Putting people first
Penfold Property Group is a developer dedicated to making quality living in prime locations an achievable dream for all Australians. Since forming in 2013, their goal has been to put first home buyers into new homes in new communities – but not just any new home, and not just any new community. From the start, they made it their mission to design the kind of spaces that are one-of-a-kind, that balance design with functionality, and that offer superior value for money. The point isn’t just to give buyers a place to live, it’s to change their lives.
“Our approach is all about honesty and support through what can be, to some, a daunting process,” says Erin Poulton, Operations Manager. “We’re about people first, not just properties.”
“We go beyond building places to call home,” she says. “We create communities to be proud of.”
Penfold Property Group employs a seasoned team of industry professionals with combined experience spanning many decades. That team is led by Director Marc Wilkinson, a veteran of the property industry who has previously held senior positions with a number of Australia’s largest groups. His qualifications and expertise encompasses house construction, civil construction, marketing, sales management and planning, and urban design. Over the course of his career, he’s been involved with the development of some of Southeast Queensland’s most successful and well known residential communities.
In starting his own business, Marc’s goal was to create outstanding communities where owner occupiers can move into quality home products and receive exceptional value for money. He made sure to recruit people, like Erin, that shared in that vision.
“There’s a lot of talk in the news about how owning a home has always been the Australian dream,” Erin says. “But in the modern era that’s becoming increasingly unaffordable for younger generations. They get trapped in the rent cycle. What we do is provide people with affordable house and land options, while still providing quality.”
Penfold Property Group first achieved their vision for affordable quality in the suburban hub of Doolandella, on a project called ‘Hampstead Heath.’ There, the company delivered 187 homes over seven stages, and set a new benchmark for quality living in the area. They also provided buyers with a variety of land sizes and home designs, allowing them to customize their new home to suit their lifestyle and individual needs.
More recently, Marc and his team delivered a community called ‘Arbor’ in Ellen Grove. That project – located only 18 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD – has so far involved 90 homes over two stages. House and land packages there started at just $365,000 and the homes are varied to suit a wide range of lifestyles. Bus and train stations are just minutes away, as are the parklands, shops, and schools of Forest Lake.
Even more recently, Penfold has launched ‘Evergreen’ in Pallara, a new boutique community nestled in the heart of Brisbane’s lush south-west corridor. There, the company is delivering only 72 homes in one stage. They are providing buyers with the rare opportunity to build their dream home so close to the heart of the city, while still offering complete tranquility. The home-sites there are large and level, and buyers have the chance to make something that’s truly their own.
The Penfold difference
One of the most significant drivers behind Penfold Property Group’s success is their choice of locations. She says the company’s team – led by Marc – has earned a reputation for identifying emerging suburbs with immense potential. They are skilled at finding up-and-coming communities where the essentials for modern living are all within reach – including good schools, community facilities, green spaces, and high quality local shopping. Erin says all of Penfold’s communities have those qualities in common.
Another key factor, Erin adds, is the amount of choice they give their purchasers. She says Penfold offers “outstanding quality choices,” including choices of builders, home styles, choices of living space, a choice of bedroom numbers and car parking spaces. They even offer a choice of single storey homes and double storey homes in their communities.
The company also offers outstanding value for money – which is yet another point of difference. Erin says they build that value into every home. They offer superior fixtures and fittings, quality kitchens and bathrooms, and great value floor coverings that are designed for both aesthetic value and endurance. Their homes are well-appointed and created to improve in value over time.
Of course, Penfold is also set apart by their affordability – their goal is to offer at least 25 per cent of their house and land packages for under $400,000 – and their focus on the historically underserved demographic of first home buyers.
“And that leads to a great community and neighborhood feel,” Erin says, “because everyone in our communities has a love for living in their new home. They have never had that chance before. They are excited about the opportunity and take a lot of pride in it.”
The most important ‘Penfold difference,’ however, is the complete service they offer purchasers. If someone is looking to buy a new home for the first time or to upgrade their home but has no idea how to go about it, the team at Penfold can walk them through every part of it. They can find the land for them, they can help them choose from a range of build packages, they can help to customize their design, and they can even help facilitate finance solutions.
“We stay with the customer all along the journey,” Erin says. “A lot of residential land developers will just sell the land and then let the buyer go. They’ve sold you the land, that’s it. Whereas we stay with you throughout the journey of the design, the build, and the finance process – all the way through to the end. We’re involved the whole way.”
Penfold doesn’t perform their own construction, but they do help their buyers manage the process – which is especially important since most of them are experiencing it for the first time.
“Building a new home can be a daunting experience for anyone,” Erin reiterates. “Many people don’t know the common pitfalls in terms of the build process. They don’t know what questions to ask. It’s good for them to have an objective third party to guide them through it.”
“Having us there the whole time can make it easier, make it less stressful,” she adds. “It makes the process smoother.”
It also helps that Penfold has strong and long lasting relationships with local builders – as well as their other key consultants and project stakeholders. Their town planner, for example, has been working with them since the beginning, as has their ecologist. They also regularly use the same engineers and the same civil construction companies.
“It’s easier to troubleshoot issues in the design, development and construction process when you have good relationships with your consultants,” Erin says. “So we try to work closely and consistently with the same people. That also assists us in getting better value for the customers at the end of the day.”
Penfold also forms strong relationships with their technology partners – including ConceptV, a company that offers truly immersive and interactive property tours.
ConceptV’s services include online tours, video tours, virtual reality, and house renders, which together enable consumers to view homes in ways they never thought possible. Their tools are accessible from anywhere, on any device, with no downloads, no login, and no restrictions. Their mission is to push the boundaries of architectural technologies in order to provide the most effective visualisation tools in the world. As a company, they embody the kind of innovation Penfold is always looking for in their partners.
“We’re always looking to push boundaries and think outside the box for solutions,” Erin says. “We want to work with people who are willing to work with us to try and find a better outcome for our customers, not just a standard every day outcome. That’s really important to us.”
A growing reputation
Currently, Penfold Property Group could be accurately described as a boutique development company. Moving forward, they have no immediate plans to grow beyond that designation and risk compromising the flexibility and personal service that comes with it.
“We don’t have ambitions to be the biggest player in the development game,” Erin says. “We offer a better level of service and support for our customers because we are a smaller and more agile business. We want to continue operating at that speed.”
The company also wants to continue operating in the Doolandella and Ellen Grove area, where their retail sales office is based. Their goal is to continue offering roughly 100 new homesites to customers there every year. At that volume, they believe they can comfortably maintain their ‘Penfold difference,’ and continue to exceed buyer’s expectations and continue to grow their reputation.
“We’re becoming quite well known around here,” Erin says. “We have a lot of product here to show people, so they can see what we do and what we’re capable of. We have been very well received in this space.”
Finally, Penfold will also continue to meet the needs of first home buyers and downsizers. In part, they will do that by continuing to offer ‘City Homes,’ which is a modern home product they designed in-house specifically for first-home buyers. Those homes were well received in the company’s previous developments, and they fully expect to repeat that success in future communities.
“We want to make sure we’re always delivering affordable homes and exceptional communities,” Erin concludes. “We want to help first home buyers and owner-occupiers achieve their dreams. That’s what we strive for. No matter what we do, or where we go, that will remain a key driver for us.”
For more on Penfold Property Group, their team, and their communities – and to sign up for their newsletter– visit https://penfoldpropertygroup.com/