Glenn Shaw formed Shaw Homes in 1985, with the intent to build quality new homes in the Greater Tulsa area. In 2019, 34 years later, Shaw Homes is the largest builder in the Tulsa area. They are responsible for building thousands of homes and are currently building in more than 8 cities, including the Oklahoma City market.
Goals come and go in the life cycle of any company that sticks around for more than 10 years. Tulsa based, Shaw Homes is no different in this aspect. After decades of knowledge building, experience, and positive growth, Glenn Shaw rewrote the company mission statement as follows: “I pray that God will: Increase our sales, help us deliver an excellent customer experience, and help us to represent Him the way we should so that we can invest in His work and bless others.”
Like all companies, Shaw Homes desires continued growth, however their focus is fully on making sure that their buyers have the best new home purchase experience that they can possibly deliver. Everything they do is directed at insuring all expectations on both sides of the home plan are clear for someone buying a new home in Tulsa.
Creating an environment of information sharing and communication in a construction enterprise as complicated as new home construction is difficult to say the least. An average new home job site can experience the labors of over 200 people. Dirt gets moved by someone. Architecture, surveying, pest treatment, sand, plumbing, concrete, post-tension foundation, and more are all involved just to get a homes foundation created! This is where Shaw Homes stepped back and looked at everything they do. Everything! Every single step of every process was inspected for it’s good and bad aspects. The question “Where does a customer’s awareness or perception become involved in each and every action the builder takes” was asked thousands of times. Expectations of everyone for each step of the building process was examined to insure mutual understanding would be the glue that bonds a happy customer with a professional new home construction company. Our goal was simply to be the best Tulsa new home construction in the region.
In their mission to keep their customers informed, Shaw Homes created and implemented a system that keeps each buyer up-to-date on the status of their project, and what to expect over the next 7 days. “There are a lot of milestones in the building of a new home in Tulsa that mean something entirely different to the buyer than they do to the builder,” says Joe Antis, Vice President of Shaw Homes. “When the roof goes on, we know we’re close to closing it up and drying everything out. Just another stage of construction. Our customer feels like they’re seeing their home for the first time, and that’s something special!”
To manage every single tiny step of building a new home, Shaw Homes committed to a home construction software package of immense proportions. As the saying goes “What you can’t measure you can’t manage”. Shaw Homes took this to heart and learned more than they thought possible after building new homes in Tulsa for over 30 years. Aaron Antis, the company’s Director of Sales and Marketing, had this to say about the process: “Focusing on their customer’s perspective for everything is a step every company in the world should take.” With an incredible amount of past customers experiences to draw on, the Shaw Teams went to work looking at everything through the buyer’s eyes, and a new age of building excellence was ushered in to stay.
Their customers wanted choices, so choices they were given. Shaw Homes currently offers 83 floor plans. More than enough to fit the tastes of just about any home buyer. Add to the mix the ability to customize each floor plan with an offering of over 440,000 pre-priced options in their custom Design Studio. Shaw Homes was successful in creating an environment of Customer Satisfaction through personal choices.
Glenn Shaw committed to the Customer Experience 100%, and had this to say when asked about the company’s approach: “The process of building a new home in Tulsa is complicated for a builder, but rarely do builders think of how complicated and involved it could be for the home buyer.” Every step on the construction schedule of a home is most likely foreign to the average person. Just about everyone has heard of framing a home, but what they don’t know is how the process is done, and the massive amount of information and choices that go before it. “We’ve taken the complicated and overwhelming and created a process we call “Your Path To Your New Shaw Home” for every one of our buyers that simplifies it all”, says Aaron. “This should be complicated for us, because it’s our job to look at every detail. This should be comfortable for the people buying our homes, because for them it’s an adventure. For most it’s their dream home process. It’s something they’ve thought about for years or decades, and now it’s time for those thoughts to become a reality. We’ve simplified it and sanded off the rough edges to make it more about the journey and less about the sweat.”
The Shaw Homes Path is the result of considerable time and effort. It serves as a guide for every buyer that works with the company to achieve their new home goals, telling them what to expect for every step along the way. “It’s simple. It takes the mystery out of the process. Our customers know what to expect, when to expect it, and go in with eyes open.” Says Aaron. “We want the people we serve to be comfortable as they move from one step on The Path to the next, and we help them to be comfortable by making sure they understand what’s coming next.”
The first step on the Path is the Shaw Homes Model Home Tour. With the most furnished and decorated model homes of any new home builder in Tulsa area, Shaw Homes offers all of it’s guests the ability to join them on a tour of their award winning model homes. Always putting themselves in the customer’s shoes, they decided to create an environment of information sharing rather than sales pressure. “After touring 6-12 model homes, if our guest(s) is interested in purchasing a home, we go to the next step of helping them get financially qualified if they haven’t already done so themselves.” While speaking, Aaron is running his finger along the “Path” on the illustration on his desk. “Our system is perfect for the experienced home buyer and the first timer. Everything in it’s place and a place for everything. It looks a little like the game Chutes and Ladders, except without the Chutes and Ladders. You can’t take any shortcuts in having a home built. Everyone is best served by sticking to the Path. The reward at the end is a beautiful home, so it’s worth it!”
The introduction to their Preferred Lenders is quickly followed by The Homesite Reservation and The Priceout. Shaw Homes operates with full price disclosure so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises later in the process. “We work with a Purchase Agreement used by the National Association of Home Builders. Closed meaning that it has a price in it. After our buyers sign their purchase agreement, the only way the price can change is if they request it to change. There’s no room for funny business with the numbers, and no place for that in our relationship with our customers.” Aaron’s extremely serious about this step. “Many builders have an open contract, where the buyer doesn’t actually know what the full cost to build the home is until it’s done. We just won’t work that way.”
The Purchase Agreement. Always working on giving their customers the best new home construction experience, Shaw Homes has created videos and materials for every step their customers take on the Path. The Purchase Agreement is no different. During the 1-hour meeting, the buyer watches a video on the process that answers the frequently asked questions and more. At this point the homesite is locked in and so are the structural options. With everything that Shaw Homes includes in their homes as standards, many are ready to move on to just picking out paint colors!
The Shaw Homes Design Studio reaches out to each buyer after they’ve completed their Purchase Agreement and a meeting is set. Boasting not one but two award winning designers, the Shaw Homes Design Studio is the largest of any company building new homes in Tulsa. “In the early days of the company, we did what almost every other builder still does; we would send our buyers out into the world of housing materials to make their selections. They needed to go to a flooring company to pick out their tile sizes and colors, carpet colors, and wood color if they chose to have wood flooring. They had to go to another company for another meeting to choose their light fixtures, and another company to choose their plumbing fixtures, and the buyers would keep going until they’ve chosen everything that they want in their new home.” Aaron’s been in the new home construction business for almost two decades and has seen the process first hand over a thousand times. “Our first step towards the Customer Experience was to invest in the selections process and open our Design Studio. It was important to us to eliminate the immense amount of time the old way took, and replace it with a streamlined, informed and comfortable way of making choices.”
By this point in the relationship between Shaw Homes and their customers, it’s clear that this is about more than just a house. “We’ve had the pleasure of building third homes for past customers. That’s an honor! Our buyers refer their friends and family to us, and every time it happens we take that compliment to heart.” Glenn Shaw has experienced thousands of customers come to his company in search of their next home, and he takes on every project with the knowledge that what he does has a huge impact on his customers lives. “Faith, Family and Finances all come together under the roofs of homes. Having a hand in that is something special.”
Plan Review. It’s now time to meet with the Construction Manager that will over-see each and every step that goes into the creation of their new home. At this point the actual floor plan of their home is unrolled and inspected. The placement of the home on the home site is also viewed and verified. This is the chance for their customers to see everything from the builder’s perspective as important aspects of the process are verified for the last time. Butch Rider is the Head of Construction for Shaw Homes and Manages the staff of Construction Managers. “It’s important for our customers to see that the garage is on the correct side, that the built-in oven is where they requested, and the water line in the back yard has been located with their future pool location in mind. It’s a great time of affirmation and reassurance. It’s also a celebration, because the next thing to happen is ground breaking!”
If awards and accolades are the measure of a company’s success, Shaw Homes is successful indeed. In the last 3 years alone, Shaw Homes has won 18 awards for their beautiful model homes in the Tulsa Home Builders Association Parade of Homes. They are the “highest and most reviewed new home builder in the state of Oklahoma”, with a Google rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars (432 Reviews). Their website is recognized by national experts and used as an example of what to do and how to do it online. The responsibility for the online presence of Shaw Homes falls on the shoulders of Aaron Antis. “We spent hundreds if not thousands of hours researching and watching how home shoppers in our area shop for a home online. With that knowledge in hand, we put forth a website that met their wants and needs and keeps them coming back. We’ve committed 100% towards giving our customers and future customers every consideration possible in helping them choose their next home. Looking at our website is quite often their first experience with us, and we continuously look at how we can serve each visitor better.”