Case Studies

Gehan Homes Ltd.

Things are Bigger and Better in Texas

The last four years have been particularly brutal for most companies in the construction industry. Even some family-owned firms that managed to survive the Great Depression have succumbed to the market and closed their doors. In Texas things have remained relatively healthy, however, thanks to the state’s business-friendly economy and its more stable residential real-estate markets. In 2010 Gehan Homes Ltd. (GHL), a Texas-based home builder and development company, actually saw a 70-percent increase in revenue and enjoyed its third most profitable year in the company’s history.

GHL is the brainchild of brothers Tim, Peter and Glenn Gehan. The trio formed GHL after the Savings and Loan scandals of the mid-’80s decimated the state’s housing market. Tim outlines the brothers’ first project in the industry as follows:

“I was an attorney and my brothers were both working for large home builders at the time. We borrowed the money from our father, developed our first neighborhood in Arlington, Texas, and it was an immediate hit. We had 100 sales in our first full year of operation and from there we were able to start building the company.”

Inspiring Growth in 20 Years

Today, GHL employs roughly 170 personnel and has revenues well above $200 million annually. The company has grown to four offices throughout the state, which target potential neighborhoods in Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Austin.

GHL homes are built to the highest standards for consumers in the $150,000 to $500,000 price segment, and Tim says the company is constantly looking for ways to improve GHL’s product and to meet the needs of modern-day living.

The company’s San Antonio division was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a 2011 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award. GHL San Antonio constructed over 206 Energy Star-qualified homes in 2010. The energy savings on those homes is expected to save homeowners over $92,000 in utility bills annually.

One of the reasons that GHL has become so popular with consumers is because the brothers do not use a cookie-cutter approach to each project; rather, the trio prefers to retain authentic touches from existing area homes to match the region. “In central Texas we use more native stone on the exterior of homes, because it reflects the natural elements of the hill in the Austin and San Antonio areas,” says Tim.

Pleasing Amenities

Another aspect that sets GHL apart from its competitors is the brothers’ abilities to incorporate a community-based feature to tie the neighborhoods together. “Our neighborhoods almost always have some sort of amenity,” illustrates Tim. “We usually include a playground, a park or are in proximity to a golf course, for example. Our homes in the Houston market will typically have a lake or a water feature, as they are very common in that region.”

One of the company’s newest neighborhoods is set to include a very unique feature. “We recently acquired property in southeast Houston that will have 34 waterfront lots,” reveals Tim. “Each lot will permit the construction of a boat dock and the residents will have access to the Gulf of Mexico from their property.” The company is currently taking the lots through the permitting process and expects to have the homes available for sale in the first quarter of 2012.

The company’s impressive growth has earned it a spot on Builder Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Home Builders in the United States. The company rose 10 spots from its previous listing in 2009 to a ranking of number 27 in 2010.

“We are pleased with the growth and strength of our business, especially in a recovering economy,” Tim was quoted as saying. “More than that, as a family-owned business, we are incredibly grateful to be able to help other families achieve the dream of owning a home.”

GHL also won the Volume Builder of the Year award from the Texas Association of Builders. The award is given in honor to the best builder in Texas with at least 50 homes built in one year. The company also won the Star Award for Best Interior Merchandising in both 2010 and 2011.

The company may have the benefit of being located in the somewhat recession-proof state of Texas, but its strong growth and award-winning projects in the midst of an economic downturn are truly the result of effective management from Tim, Peter and Glenn Gehan. The brothers are focused on providing the highest quality homes in outstanding communities that will provide customers with the lifestyle the Gehans seek for themselves and their families. Gehan Homes Ltd. will be providing top-quality homes for lucky Texans for years to come.

Published on: March 9, 2013

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