We all know the names of the Region's major home builders, since their display advertisements dominate the New Homes pages of Ottawa-Gatineau's local newspapers, and the communities they build and their advertising signs seem to be everywhere you drive.
So you not only know their names - like Minto, Richcraft, Brigil or Claridge - but you probably also recognise their brand logos, their company colours and their sales centres too.
While the major builders whose homes we feature have a higher profile and represent about 98% of the volume of homes built and sold in the region, there are in fact a surprisingly high number of smaller firms that provide at least as much quality and value.
Just like smaller businesses in other industries, smaller home builders have to be smarter, more street-wise, more flexible, and quicker to respond to consumer needs.
Often, their success depends on finding a specialized niche in which they can excel. Many of Ottawa's Smaller and Custom Home Builders have found that they can prosper by doing what it is they do best.
Smaller firms who identify a gap in the market place and move into it have every opportunity to be successful. But they need to recognize and choose a niche which has been overlooked or purposely avoided by the major firms, against whom it is usually too expensive to compete head-on.
Major firms don't engage in certain areas of a marketplace for a variety of reasons - perhaps because they have found their own niche - an ability to build large numbers of homes that appeal to just enough people to make it worthwhile - or because they may already be too big and cumbersome to respond quickly enough to changing or more discriminating consumer needs. That, for example, is where Custom Builders excel!
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