The plan was always to stay a small company but growth came year-on-year, moving from that platform of just three builds to 35 in 2019, with the major expansion coming in the past five years despite difficult economic conditions in the west. This can be attributed to Ultimo’s growing reputation for quality and an enjoyable project experience. But Rebecca and Angelo do their homework, crunch the numbers and understand the market.
‘It’s difficult when you’re growing because it kind of happens quickly, but we were prepared for it because we knew from forecasting and watching the sales grow that work was coming on,’ Rebecca says. ‘So we recruited the right people and had them trained up for when the jobs started. We set ourselves up for the growth in advance.’
From the beginning, the key has been getting the processes and core values right, then bringing other people into the team and developing them to deliver the company’s vision.
Rebecca says being able to grow the business in a downturn is ‘a pretty awesome achievement’.
‘You’ve got to forecast and really build relationships to win the work.’
Those relationships include a reliable and quality crew of subcontractors, suppliers, local community networks, and attending events, such as trade events and the HIA conference, which help lift the company profile and brand awareness.
The business’ website and social media, run by Ultimo’s marketing coordinator, also gets the message out. But word of mouth referrals remains the backbone of the business, just like it was in its first year.
Ultimo takes on a diverse palette of projects ranging in value from $300,000 to $2 million but the company’s specialty and passion is property development, helping clients maximise the potential of their blocks and taking the stress out of what can be a difficult process.
‘We have worked a lot on our client experience and client journey, trying to increase client experience from start to finish,’ Rebecca says.
Ultimo delivers a customised process, providing plans that remain the property of the client, giving them the flexibility to seek other quotes so they don’t feel locked in. It’s all about building trust and when the client decides to commit, Ultimo can project manage the build all the way through.
‘We try to provide a stress-free experience, especially with property development. If that’s successful the client will come back and do it again. We like our clients to succeed in projects; we like repeat clients.’