Mabery Contracting Always Remembers That It’s All About The Customer
Many of the homes that Matthew Mabery has built at the Boot Ranch community marry new trends with old trends.
What Texas homebuilder Matthew Mabery considers the best of his best practices has nothing to do with seamlessly installing beams and bay windows. There’s no doubt Mabery wants to get those things right, but his most critical best practice centers on forging strong and personable relationships with his clients.
On his website, there is a reference from a satisfied customer that reads, “[Mabery is] the only builder I’ve worked with that I can call a friend after the build.”
Many homeowners at Boot Ranch, an upscale housing and golf course community, might feel that way about Mabery, who has operated Fredericksburg, Texas-based Mabery Consulting since 1995. Located in the rustic hills of central Texas about five miles from Fredericksburg, Boot Ranch includes 60 completed homes, 28 built by Mabery with another five he has under construction. The numbers substantiate that Mabery is the go-to builder at the development.
“It’s about keeping owners happy,” Mabery says. “If the owners are happy, then everybody should be happy. It’s the most important piece to what I do. The quality of my work comes in a very close second.”
Considering his approach, it’s not surprising that Mabery has maintained friendly relationships with his customers long after their homes were built. He has even vacationed with a few of them. “I’ve really enjoyed the continual relationships when the builds are over,” he adds.
That said, Mabery realizes that maintaining such relationships requires being more than just a gracious guy whose business employs polite employees. It’s one thing to be a cordial person, but it’s entirely another when you show that cordiality through your actions, he says. For Mabery, that means placing a premium on accountability.
“I take measures to try and not over-commit myself or stretch myself too thin,” he says. “I need to be readily available to my customers. And whenever I’m faced with making a tough decision, I do what’s right — not what’s most profitable or what’s easiest.”
Because most of Mabery’s business is dedicated to a small area around Fredericksburg, he realizes the consequences that could come with having a bad relationship with a customer.
“If my reputation gets ruined, I can’t go down the street and get another job,” he says.
The Boot Ranch development describes itself as “an artful expression of luxurious Texas ranch-style living. The community features custom homesteads, country homes, overlook cabins and Sunday houses. “I’m really fortunate that this development moved into my area,” Mabery says.
While making the best of the opportunity, Mabery has gained a reputation for his customer service, quality building and efficiency.
“I’m conservative by nature, and I tell people that I spend their money like it’s my money — and I’m pretty tight with my money,” Mabery says.
Many of the homes in the Boot Ranch development marry old and new trends. For instance, reclaimed woods and beams from old barns in Idaho and South Dakota have been trucked down to the development and used in new construction along with steel windows and doors. One house that Mabery built, which featured a convergence of steel and wood along with an exposed structural I-beam that carried the roof, is “atypical” of home construction, Mabery says. But people love it.
“I’ve had a lot of people say that it’s the nicest house in Boot Ranch,” he says.
Mabery became the dominant builder at Boot Ranch through word of mouth, not billboards or other marketing vehicles. The more homes he built, the more people talked about his capabilities, including that he employs his own workers. “That’s what separates me,” Mabery says, noting that other local builders use mostly subcontractors to do the work. “I have 20 employees in the field.”
With his own employees, Mabery doesn’t have to wait on subcontractors to do work and, more importantly, his customers don’t have to wait. And having his own employees means that Mabery has more control over quality and consistency, he says.
Mabery, realizing that good labor is hard to find in a small market like Fredericksburg, does everything he can to keep his crew intact by offering them benefits such as paid time off and insurance, something he says other builders his size don’t do.
To keep costs down for his clients, Mabery also uses his own equipment rather than renting it. Why spend the same amount of money renting a piece of equipment five times when you can buy it for that amount and used it many more times, he asks.
“There’s a lot of value in that,” he notes. That value, of course, is passed down to his customers. It’s all about them, after all.