When it’s your neighbor’s home you’re building, getting it right the first time is critical. That why Charles Hughes of Icon Homes in Mount Juliet, Tenn., near Nashville, takes such care to make sure the hand-crafted homes he delivers are built to the same exacting standards of his own home.
“We really are part of the community,” says Charles. “When you work with Icon Homes and Charles Hughes, you’re working with a local person who lives in the community, who’s active in the community with an interest in the community with children in the schools.”
Icon has been building homes since 2007. Charles says the downturn was actually an opportunity for him since national builders controlled most of the available lots during the boom. When they pulled out, Icon was able to complete a half dozen homes in its first 18 months, leading to growth each year since.
Icon Homes specializes in 1,800- to 3,000-square-foot homes priced from the $180s to the $280s. Homes feature many upgraded standard features like tile and wood floors, and granite countertops.
Charles says most of his buyers are relocation buyers — either families or active adults 55 and up. He sees some first-time buyers, but his market area, which is near Nashville, is seeing a lot of relocations.
Forbes ranked the area No. 3 out of 52 markets that will see the largest growth. (Austin, Texas is No. 1 and Raleigh, N.C., is No. 2.)
Nashville is also seeing some jobs growth, which means the holdouts in the move-up market are starting to come off the fence, Charles says.
“The schools in West Wilson County are very good,” Charles says. “A new development called Providence is also attracting buyers to the area.”
Providence in a new retail development with major retailers, restaurants and movie theaters.
Charles says Icon works closely with realtors to find buyers. The company also relies heavily on word-of-mouth and networking.
For a small builder, Icon has an amazing website, complete with customer testimonials and videos that feature Charles talking about the homes he builds during various stages of construction. The videos are also on youtube and facebook, giving Icon, a complete web and social media marketing strategy.
You can see Icon’s youtube channel here.
Charles says that being a member of the Bonded Builders warranty program tells homebuyers their investment is protected, and the service he gets from his local representative matches the personal service he offers his homebuyers.
“The Bonded Builders Warranty program we offer gives people confidence,” Charles says. “It lets them know we are set up not as a ‘tailgate builder,’ but a legitimate, Middle Tennessee builder.”
“It’s been a good move to partner with Bonded Builders. Some of the systems they have in place make them very easy to work with,” Charles says. “I have some experience with other warranty companies, and getting the kind of personalized service I offer my buyers was difficult. Now, with Bonded Builders, we get that personal service.”Share