Deane Sanders, Coromandel manager for Urban Homes, is pleased with their new office in Blacksmith Lane, Whitianga. “It was natural progression,” he says. “We used to operate out of our showhome in the Whitianga Waterways, but our team became too big to continue doing that. In addition to me, we now have three project managers, two sales consultants, one construction support person and one branch administrator based in Whitianga.”
The new office is modern and inviting. Deane says quality is underpinning everything Urban Homes as a company does. “Our values aren’t only reflected in the quality of our workmanship, it’s also reflected in the way we go about our business,” he says. “That includes the way our offices look and function, and even the way our fleet of vehicles is presented.”
The Urban Homes values are reinforced on a large mural in the staff room of the new office called “Above and Below”. “Above” reflects what company staff is expected to do, including accountability, teamwork, honesty, taking pride, being resourceful and being supportive. “Below” is what staff shouldn’t do, including laying blame, making excuses, ignoring problems, passing judgment, jumping to conclusions and holding grudges.
Having an office in the Whitianga is expected to help raise the company’s profile. “It’s going to make us more visible,” says Deane. “We’ll make good use of our shopfront to showcase some of the design and build options we have available. In addition, we’ll be using part of the office as a design centre where clients can come and have a look at the different types of materials and products we work with. The materials and products are all concealed in cleverly designed cabinetry as we certainly don’t want the office to look like a hardware store.
“We moved into the office at the end of March and already it’s the hub of our operations across the Coromandel Peninsula and the Hauraki Plains. Our showhome is now being freed up to show customers what they can expect us to do for them without any interruptions.”
In terms of forward work, Deane says they have a pipeline full of upcoming projects on their books. “We’re very busy,” he says. “We also continue to see a steady stream of enquiries, despite what many people say is a slowdown in the market. We focus our advertising on areas with significant subdivision activity as that’s obviously where a large part of our work comes from. The Beaches development in Matarangi is receiving quite a bit of attention from us at the moment. Matarangi is growing in popularity as a location where people would like to have a holiday home and we want to make sure we get a decent slice of the pie.”
Deane and his team are also talking about a new showhome in Whitianga. The company’s existing showhome in Awatea Drive will be two years old later this year. “A showhome is a hugely important marketing tool,” says Deane. “Normally, after two years, many people would have seen a showhome and it’s time for something different.”
Other excitement in the new Urban Homes office is the start of the Thames Valley senior rugby season. The company is again a major sponsor of the Mercury Bay Marlins. “We’re really into supporting the communities we live and work in, and it’s great to be at the Mercury Bay Rugby Club and see our name out there on the field,” says Deane. “It’s a big year for the club defending the McClinchy Club. The boys have our full support.”
Pictured: Deane Sanders (right), Urban Homes Coromandel manager, with team member, Geoff Hall, in the company’s new office in Whitianga. Geoff is providing construction support to the company’s Whitianga-based project managers.