In part 2 of our one-on-one with Jeff Marra who heads up Design Builders Waikato and Design Builders Franklin, we asked him about his talented team, the importance of interior design, people’s (mis)conceptions of Design Builders Waikato, and gave us a preview of two incredible showhomes.
Jeff, with the recent growth in the market, your team has grown. Can you tell us who’s who in your line-up?
Well, I think that we’ve got the best team onboard, and they provide incredible value for our clients. Ally, a very experienced Project Manager, has been with us 11 years. Vinny who is also a brilliant Project Manager and Darryn, our fantastic new Project Manager. There’s Ruth who keeps us operationally on track. I’m really excited about the team we have in place because they’ve got amazing commitment to what we do to deliver the best product and service.
And Olivia Mael is now part of the team…
Olivia adds another level of experience to what we can offer clients. Her job title is ‘Sales Executive’, but really she works with clients on all aspects of their home. She guides them through the design process. She’ll discuss what they want to incorporate in their home, including cladding, heating systems, floor coverings, the overall look and feel and design of the house, through to aligning their needs and wants with their budget. Olivia is with clients the whole way, from briefing to handing over the keys. A great person to have onboard.
Tell us about how interior design has come to the fore on clients’ wish-lists
I think that’s a big part of what has changed in recent years. Clients really do want guidance and creativity around the interior design aspect. That element is important in the overall process and I think that’s really grown as part of our offering. This has become increasingly more important and more valuable over the years. We have great Interior Designers, and clients love seeing what experts bring to the table. As well as the chairs, the furnishings, and the colour styling…
How do you think the market perceives Design Builders Waikato?
I think the market sees us as a higher-end builder. The reality is that we also have lots of builds that are not necessarily high-end, but are still unique to that client, and work to, I guess, more modest budgets. We’ve created very nice showhomes over the years, and people walk in and go, “Oh this is great, but I can’t afford this.” For Master Builders House of the Year, we try and enter homes which offset that perception. We enter homes that are built on smaller budgets. We’ve done that for years, and people are starting to see that we can do amazing work on most budgets. In fact, a brilliant client home which we created has just won Gold in the New Home $500,000 – $750,000 category. Just come and have a free chat, and we’ll tell you about how we work to your budget.
Tell us about the new Waikato showhome.
We’re proud of that showhome for a couple of reasons. Firstly, just how site-specific it is. It sits beautifully on its site and is perfectly designed for that location. The entranceway works really well. The outlook from upstairs is another highpoint. And then the other thing is the style of the home. We like to think that we’ve put a few unique features in there. It’s got a Mediterranean feel. Arches, lots of white, battens and the plaster finish. We’re very pleased with it and I’d recommend a visit if you want to see something a bit different!
Click here to see more photos.
And you’ve got a showhome in Franklin too.
Yes. That one’s a large family home, which is also very well designed for the site. It’s got a pretty cool layout, and some really nice features throughout the house. The outdoor area, complete with pool, is quite a feature. So yeah, it’s been nice to have two quite different show homes, and show a bit of contrast, or rather different styles and designs. Again, it really must be experienced in person, like all our homes.
Click here to see more photos.
Want to know more about Design Builders Waikato?
Enjoy a free, no-obligation chat with Jeff or Olivia
Find out about our whole exciting process, from start to finish. Understand the architect’s role, work out your budget, look through our portfolio, pick up great tips and ideas, and ask questions. If you’re thinking about building, it’s the perfect first step.
Call Olivia at Design Builders Waikato today on 027 667 7557 or send her an email.