Veronika Sparagis - Ultima Building Group

Veronica Sparagis

Ultima Building Group is based in New South Wales, in Australia.

We design and build affordable luxury homes. We like to give the average Mum and Dad the luxury within their home that they thought they couldn?t afford. We find ways for them to be able to do that.

My name is Veronica, and my husband and I run the Ultima Building Group, a building company in Sydney. We developed it from our carpentry company which we?d been running for 12 years. In the last two years we changed into a building company specialising in affordable luxury and started to take on bigger jobs. We try to give the average mum and dad the luxury within their home that maybe they thought they couldn’t afford, finding ways for them to be able to do that. We do new builds, custom builds, home renovations and home modifications.

We Had No One To Turn To

The biggest problem I think that we were having was we had no mentor. We knew what we wanted to do but we weren’t sure how to do it.

APB were able to not only help guide us in what we already knew, but also on how to put through the practices of what we needed to do. We hadn’t tried any coaches. We actually didn’t know anyone. We knew we needed something and someone and we weren’t sure where to go or what to look for. It turned out our phones were listening and APB popped up on our social media searches.

We clicked and these guys seemed to meet our brief of what we needed in guidance.

We became APB members and we went into the mentoring program straight off the bat, because we saw the value in that. We saw the one on one coaching as invaluable to our business, to replace any other consultants or strategic advice that we weren’t being offered.

We Learned How To Market Our Business

What APB brought to the table for us were some systems, some structure. We already knew what we needed but we had no system, so we were doing little bits every so often that weren’t really moulding together. APB was able to help us structure what we already had in a more systematic way, specifically, I think with marketing.

Marketing is not one of our strengths. I’m a psychologist by trade and my husband is a builder. However, APB really helped us work on how to market our business and what we do and from that, it’s shown us some jobs that we never thought we were able to get.

Social Media Marketing Works

It definitely took a lot of time to learn how to use the targets tabs, to understand the process and understand the system, but now four months in, we pretty much understand every tab and how to use them. It’s taken a massive amount of work to put them at our disposal, so that’s been invaluable.

We’re still learning some of those, but we’re in this for the long haul so we’ll continue to learn.

Some of the recent jobs we’ve gotten have been a new home renovation and one new home build. Both have stemmed from our social media marketing.

We had not previously targeted social media at all. We thought that was not a place where people would go to look for a builder. However, through our marketing and from having seen what we were doing on site and what we had produced led to enquiries which then led to winning two fabulous jobs within three months of honing our social media profiles.
I think both jobs equaled over about $600,000.

People knew us but we didn’t put out the fact that we were available and I think we looked like we were always busy, so unavailable. When we started to really target lead magnets and also our signage on our job sites it was a big thing.

We’re Set For The Next Four Months

With the jobs that come in, we are able to specify if they meet our requirements, as well.

We only needed two jobs and we’re set for the next four months. Obviously, we’re continuing. We don’t want to get too big too quickly, so we’re knocking back work to make sure we maintain our quality as well.

Since joining APB, we have changed how we deal with our clients; we don’t give anything for free anymore. We make sure our quality and our time is 100% with our clients but we also get paid for it. So any work I do in the office regarding quotes, investigations about land, whatever it is that they need, I’m actually charging for.

We’ve actually developed packages and steps, affordable packages and steps, but that’s brought us clients who are serious and not really just hunting for the best quote.

Soaring To New Heights And Margins

Our margins have increased; we haven’t had a job below a 20% margin and that is because we’ve been really thorough in what we offer. What we offer our clients is full-on and 100% commitment, but our clients are paying for it. And we haven’t had one client say, ?No, that’s not right.? Any clients that haven’t gone past that step aren’t ready for that stage.

And we’ve actually had clients come back who are ready, financially.

So APB has been able to give us that confidence to be able to charge for everything.

We give an estimate but even the estimate is charged because I give different reports at the same time. A construction quote is, I think we’re charging between $5 ? $15,000 for that and that pays for my time, not even our builders? time who haven’t even started yet.

We make sure our net profits don’t drop below 20% and if they do drop, we’re on to it. If we can see that trend starting, and we look at it daily, so any job that is looking a little bit hairy, I go and check everything.

Every expenditure, every time, if the job’s taking longer we go and check why and see what we can do to change that net profit margin daily on jobs that require that commitment.

APB Was The Right Answer For Us

I would definitely recommend APB, even for new builders?I classify us as a new builder because as a builder we’ve only been three years in the industry?to give you the guidance and someone or someplace to go to so you can see what other people are doing and find out that they’ve got the same questions as you.

So you can actually find the answer without having to ask the question.

-Veronica Sparagis
Director, Ultima Building Group