It’s one thing to broker a home that has already been built. It’s another to own the building and selling process from the moment the backhoe hits the dirt through the final walkthrough.
This delicate operation is something Icon Construction and Development has fine-tuned over sixteen years of designing and building homes in Clackamas, Marion and Washington Counties.
A Customized Approach
Icon provides several services, from assisting clients with custom home designs on their own property to building out their own subdivisions, as principle broker Andrea Hughes explains.
“We’re a local builder that tries to cater to all price points,” she says. “We allow a customized experience for each home owner and are pretty open to helping assist with plans. We build a lot of custom homes, so we’re really kind of versatile.”
Catering to all price points means having a wide range. Icon’s low-end is around $350,000, whereas the high-end can range in the millions. Discussing range is important in this climate of rising prices.
Although Icon mainly does work to the south and west of Portland, the sharp rise in Portland prices has affected their pricing models. “We are definitely appreciating at a fairly reasonable pace,” Hughes admits, “but people are in equity positions again, which is nice to see.”
Owning the Process
Even in an atmosphere of rising costs, managing the process from beginning to end is not only good for the company, it’s good for the consumer. “That is where Icon is special,” says Hughes. “We are able to acquire the property, develop it, and then build on it. We are able to have quite a good team from beginning to end.”
This special position allows Icon to pass the savings on to the buyer. “Often times we can sell the home for less because we have our own development division for excavation and those types of things,” explains Hughes. “Certainly, it does save the homeowner money in the long run because there’s no middle man throughout the process.”
Aside from a few huge national building firms, few local companies are specializing in this kind of customization and construction, which provides a unique opportunity for Icon. “When you are one of the only games in town, and with the right development and price point, I think the product is kind of selling itself,” says Hughes.
With a quality product selling itself in an unsaturated environment, growth is inevitable. And after years of continued expansion, Icon is looking to sit back and take a breather. “We’ve been growing every year and I think we are now at a comfortable capacity with our one-hundred homes per year,” says Hughes.
Managing Growth and Relationships
Quality comes easy when you’ve been working with the same people since the beginning. Strong relationships between developers and subcontractors keeps miscommunications at bay.
“We have had the same sub[contractor] base that we’ve had since we started building,” Hughes says. “We’ve got great relationships and we keep them quite busy.”
As other organizations lament the changing of the generational guard, Hughes doesn’t see the huge “Millennial Effect” taking over her operations. “I’m fifty-fifty,” she says. “I got the millennial buyer, whose transactions are main streamed with digital signatures and those types of things, but I also have the baby boomers. We have a lot of people building their final home at that age and the baby boomers still have a capacity to buy.”
Icon also dabbles in commercial building, although their strategy is a bit different on that side. “Our commercial product is something we typically hold on to,” says Hughes. “We have done other things for other people, but in last five years or so we’ve built our own buildings and then we lease them out. We have office spaces and restaurants and do different types of things.”
It’s All About Service
One can only wonder if dealing with customers who are customizing the experience is stressful. After all, it’s easy for people to be picky about anything these days, let alone a home they are custom building. Where Hughes is concerned, however, there really is no difference.
“Every experience I have with an Icon home is custom in its own way at some point,” she says. “Some of the higher end homes require more detail, but all are given the same great service. We have a design center and designers on staff, so it’s a fine-tuned machine for people getting through the process.”
And a fine-tuned machine it is. With another dozen or so projects in the works, Icon is not slowing down. If you’re looking to buy into a subdivision or custom-build your dream home from the ground up, contact Icon Construction and Development at 503.657.0406 or visit their office at 1980 Willamette Falls Drive, Suite 200, West Linn, Oregon 97068. More information can be found at their website, www.iconconstruction.net.
William Bessette – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
BIO: William Bessette is a social media strategist, blogger and journalist. With over ten years of experience covering a wide range of topics, from entertainment and politics to technology and real estate, he specializes in writing in a variety of tones and styles.