Rob Krohn, vice president of marketing at Epcon Communities and Epcon Franchising, sat down with Bant Breen, host of The UNCAGED Show. This is an edited excerpt from their discussion:
Bant Breen, Host of The UNCAGED Show: Today we’re speaking with Rob Krohn. Rob has two marketing titles at two related companies. He is the VP of Marketing at Epcon Communities as well as Epcon Franchising, and we’ll talk about all of the things that Epcon is doing in the broader space. Epcon Communities builds single-family homes and develops communities that are popular with 55+ buyers. Epcon Franchising works with home builders, and we’ll talk about how that works and how Rob has played a key role in both companies. But before we get into the Epcon story, Rob, tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
Rob Krohn, VP Marketing at Epcon Communities and Epcon Franchising: My career really started in the agency world. I came up in the advertising agency world, working in a number of industries, then I went to work for myself. I had my own marketing company for a number of years. And then I went into the high-growth startup world. Ultimately, I now work for a home builder. So it’s a bit of a winding path. But I think what’s really helped is that variety of backgrounds, I came into home building and kind of apply a lot of different knowledge to this space.
Bant: I’m an old agency hand as well, we share that in common. And Rob, I think you’ve found yourself in the marketing function in a very dynamic industry. Tell me a little bit more about Epcon and your experience.
Rob: The interesting thing with Epcon is we are a B2B as well as a B2C company. So we are a home builder, we develop communities and build homes, and we sell them primarily to a 55+ audience. But at the same time, we’re a B2B franchise company. We go out, we find other builders in the space, custom builders, land developers, people that are trying to grow or diversify their business. And then we’re a really great opportunity for them to jump in quickly, be up and running in a segment of the home building industry that maybe they haven’t been in before. Maybe they’re a first-time builder or a move-up, custom builder, and they thought about getting into the 55+ space. But it seems like a lot of work, a lot of time and energy. And they can come in and learn from what we’ve done over our 35+ years of business, and get to market much quicker, and have a proven product and proven business model.
Bant: So what an interesting time to work in the construction space. Certainly looking at it from a marketing perspective, managing extreme demand to a dearth of demand to an extreme demand again. Tell me a little bit about that marketing trend and how you’ve been able to navigate that.
Rob: I started with Epcon in 2013. So it was just that tail end of the Great Recession. A number of builders, including our company, were hesitant to kind of move forward because they still had PTSD in many ways of what had transpired the previous five or six years. But it very quickly picked up as you go into 2014 and 2015. Things started back very quickly. As you get into just as COVID was about to hit, things were really on fire. And then COVID hit and set things back, but in our segment of the market, it only lasted about six weeks. Six weeks where there was a little bit of dip, and then the foot went back on the accelerator. And since the beginning of the pandemic, until just recently, it’s really been on fire. That’s really where we’ve been the last two and a half years.
Podcast originally aired on The UNCAGED Show.