All About You
A recognized home builder in Edmonton since 2004, Active Homes has grown its brand from a small, family-owned company that focused on single and detached homes to now garnering a reputation for building show homes that stretch from Alberta to Fort Saskatchewan.
In 2004, Harpreet Toor, the president of Active Homes and her husband, a real estate agent, wanted to capitalize on the increasing popularity of the custom housing market in Edmonton, Alberta. Call it the common sense approach: go where the demand is and give people a great experience that leaves an impression and makes an impact.
That’s exactly what Active Homes did.
“We started with single and detached houses. Now we’re doing duplexes and detached garage houses,” Toor said. “In the beginning we started with a few houses and people just loved our product. Being a new builder, we were putting great quality stuff in the houses compared to other builders, due to overhead costs. Because we had no overhead costs, we could offer people a great product.”
Active Homes was quickly making a name for themselves by offering the highest in quality, choice and value. Led by the word of mouth of already satisfied clients, Active Homes is proving that you don’t need to be a big company to get big opportunities. That big opportunity would come in 2007, in the shape of a show home in Saskatchewan. Unbeknownst to Active at the time, but this was just the beginning.
“Being a show home builder we were able to grow our brand and reputation,” Toor said. “We were doing really great with that and then, in 2011 we got an opportunity to build a show home in Edmonton. The way things worked out, we’ve been lucky so far.”
Lucky could be an understatement, as Active’s rise up the show home building ladder continued.
“We’re expanding further and further,” Toor continued. “We’ve got an opportunity for another show home in Beaumount, Alberta. So we’ll be in Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Beaumount.”
Having found their ideal marketplace in two provinces, Active Homes’ decision to stay local comes down to something more important than just geography.
“We try not to go too far away from Edmonton and surrounding areas,” Toor said. “We’ve worked with the same family of tradesmen since 2004. We have two electrician teams and two plumber teams. So it becomes hard if we’re too far away from Edmonton for the trades to travel and for us to set up construction.”
In the average year, Active Homes completes 40-50 houses a year. Varying in size from 1200 to 1400 square feet duplexes all the way up to estate homes amassing 5000 square feet, Active Homes’ commitment to innovative design and customizing the needs of their clients proves the importance of building and maintaining client relationships – from start to finish and beyond.
“The relationship begins the minute the client enters our show home,” Toor said. “Our sales people take the time to work with the client and find a plan that meets their specific needs and styles. Being in Alberta and being a small builder, we’re there for clients 24/7 in all emergency situations.”
“We’re involved with the client even after we’re done the build,” she continued. “We’ve got a lot of good relationships because we’re always there for our clients. A lot of clients become part of the Active Homes family because they’re always giving us referrals and visiting us. It’s been a great experience.”
Word of mouth travels – even spanning provinces along the way. In sync with current market trends, Active Homes’ blends not only design, layout and materials but also awareness and expertise to understand the needs of a nuclear, single or large family. Flexible, forward-thinking and expanding, Active is experiencing an increase in both repeat customers and new ones.
“Not everybody is moving into bigger houses,” Toor said. “Over the years we’ve had clients come back to us. But as we’re expanding, we’re getting new clients too. A lot of times clients who are moving from Saskatchewan to Edmonton will contact us. So we’ve been dealing with both.”
The team of six employees at Active Homes – a mix of construction supervisors and in-house personnel – is diminutive yet determined. For Toor and her husband, closeness and collaboration between client, subcontractors and sub trades helps bridge the gap during the stressful times in the home building process.
“All our trades are really important to us,” she said. “We treat them as an extended Active Homes family. We’ve been dealing with the same suppliers since the beginning, so a lot of our suppliers know our sub contractors. There are times, too, when suppliers and customers know each other. That makes clients very comfort.”
“There’s been a great support system of Active Homes,” Toor continued. “We love building houses and it’s been a great experience with our trades, clients and suppliers. Everybody has been there for each other.”
Positivity and productivity begins from within and at Active Homes, it is a priority. The team of six employees – a mix of construction supervisors and in-house personnel – is diminutive yet determined.
“We have once a week meetings that are more like family gatherings that everybody looks forward to,” Toor said. “Always great for the sales people to share their thoughts with the office people and for the office people to share where projects are going, what projects are selling and upcoming priorities. I tell the employees that I’m not the boss, I’m their friend. We all perform on an equal level.”
The loyalty and love shown to everyone within Active Homes’ extended family has proven to be its biggest marketing asset. And while they advertise in newspapers and billboards, the best kind of exposure is the one that’s earned, remembered and passed forward.
“Biggest marketing is the client referrals,” Toor said. “Biggest thing is word of mouth. This has been our biggest advantage. Most of the clients come to us from referrals.”
“We always strive to do our best and make our clients happy,” she continued. “All clients know previous clients, so new clients already know what to expect from Active Homes and we try to satisfy them with our product and services.”
With plans already in the works to enter the green-building aspect of home building, Active Homes’ is slowly shedding the start small mantra they began with 11 years ago. For the husband –and-wife owned and operated business, the confidence in continued growth offers a different viewpoint on what it means to live in a family home.
“In five years time I see us growing double in size,” Toor said. “Overall, we have different products to meet peoples’ needs and we want to be known as the type of builder that can do a variety of houses – from starter houses to estate houses.”
Having gone through growing pains and a multitude of challenges along the way, Active Homes has now harnessed the freedom of design to help clients realize their dreams. High quality, beautiful and personable, the craftsmanship and character in an Active Home is made possible by the devotion, dependability and generosity of everyone involved.
“The biggest credit goes to our trades for working with us since the beginning,” Toor said. “Our clients deserve credit too – for believing in Active Homes and encouraging us to do better. We always want to keep our clients happy and satisfied by making sure that every dime and loonie goes in the right place.”