For veteran builder Chris Rapczynski, success was never guaranteed. Underpinning his illustrious career are the values of hard work, candor, and commitment—from the very beginning.
Rapczynski’s first career experiences were foundational to his later success in real estate and construction. He started out as a landscaper, and then moved into the world of construction, beginning to make a name for himself by buying and flipping condominiums in Boston. This progression—from the ground up—granted him a unique view into the different levels and nuances of the building process, which made him a more effective leader later in his career.
As Rapczynski’s happy clients proliferated, his reputation for pristine condo flipping began to precede him, and a business took shape. Rapczynski officially debuted his firm, Sleeping Dog Properties, in 1993. Over the course of the next three decades, Sleeping Dog Properties grew into one of the most trusted names in New England for upmarket construction and bespoke real estate. The firm has done better than Rapczysnki could have ever dreamed: recently SDP celebrated completing over $500 million in successful projects, a testament to the hard work and vision of its founder.
But this level of success does not come without its pain points. Rapczynski is open about the construction world’s inevitable twists and setbacks. “Our zone is a zone of chaos,” he says. “So when we go into any project, we create chaos and have to live through that and the impacts of that for people.” When Sleeping Dog Properties is tasked with a complex, highly tailored project, issues are all but guaranteed. In recent years, this was especially true, with a global pandemic and the subsequent supply chain issues creating major obstacles. But Rapczynski’s signature candor and willingness to adapt gave his clients the reassurance they needed. They knew they could trust their building partner to navigate tricky waters and still deliver only the highest quality product.
The chaos zone extends past the building process itself and into the HR ecosystem. In some ways, Rapczynski is the victim of his own success: the skilled employees of Sleeping Dog Properties are recognized as such throughout the community, and other construction and real estate firms are perennially interested in poaching his talent. Rapczynski has to spend more to keep his workforce in place at Sleeping Dog Properties, which means that his clients will be charged a bit more for their projects. But Rapczynski feels that the tradeoff is one that benefits the client in the end: “We deliver quality with the spare-no-expense mentality so that there’s never a project out there that we’ve done that’s not great.” And the number of awards that Sleeping Dog Properties has racked up for its work in the New England real estate scene stands as proof of this. Rapczynski’s firm has worked hard to maintain its relationships and high quality standard, and SDP has in turn maintained a top five status in its market for many years.
Chris Rapczynski started on the outside and worked his way in—from landscaping to award-winning building, he has tackled every challenge that has come his way with gusto, and his accomplishments speak for themselves. His firm is among the most sought-after for high-end real estate and construction projects in New England, and others have taken notice. Sleeping Dog Properties has plans to expand into new destination home and vacation markets in the coming years. Rapczynski has spent thirty years accepting, and taming, the chaos. This cheerful, achievement-oriented attitude has earned him the trust of countless community members, and the New England cityscape has in turn benefited in myriad ways. Chris Rapczynski’s success has been, and will continue to be, his community’s success.