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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Set up for success

Set up for success

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National award winner Hudson Homes is focused on steady growth but not at the expense of the customer experience.

Ian Bushnell

Author

Hudson Homes founder and CEO Danny Assabgy isn’t one to leave things to chance. While he couldn’t predict that his building company would win the 2023 HIA Australian Professional Medium Builder/Renovator award after only a decade in business, Hudson Homes is right where he wanted it to be when he started out.

This is down to a growth philosophy, a commitment to quality and customers, strong financial management, investment in people and skills and, above all, a whole of business plan to drive results.

Hudson Homes operates in three markets – the Hunter and Central Coast; Sydney; and Brisbane and the Gold Coast – employing around 60 full-time staff and contracts about 200 trades and suppliers. It offers a one-stop-shop service for customers, including design, with 200 floor plans, and finance.

Danny says his goal was to offer modern designs, with growth at its core. ‘We’ve built the business to continue growing and I’m even more excited about the next 10 years,’ he says.

Display homes will figure strongly in those plans, increasing the current half dozen to 30 within three years. Danny sees Queensland becoming his primary focus as southern families move to chase cheaper land and housing.

 
Hudson Homes founder and CEO Danny Assabgy says his goal is to offer modern designs, with growth at its core.
‘We didn’t have display homes for people to visit, so our best marketing was looking after our existing customers.’

‘Sydney has always been a dominant market for us, but over the next five years, our investment in Queensland will see that become probably as big, if not bigger, than our market in NSW,’ he says.

The business hit the ground running in 2013, going from zero to an impressive 240 homes in the first year. Hudson Homes doubled that to 500 in the second year, mostly on the back of referrals, which became a cornerstone of its marketing.

‘We didn’t have display homes for people to visit, so our best marketing was looking after our existing customers,’ Danny explains.
That is a challenge most builders would be familiar with since things can go wrong during a build. Danny says how you respond to that distinguishes the great companies from the good. To this day, he provides his personal phone number to customers. When they call with issues, he does get involved.

After the initial spurt, growth was consistent, marked by the move into Queensland in 2017. The usual growing pains were managed by focusing on developing the right systems and processes and giving the company a solid structure. Central to that is the company manual, the Hudson Homes Way, which covers all aspects of the business from people management to KPIs and financial controls.

‘It gives us a very structured way of dealing with issues as and when they arise,’ Danny says. ‘Most importantly, it outlines the company vision and where we want to be in three, five and 10 years’ time.’

Hudson Homes offers a one-stop shop for customers, including design, with 200 floor plans, and finance.
Hudson Homes won the 2023 HIA Australian Professional Medium Builder/Renovator award.

While relatively conservative in its building methods, Hudson Homes has been aggressively innovative in other areas. Every part of the business is automated, with systems and processes for everything that it does, a staff intranet and a portal for customers to keep track of their home in progress. The first customer portal wasn’t used much so after surveying its clients, Hudson redesigned it around what was best for them.

Customers can select fixtures and finishes with Spectrum Design Studio and explore floor plans with a 3D virtual home tour.

Keeping designs fresh and responsive to the changing needs of customers is a priority. ‘Most people spend their time in the living and kitchen areas,’ Danny says. That’s why Hudson’s layouts incorporate zones that are both functional, spacious and stylish. 

But designs also have to keep pace with planning rules, especially in recent years with changes to the National Construction Code, which puts a greater emphasis on energy efficiency. Danny says the business has been keeping up with new requirements to ensure it transitions as smoothly as possible. 

While it’s been a tough few years for the industry, with companies falling to a perfect storm of trade shortages, supply chain issues and spiralling costs, Hudson has weathered this due to longstanding relationships with trades and suppliers, and strong financial controls. And with sales falling off a cliff compared to where they were, Danny believes focusing on getting business costs under control is essential. ‘I always believe that what you can measure, you can manage. If you’re aware of your costs and wastage, you may be able to minimise these [and sit more securely].’

Keeping designs fresh and responsive to the changing needs of customers is a priority.
‘Hudson’s layouts incorporate zones that are both functional, spacious and stylish.’

Danny believes the company has also weathered recent industry challenges thanks to the resilience and dedication of his team who help safeguard the business’s reputation by ‘always keeping our customers in mind’.

‘From our talented draftsmen and designers to our diligent construction crews and office staff, everyone has an unwavering commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction,’ he says.

HIA has been along for the ride right from the beginning. Hudson Homes used the HIA contract for its first home and still does, telling its customers it’s a fair contract and in their best interests.

Danny says HIA’s support is always there when the company needs it, and he and his team benefit from networking events, information and advice, news and economic updates.

HIA has been advocating for and supporting Australian builders for nearly 80 years and will continue to be there for companies such as Hudson Homes over their next decade of growth and beyond.

First published on 22 November 2023

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