Association of Professional Builders (APB) Australia
Coaching Custom Home Builders
Business View Oceania interviews Russ Stevens, Cofounder of the Association of Professional Builders, for our Construction View.
The Association of Professional Builders (APB) was born in 2014 as a complete solution designed to help builders create efficient, economically sustainable, systemised companies that would work to not only better the lives of staff and clients, but to develop the entire industry. APB is now the number-one coaching company for custom home builders in the world, and supports members in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. The organisation’s coaching team provides professional builders with complete systems that generate more leads, more contracts, and higher margins, while improving the client experience. APB’s Australian branch is headquartered on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and supports members across Australia and New Zealand.
APB focuses on the provision of appropriate systems, templates, and training to cover all areas of business development to residential custom home builders, to better their understanding of their market, improve their business model, and generate success. APB’s ultimate goal is to improve the construction industry for both builders and consumers- the association believes that true growth cannot happen unless both sides are involved. Members of APB enjoy benefits that include construction coaching services in business operations, marketing, sales, financials, and self-improvement, with a heavy focus placed on the development and application of a systemic business approach. Other benefits include access to the Professional Builders University and members-only social media groups, recognition through the APB logo, and ongoing membership support.
APB also provides a Mentoring service which includes dedicated, one-on-one coaching, detailed financial reports and analysis, access to sales scripts, marketing templates, and business development checklists, and monthly Mastermind group coaching meetings in addition to standard Membership benefits. Finally, APB makes virtual Business Planning Workshops available to four companies at a time, which cover business blockage identification, strategic direction and planning, sales and marketing fundamentals, financial assessment, succession planning, and business analysis.
Cofounder Russ Stevens highlights APB Australia as a nationwide coaching service. “After many years in the industry, we realised that builders needed a holistic approach to business development that focussed on more than just lead generation. We launched the Association of Professional Builders in response, with a mandate to improve the construction industry for both builders and consumers. Our approach acknowledged that consumers deserved far better service than they were currently getting from our industry, but also recognised that builders deserved to be earning a lot more than they were. We have a plethora of astounding success stories as a result from clients based all over Australia.”
Australia’s construction sector has faced a number of challenges over the years, not the least of which being the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Builders are looking for support now more than ever, Mr. Stevens says. “Builders are facing so many new challenges thanks to COVID. They come to us for help because we have the experience, the solutions, and the network to not only guide them through those challenges but leave them in a better position overall.” APB Australia has doubled their membership each year since the introduction of COVID-19 to total 500+ company members. Staff have taken a dynamic and proactive approach to member care in order to support such a large-scale uptake. Mr. Stevens continues, “The most common problems we see in construction businesses are in margins and financial management. Since there is no requirement set by licensing authorities for builders to understanding their financials in order to operate, we see a lot of problems surrounding rising costs of materials and labour, as well as fixed costs negatively impacting builder’s profitability. But because many of these businesses are cashflow positive, they have no idea.”
APB deals only within the niche market of residential home builders, particularly custom home builders and large remodelling companies. This allows the association to design highly specific training programs and provide processes and procedures that are tailored to suit the residential home construction industry. Mr. Stevens elaborates, “Typically the coaching industry is very generic, especially in business coaching. What we do is incredible detailed and designed to fit our builders down to the last line.”
APB as an international organisation holds its own memberships with Master Builders Queensland, HIA, the National Association of Home Builders (USA), and Forbes Business Development Council. The team of 20 at APB Australia plans to use their extensive network of suppliers, partners, and industry bodies to evolve alongside building companies as the industry develops, with a particular focus on the application of innovative technologies. Mr. Stevens explains, “There is no question our industry is becoming more professional year on year. We are really happy about that because own of our main endeavours is to promote residential construction as a professional services industry, just like law, engineering, medical, etc. A big contributor to that transformation is builders’ utilisation of technologies that systemise the way they operate, improve communication, and help to organise business operations. So industry-specific software providers, for example Builder Trend, Build Tools, and Build Exact, are vital to the growth and evolution of our sector.”
APB Australia would like to conclude by highlighting their Professional Builders Secrets book and podcast, and the APB 2021 State of Residential Construction Industry report. The Professional Builders Secrets book is an Amazon #1 bestseller; it shares a variety of systems that professional builders across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States use to solidify their success. The Professional Builders Secrets podcast interviews professional builders across five countries, hosts special guest industry authorities, and breaks down strategies for success with the APB coaching team.
The APB 2021 State of Residential Construction Industry report is the largest survey available on the construction industry for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. It uses surveys of professional builders from the aforementioned countries to compile detailed insights into marketing, sales, financials, and operations, which can be used by builders as a resource to benchmark their company growth and deepen their understanding of the international construction sector. The report includes specific information points such as: how much gross profit your competitors added to their jobs in 2021; how much they are planning to mark up their jobs in 2022; what the biggest marketing challenge they faced in 2021 was; what your competitors use to attract new leads, and more. The 2022 State of Residential Construction Industry report is due to be released in March.
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AT A GLANCE
Association of Professional Builders (APB) Australia
What: Leading coaching organisation for Australian and New Zealand custom home builders
Where: APB Australia is headquartered on the Gold Coast, Australia.