Brandon Smith says that he and co-founder Danny Christian asked themselves one question when they started New Vision Projects in 2010.
“How can we go shake up the renovation industry?”
The formula they came up with to “shake up” the industry has proven successful. New Vision Projects is on track to start a new development division in the Okanagan 15-20 months ahead of schedule, and only seven years into business has regularly garnered recognition for their work. Only a year after their founding they were named “Best Renovator” by the local paper – and have received the same honor every year since. They’ve also won an Ovation Award and a Georgie Award in the “Best Kitchen Renovation under $125,000.” And, they’ve been featured on two different television shows – a program called “Game of Homes” and an HGTV show called “Worst to First,” for which New Vision has filmed ten episodes that will begin airing in September.
So, what sets New Vision Projects apart? For one, Brandon and Danny have known each other since high school and had the ability to jump right into a business partnership with each other, knowing that they shared similar goals and a similar work ethic. One of the pair’s goals was to build a company that was truly based around the idea of customer care. New Vision places emphasis on having an accurate budget determined for their clients as soon as possible, starting with an initial consultation and an initial design that give an idea of a starting budget, then working through to a firmer budget.
Another of their goals was to build a company that had a strong, positive culture. They’ve done so, providing comprehensive training to their entire staff, from office staff to builders, guaranteeing they all know their job, their role, and how to communicate with clients. As a result, New Vision hasn’t had a single employee quit since they’ve been in business.
Rightfully so, Brandon and Danny are proud of that fact that New Vision is helping to create what he sees as the future of the contracting and construction industry. They envision that some of the current New Vision employees will leave New Vision to open their own company, but they are excited to know that New Vision has given people the ability and knowledge to do just that. After all one of New Vision’s core values is to “provide opportunity without limitation”. What this means to them as a part of their mission is to provide their employees with the best training and provide them with opportunity to structure a foundation in which they can shape their own lives. This also means that they will be able to provide homeowners with an opportunity to live the life they want, in a home that truly makes them feel settled.
New Vision, and any other new construction companies that open, will have challenges to contend with in the future, though. One is the increased popularity of pre-fabricated buildings, the growth of which will eventually lead to a decreased need for on-site labor. It’s a natural progression from today’s technology such as 3-D printing which Brandon sees as becoming a force in the industry. Another issue on the horizon Brandon explains, is that the cost of materials keeps rising and so do fees and permitting costs. This both affects renovations and new construction, as people look to cut corners in order to save costs, causing problems with their home or business further down the line, particularly when renovations include changes to structural aspects of a building.
Structural changes should always be handled by a professional, says Brandon, and it’s that kind of work that New Vision is able to take on confidently and expertly. New Vision works alongside some of the most talented interior design teams in the country including award winning design firm Sarah Gallop Design Inc. Sarah happens to be another high school friend of Brandon and Danny that also has close community ties in the same region.
While New Vision continues to grow and to garner accolades, Brandon and Danny have no intention of moving the companies home base away from Delta, however, expanding into new territories as they grow is inevitable for the company. Delta is their home, and it is where they have established the company’s reputation and nurtured relationships with other businesses. Brandon explains that he is, after not feeling settled or accomplished for much of his life, is finally both – and neither he nor Danny has any wish to change that. Instead, they want to help others feel comfortable by building dream homes that families can be proud of.
Brandon and Danny’s early life has also played another part in the success of New Vision. Both were eager students that were more interested building life their own way, than following a path that their teachers were trying to lay out for them. They were both driven and ambitious for a very young age, so much so that Brandon was hired for his first job at the age of 14, before he was even legally able to work, allowing him to wait to start until he was 15. Danny spent many of his early summers working in a mine with his father which is where he learned much of is hard work ethic and mechanical skills
“I always did well on my exams, but honestly, it was hard for me to find any real value in what the traditional school system was offering me so I sought out other activities that would stimulate my brain and help keep me focused” says Brandon.
Now, they speak at local colleges, universities, and high schools about their story and the growth of New Vision Projects. In the coming years, Brandon and Danny hope to have a lot more to talk about, including new awards and the possibility of being named one of the top 50 best managed companies in Canada.
Firm goals, a strong company culture, and expertise have led Brandon, Danny, and New Vision Projects to success. It’s unlikely they’ll see anything else anytime soon.