Building a reputation
TS White Builders is a Darling Downs-based home building company with a reputation for high quality craftsmanship and personalised customer service. Over the years, they have become well known in their area for delivering clients their dream homes.
Tim White, the founder and Managing Director of the company, began his career in the building industry when he was 15 years old. He started by working for a local builder for roughly 10 years, earning hands-on industry experience and knowledge, and rising through the ranks until he was a site supervisor. From there, he struck out on his own, forming TS White Builders with his wife Lee.
At first, Tim and Lee mainly worked on small renovations and refurbishments. Fairly quickly, however, they were contracted to do their first house. From there, they have grown and evolved to where they are today.
“The kinds of people who are attracted to us now are looking to build their final dream house,” Lee says. “They’re looking for a really high quality product, and that’s the market we specialise in.”
Today, TS White Builders does most of their work in Roma, in the western Darling Downs area of South West Queensland. Their homes tend to be in the upper-end of the market, and often comprise of four-bedrooms, an office, two living areas, and a large deck area.
“We’re local builders, and Tim’s been around a very long time so he has a very good reputation,” says Lee, describing what sets the company apart. “People know that he’s a perfectionist – he’s very passionate about what he does, and he produces a high quality product.”
“We’re also quite picky with the tradespeople that we use,” she adds. “We have a very good group of tradesmen that work for us, and they all produce high quality work as well. We know that when the house is completed, all elements of the building will be of a high quality.”
According to Lee, TS White Builders is also set apart by their customer service. Although their specialty is building people’s dream homes, they also work for several local businesses, doing their offices and investment properties. Those clients tend to be repeat ones, which is the best possible indicator that TS White is satisfying their needs.
In the dream home market, meanwhile, most of their work is generated by word-of-mouth and referrals.
“A lot of the clients we’ve worked for have come from other clients we’ve worked for,” Lee says. “Sometimes they’re friends of previous clients, and they’ve been referred. Other times they’ve been to one of our houses and seen our quality, and asked the owner who delivered it. Then they call us up and ask us to do the same for them.”
In the years since the company’s inception, TS White Builders’ exceptional quality and customer service has not gone unnoticed. Most recently, at the 2013 MBA Awards for the Downs and West region of Queensland, the company’s received the award for Individual Home $476,000 to $625,000.
“I think that’s very valuable,” Lee says of that industry recognition. “Tim is a perfectionist, so it’s really nice for him to be awarded for his work. We do enjoy the fact that independent judges can come and look at our work and think it’s award-worthy.”
“It’s very good for us, and it’s good for our clients too,” she adds. “We do have a strong reputation, but clients do like the fact that we have awards to back it up. Clients like to think they’re building with the best. So being recognised in the industry as being the best is very valuable.”
In 2013, TS White’s award-winning home was known as ‘Bain House.’ According to Lee, the clients had a very specific vision of what they wanted to accomplish, but they didn’t have a plan. Tim and Lee worked with them right from the beginning of the project all the way to completion, guiding and advising them every step of the way.
“That’s another thing that sets us apart,” she says. “Tim is a very hands-on builder, and he’s involved the whole way through. He’s involved with the design, and he’s on the job site working with the trades. He’s available for the clients at all times.”
Lee credits the awards success on the Bain House to the obvious factors – including the high quality of the design, and the exceptional craftsmanship. She also says the company’s existing reputation was important. After all, a builder can’t win an award if they don’t have the opportunity to build a high quality house. TS White’s reputation has earned them that opportunity.
Lee also credits the skill and passion of the company’s subcontractors. She reiterates that she and her husband are very selective about the team they work with – and once they find a good tradesman, they stick with him.
“We’re loyal to our good tradies,” she says. “When we build a house for a client, we insist on using our particular team. We do that because by using them, we can ensure our work is going to be of a very high quality.”
“Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good a job Tim does,” she adds. “If the trades come in and don’t do as good a job, it still reflects badly on him. So we’re very picky about who we use. All the tradies that we have, we’ve had for many years, and they’ve worked on most of the projects that we’ve done. They’re loyal to us and we’re loyal to them.”
Moving forward, TS White Builders aims to maintain that loyalty, and leverage it to keep delivering the high quality they have built a reputation for. Lee says they are happy with the market they are in, as she and Tim both earn a lot of personal satisfaction from delivering people’s dream homes.
“We really want to continue what we’re doing,” she says. “We want to continue building our brand, and continue to be known as builders that deliver high quality work for happy clients.”