RCI Builders

RCIBuildersNow at its 20th anniversary, RCI Builders expands on its strength in central Virginia with substantial land positions and a process to ensure homeowner satisfaction.

By Staci Davidson

At RCI Builders, Co-Owner and Co-Founder Todd Rogers likes to say, “you can’t build houses on air.” Yes, it’s a silly phrase, but its truth goes deeper to why RCI Builders operates the way it does. The company focuses on having strong land positions in its market around Hanover County, Va., so homes built there are more attractive to buyers.

 

Even as regulatory costs continue to rise, RCI uses its focus on quality, ongoing service, local partners and creative ideas to deliver well-crafted homes owners want, while keeping the prices manageable. These strengths have made RCI one of central Virginia’s largest locally owned residential construction companies, doing more than $50 million in business on an annual basis and growing.

“We are small enough and our systems are flexible enough that we can adapt to market needs and technology quickly,” Co-Owner and Vice President Patrick Ashley says. “We are a self-described semi-custom builder. We bring the buying power and organization of some of the largest builders in our area, and combine that with some of the flexibilities of building with a full custom builder. We often sell to educated buyers who have purchased production-built homes in the past and want something more.”RCI factbox

RCI was established in 1999 by Rogers and Mike Chenault, who came into the company with more than 30 years in realty, development and building experience in Virginia, and possessing a reputation for being straightforward and honest. Ashley became the third owner in 2012, bringing with him experience in the field, production management, cost management, sales management and land management.

With this level of expertise, RCI has grown substantially in the past several years, maintaining a reputation for quality. “I think our clients define quality as finding the best-value building materials made to handle real life, and having the builder install and service them properly,” Ashley says. “I mean those products that aren’t the cheapest but also aren’t the most expensive; we’re looking for products that perform closest to the ones that are most expensive. We also aren’t looking for products that make a home purchase cost-prohibitive, because there are plenty of those out there, too. We find the best value, and that’s what we use at RCI.”

Strong Messaging

Quality materials and finishes go a long way in delivering a successful home, but RCI takes it further by providing an established process for the homeowner with its Customer Involvement Program. Ashley describes this as a systematic approach to working with customers, ensuring everyone at RCI is trained to the same standards and that the company works closely with homeowners from the time they sign the contract to one year after closing.

“Immediately after they sign they start a specific plan and process with us,” Ashley says. “This flows through the plans process, selections, mortgage preapproval, pre-construction meeting, pre-drywall meeting, pre-settlement demonstration, closing, a post-settlement 45-day inspection and the one-year walk through. Everything is structured with checklists and signatures. We hold our sales, design and production teams accountable, and they get training on each segment of the Customer Involvement Plan so they deliver on the expectation of 10 out of 10 for service. Focusing on quality and service is easier when everyone is given the same message.”

Last year, RCI closed 132 houses with an average price of $380,000, yielding just more than $50 million in business for the company. In 2019, it is on its way to surpass this, with a goal of closing on 150 homes and reaching $57.8 million in annual sales. To this end, RCI is opening section four in the Hickory Hill community of Hanover, Va.; a community called Lakeview at Luck Farm in Ashland; a section three in the Cherry Grove area of Mechanicsville, Va.; a community called Arboridge in Hanover, Va.; and a community called Lowrey Estates in Hanover, VA.

Through a combination of its own developments and lot take-down contracts, RCI has more than 1,000 lots available, keeping it positioned well. “A lot of it comes down to our employees,” Ashley says. “We take pride in how successful they’ve been and how greatly they work together. We are a business that employs over 200 other small businesses, so a lot of people rely on us for their income. We help to drive the local economy and provide for a tremendous amount of people.”

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