Family Matters

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-By David Barratt

Justin Vandenboog is having Ownit Homes construct his family dwelling. Not the first Vandenboog to choose Ownit Homes over the competition, Justin follows in the footsteps of his father, who forty years ago commissioned the fourth ever Ownit Homes project.

Brad Ganim, Building Manager and son of Paul Ganim, Ownit Homes’ co-founder, is understandably pleased with Justin’s decision. Pleased, but not surprised, as Brad knows that when clients take the time to compare the quality and value of the Ownit Homes offering, the company is truly second to none. Along with brother Scott, Brad represents the second generation of Ganims to helm this Brisbane-based family company. Now celebrating its fortieth year, Ownit Homes continues to fulfil its vision of providing a home building experience to exceed all expectations, and delivering outstanding modern homes with an affordable price tag.

Largely catering for the second, third, or fourth-time home buyer, Ownit Homes has achieved this vision by employing a winning combination of leading-edge innovation and personalised service. The industry has certainly changed over the forty years Ownit Homes has been in business, and the company has evolved along with it. Able to adapt to shifts in client needs, changes in relevant regulations, and new developments in sustainability and efficiency, Ownit Homes has stayed ahead of the curve in every respect, and has been rewarded with repeat business and strong relationships with its clients.

One area in which all builders in the region have had to adapt is lot sizes. Many councils in South East Queensland are embracing smaller block sizes in order to limit urban sprawl, and designers and builders must be conscientious about design and placement. “Now, houses and house lots are becoming much smaller and narrower,” notes Brad, a change for which Ownit Homes is now designing in order to offer clients the most home for their allotted space. The company has built itself something of a reputation as a small-lot specialist, able to maximise internal space. Passageways, for example, are almost non-existent in an Ownit Home, as the company’s designers have come up with more creative use of space. Always at the forefront of innovation, Ownit Homes was also the first to include a rumpus room in its designs, and another standout feature has been its pioneering glass staircase design.

Having a solid foundation with a broad skills base, of course, is what has enabled Ownit Homes to stay on top of the marketplace. The company’s strong in-house team includes not only the skilled family members who form its backbone – “My father would not let us be a part of the business without having a degree behind us,” reflects Brad – but also dedicated professionals in several key areas, many of whom have been with the company for ten years or more. Enjoying a unique workplace culture that supports a relaxed atmosphere within a professional organisation, staff at Ownit Homes are highly valued and highly skilled. Subcontractors, too, form an important part of the Ownit Homes team. Many of the company’s subcontractors have themselves worked alongside the firm since its early days, and enjoy a strong relationship with Ownit Homes based on mutual respect, trust, and reliability. “We’ve had subcontractors who have been with us for generations,” says Brad, “relationships which have passed from father to son.”

To ensure the company can consistently meet client needs, the team’s strong technical skills are backed up by a philosophy of openness and communication. Brad emphasises the importance of honesty in the high end homes industry, and cautions that other firms in the industry don’t necessarily share the Ownit Homes philosophy. “What you see is what you get in our homes,” in terms of the included fixtures and finishes. The high-end finishes such as stone bench tops that clients see in the display homes are reflected in Ownit Homes’ pricing and are exactly what clients then receive in their own homes – not always standard operating procedure in an industry that often sees clients paying well more than expected to get the home they thought they were purchasing. “Sometimes, builders will add as much as $200,000 to the price of a home for the client to get what they actually see in the display.” Brad suggests that potential home buyers who take the time to research the competition will find that Ownit Homes offers incredible value and has clients coming out “streets ahead.”

It helps, of course, that the team members at Ownit Homes sit down with each client and make themselves accessible to work in partnership. “We make a point to visit with clients in the office and on site,” says Brad, leading to a sense of trust and honesty unrivalled in the industry, and ultimately, to better outcomes for the client.

Co-Founder and Director Paul Ganim suggests that it is in part the ‘family’ nature of the company that enables such personalised attention. “We don’t necessarily abide by some of the ‘big company’ rules,” he explains. With Ownit Homes’ personalised approach, decisions can be made, plans can be adjusted, and client wishes can be accommodated, all whilst adhering to the project’s budget and timeframe.

Carefully managing its growth has proven to be another factor in Ownit Homes’ success. The company built about eighty homes this past year, a number down from its high of 130 homes. In the wake of the GFC, the housing market nationwide has understandably slowed, but Brad also identifies the company’s “quality over quantity” philosophy as being behind this shift. By taking on a sustainable number of projects, Ownit Homes is able to devote its team’s full attention to each, with the end result being high quality outcomes and very happy clients who feel that their voices have been heard.

It is a rare building company who is able to stay on top of the latest marketplace trends whilst never sacrificing on quality. Ownit Homes has been able to do just that for forty years. Facing changes in the industry and coming out on top, Ownit Homes has grown into one of South East Queensland’s largest and most diversified builders of quality homes. Having built more than 3,500 homes in its forty years, the company has built a reputation for quality, value, and always putting clients first.

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’?

July 27, 2021, 4:30 PM AEST