Builder Magazine Highlights Epcon’s Use of Big Data to Guide Decisions
The top-rated home building franchise wins praise for forward-thinking investment in Big Data
“Big data” is more than just a buzzword. In almost every industry, from professional baseball to Wall Street, executives employ data companies to determine where and how to deploy their products for maximum profit. Epcon employs big data to ensure that our communities are built where the public is ready to buy — helping our Franchise Builders develop communities in the best possible locations.
Builder Magazine recently interviewed Tim Rini, Vice President of Epcon Franchising, who spearheaded the company’s use of big data to better equip the homebuilding franchise owners in the field. In the article, Tim refers to himself and Rob Krohn, Franchise Marketing Manager at Epcon Franchising, as “parishioners in the church of big data.”
“Both Rob and I tend to be very interested in data,” Tim says in the article. “We both believe very strongly that you manage things that you can measure. And therefore, for us to find an opportunity to get accurate data and use it in our business has been ideal.”
The belief in accurate, measurable data is so strong that Epcon recently partnered with Hanley Wood, a company devoted to meeting the needs of home building franchise system owners, “to capture market inefficiencies by pinpointing where the need for its two-bedroom ranch product is greatest and the competition is most limited.”
How big data helps Epcon’s homebuilding franchise owners
Epcon Communities Franchising Inc. is America’s 38th-largest homebuilder (“2014 Builder 100,” Builder Magazine, May 2015), and one of the few home building franchise companies that exist. Epcon and its Franchise Builders develop communities of ranch-style, low-maintenance homes popular with 55+ buyers — a demographic that is projected to drive new home sales in the United States for many years to come.
While the Builder article mentions benefits of partnering with an established national builder — Epcon provides its homebuilding Franchise Builders with “prototype architectural plans, marketing materials, scopes of work, vertical and horizontal construction budgets, sample contracts, and guidance through zoning, construction, sales, and marketing questions” — it also takes care to recognize how big data is improving how they operate. For instance, they examine successful Epcon Communities for the “common elements” that make them successful, such as “distance from commercial and entertainment amenities, visibility of the site, and road frontage.”
“It’s not that you can select a site by only using data,” Tim says in the article. “But we have searched the common elements in successful communities.”
How the partnership with Metrostudy benefits Franchise Builders
Builder Magazine was impressed with the results of Epcon’s partnership with Metrostudy, who delivered a “heat map” of 20 cities across the U.S. where the buying public for Epcon’s award-winning 55+ communities is underserved.
The Franchise Builders can use this data to build targeted marketing strategies and garner media attention for their communities.
“We’re looking at markets where we might find new franchise opportunities because of a shortage of the type of housing that we offer, and likewise that’s going to be important for our Franchise Builders when they call us about where their next community may be and how they might expand,” Tim says in the article. “Our existing Franchise Builders are using data to expand with, and we are using the data in areas where we have not yet opened a community.”