Kurmond Homes is a rapidly-growing Sydney based homebuilder. It was formed by two brothers, Peter and Michael Kulakovski, both raised and living in the Hawkesbury area. Before founding Kurmond, Peter worked as a frame carpenter and Michael as a joiner carpenter, making for many years of invaluable home building experience between them. During that time, they worked for some high profile construction companies, and learned a lot. “We’d watch how they operated and how they’d run their business, and I was pretty confident I could do it myself,” Peter says.
In 2007, Peter received his builder’s license. Later, he purchased three blocks of land and built on them. He sold two of those blocks, and the other he opened as a display home – which he later sold 30 homes off of. After that early triumph, Kurmond Homes upped their marketing and their success continued. In 2010, they sold 178 homes. In 2011, they sold 224. This year, Peter estimates that number will be close to 260. Within two years, he estimates they will be doing over 450 annually.
Kurmond Homes’ clientele consist of some first home buyers, but more second and third home buyers. “We’ve got homes from $140,000 right up to $900,000 and everything in between,” Peter explains. Their main products are double-storey and acreage homes, which they build all over the Sydney metropolitan area. They currently have two display homes at Jordan Springs, another nearly finished at Homeworld South, and three high-end ones being built in Homeworld V that will be up and running by the end of the year.
Kurmond designs all their homes in-house, and utilise a team of full-time Architects. “I tell the guys what I want, and what I expect out of a home and they just bring it to reality for me,” says Peter.
The Kurmond difference
When asked what sets Kurmond Homes apart, Peter is quick with an answer. “We’re turnkey builders and the price that we give you up front is the final price,” he says. “There are no variations.”
“We’re a complete turnkey package,” he elaborates. “A lot of other builders won’t work outside the square. It’s their designs, you can’t make changes, what you see is what you get – and that’s it.” Kurmond Homes, on the other hand, is happy to build and price to their client’s custom designs. Alternatively, if a client wants to modulate one of Kurmond’s designs, they are equally happy to accommodate them.
As an example, Peter cites Glenleigh 39, a double-storey design and one of their biggest sellers. “I could build the Glenleigh 39 a hundred times, and it will change a hundred times,” he explains. “I don’t stop customers from custom designing our particular homes to suit their living lifestyle.”
Other ways Kurmond Homes stands out in the marketplace include their competitive prices, their speed, and their passion. As new house builders, they strive for excellence in every home. “A lot of builders can’t come near our inclusions or our pricing,” Peter says. “And if we specify a particular time on a contract day, we’ll make sure we have it completed in that time. At the end of the day, we’re builders and tradies ourselves. We’re not these guys that have come out of university and decided to be builders. We’ve been very hands-on for the past 17 years.”
That history of hands-on work means they have strong relationship with their tradesmen and suppliers. The Kulakovski brothers know how they liked to be treated when they were tradesmen themselves, and that’s how they treat the tradesmen they have now.
The company also has strong relationships in-house with their growing team of employees. “We started off with one staff member, my brother and myself,” Peter recalls. “By the end of 2010 we had 15 staff. Now we have 30 staff.”
That staff includes their accountants, their marketing team, their sales team, their estimators, Architects, colour consultants, customer service people and building supervisors. Peter describes the working environment among all of them as friendly. He says every couple of week they go out for drinks or do something in the office to keep the team bonded. “You’re not going to achieve your goals unless you have a happy staff to work with you,” he says.
When dealing with customers, Kurmond Homes tries to establish a similar relationship. “We make it personal,” Peter says. “We make the customers feel comfortable.” To do that, Peter tries to be personally involved in sales as much as he can, so customers can be talking right to the Managing Director. “These people aren’t spending two dollars,” Peter says. “They’re spending hundreds of thousands on your average house. They want reassurance that after they put their deposit down they’re going to get the value.”
By continuing to implement that customer service approach, and by continuing to make quality new homes for affordable prices, Peter sees the business continuing its rapid expansion. In only five years time, he sees Kurmond taking the steps to build over 500 homes a year. We’re very ambitious and we thrive on challenges,” he says. “As long as interest rates are low and there’s a good market out there, we can continue and I’ll just keep growing the business.”
“I don’t want it to be the biggest company, however,” he concludes. “I want it to be a very reputable company. I want people to speak highly of Kurmond Homes. And I want it to be a profitable company.”