Today Ted speaks with Brad Leavitt, Founder and President of A Finer Touch Construction—also known as AFT Construction—an award-winning custom home firm based out of Scottsdale, AZ.
Born into a family of tradesmen, Brad has been immersed in the world of construction all his life. For young Brad, there was no question that, whatever he would eventually do as an adult, it would have to involve creating things with his hands.
Listen in as Brad discusses the road to building his own construction business, the lessons he has learned from living abroad, the tangible value of building your personal brand no matter your profession, navigating difficult conversations with your clients, and adapting to changes in the architecture and design space.
● [01:54] How Brad got started in the world of construction
● [04:08] What living in Argentina for a period of time taught Brad
● [07:44] The importance of building your brand as a tradesperson
● [10:40] Construction is a small world
● [15:25] Why Brad decided to move to Scottsdale from San Diego
● [17:43] Who does Brad consider his greatest mentor?
● [19:27] The purpose of work and how Brad’s early years of being a business owner
● [22:30] Patience during the early years
● [26:14] Interacting with clients looking to build a home versus clients looking to remodel
● [30:03] Setting expectations with clients
● [34:58] Legacy home build
● [36:59] Brad’s current projects and go-to vendors
● [38:03] AFT home on next Build Magazine Scottsdale issue
● [39:41] Friends of Build Magazine Video with AFT
● [42:16] How Brad has adapted his work to ever-evolving smart home technology
● [43:54] Achieving work-life balance
● [46:19] Brad on his philanthropic ventures
● [48:39] Brad on his reputation as a shoe nut
Connect with Brad Leavitt of AFT Construction
Key Quotes from Episode
● Personal brand is permanent job security.
● In any business, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in apparel or clothing, or products, or service, or
construction—how do you create a workforce of people that believe in what you’re doing?
● The more determined you are and the more you understand your business or your prospective client, the
more successful you’ll be as a business owner.
● A project can be successful, or fail, in the pre-construction stage. The more time I can sit down with the
client and make sure we’re prepared, when it comes time to break ground, we’ve now built this collaboration
and game plan. We have everything figured out, so we can build efficiently.
● When you pay it forward, it will always come back tenfold.
Resources & People Mentioned
● Brigham Young University
● Travis Mathews
● Builder 20 Group
● Scott & Richard Jaffa of Jaffa Group
● Rob & Shane of Woods Design Builders
● Jenny Haire of Stofft Cooney Architects
● RJ Gurley Construction
● Kilbane Architecture
● Omni Montelucia Resort & Spa Scottsdale
● Pella Windows & Doors
● Sub-Zero, Wolf & Cove
● Ketra Lighting
● Tom Brady
● AQ Shipley
● Dave Clark
Connect with the industry’s best tradespeople in your area.