Abor Develpments is a Queensland-based building company that specialises in building unique homes and boutique-style multi-unit developments. For more than 10 years, they have been delivering award-winning results to the Brisbane area
“All our work is earned by word of mouth,” says Ted Cheng, Director of the company. “Customers ring us up because they want quality, and because they know we can accomplish things for them. We can guarantee a result, and we can guarantee it’s done on budget.”
Ted is the second-generation owner of Abor, which was first established by his late father Carl in 1989. Carl’s background was in civil engineering, and he originally started the company in Taiwan. When he and his family moved to Australia in 1987, he brought the business with him.
Ted himself comes from an electrical engineering background, and earned experience working as a consultant for other companies before joining Abor. He is now working alongside his wife Emi, who is a qualified interior designer and also works for Abor full-time.
Today, Abor Developments primarily works within and around the City of Brisbane, where the business is based and where they can exercise the best control of their projects. Over the years, the company has grown their capabilities, and they now offer a variety of building services – ranging from renovations and extensions, to new construction of unique homes, to small scale commercial buildings, and boutique-style multi-residential developments.
Ted estimates that roughly half of the company’s work is contracting for other people, and the other half is comprised of their own development projects. As a contractor, he says Abor has the ability to build essentially whatever the customer wants. If the customer has a design already, Abor can build from that. If they don’t, Abor can refer them to one of the many architects they have built a strong relationship with.
Abor Developments can also offer clients interior design and space planning services. They recently started to integrate those services in their own developments, and Ted says that feedback from buyers has been “very positive.”
“We’d like to continue doing this, and educate our clients to let us do the same for their custom build homes,” he says. “The space that we create for clients can define their state of mind, so we want to help them enhance their lifestyle quality.”
On the development side of the business, Abor specialises in relatively small-scale boutique developments. They do their own marketing and research, work with architects to come up with a design, and do their own construction. As they go along, they will fine-tune their ideas to make sure they achieve the best result possible.
In every sector, Ted says Abor is set apart by their unrivalled commitment to customer service. He says that is proven by the fact that the company does not advertise.
“That means all our customers come find us by word of mouth,” Ted explains. “They have heard about our ability to get results, and they know we have a culture of being the best we possibly can.”
“We also have a reputation for trying out new ideas,” he adds. “If a customer wants something, we can always try it out and modify the plans and the process.”
Abor Developments’ diversity of work is also a point of difference. Because they have experience in both contracting and development, they are able to take the lessons they learn on either side and apply it to the other.
“For example, if a client wants something unique – and it works – we can look for ways to incorporate that into our own developments as well. And we’re constantly looking for new ideas, and new materials to use.”
According to Ted, that innovation would not be possible without the combined skills and knowledge of the people they employ and work with.
“Behind our success is a long list of industry partners, subcontractors and suppliers,” he says. “They deliver our culture of quality, and without them there would be no Abor Developments.”
Abor Developments “culture of quality” has not gone unnoticed by the industry. Since 2000, the company has won multiple MBA Awards for excellence. Most recently, in 2013, they took home accolades in the categories for Medium-Rise Multi-Residential Housing up to 3 Storeys, and for Best Heritage Style Home.
“That’s such an honour,” Ted says of the recognition. “It’s always nice when your peers in the recognise the effort you put in, and the quality you achieve.”
“It makes the client extremely happy too,” he adds. “They like to know that their home features some of the best quality the industry has to offer.”
Ted credits Abor’s multi-award winning performance to – first off – the quality of their clients. After all, they are the ones who give the company the opportunity to deliver an award-worthy product.
“If you build a good reputation, you attract the best clients,” he says. “And the best clients understand quality, and they understand the amount of time and effort you have to put in to achieve it.”
He gives further credit to the company’s trusted team of subcontractors and tradesmen. Most members of that team have been working with Abor for many years now, so they know and work well with each other as well. Some of their subcontractors even go back to Ted’s father, and have retired and passed their business on to their apprentices.
“Our subcontractors know the quality we expect, and they deliver it,” Ted says. “And we stick with the team that works. If they produce quality, we give them loyalty.”
Ted says that his team consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty on Abor’s projects. He cites the project that won Best Heritage Style Home as an example of that.
“What we tried to do with that house is what the people would have done in the past,” he says. “Imitating that style, and incorporating those features, takes a lot of skill and hard work.”
For that project, Abor Developments also built it so the older section of the house integrates seamlessly with the modern living space below. Ted thinks that was a big part of what caught the judges attention.
“The whole thing just gels together nicely. A lot of credit for that goes to the architect who designed the place – and also to the contractors who brought it to life, because one of the trickiest parts of building is being able to make adjustments as you go along.”
Moving forward, Ted says his aim is to deliver more complex, special projects like that one – and hopefully grow the company’s already-strong reputation as a result.
“We want to keep building jobs that are rewarding to us, and that we can be happy with,” he says. “We don’t want to make copies of the same thing. We don’t want quantity, we want quality.”
“And to continue building our reputation, we just need to make sure on every job we give the clients the best.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Abor Developments
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