NAHB Remodeler of the Month: Quality Can Differentiate
MARK S. QUÉRIPEL
AIA, CID, NCARB,
MQ Architecture & Design, LLC
Boulder, Colo., mqad.com
Title: Principal Architect, Interior Designer
1996 as Terra Verde Architects, 2009 as MQ Architecture & Design
Number of Employees: 7
QR: Who started your company?
MQ: I did.
QR: When and how did you choose this career?
MQ: I’ve had a lifelong love of designing and building, thanks in part to my start at my parents’ interior design firm in New York City.
QR: What did you do before becoming a remodeler?
MQ: I first became an interior designer, then architect and then a builder.
QR: What motivates you every day?
MQ: New challenges and making clients happy.
QR: How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?
MQ: I’ve noticed increased quality in construction materials as well as an increased focus on energy efficiency.
QR: Is your focus as a remodeler currently on more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability?
MQ: We’re focused on steady revenue while utilizing the highest design quality. I’ve chosen to not settle for one or the other. It hasn’t been a linear process, but we’ve seen traction in the market for quality design due to the higher local price points.
QR: Are you seeing an increase in your company’s average job size?
MQ: Not necessarily — most of our clients are looking for quality not size. We also have local energy standards that increase energy efficiency requirements drastically as square footage increases. Most clients choose to limit home size to save funds for increased quality.
QR: Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business?
MQ: I’m constantly reviewing industry produced materials as well as tapping into our business network.
QR: If you could have a 30-minute conversation with any business leader in the country for business ideas, who would it be?
MQ: Remodeler Mark Peterson of MA Peterson Design Build out of Edina, Minn. He is highly successful.
QR: Are you hiring this year, and how might you find the right people for your company?
MQ: Our team is highly productive. We’ve been able to produce quality product and solutions at a faster rate than our larger competitors. Yet with workload increasing, we’re adding staff in the new year but are concentrating on referrals from our professional network.
QR: What is your No. 1 source of leads right now?
MQ: Most of our leads are from the Internet, but some of our best ones are from client referrals.
QR: What is the most unusual project your company has completed?
MQ: The Pine Street Remodel, hands down. It was a complicated, super high-end interior condo remodel in a historic district. The clients wanted each highly detailed room to be cohesive and cultural representations imbued from their extensive world travels.
QR: What is your favorite item in your office?
MQ: Revit — it allows us to produce 3-D design solutions that sell our designs. Our clients love the finished designs because it matches the design visualizations they fell in love with.
QR: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
MQ: Show up and care.
QR: What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you?
MQ: It’s an incredible organization that provides many networking opportunities. Through it, I’ve created many lifelong friendships.
QR: How have you grown your business during the current economy?
MQ: We vastly improved our website, increased the frequency and quality of our social networks, and focused our marketing. With the backlog of projects nearing completion that expand our portfolio, we’re set to maintain those efforts.
QR: Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments?
MQ: You can only shine your best through the relationships and quality of the people you associate with.