2.0 Minutes with David Hovey
David Hovey, owner and president Optima Inc.
July 10, 2009
Phoenix Business Journal
Optima Inc. is a real estate development, architecture and construction firm with dual headquarters in Phoenix and Glencoe, Ill.
What is one of your business goals for 2009?
To acquire new sites in Arizona.
What resources did you use to help develop your business and marketing plans?
We primarily develop all business and marketing plans in-house and are engaged in a constant internal dialogue, refining and aligning our plans to the market.
How do you use technology to promote your business?
We have enhanced our company's Web site and have begun utilizing social media to market the projects. We are also a featured blogger on a real estate magazine's Web site.
How do you recruit and retain quality employees?
As a trustee of the Illinois Institute of Technology and an associate professor in its College of Architecture, I have worked with the best and brightest students there and, in many instances, invited them to pursue their careers with Optima.
What is the biggest challenge you've overcome in growing your business?
Finding and retaining top-quality people. Most of our key staff has been with the firm for over 10 years.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs just starting out?
Start with smaller projects and progress in scale as you gain experience. Trust your instincts, make sure you're properly capitalized and employ the best people.
Did you ever want to call it quits?
What do you know now that you with you had known when you started your business?
Horizontal projects have less risk than vertical projects.
How do you market?
Most important, by word-of-mouth from satisfied homeowners. You can't buy better advertising.
What mistake have you learned from?
Maintaining all disciplines in-house has made the company flexible to adapt to changing market conditions. However, some things are worldwide and beyond an individual company's control.
What's the best piece of business advice you ever received?
Maintain integrity in everything you do. Quality in all aspects of design and development pays for itself.