Tony O’Brien might be the newest Sentinel Homes franchisee, but he’s far from being a newbie! His experience in the building industry stretches back three decades – and the most recent 14 years have been spent helping people design and build their dream homes in the Bay of Plenty.
His background in project management means his tools are more about planning and spreadsheets than hammer and nails. So, when the opportunity came up to join the Sentinel Homes team, he jumped at it.
“We’re really excited by it. The management system is great – the tools they have mean we can do our jobs better and offer an even better service to clients.”
The work he’ll be doing under the Sentinel Homes banner is exactly what he’s been doing for 14 years, but with “more bells and whistles.”
“Where we see it, it’s like upgrading a car. It does the same thing, but just better, and with more bells and whistles. It means we can give customers better service and it gives our team access to better tools and nicer plans. That makes the customer experience so much better. Sentinel Homes makes it all a lot easier to keep the clients totally updated, with more systems to guide them through each stage.”
He also likes that Sentinel Homes shares his values for excellent work, client care and long-term planning.
“We’ve run a strong company and we get good referral business, so a lot of what we do is aligned with what they do, just with a bit more icing on the cake,” he explains.
“I really like their ethos and model and I like where they’re planning to go in the future – it’s all good solid stuff.”
With an already established team, 12 houses being built as we speak and a few more just about to begin, Tony isn’t starting from scratch. His experience in the market and local knowledge mean he’s ready to hit the ground running for his first Sentinel Homes customers – and he’s in it for the long haul.
“I’ve got a couple of staff I’ve brought on as shareholders. They’ve been with me for a while and they’re good people. I wanted to offer them some rewards and some future with us.”
A fixture in the community, Tony spends his weekends caravanning with his wife Janice, relaxing on the beach or hitting golf balls around. He also has one of his grandkids living nearby, who he says keeps him busy. He says he’s looking forward to serving the BOP market he knows so well by combining the great systems from Sentinel Homes with his proven track record.
It’s care for the client that really drives Tony. He totally gets that with the excitement of building a house there’s also a whole lot of worry.
“I tell my team, when clients come in they’re afraid of two things: that the builder isn’t going to finish to the quality they were expecting, and that they’re going to go broke doing it,” he explains.
With a swath of gongs from Registered Master Builders and hundreds of perfectly completed homes under his belt, Tony can give his customers lots of reassurance that they’re in safe hands.
“It’s the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. You can’t muck around with a house – you actually can’t cut corners on it because you’ll pay for it somewhere along the line, either at resale or in getting it fixed.”
That passion for quality has seen Tony maintain such a strong presence in the Bay of Plenty.
“I ran into some clients we built for a few years ago. I said, 'Gidday' – and he said, ‘You told me you’d come and fix anything, but you haven’t heard from me because your builders are that good',” says Tony.
“That client satisfaction is the best part of the job.”
Visit our fantastic show home at the Lakes, open from the 4th January 2019 or by appointment.
70 Te Ranga Memorial Drive, Pyes Pa.
Call Shane on 027 570 0908
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