This week we are pleased to introduce another player in our awesome team at Thrive. Lachlan Thompson is our Head of Operations, and as someone who has been with Thrive since the beginning, he’s perfectly placed to give us some insider info. Read on to learn more about all things pre-construction, thanks to the man himself!
Can you share with us what your responsibilities are as Thrive’s Head of Operations?
I manage the entire pre-construction process, which is the client’s journey from when their signed Quotation Acceptance comes into the office to when their job is ready to hand over to the construction supervisor. My team handles drafting, estimating & pre-construction compliance to name a few. A big part of my role is to continually review and improve current systems and processes, to ensure best practice and job efficiency - making things smoother for both my team and our clients.
What attracted you to this role with Thrive Homes, and how long have you been with the company?
I came from our sister company Rawson Homes, and I’ve been with Thrive Homes since its inception a bit over 18 months ago - starting as a sales estimator and working up to Head of Operations. What attracted me to Thrive Homes initially was the promise of being able to help build a company from ground zero and to gain experience in every part of the business, not just one particular area.
What do you love most about your job?
There are many things I love about working at Thrive Homes, but I would say the most satisfying part for me is helping first home buyers into their first home. Being someone who is in the first home buyer market myself, I know how difficult and confusing it can be going through the process of selecting a builder, house design, colours and upgrades, but being able to help people by making this process much more transparent and easy to understand through the services Thrive offers, gives me a lot of job satisfaction.
In terms of the pre-construction process, what are some things you think Thrive is doing especially well as compared your competitors?
Because our clients make all their selections up front with our experienced sales consultants, the pre-construction process flows a lot more smoothly, in my opinion. We have an emphasis on our designs being a lockdown footprint with no structural changes, so we’re able to move clients more efficiently through the process. We also have regular touch points of communication to keep clients up to date. I believe this smoother process is how we stand out from the crowd.
What are some of the challenges that yourself and your team may face during pre-construction, and how do you overcome these challenges?
There are many challenges with pre-construction. We deal with multiple councils, certifying authorities, land developers and financial institutions - it’s not easy coordinating everyone at one time to get approvals for your dream home! However, by nurturing good relationships with the above mentioned parties and having good workflow structures in place to help the team track where things are up to, we’re able to overcome these challenges.
What are some common queries that your customers might have during this stage of the build?
People often want to know how long the pre-construction process takes, once their land registers - as until it registers, we can’t start gathering the necessary approvals & site information. Once the land registers we really hit the ground running, obtaining information and approval on your behalf from council, private certifiers and land developers. Overall, the process can be anywhere between 8-12 weeks, depending on whether your home can go CDC or DA.
Speaking of, that’s another common question - what’s the difference between CDC and DA.
CDC (Complying Development Certificate) is when we’re able to go through a private certifier to gain approval for your home, rather than going through the local council. Although it’s not possible with every home, as there are certain requirements that have to be met, we always try to guide your home towards CDC as it’s generally quicker than DA.
For a DA (Development Application), we need to submit all your plans and documentation to the council for approval. The challenge here is that every council is different and requires different information to be able to approve an application - they also all have different lead times. This process can be up to 12+ weeks from land registration. My team makes sure we’re on top of the process, and are in regular contact with the council to check how things are tracking so we can keep clients up to date.
What’s your favorite Thrive home design, and why?
My favourite design would have to be our HIA award winning Sienna 22 - I love that it really brings the outdoors in with its awesome open living layout. The inclusion of a raked ceiling lined with ship lapped timber to the rear of the home opens it up and looks absolutely magnificent. It’s just a really beautiful, spacious family home.