Episode 26: 1 Year Anniversary Edition – What’s in Store for 2018?
Hey look, it’s the Doublewide Dudes!
Mousetrap: Alright alright. Welcome back to another episode of the Doublewide Dudes. The first one of 2018. It feels good to be back.
AP: It does it does. Happy new year to our audience we have reached 2100 listeners now.
Mousetrap: That’s pretty good.
AP: Yeah, so much has happened in the last 12 months. Braustin just had his birthday, January 20th. Helped 35 families become homeowners in our first year of business. I’m just really really excited about what this New Year has for Braustin Mobile Homes, our community and our customers.
Mousetrap: Yeah, 35 families that we have helped out. Everyone has to start somewhere. When you’re doing your shopping and you’re doing research on who to choose, sometimes its these just people establish themselves are they even worthy to earn my business. I didn’t feel like those customers are thinking that, but I’m really glad they did. We have learned a lot of lessons on the way and I’m glad to continue growing.
AP: Yeah I think we had some of the most incredible customers any company could of asked for in our first year of business. I was talking to our buddy Leroy. We launched our website January 20 of last year – Leroy called in on the 26th, so in a way we are talking on the phone and it ended up being his daughter’s birthday that day. But we were talking about he was the very first person that put his trust into our company to help his family become homeowners. And now he is the star of this almost a viral video. Over 400,000 people have watched the video where Leroy is the star of the show. And just super super grateful for all those families that put their trust in us. It’s a big deal!
Mousetrap: That video has reach a lot of people. And the people that call in and just want information, that is one of the first point of contact that they have into Braustin. I am really grateful that we met Leroy and he was excited to do the whole project with us, filming the completion of his house, sharing his story and all of that. It’s amazing. It’s amazing how many people we get to help out… But yeah, 2017 is in the books. 2018 is looking amazing, I’m really excited.
AP: Yeah, we’ve got a lot planned and that is really what I wanted to talk about on this podcast. We’ll get back to the interviews here on the next few episodes and we have some awesome interviews scheduled for this coming year. But there is just so much going on here on the home front at Braustin that I felt that we knew really needed to spend an episode talking about all the things that the community and the people that believed in us have really helped us put together heading into this year. I don’t know about you but I think the one that I am most excited about is the official launch of our first brick-and-mortar location. Our first traditional dealership. We’ll be opening here in a couple of weeks. And hats off to you and Jason and Ernest, just the team in general, finding a way to make things happen. For the first six months of our company we were literally on the river walk downtown San Antonio and now we are going to be in a place where you guys can show people the homes, they can physically walk through them. We’re still going to have the virtual reality technology and all of that stuff that we became known for last year. But sometimes when you’re buying a home, I understand the need to actually want to see it and actually want to touch it.
Mousetrap: Yeah having the storefront is a game changer. Obviously we became comfortable with the idea of buying something online because we preach it every day but a lot of consumers these days they do that and slowly I can feel the shift even happening to the housing market. And we led that dynamic to be able to sell homes online. But having a dealership is definitely a game changer. People are going to be able to walk through it, they’re going to feel the home, see the home; it’s great.
AP: And it all comes down to making sure that we as a company have what people are going to be most comfortable with. If there comfortable buying a home online, over the phone and using some of the technology we have put together to shop on their coach, we are going to continue to offer that. And at the same time if they feel a little more comfortable getting to meet you and the team face-to-face and physically touring the homes, we are going to be able to offer that as well.
Mousetrap: What is it, 2 acres, the lot?
AP: Yeah. It is going to be a joint effort with Texas Repo Mobile Homes. So in total it’s going to be 10 acres of housing choices. We’re going to have the front 2 acres with new homes. Tru MH which we have carried for a while and we’re adding another factory which we would touch on here in a minute. And then for those folks that may be just aren’t in the right place financially our can’t get approval with the banks, we’re going to have 8 acres of used and refurbished homes with a lot of them available for owner financing.
Mousetrap: That’s amazing. The traditional lots or mobile home retailers, they mainly focus on the big and fancy, big pretties. Those double wide with all the bells and whistles, just a show room that really takes people’s breath away. And hats off to them, it works, it’s nice but its expensive. So what we are doing, coupling the idea with getting used mobile homes and our new homes, it seems that we are going to be able to help almost every family that walks through the door. All without having to overcharge them.
AP: Right. And it goes back to our founding mission which was to help as many families become homeowners as we could. And we wanted to add the physical location to help those families that felt more comfortable going in that direction. We were very careful to do so in a way that it wouldn’t force us to hike up our cost. And that is kind of the whole thing that Braustin got started on; was keeping or overhead low, keeping our cost down, streamlining and using technology to make it more affordable for them to purchase from us. And we are definitely going to stick with that. But being able to help folks that can get financing from the bank, and to help folk that maybe can’t, it is just going to allow us to help that many more families.
Mousetrap: Yeah, that’s really exciting. We have been working hard this past year. Going from the Riverwalk to a mobile home community to our own lot, is good stuff. Congrats on that too.
AP: Yeah, you too. It has really been a family effort and joint effort. Not just from the four of us in the office but our contractors and those folks we really count on to make sure we are delivering quality service to our customers. But also to our families back home. Your girlfriend, my wife, Ern and Jason’s wife have really kind of put up with us not being there a lot. We really, as a team, have devoted our entire selves into making this happen. I think it is exciting for them too to see what has come of our efforts.
Mousetrap: Cool man. Another thing that’s happening this year is we are getting another factory. Let’s touch on that a little bit. Its going to be the Fleetwood factory up there in Waco.
AP: Yeah and just super super excited about adding Fleetwood to our lineup. We wanted to continue to stick to our focus on affordable housing. But at the same time we kept getting requests from folks, I have to have a 16’ wide, I have to have an 18’ wide, I like the cost, I want to stay around that range but I have to have a walk in shower, and that kind of stuff. So Fleetwood is going to give us a tremendous amount of flexibility and still keep us in that price range where I think we can benefit the most families in our community.
Mousetrap: Yeah, they’ve got a good lineup. And I think we are carrying the Weston and Berkshire series. They offer a lot of amazing options. Jason the factory rep that came over to our office, everything he was showing us, the colors that you can choose and overtime last year we heard a lot of those requests. It’s good being in business and being able to hear feedback on what people actually want. And we were able to provide an affordable house and that is what Fleetwood is like to be able to accomplish for us and for people that buy homes through us. Just that personalization and give it that personal feel for when you are choosing a home and a floor plan.
AP: Right, it comes down to like what you said, listening when our customers tell us their wants and needs. And really they are the ones driving this ship. They’re the ones that have led to us looking for a way to have a physical location, that have led to us looking for another factory to add to the lineup. And it just comes down to listening to their feedback and what would make their lives easier and their lives better. Little things like, putting vents in the ceiling, being able to customize and add bath or a fifth bedroom option. This time last year we couldn’t offer those choices and now I am excited to say that starting right now we know have the ability to offer that.
Mousetrap: Yeah and why Fleetwood, why did we decide to go with that?
AP: You know that’s a great question. I think that the biggest one is that we wanted to make sure that when we brought in another factory that we weren’t leaving our motto and our initial intent to stick to affordable housing. To stick to a product that would allow a family to become a homeowner in a home that they are going to be able to keep, a year or two years from now. You mentioned that these bigger dealerships, you can find a $150,000 or $200,000 double wide but that’s just not what we felt our audience was looking for. And that is not really the market and the problem that we set out to solve at Braustin mobile homes.
Fleetwood has been around for a long long time as a company and it is a company that I know stands behind their product. And just like we are as a company, and just like Tru MH is, they are committed to delivering a quality product at a fair price.
Mousetrap: I think those are two really good factors to choose from. When we set out to offer affordable house to people in Texas, I think those are two really good factors to work with and just keep the cost low.
AP: It is all about affordability at the end of the day.
Mousetrap: Nice, we’ve got a new factory, we’ve got a new lot. It’s crazy, putting in the hard work what will come out.
AP: It really is. It really is. People talk about the excitement and the exhaustion of starting your own business and to be in that startup atmosphere. And I know you and I were just talking about it, we’ve definitely felt our share of both sides of the coin there. But at least for me that excitement continues to push past the exhaustion I feel.
Mousetrap: There is always going to be those days where you ultimately feel like giving up. You can’t even sleep because you have so much things going through your head. And walking into the office the next day dead tired but getting it done.
AP: In a way I think that is how you know you’re doing it right. Our entire team has given everything they could in 2017. And I have no doubt we are looking to do the same in 2018.
Mousetrap: And also from our customers, from their experiences from buying a home and what they feel should have been an easier process; we developed an application on the back into streamline the process on buying a home. Why don’t you touch on that a little bit AP and let them know what it is all about?
AP: Yeah yeah. So we put together this mobile app. And like you said we really listen to what our customers were given us as far as feedback on what they liked about the home buying process, more importantly what they didn’t like or wish was easier. And we took that and we tried to figure out a way to solve this problem and put all of that into this mobile app we just rolled out this month. And basically what it is, it’s all about the customer, it’s all about making their life easier, more streamlined through the home buying process. You know, buying a home, there’s a lot that goes into it. There are like 10,000 pieces of paperwork, the back and forth, did they get it, is in the right thing, did they accept it…and it can be really nerve-racking. I’ve gone through the process myself and there’s definitely that anxiety of am I doing the right thing, is it going to get to the closing table and we really want to try to alleviate a lot of that with families when going through the process through Braustin Mobile Homes. We partnered up with David and Linda from Slide Wave here in San Antonio and we put about four, four and a half months’ worth of development time into this software solution, this mobile app that now is kinda like the yellow brick road. Have you seen that in the Wizard of Oz? All you have to do know when buying a home from us now is just follow the yellow brick road. The app allows customers to take pictures of things like pay stubs and driver’s license, all the stuff that the bank needs that we have talked about in previous podcasts and get all of that done from their smart phones. Be it an iPhone or android, you cannot get the entire process of buying a home done from Braustin Mobile Homes on their smart phone.
Mousetrap: That’s incredible man. I know when hearing customers, I always tell them hey, just touching base and letting you know that we haven’t forgotten about you. And they’re so grateful just because their anxiety or the expectations is nerve-racking. It’s hard for them to tell where they’re at in the process. And if the representative at the store isn’t doing a good job of reaching out and letting them know, they’re going to feel uneasy. So those are some of the things I heard back from customers and it is good that we have developed this application because now it is all going to be there on the phone. Just like any other notification there you get whether it be Instagram, our email or text message. Boom, you’re going to hear a little ring, you’re going to look at your phone and you’re going to see, oh my home is scheduled to delivery tomorrow, my AC scheduled, oh I have to upload the deed of my land to get the final process. And having the track bar in the application, kinda like the yellow brick road, that you just mentioned, to help visualize the information of where they are in the process. Well dang, they’re just going to want to ultimately get that to the finish line.
AP: Right. You can do it with Domino’s Pizza. You can track your pizza. But we just figure that you should be able to do that with the home process and really hoping this solution offers that. So yeah, you know between the new app, the new factory and this new dealership, I’m just really proud of what our team put into 2017 and what we were able to create and build out of that. And 2018 is going to be a tremendous year for Braustin Mobile Homes; both for us as a team and for all the family that were going to be able to help. I’m just super excited to see what happens this year.
Mousetrap: Yeah, keep the momentum going. I love it.
What can listeners expect from the Doublewide Dudes in the next couple of episodes? We going to get back to interviewing?
AP: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of up-and-coming…first off I just have to talk about Rachel. She’s doing a heck of a job. She has been writing blogs for us since September now. And every week she is publishing a new blog that answers questions that maybe you didn’t even know you had. She just wrote an awesome one for last week, a bunch of really cool DIY ideas you could use on your home to improve it, modernize it, give it a little bit of that designer taste. Every idea on that post is under $300 and can be done in a weekend. Answering questions about the process of buying a home, that lifestyle of factory built housing living and just country living. That is all stuff that she can touch on personally. So definitely, if you haven’t checked her blogs out and you’re listening to this, I definitely encourage you to check out her blogs on our page under the buyers’ resource tabs.
For the Doublewide Dudes, we’re going to be heading up to Austin next month. There is a community office space called Impact Hub and it is kinda like a Geekdom, here in San Antonio but everybody that works there is really focused on solving the problem of affordable housing. And where really excited to get to tour that location, to visit with Ashley and hear about what they’re doing and what they have been doing for the last two years to tackle this problem. And of course see if there’s anything that Braustin could be working on to play our part.
Mousetrap: Absolutely. Good stuff. It’s good to be back in the studio, Doublewide Dudes back at it again. I am excited to keep doing these and put in a good content for our listeners. That wraps up this episode. As always, thanks again for tuning in and we’ll talk to you on the next one.