Business Journal Profiles Epcon Franchise Builder Peter Engles
One of Epcon’s most successful franchise home builders reveals what he loves about Epcon and why he has continued success with the brand
The Grand Rapids Business Journal, a publication serving the residents of the second-largest Michigan city, recently profiled Peter Engles, one of the most successful Epcon Franchise Builders in our system.
The paper reports that Peter is working on his third Epcon community in Grand Rapids, with plans to build detached condos in 2016. The engine behind Peter’s growth is simple numbers: his first two communities sold out because the 55+ demographic is looking to downsize into homes that suit the realities of the aging process.
“The days of saying ‘I’m retired’ don’t exist anymore,” Peter says in the article. “The old adage of, ‘I’m 60, 65, I’m retiring and taking a pension’ — that’s not how it works anymore. People are just working longer because that’s what they want to do. And also, people are switching careers. So to say they’re retired and not working anymore isn’t accurate.”
Why Epcon communities appeal to the 55+ homebuying demographic
According to Metrostudy (a division of Hanley Wood), Baby Boomer buyers will purchase 52 percent of the new homes sold between now and 2019. Demand is so strong that Metrostudy projects that demand for low-maintenance, ranch-style homes will outstrip supply by hundreds of thousands of units nationwide by 2019.
Peter has found this to be the case in Grand Rapids, where the needs of the 55+ demographic cannot be met fast enough. Peter says that these homebuyers want to downsize in their area and grow old in houses that allow them to do so in comfort.
“They don’t want to leave their core area. They love their friends, churches, and doctor,” Peter says in the article. “It’s just that they have this house that’s bigger than they need. What I love is the opportunity to create a community that fits their needs from a housing standpoint.”
The timing has never been better to start an Epcon homebuilding franchise
The dramatic shortage of desirable housing creates great opportunity for Epcon Franchise Builders. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 76 million Baby Boomers, and their retirements will continue driving housing demand for the next 15 years, with Generation X (b. 1964 to 1982) following close behind.
“I also love the fact that we’re building age-in-place communities,” Peter says in the article. “To be clear, we’re not building assisted-living communities — that’s not what they’re looking for. But they like to know they can stay in one of these homes longer because they’re built that way.”
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.
“People who are retirement age aren’t leaving,” Peter says in the article. “… Family is so important in West Michigan that they don’t leave. Even the snowbirds who go away for a couple months, they come back. They want to make sure they come back to see their kids and grandkids.”
Click here to read a lengthy Q&A with Peter to learn even more about how his second career as a franchise home builder quickly became a success story.