How two builders from Ohio found a way to build and sell more homes, and help other builders do the same
In 1986, while discussing strategies to sell more homes, Philip Fankhauser and Edward Bacome recognized that residential homebuilders had overlooked the needs of a huge portion of our society: maturing home buyers. The two founded Epcon Communities in Columbus, Ohio, and set out to build entire communities of homes perfect for people who were ready to downsize and spend their time enjoying life rather than mowing yards and dusting extra bedrooms.
Their first community was Deer Run, and it sold out fast. Not only that, word got around about the unique home plans and the eager demand from a fast-growing demographic.
Three years after opening their first community, a local builder asked to use Epcon’s design and floor plans for a community in a nearby city. The partners were hesitant to license their system to other builders and to expand beyond the Columbus market. But more builders came knocking, seeking to develop Epcon-style communities in neighboring cities or in outlying areas of Ohio.
The birth of Epcon Franchising
Phil and Ed finally granted the first license to use their construction plans in 1996. The popularity of Epcon Communities quickly spread through Central Ohio and beyond. Now there are more than 375 Epcon Communities in 28 states, with over 30,000 homes already built.
“I think we have the strongest product in the marketplace and the best designs in the industry,” says Phil. “No one in history has invested the time or money that we have in creating such a small, select group of homes with such a good return on investment. Our homes sell at a really good clip because we truly address the needs of the buyer.”
Epcon designs have earned the favor of sophisticated and selective homebuyers of all generations. Regardless of age, buyers who choose Epcon Communities share a vision for high-quality, low-maintenance living that affords them optimal comforts. Our homes and communities are becoming increasingly attractive to younger adults thanks to our commitment to quality and excellence.
Still, we continue to evolve and grow
Over three decades, we have continued to improve our designs as homeowners’ tastes and desires have changed. When we designed our recent Courtyard Series of homes, 6,000 buyers were surveyed to find out what features they wanted in a new home. Based on the responses to this survey, we developed a wish list — then we gave those specs to leading architects around the country in a design competition and asked them to create their best designs at various home sizes. The result: award-winning layouts that buyers love.
Everything is very well thought out. You, as the Franchise Builder, benefit from 30+ years of legwork.
Learn more about Epcon
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