When builders see an opportunity to expand into a new market niche, such as the 55+ active adult market, there is benefit to working with a national leader. This blog series will help answer whether a homebuilding franchise is the right investment, the right business model, and the right way to scale a business.
We address four reasons to consider working with a national franchise through the eyes and experiences of current Epcon Franchise Builders. In this 4-part blog series, we will address how to:
Reason #1: Utilize the business blueprint of a top-50 home builder.
Epcon helps its franchisees build their own brand with the support of a nationally recognized and respected home building company. Epcon Franchising has more than 20 years of experience working with builders and investors and through its Franchise Builders has built over 400 communities in 28 states.
“For well-established builders that are building hundreds of houses a year in a metro area, an Epcon franchise can be a way to add dozens more per year in a market segment without major competition from national builders,” said Paul Hanson, President of Epcon Franchising. “For custom builders that are building 8 to 10 houses a year, Epcon offers a way to scale up significantly.”
Home builders typically have the expertise and processes to handle everything from land acquisition and development financing to buyer demographics and floor plan development. However, they also know the investment in time and money that it takes to bring a new product line to market.
“When you start a project, you’ll mess up for a year or more, figuring out all the problems,” says Chris Poston, chief operating officer of Traton Homes, a top-200 national home builder based in the Atlanta market and an Epcon Franchise Builder. “What do I have wrong with the product? What’s off with the pricing? Epcon has been doing this for so long, they’ve figured those things out. We benefit from their years of experience making the mistakes so we don’t have to.”
Many Epcon Franchise Builders come from the custom world, where they compete not only with big national builders, but also with “everybody with a pickup truck” and deal with customers “demanding a thousand change orders,” said Paul Hanson.
As an Epcon Franchise Builder, “this is a way for them to grow, keep their current small business in place, hire a few people, and expand their business without reinventing the wheel,” he said.
Smart builders also know they can always improve.
Paul Hanson says, “What drives Franchise Builders’ interest is a desire to get better and have the right systems in place. They’re going to learn a very disciplined business model that focuses on a very specific buyer profile.”
Andy Dreyfuss, Managing Partner of Nova Triad Partners, an Epcon Franchise Builder in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, couldn’t agree more. Dreyfuss stated, “You might have good brand and processes, but you can always get better. There is great power in joining a system. The benefit is cost, quality, and speed.”
For Dreyfuss, it also was important to be able to maintain control over his company’s direction and destiny, what he called “maintaining your business and your dream.” The most important part of building, he said, is deciding where you will build, and with Epcon Franchising, “you’re always in control of that.”
Epcon Franchise Builders also are in control of what they build. With a wide array of available models and elevations to choose from, builders decide what is most appropriate for their market and focus on that, with support from Epcon.
“You’re getting floor plans and insights from Epcon on a customer,” Dreyfuss said. “No one knows the 55+ active adult buyer better than Epcon. They have invested heavily in market research to design a house that is very popular with those buyers.”
Diane and Adrian Jacob are seasoned building professionals with plenty of experience in marketing and selling real estate. When they decided to expand into home building, they quickly realized that building one house at a time was nerve-wracking; they tried to create a townhouse product, but it was difficult to find land and work with architects. In seeking out expertise, they found Epcon Franchising and vetted the company for more than a year.
“We could have done it on our own, but when you do, it takes more time and money,” Diane Jacob said. Epcon’s national name recognition and reputation has been exceptionally helpful to the Jacobs as they introduced their new community, the Villas at White Oak Ranch, in Conroe, Texas. Their grand opening drew 800 people.
“We say, ‘An Epcon Franchise Builder,’ in our name. It’s part of our identity,” Adrian Jacob said. “People could search that out; we weren’t Joe Schmoe doing this. We would tell people, ‘Go research the company.’ Their reputation is outstanding.”
Click here for the second blog in the series titled Reason #2 – Capitalize on an Underserved Market.
To learn more about the benefits of becoming an Epcon Franchise Builder, download our free Epcon Franchising Information Report here.