Denver Road Trip: Key Takeaways

5 minute read

Throughout the year, the Alliance visits forward-thinking people and companies in order to keep our network informed.

This fall, we joined Eric Holt and some of his students from the University of Denver, Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management to interview, tour and experience the future of housing in the field.

Watch the highlight reel above and find out more below!

Simple Homes + McStain Neighborhoods

We caught up with Jeff Hopfenbeck, Founder of Simple Homes and Rick Lambert, VP of Operations at McStain Neighborhoods to talk about their experience working together and what they are doing to deliver better, more efficient homes.

Key Takeaways…

  1. Pre-planning + identifying plan changes throughout the process allows for seamless communication.

  2. The BeWell philosophy has allowed McStain to maximize value for customers and be thoughtful about what it is that people want for their homes.

  3. Homebuyers want proof of quality and/or efficiencies.  Use 3rd party certificates such as: the department of energy program, zero energy ready home program + additional third-party tests.

  4. “The first time you do something is not going to be where you end up, there’s going to be bumps in the road and challenges… To do things effectively requires a long-term commitment. It really requires a partnership.” says Jeff Hopfenbeck.

Other news: Simple Homes received a DOE ABC grant to develop automated robotic technology to reduce waste and labor upfront.

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Thrive Home Builders + Central Park

We visited with Gene Myers, CEO of Thrive Home Builders at Central Park to talk about the role their company played in the community.

Key Takeaways…

  1. “…our buyers are hungry for honesty, authenticity and credibility.” Homebuyers are interested in learning about their home and knowing what is going on behind the walls now more than ever.

  2. It’s crucial to know if the developer of a new community is committed to segmentation. This ensures builders aren’t competing on the same types of products.

  3. Resource: EEBA’s Builder Benchmark Group is a network of noncompeting high performance builders that come together to benchmark their businesses, share, learn and collaborate on general problem solving.

We also visited the Thrive Ultimate ZEN Home in Central Park where we spoke with Bill Rectanus about his work and the importance of creating a strong relationship with customers.

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Precision Building Systems

Precision Building System’s provides a turnkey framing solution for their building partners in Colorado and Utah. A subsidiary of Oakwood Homes and part of the Clayton Properties portfolio of companies, Precision Building has grown from a component supplier to a full service turnkey operation.

Jay Small, President at Precision Building Systems and Eric Holt, Denver University met on site to discuss his vision for the future of housing and what they’re doing at Precision to get there.

One of the innovative ways they are looking to reduce cycle times and cost is by moving from panels to mods. This shows a strategic intent to drive down cost and increase attainability.  

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Colorado Homebuilding Academy

Students from the University of Denver Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management met with the team at Colorado Homebuilding Academy to ask a few questions… 

Then Dr. Eric Holt talked with Paul McCarty, a student of both the University of Denver Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management and the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, about his transition from a creative field –that had him spending hours behind a computer screen– to homebuilding. Listen in as we talk innovation, process, cycle time, what’s next + lessons learned. 

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