For more than 20 years, Choice Homes has been creating the benchmark in Queensland living. In that time, they have earned a reputation for delivering quality homes and providing quality service. They have become known for their impressive construction times, advanced systems, and their commitment to their customer’s piece of mind.
“We have a quality product, and we’re good at what we do,” says Ben Peasley, the company’s Display Home Sales Manager. “That’s what has led us to where we are today.”
Choice Homes was founded in 1993 by Steve and Gillian Knight, who went on to lead the business to more than a decade of success. They retired in 2004, leaving their son Troy to take over as CEO. In the years since, Troy has continued to build on his parent’s exceptional record of quality.
Over the years, Ben says the company’s family-ownership has been an important factor in their ongoing success – as has their “envious land bank,” which stretches from South East Queensland to Mackay.
At the turn of the century, Choice Homes formed exceptionally close relationships with land developers. According to Ben, those relationships signalled a “key turning point for the company’s success,” and allowed the business to grow from 100 builds in 2000 to 2001 to a top of 800 builds in 2006 to 2007.
“It would be accurate to say that Choice Homes built a fair percentage of the booming growth corridor between Brisbane, Ipswich, and the Gold Coast at that time,” he says.
“We still work with a number of those developers to this day.”
In mid-2012, tragedy struck Choice Homes when founders Steve and Gillian Knight were lost in a light plane crash in Alaska. Since then, the company has banded together even tighter, and is performing extremely well – which they know would make the founding couple proud.
A family atmosphere
Today, Choice Homes services all of South East Queensland, as well as Mackay in the north. They provide their customers with fixed fixed price contracts, and have a range of house designs and land packages to suit every taste and budget.
No matter what they are building, Choice Homes puts a strong emphasis on customer service and keeps in close contact. At each stage of construction, for example, they take a photo of their progress to give client’s peace of mind. Even after handover, Choice Homes doesn’t simply “walk away” – they stay in communication and make themselves available to clients.
According to Ben, that commitment to customer service is a major factor that sets Choice Homes apart in the local market. Another significant factor, he adds, is the skill and dedication of the company’s team – which includes their direct staff, and also their subcontractors and trades.
“It’s a family-owned business, and always has been, so it really has a family feel,” Ben says. “Many of our team members have been here for 10 years or more. When people come here, they tend to stick around.”
“And when it comes to our subcontractors, it’s the same feel,” he adds. “A lot of our carpenters, electricians and painters have been with us for a very long time. Some of those relationships are even second-generation.”
Ben credits that internal loyalty to the company’s family atmosphere, as well as to the opportunities they provide for advancement and additional training.
“If there’s a sales member who wants to get his full real estate license, we’ll support them in that,” Ben explains. “Or if there’s a staff member who wants to get more involved with conveyancing, we’ll help them out. We’re always getting behind our staff.”
Many of Choice Homes’ team members also invests in their product, which helps them to better understand it, and gives them more of a stake in the company’s success – which benefits everybody involved.
Beyond their staff, Choice Homes is also set apart by their extensive green capabilities. Ben describes their head design manager as “extremely passionate about the environment,” and says he ensures all of Choice’s homes are oriented in the best possible way to make optimal use of light and breeze. All of the company’s homes are also have a 6 Star energy rating at the minimum.
And finally, Choice Homes is committed to staying on the cutting edge of technology. Ben says they have always led the pack when it comes to their processes and systems. They have four fulltime IT staff who work non-stop to improve the company’s internal database and workflow systems.
Over the years, Choice Homes’ advanced systems have helped them to build several thousand quality homes for satisfied customers. That history of success has not gone unacknowledged. At the 2013 MBA Awards, for example, the company was presented with an award for Housing for Sloping Sites (up to $425,000).
“We massively value that recognition,” Ben says. “We’re now in a Master Builder’s display village, so every day we are really seeing what the competition is, and it’s very impressive. It’s very rewarding to be judged against those high standards and win.”
Choice Homes is particularly proud of the winning home, Ben says, because of its value. The category was for Sloping Sites up to $425,000, and their project only came to a contract price of $198,000.
“There are a lot of sloping blocks on the Gold Coast, and there are a lot of builders on the Gold Coast that specialise in sloping blocks,” he says. “So the competition was fierce, and we batted way, way, way above average.”
That’s not the only project the company is proud of, Ben adds. In February of 2012, the Choice Group purchased a 440 allotment development at Bucasia, North Mackay. They have called that development Royal Sands, and they are extremely pleased with the results they have achieved.
Royal Sands is a master-planned seaside neighbourhood that has already earned a reputation as a great lifestyle location. Residents of the community live in a “tropical haven,” Ben says, with natural parklands on one side and beaches on the other.
The initial stages of Royal Sands are almost all owner-occupied, with homes valued in the $500,000 to $600,000 range. They started selling those lots around Christmas of last year. The first stage, 9C, has already sold out. The second stage, 10A is 50 per cent sold, and 10B will be released to the market in mid-December of this year.
“We’re supplying the local Mackay people with quality land, we’re supplying the local Mackay builders with quality land to build on, and of course we’re suppling quality land for Choice Homes to build their own house and land packages on,” Ben says. “It’s working quite well for us.”
Moving forward, Choice Homes’ vision involves expanding along the Queensland and New South Wales seaboard. They are also looking at doing work internationally, in countries in South East Asia.
In addition, Choice Homes is looking at acquiring more sites so they can offer more house and land packages to clients. By doing that, they make the building process simpler and less stressful for every stakeholder involved.
Above all, however, Choice Homes will continue to focus on building a quality product. Ben says that quality is what has gotten the company this far, and he predicts it will continue to drive their success in the future.
“We like to make every single client a sales person for us,” Ben concludes. “We want to make it so that when a client is finished building, they can’t help but talk positively about us.”
“We’re well on our way there,” he says. “At pretty much every handover we’ll get a fantastic testimonial or comment, without even asking for it. That’s always been our goal, and it always will be our goal.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Choice Homes
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