Edwards Homes

Origins

The key consideration for any new property developer company is to identify ideal sites for the location of new homes and then to provide the right mix of housing to suite that location and the prospective purchasers of the new homes locally. Edwards Homes as with all other housebuilders, had to quickly identify suitable sites then build quality homes which would sell quickly to the target marketplace. Planning restrictions are another key potential barrier which Edwards Homes has to continually overcome throughout all stages of growth. Planning consents are the lifeblood of any property developer and with the existing restrictive covenants (managed both locally and nationally) will remain so for some time despite the general level of under supply of new build properties in the United Kingdom marketplace. Another key challenge for the company was to engage and continually train all new employees of the company as it passed through each of the stages of growth. Edwards Homes has constantly sought to improve the general level of skills of all employees throughout its growth and this process continues today. Managing subcontractors and suppliers has been an equal challenge ensuring the quality of service from suppliers manifests itself in the quality of the end product, the new homes. Equally the company has had to keep in pace with the new innovations in the housebuild marketplace with new materials and designs being sought by the end customer, this has meant that the company has constantly needed to review materials, specifications, industry standards, design and new innovations to keep in step with the needs of this fast moving marketplace.

Success Factor

It is vitally important for the company of this complexity with development projects lasting in excess of eighteen months, to have a tight control of its costs. Additionally, raising funding for the acquisition and development of sites is important for the ongoing growth of the business and close collaboration with the company’s bankers has enabled this organic growth to continue at a pace. Land with planning permissions is the lifeblood of any property developer and housebuilder and this is equally true with Edwards Homes. More and more restrictions have been placed by local and central government on what can be built and where with greater emphasis on brownfield development wherever possible. Edwards Homes has excelled in identifying good quality land buying opportunities in the North West and North Wales and then developing the right style of properties at the right selling price for the identified target marketplace. This continuous and ongoing research of the needs of the local marketplace at all levels has enabled Edwards Homes to experience the growth levels of the past few years. Finally, continuing professional development is a key source of the success of Edwards Homes and will remain one of its key ingredients for success in the future. Having identified the right personnel at all levels from senior management and directors to salaried construction staff, it was recognised early on in the development of the company that in order to ensure profitable and sustainable growth in a competitive marketplace it would be essential to develop all personnel at all levels within the company.

The Future

Edwards Homes has plans for continuous and ongoing growth of its business in property development. Recently it has absorbed the contracting element of its general construction business and has enlarged its capacity to take on larger and more complex housebuilding projects. It is the aim of the senior management of the company to continue to build quality homes for all types of buyer in the right location with the emphasis on developing within the North West region and North Wales in particular. Additionally it is recognised as being important to continually develop personnel at all levels to ensure that the organic growth of the business continues at the pace that the company has experienced during the course of the past few years. Ultimately it is the intention of the company to grow to a position where it is recognised as one of the leading regional housebuilders in the North West with healthy and sustainable levels of profitability and the recognition amongst housebuyers that Edwards Homes builds homes of quality and distinction. Eventually the company may well float on AIM encouraging new investment into the business and enabling it to grow beyond its organic state.