Danny Spears, Founder & CEO, shares with Danielle Champ why doing what you love will secure long-term success 

CapTex Construction (CapTex) is the brainchild of builder and business Founder, Danny Spears. In his endeavors to share his craft with Austin’s homebuilding sector, Danny has spent his career molding a strong, dependable team, and building a business that puts the client first.

It’s difficult to separate Danny from CapTex, as the two are so closely intertwined. In this issue’s main interview, Danny outlines his journey to establishing CapTex Construction, and how success is a natural consequence of loving what he does. “I’m a farm boy at heart. My family is originally from West Virginia, and they were historically coal miners, so we inevitably built our own houses, and barn shops. The folk up there are determined, very strong, and disciplined. They don’t talk a lot, but know how to get work done. This probably explains why I grew up in a household that was managed by stern parents,” he begins. “They instilled in us that if you want something, you have to work for it.

“Subsequently my success came from hard work, dedication to my team and families, and believing that I could deliver a product that was better than anything anybody else could achieve in Austin, Texas. I also believed I could complete a project in a shorter time, which meant that I had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities.”

Over the years, Danny has carefully curated a portfolio of timeless luxury homes that reflect the character and personalities of his clients. “There’s just something about having a relationship with a family, especially when they trust us to build their dream home,” he says.

Although Danny’s leadership approach ensures he runs a tight ship, he knows that his team consists of hard-working and dedicated individuals, similar to the personalities that helped raise him. For instance, there’s Alice Arterberry of Arterberry Cooke Architecture, who doubles up as Danny’s architect, as well as his best friend. “She’s incredibly intelligent. She’s kind, she gives it to me straight up, even when I don’t want to hear it. But we respect one another as a team. And that’s why we’ve been so successful.”

A leading team
His perspective has resulted in a few philosophies that have played out over time. “If you don’t believe that you can fail, then you will always win. I don’t fail. I have people here who depend on me to have the best solutions, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

“Considering the challenges over the last two years, my only option has been to get to work and figure out a way to get through it with the best outcome for the company and the team. As a result, they did the same, which has created this cyclical support system. So, without them, I wouldn’t be here today. I think that’s why my approach to overcoming challenges in this sector is to avoid considering them as such. As soon as you do, your perception of whether you can overcome them becomes 50/50. But over here at CapTex, no problem is too big; we go out and hit homeruns.” This speaks to the wider company culture. Danny boasts that the CapTex team are a dependable crew of loyal employees.

When asked if there is one aspect of the homebuilding process that clients often take for granted, he shares that it’s what goes on behind closed doors. “No one sees that at one, two, three in the morning, Alice and I are emailing each other to make sure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. We also put in extra hours to ensure our projects stay on schedule as best as possible, and our clients will often say ‘what are you doing up at that time?’ But the truth is we’re responsible for these projects, so we do need to put in the work. This is also true of the sort of people who work with me.

“Every company is looking for better people, but I’m proud to say that any business approaching someone in my team will be swiftly denied. My team is well taken care of, and they know that this business will continue to grow in the long run, which means that their futures are also secure. I know I’ve surrounded myself with the best people out there and that makes me really proud.”

Community connections
With a focus on building timeless homes, Danny outlines that as each project draws to a close, he gains a new favorite to the portfolio. “We don’t stick to one niche or specialty build, which is why so many customers depend on us. I recently completed an addition to a home that I originally built. It’s a New Orleans-themed home that was salvaged from Hurricane Katrina. We did their floors, two cabinets, and the backyard. At the moment, this project is incredibly special because the family of the home are such great people. Their kids call me Uncle Danny.

“We did another project in Lost Creek in Austin, and I’ve been personally invited to their home for Thanksgiving. So, to an extent, it’s the clients that I fall in love with, and they’re the ones that bring out the uniqueness in each of the projects. Subsequently, I’ve become protective of the community in which we work. For example, during the Big Freeze last year, I put my guys on the road for up to 90 hours straight to look after everyone here, because our clients have been so good to us,” he shares, which is understandable, considering that throughout his career, the best piece of advice Danny has received is to make his life about happiness, rather than money.

Life-long vocation
“If you can find something that you love, and you truly love it, the money is irrelevant. Success will happen if you keep loving what you do. And I’ve surrounded myself with like-minded people in that regard. I love seeing my guys smile and cheer each other on because that is what feeds into that long-term success.”

Speaking of long-term, Danny’s vision for the company is to see it continue well beyond his expected retirement. “I will keep doing this until I’m no longer breathing – I love it that much! In five years from now, I’d like to hope that my kids will start following in their father’s footsteps. I have two daughters who work for me at my other business, and they are absolute rock stars, and my son has said that he’d like to build houses as well. So, I suppose the long-term dream is to see the business stay within the family. If my kids grow to do what they love, and it looks like it’s heading in that direction, then I couldn’t be happier,” Danny concludes.