Richard Van Tassel - Owner Royal Oaks
Royal Oaks Homes

919-562-3339

September, 2013

RICHARD VAN TASSEL

OWNER, ROYAL OAKS BUILDING GROUP

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Richard Van Tassel, (RVT), owner of Royal Oaks Building Group entered the construction industry like most of us, at ground level. RVT hammered out decks for local home builders while working on his civil engineering degree at NCSU. Throughout the nineties, RVT developed his acumen for the building and developing process by both owning and partnering with a several builder/developers in the area. While forming and growing as a result of these professional relationships, RVT also developed his civic wherewithal through dedicated loyalty in his Apex Rotary membership and Life Experiences, a non-profit organization that gives the developmentally challenged a vocational purpose. The stand-out cause RVT has given much talent to thus far has been Operation Coming Home, another non-profit which hands the keys of a newly-built and accessible home to severely injured vets that have earned such intentions through their enormous sacrifice to their Country.  That tally comes in at 5 homes spearheaded by RVT to date. 

​It seems hard to outshine the community sacrifices listed above but RVT has with his company, Royal Oaks Building Group, [ROBG].  Founded in 2002 and enduring the downturn, this building company is a multi-million dollar a year company that expects to exceed 300 homes in 2013. RVT, our first ‘Delta Standard’ interview, sat with us and shared the following answers to some industry and life-relevant questions:

WHAT IS GREATEST THREAT TO OUR INDUSTRY?

RVT: “The global and micro economies real time effect on each other and the abnormally high National debt all have enormous effect over and are tied to bonds, which in turn, directly relate to interest rates.  Combine those elements to the proposed dissolution of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae … its just too much dynamic on the industry, which is a major component of our national economy. We can not import construction into the US.”


WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN BUSINESS?

RVT: “Going for it again.  My second start up… making it happen the way it has happened and what it is today, as well as facing the fears associated with that.”


WHEN YOUR KIDS DECLARE A MAJOR OR AREA OF STUDY IN COLLEGE, WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES YOU WANT TO SEE?

RVT: “All I can say is I want them to do what they want to do and what makes them the happy.  I want them to tell me what they want to do and not what they think I want hear them say they want to do.”


WHAT IS PROUDEST MOMENT IN PERSONALLY?

RVT: “Bringing our first child home from the hospital.  That was the beginning of the most important commitment in my life and when the promise I had made my wife became the most real and finalized.  When you bring a life into this world … there’s no looking back.”


GREATEST PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE TO DATE?

RVT:  “Same for everyone, the years 2007 through 2010. Leading the company through the worst housing market of all time and all the difficult decisions that had to be made, knowing that no one could understand why those decisions were being made, especially the ones that were pre-emptive and seemed overly-reactive at the time since some may have pre-dated the hardest times.”


WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU CATCH AN EMPLOYEE DOING SOMETHING ‘RIGHT’?

RVT: “In our office there is a bell and a gong.  The bell is rung when there is a sale; the gong is hit when we achieve something in production. We place emphasis on the group and not the individual since our successes are team-related and not won on the singular level.”


​WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?

RVT: “Do it. You never know something can or can’t happen unless you try…all clichés aside.  Always take ultimate responsibility for what happens, both good and bad.    If I had a bad grade in school while growing up, my parents approached me and no one else.  When I was Rush Chairman at my fraternity in college, the pledge book read that the President was responsible for anything and everything that happened at that chapter.  Life tends to be full circle that way… own up to what you do.”  


WHAT CHANGE WOULD SERVE THE INDUSTRY BEST IN GOING FORWARD?

RVT:  “De-regulation.  Regulations cost more in time, effort, energy, cost and efficiency.  Those costs get passed on to home buyers.  Most regulation, especially of late, appears to be created by and in the interests of ‘bureaucratic self-preservation’… and not the overall good of our country and its people.  The sooner we are allowed to get back to work, the better off we will all be.”