We recently spoke with Philip from Bingley Design & Build in Tasmania about using Homepacks and this new concept plan build...
I've been in the industry for about 20 years. I worked in a family building business for nearly 15 years and worked for myself for 5 years. We have four full-time staff now, plus me and Laurie, my wife.
We were looking to do something a little bit different to everybody else, and I thought adding a design element could attract more clients. We were also seeing a lot of clients coming to us with plans for houses that they couldn't afford to build. We figured, if we had some control from the start with the design phase, we could work with people's budgets better.
We were a little hesitant due to the cost outlay and whether it would be successful and create more business for us.
Oh, absolutely! With the website and the Homepacks, it's created heaps of interest, our leads have gone up like 300 per cent, and we get really good reviews.
It gives us the advantage of being a one-stop-shop. So a client and come to us say, "we want to build a new home, we like the look of this; this is our budget." We can deal with them right from the start, we can meet their budget requirements still, give them the look of the house that they like, and then they really don't go anywhere else
Aw, for sure! Yeah, it does, and it stops us from having to compete for every job against other builders.
Yes, definitely, a lot more! People think in pictures, so when they can see something, it makes them much more comfortable with what they're going to get. When they go to a draftsman or an architect, they might have a couple of ideas, but if they can actually see something that appeals to them right from the start, it makes them a lot more comfortable.
Yeah, yes, it does! They can see right from the start what they're going to get. There's none of this period of wondering whether it's going to look like what they want? Can they afford it once they've got the plans and go to a builder? ...We can get rid of a lot of those issues right at the start. It increases peoples confidence.
Yeah, for sure, we encourage people to customise the house to what they want. They don't feel like they have to stick exactly to the plan. If any little tweaks are going to suit their lifestyle, we're more than happy to help them with those. Obviously, there are also different levels of spending in terms of internal and outside finishes. The same design can be done at lots of different levels.
"It's been the best business investment I've made!"
Original concept plan/ artist impression:
The garage was moved out from the house and set at an angle. Also the exterior cladding was changed from the original board and batten to weatherboard paired with an aged-style brick.
It's been the best business investment I've made!
...If I could make one investment like this each year, I would be retired pretty quickly.
It hasn't been a huge outlay for an ongoing return, and there's always the option to upgrade as you guys develop new concepts. You can always be keeping up with the latest design trends and what people are wanting.
I've been super impressed with that after-sales service from you personally and all the help you've given with our website and things like that; it's made it a really easy process.
Oh, they are, they are for sure! ...They're only having to deal with one person.
...A lot of people might be thinking about building a house or like the idea of it, but find it a little bit overwhelming to go to an architect or a designer and sit there and tell them what they want. And quite often they don't understand what it's going to cost them, where they come to us and they can say I've had a look at your website and I like that house and pretty much say "this is what we want to do." how much will that cost? An estimate and I can do that without it being a real big deal to them. And I can either say, "that's a bit more than what we want to spend" or "that's spot on. Let's move forward on it". It's just not as an imposing process.
It's working out really good; we've been very happy with it!