An interview with Anthony Karlovic from First Avenue Homes

How did you get into the trade?

I am a tertiary-educated builder. I completed a double degree in the USA and initially started my career as an Accountant before moving into construction management at Simonds Homes. My Father is also a builder, so I had it in my blood.

What advice would you have for a young builder looking to start their own business?

Treat people well! To be a good businessperson, you need to be personable, approachable and able to make time for all. Be it a young apprentice on-site or your biggest client, both should feel comfortable approaching you and worthy of your time.

“To be a good businessperson, you need to be personable, approachable and able to make time for all.”

What support would you like to see for builders?

I believe the building game has become a lot tougher on everyone, especially directors.

We are one of the only forms of business that are held back from growth via Warranty Insurance, which demands you to showcase your financials to build your business. Some easing of legislation will allow more young builders to enter the industry.

“Some easing of legislation will allow more young builders to enter the industry.”

Another major problem for us currently is the supply shortage of building materials. If the government can help us by amending the Domestic Contract Law to accommodate for price increases in the cost of materials, then that would be great. A lot of builders have entered fixed contracts with their clients and are now incurring losses due to price rises. Unfortunately, this is making a lot of good builders fail and in my opinion some provisions around this legislation will help the industry.

“If the government can help us by amending the Domestic Contract Law to accommodate for price increases in the cost of materials, then that would be great.”

You have a big crew of carpenters. What’s the secret to building a good team?

It is no secret that a good team is built on loyalty, reliability, and trustworthiness. My entire team, both on the payroll and subcontracting expect the above from us and we make sure they’re not disappointed. We do this by ensuring our projects are scheduled so that our tradespeople are consistently employed. Another important element is prompt payments, which is excellent for building trust.

“It is no secret that a good team is built on loyalty, reliability, and trustworthiness.”

How do you think social media plays a role for your business?

Social media serves its purpose as a point of contact for prospective clients to see our work. We have invested in professional content that appeals to people and we try to engage our followers by regularly creating content and sharing our work in this space.

“Social media serves its purpose as a point of contact for prospective clients to see our work.”

What about talent acquisition? Do you get folks wanting to work for you?

We do. I believe we have a good reputation as a professional builder in the Bayside area. The desire to live and work in Bayside is increasing and we find we are regularly approached by people who want to develop their careers in the local property market and be a part of the wonderful projects we work on.

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