Homepacks Build with Lain Hellmrich

We recently spoke with Lain from High Country Carpentry about using Homepacks and this new concept plan build...

How long have you been building and what's the size of your team?

I've been building for twenty-two years, and I've been in business for sixteen. The first few years were apprenticeships. I did most of my apprenticeship down in Wanaka. I then moved back to my home town of Fairlie and set up a small business. Over the years, it's grown, and now I've got a staff of fourteen.

Why did you choose Homepacks for your business?

The ease of it, the ease of the setup, it was all there, everything we needed. In particular, the presentation of the plans was really good; also, the artist impressions really stand out!

What reservations did you have before purchasing? 

How much is this going to cost in regards to taking it from the plans and getting it on the website? Because as a builder, you don't know anything about websites, you're dealing with a big unknown, and you have to trust someone else to do all this work. So integrating it into the website seemed like it was going to be the hardest at the time, but it was actually really straightforward.

...And have you found it was worth having it on your website?


What benefits have you found from having your Homepacks?

Probably the immediate interest, the first capture of the client. Even if they didn't want to go with one of the plans, they would end up being a custom build or a renovation to the existing home (if they didn't sell and build) - so all of a sudden, you have this captive audience that you managed to get because of the plans.

Have you found it brings in more customer enquiries?

Definitely, yeah, one hundred per cent, tons of enquires. We've got it set up so people can get drawn into our website quite rapidly and we're getting clients quite obviously, that we've never had before.

What's different about the clients you're attracting now?

People that didn't have any knowledge of who the local companies were. So people that were clearly from outside the region shopping for new builds.

How has it helped your sales?

You're competing against the home building companies that have got these items straight away. You need to be able to give people something to look at and something to see straight away, so it's definitely a big key item for the sales process and getting clients hooked!

So it's helping translate people into being more comfortable moving forward and signing a contract?


Do you still feel like a custom home builder?

Yeah, very much, because you're still very much a Builder with a toolbelt operating in a small region. Some of the local feedback I've had around group building companies is that it was good; they got what they wanted, but they wish they could have used a local builder,  and it seems like now it gives people an option to use a local builder because they've got the professionalism of their own plans.

How would you describe your investment in Homepacks?

Substantial! It's money well spent, a good investment!

Here's a Homepacks plan Lain & his team are building:

Original concept plan/ artist impression:

The original artist impression
Aerial view of the foundations
birdseye view of the foundations
Standing in the bedroom wing of the home.
Looking back towards the master and the main outoor living (center)
Looking towards the guest room and outdoor living (center).
More pictures to come...

What changed from the original concept plan?

Not a lot, actually. There was a couple of changes in the cladding. The client wanted all brick. In the big lounge, they've gone for scissor trusses, so we've got this big raking Macrocarpa T&G ceiling with timber beams on the underside and a big macrocarpa pergola out the front.

Have you found anything else helpful that you didn't realise before you jumped on Homepacks?

I didn't realise how quickly you were able to custom change plans. Clients don't have the time; if you let a day go by, that's a long time in the client's mind.

How would you describe your investment in Homepacks? - Substantial! It's money well spent, a good investment!

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