work,” says Mark, jobs that other companies won’t take on. “If someone else says it can’t be done, that piques our interest and we put every effort into finding out a way it can be done well.”
But, adds Joe, that doesn’t mean they take on every project that comes their way. “If we feel we can’t meet or exceed the customer’s expectations, we pass, regardless of how much money is in the job.” The company isn’t in business just to get the job done. They’re in the business to get it done right. And they value the people who work for them and the customers they work for.
“Confidence, trust, and integrity are built into the job,” says Joe. “Who doesn’t want that? This is what we stand for. This is what you’re going to get from us, from top to bottom in our business.”