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Grace Mase - The Relationship Factor in Pushing Dirt

You won’t find the name of BEYREP founder and CEO Grace Mase at unless you click the tiny “About” link in the page footer.

But if you go through the onboarding process to become a member of her revolutionary

construction project management software, it’s easy to feel a woman’s touch on the process.

After all, how many client relationship software solutions ask you questions not only about your expertise as a service provider, or your goals as a project manager, but also your personality? Your managerial style? Your communication preferences?

“Oftentimes, we think of construction as a transactional relationship,” Grace said. “It’s not. It’s all about people working with people.”

That’s why we need more women pushing dirt. A man or a woman could have created a

software solution that streamlines and unifies the entire construction and renovation process across one easy-to-use platform. Women and men have been developing that kind of software for years.

But women have that critical relational intelligence. It took a woman to understand that

construction is a collaborative process. The collaborators’ personalities and compatibility matter as much — if not more — than the collaborators’ skill level and strategic agility.

“How Bad Could It Be?”

Like so often in life, Grace learned this lesson the hard way. Keen on renovating their family home, Grace and her husband set about hiring a renovation contractor. They did it the old-fashioned way — choosing a contractor referred to them by a friend.

“We thought, ‘How bad could it be?’” Grace ruefully recalls. “Famous last words.”

You could forgive Grace for a little amateur cockiness. After all, she was a trained architect. Recruited of her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley as a campus architect for her alma mater, she found herself in charge of teams of thousands as they reshaped the Berkeley campus — all before she even went to grad school.

Add to that the fact that her husband, Robert, is a literal rocket scientist employed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for over 20 years. She loves to bring this up when she drops on her team the old cliche “It’s not rocket science.” Who but Grace can follow up that admonition with “I know — I’m married to a rocket scientist!”

But even NASA couldn’t save Grace from her home renovation project descending into disaster. The contractor was very disorganized. Everything was handwritten on carbon-copy triplicate contracts. Changes took days to process. The contractor demanded payment in full before he completed the project — a big no-no.

More than anything, Grace and Robert hated his communication style. Minor disagreements blew up into verbal brawls. What should have been an exciting upgrade became a painful slog.

Grace emerged from the ordeal with two key insights:

  1. The construction industry was in desperate need of streamlining.

  2. Compatibility makes a big difference when collaborating.

“When we collaborate with someone we’re compatible with, no matter how big the issue may be, we’ll figure it out,” Grace said. “But at the same time when we work with someone we’re not compatible with, little things can be blowout proportions.”

Dirt-Pushers are Problem-Solvers

Luckily for the construction industry, Grace had a robust side hustle as a software developer.

She started in grad school. Administrators recruited Grace to help with the university website. This was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and students submitted handwritten university applications by snail mail. Then they waited with bated breath by the mailbox for the response — often for several hair-thinning weeks.

To Grace, this was inefficient, cruel, and a waste of paper. Her leadership led to the school adopting a system of online application submission and response, cutting time, paper, and frustration out of the process.

Grace brought this problem-solving spirit to bear on construction process management. Thus, BEYREP was born — a platform where construction professionals can match with clients based on personality and compatibility.

But BEYREP isn’t just a matchmaker app. It’s a comprehensive all-in-one software solution for construction process management. No more carbon-copy contracts. No more mismatched scopes. No more change orders that take days to process. It’s all done quickly, with a mouse click or screen tap, on your PC, tablet, or smartphone.

Seasoned professionals are often floored at the easy drag-and-drop interface, while newcomers can’t believe it’s that easy.

“A lot of times, people are like ‘That’s it?’” Grace chuckles. “Really, that’s it.”

Change orders, in particular, are a snap when using BEYREP. Whereas they used to take days of pencil-pushing, Grace recalls with pride watching a client and a service provider whip out their smartphones on a job site. The service provider enters the change order. The client’s phone dings with a notification; the client opens the BEYREP app and taps to approve the change right then and there.

Done. In minutes. The change populates throughout the project profile and across all devices — no reconciliation needed, no paperwork showing different prices, quantities, etc.

Construction service providers who use BEYREP cut as much as 30% of the busywork out of the construction process, freeing them up to grow their business or focus on things that really matter.

To Grace, though, BEYREP wouldn’t be half as effective without its commitment to personality compatibility. “If we have a systematic way to align with people that we collaborate with effectively,” Grace said, “things get very easy.”

People Helping People

This commitment to relationships informs every aspect of her life. She has a son in college and a daughter in junior high. Both are doing their best to cope with the interruption of their education and social lives due to COVID-19. Grace does her best to be a friendly and comforting presence in their lives through the disruption.

Grace also discovered a new hobby during the pandemic — baking pizzas from scratch and delivering them to friends. For her, it’s a delicious, creative, socially distanced way to bond during a pandemic.

“It’s another way to explore things and to learn about each other,” Grace said as she recalls the exciting and eclectic topping requests her friends send her for her next pizza creation. “Their personality layers on to what they want to eat.”

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