President and COO of TRI Pointe Group
Builder and Developer (B&D): As a production builder, how do you differentiate your product to meet buyer demand in a crowded market?
Tom Mitchell (TM): Simply put: Design and innovation. Our success is based on several factors, including deep research of targeted products specific to life stage and lifestyle; integrated land planning and architecture that helps drive a high yield, high-demand product; and ultimately offering buyers more functionality and efficiency through technology and our LivingSmart program. Across our six premium homebuilding brands located in eight states in key regional markets nationwide, our homes offer seamless interior and exterior living focused on connection and privacy, progressive elevation styles that blend the best of traditional and modern elements, and multi-functional spaces that provide optionality for multiple buyer preferences. Our innovative strategy has helped us differentiate ourselves and resulted in above average absorption rates and higher average sales prices.
B&D: What are your main goals for the coming year?
TM: Think. Renew. Inspire. is our mantra that drives us to think about what home can be, renew our passion for the families we serve, and inspire each other to go well beyond the expected.
B&D: How do you expect the incoming administration to affect your business?
TM: We anticipate continued household growth supported by strong employment, millennials buying their first home and 55 plus home-buyers seeking communities and home designs that suit their life stage needs. We have good reason to feel positive, especially over the improving economy and potential job growth, less regulations, and lower taxes.
B&D: What effect do you think the current mortgage rates might have on the industry in the coming year?
TM: Even with gradual increase, mortgage interest rates continue to be low in the broader historical context.
B&D: What other main concerns do you foresee in the near future for the industry in general?
TM: Trade labor continues to be an important issue for our industry that all home builders face. We continue to nurture relationship-based trade partnerships providing organized, trade-ready job sites and excellent back-office processes for our trade partners.
B&D: When you’re already as large as TRI Pointe is, where do you see room for growth?
TM: Our growth will come from several areas; new communities and new products that highlight innovative modern designs, new master-planned community openings, entry into the 55 plus market, growth of TRI Pointe Connect and smart home technology. We are excited about our communities in 2017, in great locations close to employment and transportation corridors across a variety of price points, and innovative home designs an d community amenities that provide a premium lifestyle. We’re also excited about continuing our focus on award-winning customer care for our TRI Pointe homeowners.