Since 2005, CF Evans Construction has been strictly focused on building quality multifamily projects throughout the Southeast. “We read “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and that really was the catalyst for the change in our focus. We were good at a lot of things, but we decided we could be great at one,” Johnny Evans, President & CEO, explained. The one thing that CF Evans could be the best in the world at, that made the most economic sense, and that the company was most passionate about, was multifamily construction. This year, after over a decade of hard work, CF Evans was named the 2017 Multifamily Builder of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Each year the NAHB sponsors the Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards at the International Builders Show. The awards are designed to acknowledge and honor innovation in design, construction, and development, market-leading management, and marketing strategies for both apartment communities and condominiums. The Pillars awards are held in high esteem by top-level multifamily development companies, management firms and experts in the field. The annual competition is judged by a jury of knowledgeable peers, each having a proven record of success in various facets of the multifamily industry. This year was the first-year submissions were taken for Multifamily Builder of the Year, an award created to recognize builders and general contractors that construct high quality multifamily developments.
According to the NAHB, judges spent more time reviewing this category than they did other Firm Award categories. The judges reviewed the applications and paid close attention to:
- Overall quality of projects developed during the past three years—with emphasis on doing the “year’s best work.”
- Success in achieving the company’s visions and goals.
- Innovative development strategies and practices and ability to overcome obstacles.
- Financial performance.
- Web presence and accessibility/ease of use of corporate website
- Overall excellence in multifamily development.
The fact that CF Evans is a third-generation family-owned builder is one of the traits that the judges really appreciated. CF Evans’ track record of safety also influenced the judges, along with the portfolio of work (which included a 2016 Pillars award winner in Innovation Apartment Homes). Other projects the judges looked at were The Standard (Charleston, SC), Wharf 7 (Daniel Island, SC), Marshall Park Apartment Homes (Raleigh, NC), and Silos at South End (Charlotte, NC). In addition, CF Evans has been named a National Green Building Standard Partner of Excellence for three years running and a recipient of the South Carolina Best Places to Work Award for 9 years in a row.
When asked what this award means to him, Evans commented: “Thirteen years ago, we started the journey of ‘Good to Great’. Our people have worked hard; we have great teams that really come together to create beautiful communities and strong relationships with our partners. We can see the fruit of our labors. It’s a very humbling experience, receiving this award. We know that this is a journey and we are still on the path of continuous improvement. Our work is never done.” Part of the company’s success comes from their strategic efforts to build teams. Working with clients with similar values, and creating a strong team with the developer, architect, vendors, and subcontractors all focused on the same goal, has allowed the company to successfully build projects on time and on budget. “Our tagline is ‘We build it like it’s ours’. This means that we approach every project with a focus on budget and schedule as if we were the owner; we also keep an eye on quality and safety as if our own families were working and living on that site. By creating these strong teams, we are able to build it like it’s ours successfully each time.”
John Barr, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Janet Bates, Director of Marketing, accepted the award on behalf of the company. In accepting the award, Barr commented, “It’s a real blessing to work for a 3rd generation family owned company that gives us the opportunity to go to work every day with our partners: developers, architects, engineers, and subcontractors.”
“It is such an honor to be part of a company whose purpose is to create communities and whose employees live that every day,” said Bates.
CF Evans believes that employees, and thus companies, are more successful if they have a reason for getting up everyday and coming to work, a reason beyond a paycheck. As such, the company worked with employees to develop a purpose statement that embodies why someone would choose to join their team and ultimately, why their clients and partners choose to work with them. This purpose statement drives decision making, team building, recruiting, and customer service. CF Evans purpose is to Create Communities. “I believe that, unlike a vision or mission statement, a purpose statement really focuses on the people who are doing the work: the employees,” Evans said. “If they are committed to the work we do, we will be more successful. Our employees are part of the Evans family. We have great people on our team and I want to make sure that my father’s values, which inspire our company core values, and his faith in his employees, continue drive how we do business and who we are.”