AN INTERVIEW WITH IVAN VUCETIC OF VIR CONSTRUCTION INC.
1. Tell us a little about VIR Construction and how you got started in the industry.
We are a family owned construction and general contracting business servicing both residential and commercial clients in New York. My father, Peter, opened his own business VIR Builders in 1993. My brother Tom and I began working with our father on the weekends and summers while we were in high school. After we finished college, we were on board full time. I believe that our passion for building was embedded in us as children. In 2014, Tom and I left VIR Builders to start our own company, VIR Construction and we have since achieved immense success. We specialize in single-family homes and commercial spaces in New York City such as restaurants, private clubs and medical spaces. We also design single-family homes in the Hamptons and have recently opened a custom mill workshop located in Jersey City.
2. What makes your company different than others in the industry?
Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We pay close attention to detail and don’t cut any corners. We are committed to providing our clients with the best service possible to ensure continuing long-term relations. Our clients can expect a consistent first class level of service and workmanship delivered to a superior standard.
3. What advice do you have for someone starting out in the industry?
Be consistent in your best practices and you will yield the greatest results. Get really good at the aspects of your business that will manifest your strengths and where you fall short, hire people that are better than you in those categories. We all have strengths and weaknesses, don’t be to proud to accept your weaknesses. Remember, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.Also, don’t grow too quickly. Take baby steps or you’ll be set up for failure. Also, developing strong client relationships is so important. We become friends with the majority of our clients and our repeat business is very high. When people start referring you because they are confident in your ability and you don’t need to rely on advertising, you’ll feel wonderful about your performance.
4. Tell us about your educational background
I have a degree in project management from Hofstra University. I have also studied Green-building solutions and am lead paint certified by the EPA. But more importantly, I have inherited my father’s work ethic and customer relation skills. My brother and I both spent summers in Croatia as children learning how to build homes with our grandfather. We have been bread to perfect every detail and exceed customer expectation.
5. Do you have any mentors or has anyone inspired you?
I attribute much of my success to a few people in my life. My father taught me the importance of work ethic and dedication. My uncle Ante taught me efficiency and how to think things through before making any decisions. He taught me to think a few steps ahead, to be proactive and not just reactive. Also, Michael Axelrod, the founder of French Connection. He taught me about the importance of attention to detail and to never cut corners, always do things the right way.
6. Are you active with any nonprofit organizations or charities?
I support a number of charities that benefit children with developmental disabilities. I have a family member with Asperger syndrome so this topic is very close to my heart.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I mediate on a daily basis. I also play basketball and lift free weights as often as my schedule allows me to. But my favorite thing to do is spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter, Jennifer and Olive. We love heading out to our weekend home in eastern Long Island and spending time at the beach, cooking at the house and entertaining friends and family.