The FORT Podcast: Chris Weekley
Chris Weekley is the Executive Vice President at David Weekley Homes, one of the largest privately-held home building firms in the country. On this episode, they discuss the culture at DWH, Weekley’s different product types in home building, the challenges and opportunities in home building, markets across the country, what 2020 presented for home builders, and what 2021 looks like.
(02:13) – Chris’ Story
(06:41) – Growing up, was your father’s work/family separation intentional in light of running a family business?
(07:36) – How is ‘The Life of Meaning Class’ at Acton structured? How do they get the answer out of you?
(10:05) – Where did you go after you got your MBA?
(12:58) – How does David Weekly Homes’s approach to team culture allow it to be able to retain talent for so long?
(17:15) – What is David Weekley University and how did it come about?
(19:43) – What’s the application process to get into DWU?
(20:34) – How many markets are you in? How do you think about moving into new markets?
(23:19) – Where are the hottest markets in the country right now?
(24:52) – What are the ‘Encore and Imagination’ projects within David Weekley Homes?
(26:36) – Do you focus more on central or suburban living for ‘Imagination’?
(28:33) – For the active adult communities you develop, do they have to be empty nesters or are they able to have kids with them?
(29:31) – What are things that the 55+ age people want in a house & community?
(31:17) – Are you anticipating a trend of home-offices being built in light of COVID?
(32:44) – Are the millennials buying later in life? Are they requiring different things in their builds?
(34:44) – How do you think about designing communities and commuting as Uber and self-driving cars continue to become more popular?
(37:20) – How do you think about the growing asset class of single-family rental?
(40:55) – What are the specific differences between the single-family rentals and what you normally build?
(42:22) – How do you raise money to build all these homes if you aren’t public?
(44:04) – How do you think about the year following a sale with home builders having to eat a lot of costs after the fact with different warranties or finishes that arise?
(47:27) – How are you thinking about the high cost of lumber? Are you hedging your bet on that?
(49:50) – What are the biggest challenges that you think about on a day-to-day basis?
(51:53) – Is the USA under-built or over-built?
(53:01) – Is there any technology on the horizon that will have a dramatic impact on the speed of building or cost of homes?
(55:01) – Is there any silver bullet to combat the increased difficulty of working with cities?
(57:23) – Do you have a childhood experience that has changed the direction of your life?
(58:57) – What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
(1:00:16) – Are there books that have had an impact on you?
(1:01:37) – Chris’ Book Club w/ His Management Team
The FORT with Chris Powers is produced by Straight Up Podcasts