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Green Home Builders USA Executive Q&A With CEO Mick Fabar

Fabar shares the exciting opportunity that comes with signing onto the world’s first, largest and most-awarded sustainable home-building company.

By Ben Warren1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 12:12PM 07/28/20

What makes Green Home Builders unique within the building industry?

We focus exclusively on building green homes, and we haven’t come across anyone else who is doing that. When we first started looking into expanding into the U.S., we said there must be someone doing this already in America, but when we did the data research, there was an abundance of consumers looking for sustainable homes, and there were vendors all over the world that offer products, but we didn’t find anyone focusing on the holistic aspect of green building. 

The other difference is that we’re a building franchise, and in doing so, we’ve created a unique pathway for a builder or an area developer to redesign their existing construction business as a green building business really easily, without having to shut down. We’ve built a process that is very easy for builders to adopt. I’m actually a builder myself. I’ve got a master’s degree in construction, and I’ve been doing it for 20 years. So all of our training is built around how I wanted things taught to me and how I saw concepts taught simply and effectively. We’ve developed a system that teaches franchisees how to build green homes without requiring them to sit in a classroom for days on end or go through an extensive training process and completely upend their existing business. 

What are some of the franchise’s key milestones?

The brand has always grown organically, starting Australia and including our current expansion into the U.S. The brand was started as a way for me and my wife to differentiate our own building business from the local competition. We stepped into the green space in 2006, mostly just to have a different product. In 2007 and 2009, we won awards for the most energy-efficient homes in Australia — a major achievement. 

We did not initially set out to franchise, but so many customers and builders were calling us and asking to get involved. In 2013 we launched our franchise model. Two years later, we launched in New Zealand. Today we are the third-largest residential builder in New Zealand. In 2017 we launched in New York, and in 2020 we won a global innovation award from the National Builders Association of America.

What is your vision for the future of Green Home Builders?

We want to be the number-one builder in the U.S. When I say that, most people think number one means the most homes — they think number one means biggest. But to us, number one means best — we want to build the best homes in the world. And we are confident that we are well on our way. I challenge anyone to show me a building company that is doing better green building work for residential homes. 

What does your ideal franchisee look like?

In terms of building experience, we’ve had successful franchisees with a range of backgrounds. If I had to generalize, I would say a builder in their late 20s or early 30s just getting started in the next phase of their career would be in a perfect position to join our brand and kickstart their business. On the other hand, we have worked with franchisees who come to us in their 60s, people who have been building for decades and are looking to rebrand and are willing to learn some new tricks. It’s all about mindset. The ideal builder for us is someone who is passionate about running the best business. They’ve also got to be adamant about providing the best service for their clients. And of course, they need to be serious about sustainable building. In other words, they want to make money but they also care about the community and their place in it.

For area developers, it’s a pretty similar mindset. We’re looking for people who have the ability to run a scalable business and manage multiple builders. An area developer might have 20 builders working under them as franchisees. Each might have ten homes in progress. So that’s a lot to manage. We need area developers who are passionate about business and performance and success. Typically, our area developers have previous business experience, but they aren’t necessarily coming from the building industry. They have experience running or managing multiple businesses. 

How does Green Home Builders support its franchisees?

More than anything, I think, it’s the benefit of working with an established brand. Builders can do great work on their own, but building a brand and finding new customers is a constant challenge for most independent business owners. The one thing that is the biggest unknown in a builder's world is getting the phone to ring. Not only can we help the builder become the expert in their area, we can also bring the customers. I’ve never come across another brand who can substantiate that claim. That’s not done just through marketing — it’s about how the brand is positioned overall. 

The reality is that no matter who you are in the industry, at this moment, if you’re not starting to focus on sustainability, your business is redundant. The market shifted a long time ago. Consumers want eco-friendly solutions. The builders that aren't providing those, if they don't change the way they operate, they’re not going to survive. We’re already there. We dominate that space. 

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