by Trident Homes
last updated 14/09/2023
A Better Way to Build
by Trident Homes
last updated 14/09/2023
Trident Homes franchisees create healthier, more cost-efficient homes
The ‘brain drain’ to Australia seems a hot topic for New Zealand’s media – but they rarely mention the many thousands of Australians who migrate to New Zealand for career opportunities. People like Matt Perks, Trident Homes’ most recent franchisee who, five years ago, left South Australia as a twenty-year-old with his girlfriend Ebony to set up business in Whanganui.
‘I had started out working for the family hotels, and although I learned a lot doing that, I wanted to make my own way,’ says Matt. ‘I invested in a business education, including a course on making money buying and selling real estate. A mentor who knew a lot about New Zealand recommended Whanganui for low cost buy-in to renovate and then on-sell.
‘In five years we achieved $20 million turnover and recently started to diversify into property development. That’s when I met Tim Smith, my Trident Homes co-franchisee. A client needed an architect and Tim came highly recommended. We pretty much clicked right away and have become close friends as well as business partners.’
No place for sole traders
Property development showed Matt just how difficult it is for a sole trader to compete with established building companies. ‘Besides better purchase deals and quicker delivery from suppliers, they have the infrastructure for managing trade contractors, organising marketing, quoting jobs, designing plans, overseeing contracts and chasing unpaid invoices. These add up to an all but impossible challenge for a sole trader like me.
‘Tim and I began to discuss becoming franchisees for a large building company to overcome these issues. As well as having his own architectural practice, Tim was trade qualified, the prerequisite for providing the Master Builders and Certified Builders 10-year guarantees to homeowners, so with my hands-on experience we decided to get things rolling.
‘We made a list of the top 20 builders and reached out to 10. The first to respond was Neil Hawker, who established Trident Homes in 2012 with David Pickles. An hour later, I got off the phone after what was meant to be a 10-minute chat,’ he laughs. ‘That was it!’
Real buying power, customer service clout
Matt was immediately impressed by Trident Homes’ buying power and customer service clout with leading suppliers, as well as their proven processes and state-of-the-art software systems. ‘But what blew us away was their on-going pursuit of innovation. That’s putting Trident Homes and their franchisees way ahead of the game for sustainability. ‘They are building much healthier homes for New Zealanders in excess of compliance standards through partnering with Formance to manufacture Eco-Spec Structural Insulated Panels (SIP).
‘That makes construction faster and easier, and at the same time represents a huge step forward in performance, comfort and eco-responsibility. Even an entry level Trident Eco-house requires 50 percent less energy to heat.
‘We were also impressed that Trident Homes is accredited with Lifemark, an organisation that provides guidance for building “forever” homes that accommodate future needs as owners age with features such as accessibility, wider doorways and securing points for bathroom handrails. All this aligns with our ideals of doing what’s best for our clients. It’s also very obvious Neil, David and the franchise team want to see their franchisees succeed.
‘To be fair to the other building companies, we listened to what they had to say. Quite a few seemed to have fishhooks, such as franchisees having to buy and build on franchisor-owned land, or having to build off house designs that allow very little wriggle room for clients to personalise their homes. Trident has none of these types of restrictions and, as Neil told us, 90 percent of houses built by Trident franchisees are fully personalised to the client.’
Suppliers come calling
After both parties completed due diligence and the $50,000 franchise fee was paid, Trident Homes Whanganui was in business. ‘Straight away, national suppliers were introducing themselves to us, eager to work with us and, just over a month later, we have already priced four homes,’ says Matt.
Neil says the new Whanganui team make a great pair and are a pleasure to deal with. ‘Matt is young with vision, drive and a great business head; meanwhile Tim, who is around 15 years older, brings a strong element of stability and experience. He’s well versed in the building industry with the necessary trade qualifications for homeowner guarantees. This requirement can stand in the way for ambitious businesspeople like Matt, so becoming a co-franchisee with a trade qualified person like Tim is a strategy we recommend and support. It can work the other way, too, where a trade-qualified builder partners with someone with business experience.
‘The housing market is going to come back, and will be even stronger for our franchisees as awareness grows of the range of environmental and cost benefits of our SIP building system and heat recovery ventilation-equipped homes.
‘Right now we are keen to hear from potential franchisees in the Marlborough/Nelson region, the West Coast, Hamilton/Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Northland and, of course, Auckland. If you’re looking for a building franchise with a real competitive advantage, don’t hesitate – contact us now.’
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