HDevotion and Distinction
Winners of the 2013 and 2014 Talk of the Town Award for excellence in customer satisfaction in all of Saskatchewan, Barry Homes has earned a reputation for being one of Saskatoon’s finest custom home builders. Devoted to building quality homes with distinction, the company’s wide range of services is ready to suit your homebuilding needs and dreams.
Greg Barry had long searched for a career that made him truly happy. Having been in a lot of industries and owning and operating many major companies, it was never his thing.
“All these jobs were fantastic and most people would be more than fortunate to have those jobs, but for me it was fulfilling enough,” Barry said. “I still liked doing what I was doing on the side – flipping houses and doing my own kind of projects – I was looking for a way to get into it.”
After taking a year sabbatical to figure things out career-wise, Barry found himself in a fortunate position that would be the catalyst for the inception of his own endeavor, Barry Homes.
“I had a friend who owned a home building company that was really struggling,” he said. “So I started to help him get his business off the ground and once I did so, I realized ‘why am I doing this for somebody else when I should be doing it for myself?’
“I possess the knowledge and training to be a home builder, where many are home builders because they saw a way to make money. This is definitely a passion I have,” he continued. “Being able to build beautiful homes for clients, being able to see the client turn the key, walk inside to see what I’ve done for them, and to exceed all their exceptions is extremely rewarding.”
Established in 2009, Barry Homes is well suited to take on a variety of project ranges – in size, scope and skill level. From the standard $400,000 home to high-end, $6 million show homes, Barry Homes’ versatility and adaptability extends beyond just custom homes. Offering a wide scope of services including a renovation division, landscaping division and a deck fencing division, Barry Homes capitalized on a niche market that needed a new set of standards.
“I started off with the dream of being a home builder and there was such a need for quality renovations,” Barry said. “When I did my research, there was nobody presenting actual quality in renovations, they were just a bunch of guys off Kijiji trying to get work and put things together. There was such a need for quality work I decided that I would keep the renovation side going because there is that passion to provide people with the quality they deserve.”
PERSONAL ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Supported by a staff of three in-office employees, Barry is a one-man show, working personally on sites with the multitude of subcontractors that pass through a Barry Homes job site. With no supervisors anymore, the responsibility for Barry has increased considerably. But rather than looking at the lack of man power as a hindrance, Barry considers it a blessing – and a competitive advantage that sets his work apart from the rest.
“It’s the sheer attention to detail and quality,” he said. “What I’m able to provide, others are not. They’re not willing to put the time that’s necessary into the quality of each build. They’re basically looking at it from a paycheck point of view rather than the quality point of view.”
Brash and confident, Barry prides himself on his business sense and ability to think long-term rather than short. He has also become an advocate of sorts, taking a stand against the more commonplace builders who focus more on speed and efficiency than quality and care.
“Some people are small business minded,” he said. “My business mind has been a 30-year business plan. The way I explain it to my customers is this: When there is a flood on the street or a hurricane, I want everyone to pile into that Barry Home because it’s the only one left standing.“
“That’s how I build every single one of my homes with this type of attention to detail that other builders don’t do,” he continued. “They turn it into more of an assembly line, whereas Barry Homes personally builds each one of these houses every day, where I’m on site with my clients dealing with them and my trades as well. It’s a hard task to do, but we manage to stay small enough to help each client personally.”
TALK OF THE TOWN
In 2013 and 2014 Barry Homes was acknowledged and honored for their dedication to personalized service with the Talk of the Town Award for excellence in customer satisfaction in all of Saskatchewan in the Home Builders and Developers category. The high praise received online from customers illustrates Barry’s mantra of practicing what you preach while making sure that his clients are well looked after.
“We’ve met some very nice people that have said ‘Greg, we know this is too far away from you, but we want you to build it. We’re not even going to interview anyone else, just give us a price and build it,’” Barry said.
“Any award you win adds credibility and plays to the stature of your company,” he continued. “The award speaks to the value of what Barry Homes was doing. Only a builder that does not have problems with clients can win the award. It was nice to find out that it was a stringent process to go through to be able to win it.”
In an industry driven by mark-up, high prices and increasing profits, Barry Homes’ outlook is not monetarily motivated. A refreshing and different vantage point to the say the least, it adds further attribution to the love, passion, patience and dedication that Greg has for his business – something that clients and customers are not afraid to share with others.
“We’re very fortunate and very happy with the money that we make, and it’s not about making more at this time,” he said. “It’s about branding, getting our name out there, showing our competitors we’re a force to be reckoned with and at the same time providing a quality that is 100% word of mouth based.”
“A lot of people lose focus of that – when they get bigger they mark up their pricing and get a little bit ridiculous,” Barry continued. “We do the exact opposite – we’re in an even better financial position to give them even better discounts and opportunities to make their homes nicer because of our success, rather than turning it the other way around.”
Guided by foundational values of honesty, integrity, collaboration and passion, Barry Homes is driving a culture of change in the home building industry. This shift has paid dividends for Barry Homes in the long run, but Greg does not allow the company’s expedited growth to get to his head.
“We’ve expanded more this year than we’ve ever had with the amount of builds that we’re doing,” he said. “Even though there is a big slowdown in Saskatoon, we’re having our busiest year ever. This speaks to the quality of what we’re representing in the industry. When things are slowing down and we’re still staying twice as busy as we’ve ever been, we’re obviously doing something right if everybody is coming to us.”
In an ever-changing economy, Barry Homes is re-defining commonly held beliefs by doing things their way, and putting relationships and friendships first.
“It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about the personal relationship you have and being really great to them and them being really great to you,” Barry said. “In the end, it’s not just about business. It’s about a relationship where we’re able to work together and focus on one goal.”
“Like any home builder, you’re only as good as the trades that work for you,” he continued. “Keeping organized with my trades on a daily basis and helping them succeed to the highest quality potential. Staying on top of them, Staying in communication with them are things that allow us to be successful.”
The hands-on approach taken by Barry Homes has become a trademark of the business since they began operations six years ago. Acting as both the direct source for the build, Barry understands that the stress is part of the job, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“Staying organized is the key,” he said.”When other guys have way too many people running around, things get missed; mistakes happen and there are too many problems. That’s my core value, I’m there. I’m not in Mexico while homes are being built. I’m in Saskatoon; I’m living here every day on my job site.”
Moving forward, Barry’s goals are modest: maintain steady growth while staying small enough to personally cater to clients and staying big enough to control the focus on quality and personalized service.
“I want to be the face of home building in Saskatchewan rather than being categorized as another quality builder,” he said. “Being known for and categorized as the builder of choice for the entire province. This is where I hope to get to in the next two years, while creating awareness and letting it be known that it’s going to be tough to compete against us for the quality we’re known for.”