A Streamlined Process

Australasian Homes

Trent Durrington is Construction Manager for the company, which is owned by the two directors, Tim Douglas and Jason Doerr. Australasian Homes has been in business for around two years; previously the two directors had separate companies that merged to form the new entity. “We are also commercial and prestige builders but bear in mind the prestige market is very difficult at the moment, “Trent explains. “It is often difficult to compete with the pricing of other builders in this segment, so we only build in the prestige home market for select clients – by which I mean clients we have worked for previously and with whom we have a good rapport.

Australasian Homes is also involved in selected commercial projects and is highly skilled at building luxury homes, a “very competitive” market at the moment, says Trent.

As and when the market improves, says Trent, the company is likely to expand and move back into more demanding sectors but for now the simpler and more reliable investment-home market is a relatively safe haven. “Jason has built up an excellent client base over the last 20 years.”

An interesting new development for Australasian Homes Ltd is a programme to import prefabricated housing from China, delivering them to countries that include – primarily – Papua New Guinea, to provide affordable housing in places where there is a considerable and urgent need for improved accommodation. Australasian Homes has taken great care to be selective about the model and manufacture of the housing, and then ensures it builds in sufficient volume, not just dealing in single homes.

“There is a real housing shortage in PNG and we have taken more than two years to source the most appropriate product from China,” explains Trent. “Profitability is based on volume, not on bits and pieces here and there. Jason and Tim have been able to secure contracts that have been substantial enough to ensure success.” As part of the development of the concept, the company undertook construction of a 12-block estate, complete with all the attached civil works, and there are also five display houses in Port Moresby, the capital.

Australasian Homes has also been able to tender for some mining camps in northern Queensland on the back of its experience with these prefabricated buildings.

Trent believes the slow market around the state has created a pent-up demand that needs to be addressed at some point in the fairly near future. “Between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, overall construction numbers have been down but we believe there has to be a catch-up at some point. Everyone is saying there is a housing shortage.”

People also say, though, that the current situation is a trend just like all of the ups and downs of the last 40 years or so. “The only difference in the situation today is that it is more of a global downturn as opposed to an isolated Australian problem. But there is always a catch-up effect once you come out of a lull.”

Speaking with some experience, Trent says he thinks it could still be two years or more before Queensland experiences a real lift of recovery, although “in the last six months there has been something of a renewed heartbeat again although numbers do remain very low.”

Focussing on the investment home market means that Australasian Homes is able to keep its internal systems sharp and streamlined; all the processes are in place and projects run efficiently. “We employ our own supervisors on site,” says Trent.

Not that these buildings are just thrown up; on the contrary, “we take pride in our buildings. We feel we provide a better package, with better quality of construction, than others. Our houses include air-conditioning, stone bench tops, security screens – a full turnkey package with landscaping too. We understand that the investor does not want us banging in hundreds of houses in the same street all looking the same.” A typical package can be between $350-450,000, for a 200 square metre 4-bedroom property with double garage.

Truly a one-stop shop delivering Land, House and Finance, Australasian Homes takes pride in delivering a strong return on investment for its many clients.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

September 27, 2020, 4:00 AM AEST