Ben and Jesse Ladomirak are the husband and wife owners of Teevan, a big-hearted construction and remodeling business in San Francisco. From its founding in 1963 by Jim Teevan as Teevan painting, building an unsurpassed reputation and instilling trust with customers has been the core values of Teevan’s success, Ben worked alongside Jim for years until Jim’s passing and became Teevan’s owner in 2002. Together, Ben and Jesse have not only sustained Teevan’s outstanding reputation, but have also tailored a successful sales model. At its helm, Ben underscores the skill, creativity, and integrity of Teevan’s team members to build client relationships that ensure consistent high-quality projects and first-rate client satisfaction. Here, Ben discusses his business know-how and how he puts a personal touch into client interactions.
What makes Teevan such a good fit in the community?
The San Francisco Bay Area is a vibrant and amazing place to live and work. Particularly in San Francisco where most of our work happens, there are stunning views, amazing culture, and a rich architectural heritage that surrounds us. People are on the go and do not have enough time to devote to their homes and properties. Many have the sensibility to be good stewards of the city’s historic architectural heritage, but lack the exhaustive skills and knowledge required in caring for our older structures. Imagine calling one entity to help figure out what care you need for these properties and the best way to get it. We strive to be our clients’ trusted home advisor for life. This is our community and we want everyone to know that we feel the same way about it as they do.
You have said that Teevan has no competitors. What aspects of the business set it apart in the industry?
The company was founded in 1963 and since then, Teevan has performed virtually every kind of project imaginable throughout Bay Area neighborhoods. Our name and trucks have been recognized as a sign of superior quality craftsmanship for 55 years. Since Jesse and I took over, we have worked incredibly hard and diligently to expand that reputation of quality work to include an amazing experience for our clients and their neighbors, our trade partners and vendors, our team, and the community. Instead of focusing on growth for growth’s sake, we have focused on being the best and letting growth happen slowly and with intention. Through this process, we have developed skills in a wide range of areas and possess CSLB licenses in multiple trades. Since we are so highly skilled in a wide range of areas we can provide a unique service. Some years, as much as 75 percent of our annual work is repeat, due not just to our quality of work, but also to the quality experience we deliver.
You and Teevan are committed to strong personal interactions with your clients, and even your clients’ neighbors. Can you expand on what that means?
We are honest with our clients about what the construction project entails and the realities that occur. It is not going to be HGTV! We make sure they are prepared as much as possible for the highs and lows of their particular projects. We strive to under promise and over deliver, and prior to each project, we reach out to the neighbors and check in regularly. And if something does go awry, as it may in construction, we don’t blame or pass the buck or disappear, we solve the problem.
How does Teevan use technology to reach and interact with customers?
We do not rely heavily on technology to reach people. We have a website and some Yelp reviews, but not much more. We have found that a large majority of our clients come from word of mouth recommendations and seeing our projects, so we focus there. We do utilize a great deal of technology for our internal operations and project processes.
What’s in store for Teevan in the future?
Not to be boring, but hopefully a lot more of the same. We also have our Design/Development, Maintenance, and TTC programs, which we are developing with very high hopes.
This article was written by Melanie Graysmith for Small Business Pulse