"We do a walk-through of the site showcasing and giving improvement suggestions to help the community obtain basic construction knowledge, which will assist in raising the overall quality of construction,"- Nav Grewal, Vice President at WBI Home Warranty Ltd.
As someone passionate about the construction industry from a young age, Nav Grewal, Vice President at WBI Home Warranty Ltd., has a lot to be proud of when it comes to his professional journey and achievements in the last two decades.
After completing the Home Inspection Training Program in 2003 and several construction and business-related courses from BCIT and Kwantlen University College, Nav entered the home inspection industry as an apprentice providing an outlook on the current condition of older homes that a buyer could purchase. "I would complete a walk-through with the prospective purchasers on the overall condition of the home, identifying any potential defects such as the state of the roof, water tank, heating system, etc.," he shares. His services would help the potential buyer determine the home's current condition and give them a fair idea of any defects that may be present and require maintenance immediately or in the future.
To acquire practical home inspection expertise, Nav volunteered for six months alongside a local home inspector who intended to retire and sought a successor to take over the business. However, due to a failure to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, Nav's mentor suggested that he contemplate starting his own company instead. Following this advice, Nav founded Wall 2 Wall Home Inspections Ltd. in 2003.
After spending a few months in construction, Nav discovered his deep interest in the New Home Warranty industry. As he pursued his home inspection business, an exciting opportunity arose. He volunteered to work alongside a Course of Construction Inspector and his team, delving into the world of Course of Construction inspections for a 2-5-10 New Home Warranty provider. This experience allowed Nav to gain comprehensive knowledge about the entire construction process, from excavation to completion of the project. Before this, he had primarily focused on inspecting completed homes.
The opportunity also allowed him to meet and network with many builders and developers in the lower mainland area. Soon, he started working on a part-time contract basis with one of the New Home Warranty Providers in BC and later joined them as a permanent, full-time employee.
"In 2004, I found my calling when I started working as an Inspector in the New Home Warranty industry," shares Nav. In the last two decades, Nav has been an integral part of the residential construction industry in BC, reviewing brand new homes, including single-family homes, townhomes, and multi-family condominium projects, being developed from the ground up.
In 2015, Nav joined WBI Home Warranty Ltd., a burgeoning New Home Warranty provider with around eight employees, as the Lead Inspector. The company has since grown into a company with 38 employees. Initially, he worked in the Technical Services department, inspecting various residential construction projects for which WBI provided New Home Warranty. Nav's role as Lead Inspector also required him to visit occupied new homes and review potential defects submitted by new homeowners to verify if items submitted were warrantable defects that needed repair as per the Homeowner Protection Act.
In 2018, Gordon Houston, now President of WBI Home Warranty, nudged him to try his hand at business development. Though initially hesitant, Nav decided to give it a shot and started working towards getting his Level 1 general insurance salesperson licence. "To work in the business development department as an Account Manager, I was required to obtain a Level 1 general insurance licence, which meant returning to school and passing the required exams to qualify. I accepted the challenge, registered in the required courses, obtained my Level 1 licence in 2018 and subsequently my Level 2 licence in 2019," shares Nav.
With a hint of uncertainty about his ability to thrive in business development, Nav persevered in juggling both roles from 2018 until 2020. He worked as a member of the Technical Services and Business Development teams as he started shadowing Gordon and meeting prospective builders during 2019 and 2020. "I have known Nav since he started working in home warranty 20 years back and always admired him personally and professionally. While he was working at WBI, I noticed the unbelievable number of people he knew in the Punjabi community. He has great people skills, and his ability to have open, honest conversations and build authentic relationships with people convinced me that he would thrive in a client relations role in our business development department," says Gordon.
Nav quickly realized that he was a natural and immensely enjoyed working in business development. Before he knew it, Nav brought in multiple new clients every month while several other businesses suffered with the onset of Covid-19. "Surprisingly, our business took off even more during the pandemic, and many applications kept coming in every month," he shares.
In his current role, Nav assists existing builder members with account-related inquiries, registration of new projects, potential claims, and any other tasks builders may need assistance with or advice on. He is also heavily involved with prospecting and obtaining new clients for the company. According to Nav, builders choose WBI over the competitors because he is always willing to be available. "I am an ally by their side, figuring out solutions with them instead of having a transactional relationship," he says.
WBI is also an approved education provider through BC Housing. Nav hosts Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars, allowing licensed residential builders to receive their CPD credits, a BC Housing requirement for yearly licence renewals.
Nav also hosts a show called "Construct It" in collaboration with Channel Punjabi, which focuses on new residential construction projects. Nav co-hosts the show with WBI's Technical Services supervisor, Sonny Brar, and together they visit different construction projects and highlight acceptable construction practices, items of concern and an overview of specific construction-related details. "We do a walk-through of the site showcasing and giving improvement suggestions to help the community obtain basic construction knowledge, which will assist in raising the overall quality of construction," Nav says.
At present, WBI Home Warranty Ltd. provides builders with 2-5-10 New Home Warranty and Deposit Protection Insurance (DPI), which is a product that allows the developer to access the deposits held in trust from the pre-sale of units which in return are to be used towards the construction of their multi-family project, thereby reducing the total construction financing required for the project.
Nav is licensed in BC and Alberta, where he shares a great rapport with builders since he worked as an Inspector in both provinces before shifting into business development. Nav is grateful that he got to travel across BC and Alberta, seeing places that he probably wouldn't have visited if he had not been in such a role. "The fact that builders already knew me gave me a jumpstart when I got into business development. Before I knew it, multiple new applicants were approaching me, both new builders and builders working with our competitors, all referred through word of mouth," he shares.
Between 2019 and 2022, Nav received multiple promotions owing to his performance, from being an Inspector to Account Manager to Senior Account Manager to Associate Vice President to his current role as Vice President at WBI Home Warranty Ltd. "Nav is also an integral part of WBI's succession plans" Gordon stated.
As a person, Nav is highly organized, which he believes has played a crucial role in his success. "I am very organized and plan my days well in advance, which allows me to be structured. I am usually up by 5:00 am, and my day begins shortly after," he shares. He is also an avid learner who believes one must learn and grow continuously. He believes in the power of active listening and the importance of having open, honest conversations.
Nav is pleased with his decision to be part of the construction industry. "It's an exciting time to be in a construction-related field. Any way you turn, from the Okanagan, including Kelowna, and outlying areas like Penticton, to Vancouver Island, there's development taking place. However, the downside is that prices have gone up, and the upward mobility has gone down. It's not as easy for someone new to buy their first home," he reflects.
Being in this industry has taught Nav to be more adaptable and have strong conflict-resolution skills. "In our business, we run into issues every day. We are pretty much troubleshooting daily, whether on the application side, on the construction side, or with New Home Warranty claims. So, a major part of the job is troubleshooting and coming up with an agreeable solution to the issue at hand," he shares.
Nav's colleagues and clients vouch for the superlative qualities that have helped him succeed personally and professionally. Gordon sees Nav as a highly committed and organized professional whom he trusts implicitly. According to Gordon, Nav is also well aligned with the company's culture, which looks at staff as family and not a number. "We want to create an environment which is a pleasure to come to. Our endeavour has always been to create a space where if you see another colleague, you should be able to share a joke, tell a story or laugh together and where you feel great when the company does well, and Nav exemplifies all these qualities," he says.
In the next three years, WBI plans to increase its market share of multi-family developments in British Columbia to one-third of total BC Housing registrations. "We recognize the need to attract new clients, which depends on the level of customer service that we provide," says Gordon.
Nav is grateful for the opportunities that have come his way. "Gordon nudged me into my current role, coached me so I could do well here, and is still coaching, training and mentoring me," he shares, underlining how exciting and rewarding his career has been.
He continues, "I enjoy meeting and interacting with different people, colleagues and teams who support me daily. Throughout my journey, I have always aimed to maintain a high level of customer service, which at times has involved a few sacrifices from my end, and I am ever so grateful to my wife Ramneek, our daughters Aykam and Anaya, plus my parents who have always understood and supported my professional endeavours," he shares. Nav prioritizes his family during his free time, taking them to various beaches, cycling, travelling, and swimming.
“I have known Nav since he started working in home warranty 20 years back and always admired him personally and professionally. While he was working at WBI, I noticed the unbelievable number of people he knew in the Punjabi community. He has great people skills, and his ability to have open, honest conversations and build authentic relationships with people convinced me that he would thrive in a client relations role in our business development department,"- Gordon Houston, President, WBI Home Warranty
"Apcon is very grateful for the significant role Nav & WBI have played in our business and continue to do so. They helped us shape our company into a quality multi-family builder." - Tejvir Atwal, VP, APCON Group.
"I have known Nav since 2017, and he is my go-to person for anything related to home warranty. If any homeowner has questions or concerns, I always call Nav, who comes through for me each time. He is extremely responsive and is a great advisor and support to have on your side if you are a builder." - Gurcharan Minhas, Director, Westcorp Developments Ltd.
"Working with Nav is inspiring, fun, and very motivating. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met, and his work ethic, drive for perfection, and client service standards are unmatched. Nav has an excellent reputation within the company, the construction industry and the community, which is well deserved." - Caitlyn Lovett, Manager – Operations & Underwriting, WBI Home Warranty Ltd.