Founder and president of Sleeping Dog Properties, Chris Rapczynski, has built one of the most successful construction firms in New England in less than three decades. This is no small feat in a city like Boston, with its blend of historical and modern architecture. Breaking into such a competitive market took more than just guts, though — it took a lot of business acumen and talent. This is why General Contractors Magazine recently listed Rapczynski’s company as one of the best general contracting firms in Cambridge.
The Business Model
Rapczynski’s reputation rests largely on his service model. The client-first mentality has not only resulted in first-rate stability and design, it’s made it possible to meet deadlines in an industry where unexpected events can throw projects into chaos multiple times a day. Sleeping Dog Properties has managed more than $500 million in construction projects, including a high-rise penthouse in Millennium Tower and a 4,000 square foot children’s medical facility. The team is also gearing up to expand services to Cape Cod and the Lakes Region in New Hampshire.
At every turn, the crew at Sleeping Dog Properties plays the long game. Because most construction companies last only through the first generation of ownership, Rapczynski empowers his team to make critical decisions. He also exemplifies the ethical standards of integrity, discipline, and compassion. While all contractors make these promises to their clients, few have the kind of follow-through that Sleeping Dog Properties has become famous for.
Despite Chris’s connections in the industry, he was a lone wolf when he started flipping condos. Thanks to his creativity and drive on every project he undertook, it wasn’t long before he started Sleeping Dog Properties. Since then, he’s received multiple awards from the Boston Society of Architects, the Small Business Association of New England, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He’s also a respected member of the Association of General Contractors and the American Institute of Architects.
Contractors need to know an area inside and out before they can settle on their specialties, and Chris Rapczynski had decades to learn the ropes before starting Sleeping Dog Properties. The team is adept at kitchen, bathroom, and home office remodels, as well as building custom homes and unique hospitality locations.
New jobs are treated with the attention they deserve. The care and consideration given is not necessarily driven by their profit margins. For Sleeping Dog Properties, the bottom line has more to do with quality of life than numbers.
Relationships and Community
Chris Rapczynski considers his employees to be his most important asset What he wants from them is productivity and quality, and he won’t get it unless he shows his employees that they’re every bit as valuable as the work they’re providing. From there, Rapczynski built bridges whenever and wherever he could. Today, he enjoys strong bonds with numerous suppliers, merchants, and subcontractors in the area.
Sleeping Dog Properties has access to materials and personnel that other companies don’t, and that’s because the business has proven itself over time. Consistency can be a difficult road for many businesses, particularly in the startup phase. What may start out as good intentions can inevitably become muddled over time. Chris Rapczynski has instead perfected a process that guarantees quality. By taking his time and adjusting when needed, he was able to scale his operations without sacrificing deadlines or structural integrity.
Surviving Hard Times
Despite the resolve and commitment from everyone at Sleeping Dog Properties, they are by no means immune to difficult times. When the pandemic hit, the chaos was truly inordinate. Supply chain issues, inflation, double talk: it puts a strain on everyone.
Thanks to his tight-knit network of suppliers and skilled employees, Chris fared better than many of his competitors. With every new obstacle that sprang up, he looked for creative alternatives to get the job done (and still get it done right). It’s a strong sign that the company has the resources it needs to weather future storms for sustained success.