We spoke with Dave Hausfeld earlier this year and the posting of this story was delayed by our website rebuild. We thank Dave and all those for their patience and time while participating in the Delta Standard.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN CONSTRUCTION?
I became interested in architecture in high school after taking drafting classes there. I majored in architecture in college but leaned in the direction of building. It seemed more fun to build than sitting at a drafting table pushing a pencil, (before CAD). Inspiration started with my freshman year at Sinclair College in Dayton, OH and part time jobs while in school.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN BUSINESS?
I am proud of the reputation and respect that Drees Homes has achieved in our market place. While we are on the level of integrity and being known for doing things right, we have become builders of choice for not only homebuyers but employees, subcontractorys, suppliers and the community. We have been named "Building Company of the Year" 7 times in the last 9 years at the annual M.A.M.E. Awards, backing up being the "choice".
WHAT IS THE GREATEST THREAT TO THE INDUSTRY?
The lack of finished lots on local [and national] levels. Over the past several years the triangle market has absorbed roughly 8,000 per year, while only develping 3 to 4,000 replaced in the same period. This is a national trend that is going to have an affect on our industry as a whole. Whether funding is available or not, without lots, we can not build.
HOW DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY SHOULD DEAL WITH THE SHORT SUPPLY OF LABOR AND POTENTIAL FOR SHORT SUPPLY OF MATERIALS?
Immigration laws need to be understood and a way has to be made for immigration to be easier legally, more affordable and realistic. It makes no sense to not have everyone in this country be ON the 'grid' and accountable for being here. The land of opportunity needs to work both ways.
Material supply issues do not typically affect us as we are ahead of the curve in establishing solid relationships with both our labor and supply resources.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE TO DATE?
Competing with larger national builders who tend to have scalability for land deals. Competition for land is drifting farther away from the norm it once was.
WHAT CHANGE WOULD SERVE THE INDUSTRY BEST IN GOING FOWARD?
Less regulation and code changes. Anywhere from environmental to regulatory, change has a very constrictive effect on our industry. Less impact fees would be huge as everyone knows that development has traditionally paid for itself.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?
Be passionate in what you do as it shows if you're not. Reputation is everything. Once it is gone, it is gone. Construction is a rewarding business, to go from dirt to a home for a family... there is a great amount of satisfaction with that. When I drive through a subdivision and remember the people that I took part in building a home for, it is what building is all about to me.
Drees Homes -