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Operating aircraft instead of regional offices

As leaders of DiMarco Group, a family-owned development company, it’s impossible for John DiMarco II and his brother Joel to effectively run the business just sitting at their desks, making calls and sending emails.

DiMarco Group has properties in 14 states, but team members travel throughout the United States to meet with clients and vendors.

“The human side of the businesses still drives a lot of it,” said John DiMarco, the company's president and COO. “When a client with stores across the country calls and needs us to be on location at an existing job site, or needs our support as they prepare for expansion anywhere in North America, our response is, ‘Of course we’ll be there. What time?’”

From Rochester, New York, DiMarco oversees seven business units, which include companies across the real estate and construction sectors.

It’s not uncommon for companies in the industry to rely on regional offices that can place sales staff closer to customers. But that model directly competes with DiMarco’s strategy of maintaining continuity and efficiency with a relatively small team through a strong central office.

Instead, company managers – along with sales and support staff – get face-to-face time with their prospects, clients and vendors by utilizing business aviation. Today, the company operates a Citation® Latitude® business jet and a Beechcraft® King Air® C90GTx® turboprop.

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“We just move people by our planes, so we get people to the projects and the branch offices,” John DiMarco said. “We really just have end-user facilities and our corporate headquarters.”

Operating a small fleet of business aircraft from its headquarters provides DiMarco group leaders with added time to make multiple stops throughout the Northeast and the Midwest a one-day affair.

“Our operating style allows us the ability to be in Albany for breakfast with an existing customer, have lunch in Pittsburgh with a potential customer and head on to dinner in southern Ohio to scout out a new branch location.“Joel DiMarco, President of ADMAR Constructio Equipment & Supplies

Business efficiency

The fleet also allows executives to better track changing market subtleties and specific jobsite details.

“Anyone in the organization knows, if you need me, I could be walking in the door,” John DiMarco said. “It’s to say the owners are available and willing to come out and look here and there. Across all of our businesses, we can be where we need to be when we need to be there.”

DiMarco Group is a vertically integrated company. Each business unit has a suite in the company’s Rochester headquarters, but all share the building’s common areas. The setup allows for quick inter-office and intra-business unit communication.

“Accessibility is huge, and being where you need to be to solve problems and keep things moving is the primary focus,” John DiMarco said.

Market Flexibility

Having ready access to aircraft is critical to the DiMarco’s investment strategy. The company generally moves into markets with growth potential that outpaces what local companies offer.

“Our aircraft allow us to go where we can produce value. We’re not stuck doing work and having compression on margins and such because of competition,” John DiMarco said. “So we’re able to go to where the work is as opposed to trying to make work where we are.”

Much of the company’s work is in secondary markets and cities without the robust airline service usually found in major metropolitan areas. With the Latitude and the King Air, DiMarco and his team have direct access to properties in those locations, allowing them to easily gather information, statistics and photos firsthand.

“We need to be on the ground smelling the air and looking around seeing which way the wind is blowing in order to truly know what we’re doing. It’s imperative that we’re there and that the decision makers are there, too. That’s what drives our business.“John DiMarco II, President and COO of DiMarco Group

The fleet also allows the DiMarcos to find business other ways.

“We, on many occasions with clients, will say, ‘Hey, are you going to be around tomorrow afternoon? I’m going to be in the area.’ Now, even if I’m not going to be in the area, I can be. So if they say yes, there I am.”

The DiMarcos chose their aircraft based on this flexible mission profile. An aircraft like the Latitude delivers the range needed to easily travel throughout the Northeast and beyond, as well as the clearance to take off from and land on the shorter runways found in the regional airports and executive airfields they often encounter, John DiMarco said.

“Danbury, Connecticut is a 4,200-foot runway. We can get in there with the Latitude as well as with the King Air, which is great to be able to accomplish,” he said.

  • Apartments

  • Retail Shopping Centers

  • Industrial Space

  • Offices

Family-friendly Workplace

While DiMarco can attribute company savings and profits to his business aircraft, there’s another less quantifiable—yet equally important—benefit to giving his team access to the fleet. They allow employees more family time and opportunities to pursue interests outside work. Previously scheduled evening plans and work-life balance are less of an issue when a team can travel to another state for a meeting or a visit and be back in time for dinner.

“If my team needs to be somewhere tomorrow morning, they know to come down the hall and say, ‘Where I should be is here, but I’ve got this, this and this. How do we get there?’ And then we sort that out,” John DiMarco said. “They don’t stick it under the carpet. They come and ask because there’s availability there.”

John DiMarco II and his brother Joel are both pilots and rated to fly the company’s King Air.

That’s good for business for a couple reasons. The company is able to retain happy, refreshed employees who are better able to bring in revenue. It also eliminates the risk of employees downplaying the need for in-person visits that could close deals or save projects. With aircraft, team members don’t have to choose between going on a business trip or attending their children’s games. They can do both.

Because of their multifaceted benefits, the Latitude and the King Air have made it easier for DiMarco Group to grow its portfolio and profits.

“It’s just an efficient way to do business,” John DiMarco said. “You don’t have to be grinding your knuckles to the bone to be working. You can enjoy it, too.”

“The planes allow the ivory tower, as they say, to exist less or not at all.“ John DiMarco II, President and COO of DiMarco Group

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