As Builders Shed Projects, Epcon Sees Opportunity

Epcon Communities Franchising signed seven new franchisees this year, including five in the last month during COVID-19, by emphasizing the law of supply and demand.

“When demand goes down, franchisees can negotiate,” said Jad Buckman, business development director, on everything from land prices to loan terms.

“This is a time when a great percentage of folks are operating from a place of fear and uncertainty. We’ve taken the tack that we’re going to find opportunities that weren’t there a month ago on the land and development side,” he said, adding there’s an advantage “when you’re the only one looking to go.”

“There’s also a lot of people trying to get out of projects and free up liquidity. Maybe a deal wouldn’t pencil before, but now it will.”

Even municipalities are more accessible than before in some cases. “Maybe it’d be six weeks before getting a meeting,” he said. “But now you can get on the agenda next week,” via Zoom.

Epcon is a real estate development and production home-building franchise founded in 1996 to build so-called active adult housing developments, also known as 55-plus. Investment cost ranges from $887,000 to $1.2 million for a 32-unit project.

Epcon has built more than 400 communities and 30,000 homes across 30 states.

One of Epcon’s recent builders is “a new type of franchisee for us,” a multi-family developer who owns 600 apartment units in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Signing with Epcon was a way to diversify assets, he said.

One key move for Epcon is a full-time land consultant, added to the corporate team two years ago. “He’s got 25 years in the development business,” Buckman said. “He’s got a tremendous number of relationships in the broker world.”

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About Epcon

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Epcon is a leading 55+ home building franchise in the United States. For more than 35 years, Epcon has integrated smart, innovative new home designs with the most desirable modern amenities popular with 55+ home buyers. A growing home building business or real estate development company can leverage Epcon Franchising’s proven home designs, technology, marketing and sales resources. Epcon Franchise Builders are given a competitive advantage to build smarter and scale faster in the 55+ home building market. Epcon is ranked on Builder 100 as a top U.S. home builder and the Franchise Times Top 400 list, has ranked on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 and has won multiple product and design awards from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Learn more about what we offer.