DRIVING A HARDER BARGAIN TO SEAL THE DEAL

Written on the 25 November 2011

DRIVING A HARDER BARGAIN TO SEAL THE DEAL

PALLADIO Homes has secured 27 per cent revenue growth by driving a harder bargain with suppliers and offering free extras to entice home buyers.

Managing director Brad Fullin (pictured) helped his company ride out the worst of the property downturn by resorting to a Demtel-style pitch – ‘but wait there’s more’.

“We have done free give-away promotions, including free fully ducted Daikin airconditioning, electrical appliances, floor tiles, carpet and foundation building site costs,” says Fullin.

“I spotted a niche in the market to better satisfy the needs of project home buyers who get angry about having to spend on extras they thought were standard. It’s still a niche area because it’s hard to find a flexible builder who will not charge too much.”

The Upper Coomera-based developer is also offering greater flexibility in home designs.

“We can change wall positions and won’t charge extra for it. People want custom design and builders to build them,” says Fullin.

“Many major builders will not allow that. They have set designs and if you want to change something the price is ridiculous.”

The deals have paid off with Palladio announcing a 27 per cent jump in revenue to $7.1 million for the 2011 financial year.

However, Fullin’s long-term goal is to achieve $30 million annual turnover. Palladio predicts its FY12 revenue will grow by 35 per cent.

“I’d like to get Palladio over the $30 million line within five years. We are in difficult times but I think I will still be around because of my business structure,” he says.

“I am looking to eventually sell the business within five to 10 years, but there is still a lot more I would like to achieve before thinking about selling. I’d ideally want to be bought out by another construction company, probably one of the bigger players that want to get back some of their market share and capture a niche market.”

Fullin has done some acquiring of his own, having purchased three blocks of land in Tweed Heads for about $600,000 with plans to transform them into a new display village to be launched in early 2013.

Palladio mostly targets second and thirdhome owners because they want more customised service and are less price-oriented than first-home buyers.

With 25 active jobs in the pipeline, the developer recently won a HIA Gold Coast & Northern Rivers award for a custom built three-storey house in Southport.

“The 800 sqm property was built on a narrow, 12m wide block and we had to get zone change and material change of use approvals from the Gold Coast City Council. We also had to meet flood requirements as it was sitting on a flood plain,” says Fullin.

A separate four-storey solid concrete construction home on Sovereign Islands won Palladio the best kitchen gong at the Master Builders Housing & Construction Awards.

The property took 12 months to build and featured marble floors with total floor space of 1200 sqm.


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YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR FINALIST
Brad Fullin
Palladio Homes
CONSTRUCTION
Age: 40
Business Est: 2006
Staff: 94
(includes sub-contractors)
Growth: 27 per cent
Turnover: $7.1 million


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