Woodside Homes Nevada Positions Itself to Innovate in Green Technology
Woodside Homes Nevada partners with local architecture firms to create designs for its sophisticated clients.
“Better By Design” is more than a motto for Woodside Homes. It is a promise to clients that everything from the site selection to the design and build of its homes is an experience unlike any other. “We believe in a customer experience like no other builder,” Woodside Homes Nevada Sales Director Heather Kessler says. “We walk side-by-side with our customer throughout the entire journey.”
Founded in 1977, Woodside Homes entered the Las Vegas market in 1988 and has built more than 11,000 homes in more than 80 communities. Woodside Homes says its name has been synonymous with integrity, excellence and design innovation. With six divisions operating in Nevada, Arizona, California and Utah, it is one of America’s top 30 homebuilders and consistently named one of the top 10 homebuilders in Las Vegas.
As a production builder, Woodside Homes prides itself on offering a “Better By Design” product, Woodside Homes Nevada President Kent Lay says. “We spend an enormous amount of time on our home designs with the architects,” he adds.
Woodside Homes Nevada partners with local architectural firms to achieve fresh and innovative designs for its clients who mostly consist of move-up buyers and executive-level homes. Lay says, “Our buyers are more astute and savvy. They want the latest in design and innovation that we can bring them.”
Smarter Home Designs
Woodside Homes Nevada’s clients want a smartly designed home that will meet their needs. “They don’t want so much volume,” Lay notes. “They don’t want excess space and the design of the house should be as efficient as possible to meet their needs. For example, they want it designed so that an office can be used as a guest room when needed and transformed back into an office when the guest leaves.”
Open floor plans and larger bedroom sizes are two of the most appealing aspects to buyers in Las Vegas today. “The kitchen and family room have to work together so someone in the kitchen isn’t feeling left out,” Kessler explains. “The buyer profile we work with wants that connection with the family room.”
Because its homes are located in master-planned communities that feature large parks and community centers, Woodside Homes Nevada is noticing a decrease in lot sizes because homebuyers don’t have to have it all in their backyard. “We bring the indoor/outdoor space together more efficiently so you don’t need a big backyard to accomplish what you want,” Lay says.
To ensure Woodside Homes Nevada stays relevant on the trends in home design and construction, Lay visits southern California for inspiration. “That area has been one of the innovators and trendsetters on the West Coast,” he says. “I like to see the newest products they are using and incorporate what we are doing with what our market will accept. Eventually the technology gets affordable so we can put it in our production homes.”
Kessler says she watches trends on social media, HGTV, DIY Network, Pinterest and notes custom homebuilding innovations. “HGTV and DIY has educated the homebuyer,” Kessler says. “They will come in with their Pinterest boards and show us exactly what they want. We have very savvy buyers who get all their information from these sources, so we have to be looking at them as resources because that’s where the buyer is going.”
Lake Las Vegas
Woodside Homes was the first developer to bring a family product into Lake Las Vegas, the high-end master planned community in Henderson, Nev. The company has built 25 homes in the community so far and has a total of 138 lots.
“When Lake Las Vegas opened it was known for custom homes and luxury lifestyles,” Kessler explains. “Lake Las Vegas is changing that perception that is out there and bringing in different developers. We were the first to offer a more affordable modern-style product and both of our collections have been extremely well received. What’s great is you have buyers and homeowners living there and they are having their family members buy to be closer together. A lot of people in California are purchasing secondary homes because they want to part of the Lake Las Vegas community.”
Woodside Homes Nevada is on par with respect to green materials and building practices with other large U.S. homebuilders, but with the help of its parent company, Sekisui House, the company plans to become the leader and innovator in green technology. “Sekisui House is the most progressive builder in the world as far as sustainability goes,” Lay says. “We were acquired by them two-and-a-half years ago and we are going to be able to leverage some of their processes.”
Sekisui House is a 50-year-old global company that has built more than 2.3 million homes, sharply focused on creating comfortable spaces as a part of ecologically sound communities. Everything Sekisui House does is about sustainability. “They have learned they have to be sustainable and very green,” Lay says. “We are hoping over the years we will be able to learn from them and incorporate a lot of that into our homes where it makes sense.”
Woodside Homes Nevada is also following in Sekisui Houses’ footsteps by focusing on customer experience. “The real moment that our buyers become customers is when they close on their house,” Lay says. “But from the moment they are under contract we are constantly reaching out to them and not waiting for them to contact us. We are also contacting them to make sure everything is going well and they are not experiencing any issues. We are very proactive.”
Moving forward, Woodside Homes Nevada plans to continue to learn from Sekisui House and improve its operation. “I’m not aware of any other builders doing what we are trying to do,” Lay says. “For being such a small builder, we are going to be the one that makes others envious of us.”