“Compared to everything that was going wrong with the industry, we are undeniably more transparent.”
We all have our perceptions of those who work within the construction industry, and the stereotype that builders are unreliable and overpriced seems to be the most popular and one that is mentioned in this interview. However, as I talk to Sandro, I realise that this stereotype is what Trio is preventing. Instead, Heitor seems to possess a refreshing outlook on life and its values, which is something he is introducing into the world of construction, injecting it with fairness and transparency. Discover both in the conversation below, as here is what occurred when I had the chance to speak to the construction mogul himself.
1. Your site represents a company that is: unique as well as high profile. What I want to know though is, what makes explicitly ‘Trio’ different to other property developers in London?
“We understand that property isn’t new, and we were trying to reinvent the wheel when we started, we wanted to position ourselves; differently, you know every other van is a builder’s van. We wanted to understand how we could be different, and it’s literally just by going back to the basics and implementing high systems that allow us to do what we do on the maintenance side of the business. Which is share quite a lot, we’re tech-friendly, we’re innovative in what we do, in all areas from maintenance to building units just to give you an example. We don’t build the traditional way we pre-fabricate all of our units as well as being eco-friendly. But on the maintenance side, we invested in systems to be transparent. Now our idea of builders growing up was hearing that they’re late, never on time and they overpriced. So we wanted to be really detailed on how we were going to do this [the business]
Everything that goes on when we get a job, from travel time to quoting to invoicing so everything we do is timed and sent back to the customer within 24-48 hours. Breaking down the detail of everything that was going wrong with the industry. In terms of being late, to clients getting unqualified quotes. Instead, we use a schedule of rates, which is a detailed, figure according to the UK rick surveyors, which stabilises the rates in which we charge. Making us undeniably transparent.”
2. Now, something quite different is your amount of success, as I understand you assisted investors make purchases of residential property worth £6 million, back in 2016. Where would you say that drive, and the drive for what you do comes from?
“Well, I moved to London back in 1989 at the age of 4 with my parents, being an only child also meant that I stuck around with my parents for quite some time too. My parents struggled for a long time, and we were homeless for a long time also, and so being conscious of not having any money made me very conscious about having it. So I guess the reason why I started a business was to actually provide and make sure that I never had to go back to what I experienced with my family in my early years. As well as wanting to give my parents an early retirement, because they spent a lot of time working harder and harder just to prevent falling back into homelessness again, they would work from 6 in the morning to 8PM, and so during my school days, they were never around. So that is the one and only drive.”
I then mentioned how that is the dream, to be able to provide and look after your parents.
“Yeah, absolutely, but it changed. Because I found out that having that as my only motive put a lot of pressure on me and so at one point in my late twenties 29/30 I decided to put that aside and focus on me investing in myself in a sense I was doing what I was doing for me. While knowing that it would have a default impact on them [my parents] as well. Although, in terms of where my drive comes from, it would definitely hand down be my family.”
3. While researching you and your company, I noticed the statement “It has never been about the money, but our clients”. Working within property means that you rely on clients heavily and in numbers too, but what makes someone the perfect client? And how important is the process of selecting clients to you?
“You’re right, it has never been about the money. It’s always been about creating a more significant impact that benefits more than just ourselves, so in the construction industry, there are a lot of sole traders that are suffering because they don’t have the opportunity to work with big clients. To work with big clients you need to be already spending £5000, as well as the insurance needed to get on the panel to work with more prominent companies, but not a lot of people have that opportunity. So we bring them in like I said it’s all about creating opportunities for others, and we’re likely to be the ones to control quality in terms of getting them in and working for us. So first things first, it’s definitely not about the money. It’s about benefiting others around us and the world. To answer the latter question, though, we don’t work with everyone, we are selective in that area. Because they’re [a potential client] is going to have to have the same ethos as us, respect what we’re doing. What we’ve found in the industry as well is that not everyone understands the process within specific jobs, and these small traders are suffering because business to business is a 30-day payment term. Even for us, we get paid up to every 60 days, depending on the client they’re not always understanding of us and the materials and equipment that needs to be sourced before starting a job. So we are very selective of our clients, and it’s not just about what we can do for them, but what they can do for us.”
4. You also co-own a property development business in the Algarve. Proving as quite a contrast between Spain and London, tell me more about the company and what was the reason behind you co-owning both of the businesses?
“So the business is based in Portugal, and in the early day, we built an HMR property portfolio in London in 2012. At the time we were thinking of buying a property in Portugal because we’re Portuguese and then when we were out there something we understood about international investors is that they were suffering from the current agents on the ground. We found that they were just renting the first few weeks of August and the whole year, no one was really making any money or any return on their investment, so we bought something there [Portugal], and we wanted to rent it out. So we came across an agent who we felt was brave enough, realising the opportunity at stake, we started Algarve a par our holiday management business aimed at holidaymakers. Which gives them a rented home for 12-16 weeks of the year between summer and gulf (the winter). Where we offer more of a hotel experience rather than just leaving them with a house, so we’ve got people on the ground picking them up from the airport and 24-hour service where they can call should they need anything.”
5. What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago, if you could?
“Well 8 years ago I was chasing financial freedom, the one thing I thought was going to change my life and make me happy, which almost caused me to go into bankruptcy but then there was a turn of events, and we managed to turn it all around. However, the experience, of chasing that one thing leading me to where I am today so I wouldn’t go back and change it. I’ve released a book based on that experience called The Entrepreneur Paradox, which talks about the three pillars of wealth and how to achieve balance in all areas of our lives to achieve wealth and not just financially, but as I said I was growing chasing one thing. Which got worse because when everything hit the fan, and I was a month away from bankruptcy, I realised I just kept chasing and chasing after one thing and disregarding what was necessary. The advice I think I would give to myself during that time though would be to look after number one and don’t chase after anything that’s outside of you. Because everything you need and want is already there, you just need to understand how to vibrate from the chasing. I think I just lost a little bit of me; I guess, chasing something that wasn’t even worth what I already had in front of me.”
6. What can we expect from you and Trio in the future?
“What’s next for us on the maintenance side is reactive maintenance. However, we’re also wanting to introduce some cutting- edge technology that we’re exploring at the moment. As well as launching preventive maintenance, which is all about how your home feels, and at Trio, we want to explore how a thousand-pound job can be a two hundred pounds job. Achieved by applying technology in homes, so that when your home is about to have a leak or an electrical fault, you can receive information telling you so. On the development side, we’re exploring the technology on how your home feels, is based on how you feel so your home will know how well you are, becoming possible with the installation of sensors and the launching of more eco-friendly homes is also another aspiration for the future.”
For more information about Trio visit: https://www.trio-thedifference.com
The Entrepreneur Paradox is also available for purchase on Amazon.
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