Dwyer Quality Homes is one of the longest serving home builders on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – and there’s a reason for that longevity. Over the years, the company has assembled a loyal team of experienced supervisor and tradesman, and have built an unassailable reputation based on quality. According to CEO Wayne Dwyer, it is the company’s well established reliability that has led them to success for over 25 years.
Wayne, who started his career in construction as a carpenter, started Dwyer Quality Homes in 1985. The company began with him building a couple spec homes in his local suburb. Those homes sold well, he was approached by people who wanted more, and the business ballooned from there.
Today, the company’s homes range from about $140,000 to $1 million in value. They have two offices, one in Brisbane and the other on the Sunshine Coast, and their work takes them from Hervey Bay in the North to the Gold Coast in the south.
When it comes to their product, Dwyer Quality Homes has traditionally appealed to those looking for something more than a “project” home. The company employs a lot of flexibility and innovation within their process, and many of their designs include features such as sunken lounges, feature ceilings, innovative kitchens, spa baths, Alfresco outdoor living and much more.
“Our product development is an evolving thing,” Wayne says. “We will basically build anything for the customer, providing it’s possible to do.”
Doing the right thing
“We’ve been in the building industry for many years now, and we’ve remained there because of our integrity and our honesty,” says Wayne. “In a relatively small place like the Sunshine Coast, you don’t last that long if you’re doing the wrong thing.”
In their many years of business, Dwyer Quality Homes has never wavered in their commitment to be honest with their customers, and that simple fact has set them apart in the marketplace. Over 25 per cent of their business is from previous customers – one of whom has built four houses with them over the years.
“Our customer service is second to none, and that extends beyond just being honest,” Wayne adds. Honesty is where they start, but their excellent customer service extends to the constant communication between the customer and the staff. Dwyer Quality Homes goes to significant lengths to ensure their communication is clear, that the clients always know what is going on with their home, and are getting what they want every step of the way.
“We want to continue to get repeat business because it’s a large part of our operation,” Wayne explains. “Unmatched customer service is how we do that.”
Dwyer Quality Homes has about 20 office employees, and employs subcontractors to do the majority of their construction work. The company’s relationship with both those groups is also exceedingly strong. Some of their subcontractors have been working with the company since day one, for example. They also have some office staff and supervisors that have been with them for over 20 years.
“It’s almost unheard of in the industry to have that longevity of subcontractors and staff,” Wayne says. “A lot of people float around because they’re not happy with where they are. Clearly, quite a number of our key subcontractors are happy where they are.”
According to Wayne, building a good relationship with a subcontractor involves two key things. One of them is ensuring the work site is well organised so the subcontractor can “get in, do his job, make his money and get out.”
“It makes life easy for them to deal with a company that is organised and gets on well with their clients,” Wayne says. “It makes life simple for everybody.”
The second key to forming longstanding relationships with tradespeople is prompt payment. “They need to get paid,” says Wayne. “We pay our subcontractors within seven days. The industry normally pays their subcontractors within 30 days. With us, they get their money every week and that keeps them happy.”
“When they’re happy, they do a better job,” he adds. “When they do a better job, that keeps us happy.”
The company’s focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with subcontractors has earned them a reputation as a “preferred builder” – a reputation that constantly pays off. If Dwyer Quality Homes has a job they want a subcontractor for, and another company wants the same subcontractors for a different job, the subcontractor will choose Dwyer every time.
“I can be ready and organised for him, and he knows he’ll get his money seven days later,” Wayne explains.
Within their office, Dwyer Quality Homes promotes a family atmosphere. “We don’t have the corporate hierarchy that a larger company would have, and we don’t have the politics that goes with that hierarchy,” he says. “Everyone has a job to do, and we run incredibly efficiently.” That efficiency is beneficial to both employees and clients – it means management is more accessible, and decisions are made faster.
Industry recognised, customer based
Over the years, Dwyer Quality Homes has won in excess of 70 Housing Industry Awards, including one for “House of the Year.” The company has also been recognised in Queensland’s Top 100 privately owned companies for eight years running.
“They make you feel proud when you win them,” Wayne says, explaining how much he values that industry recognition. “I think it also means a lot to the consumer, to see that within the industry you’re judged as one of the best. It goes a long way and it says a lot of things.”
Moving forward, Wayne predicts they will continue to rack up those awards by committing themselves to continuous improvement. They recently invested “quite a bit of money” into restructuring their internal systems, and incorporating new software to improve efficiency. They are also in the process of incorporating all of their documentation into a cloud system. Wayne says that these measures will eliminate some of the small issues that happen from time to time when it comes to managing jobs.
“Building a house these days is becoming more and more complex,” he explains. “People’s demands are getting higher, they want instant feedback on their jobs, and that has led to us becoming a little bit more professional and having the answers to their questions immediately. Some of the new software and the new processes will enable us to do that.”
Currently, Dwyer Quality Homes is constructing approximately 70 homes a year. Wayne says they are comfortable at about 100 homes, and if they can get back up to that – which is actually what they have been doing for the past 15 years – they will be happy.
“At that level we have the infrastructure, the staffing and the systems to easily cater for clients,” he says. “We’re not interested in doing any more than that because we’re a customer based company. Most of our product is custom, and the customers we deal with require individual attention.”
“We have to continue to make sure we’re staying on top in terms of design and in terms of what the customer’s needs are,” Wayne concludes. “We have to continue to offer good value for money.”