Feb 2, 2022

Pacesetter Homes DFW Hits Impressive Milestone of 500 Closings

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX – Pacesetter Homes Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) reached an impressive milestone in January, marking 00 closings since the business unit opened in 2018.

Often known as a possession, a closing occurs when a home is delivered to the purchaser and the title is transferred.

The milestone is significant when looking at Pacesetter Homes DFW’s growth over the past several years in a market that has at times presented some unique challenges.

Pacesetter Homes DFW opened two communities in its first year and had a total of six closings. Fast forward to 2021, the business unit has built homes in 11 communities and had 296 possessions. The team has seen steady growth in the number of communities and closings from year-to-year and is on track to see another increase in 2022.

According to Blake Friesenhahn, Vice-President, Pacesetter Homes DFW, the business unit expects to be operating in 14 communities and is targeting closings in the mid-300s this year.

“It’s been a journey over the past four years.  To hit the 500 closing mark that quick says a lot about the commitment of our company and team,” said Blake. “If you look at the number of closings and the year-over-year growth percentages, it’s amazing.  To be able to do that in a short period of time, we think it’s a significant accomplishment.”

Pacesetter Homes DFW has grown to meet the increasing demand for homes in the region. Starting in 2018 with five employees, the team is expected to exceed 30 employees across management, purchasing, construction, sales and marketing by the end of this year.

“When we first started,” said Blake, “we had a small one-room temporary office, a couple of model homes, and a lot of “hats” to wear.  Now, we’ll have 14 communities, 30 plus team members, moving into our third office space, and adjusting our systems and processes again to handle the next phase of growth.”

There have been plenty of challenges along the way, often related to the region being one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the country. The DFW area has witnessed significant economic growth, which was attracted homebuyers relocating from around the country and abroad for new jobs. In turn, this has placed pressure on the region’s housing market, as new homes are in high demand and have low supply.

This has led to labour shortages, new competitors, supply chain issues, low housing inventory, and unprecedented demand for land to build on.

“Historically, it used to take 10 to 12 months to get a community of around 100 lots developed and ready to build homes,” Blake said. “That’s now taking anywhere from 14 months up to two years. It depends on the community and the municipality it’s located. That’s one of the biggest challenges that we’ve had.”

The pandemic has not only affected the availability of labour, but also the availability of building supplies and materials.

However, the earliest challenge Pacesetter Homes experienced was simply trying to establish themselves in the DFW housing market.

“In the Dallas market, nobody really knew who Pacesetter was,” explained Taylor Humphrey, Division Sales and Marketing Manager, Pacesetter Homes DFW, “but it was great to lean on the Austin team, who had been through a lot of those same growing pains when they were getting started. It’s been really helpful to bounce things off of the Austin team and it helped us scale up much faster, as opposed to just starting as our business unit without those connections.”

Taylor noted that being able to pull from Qualico’s 70-year history helped tell the company’s story in a market where familiarity with the brand was non-existent.

Leveraging Qualico’s history, capital and commitment to the DFW area has helped Pacesetter Homes get the attention of other industry stakeholders in the region.

To be a homebuilder in today’s market, it takes a major capital commitment to contract for even one development,” Blake said. “Qualico came in and was committed early on. Doing that had a big impact in the market, not only for the number of developments contracted but the size of the developments. It got the attention of developers, land brokers, and everyone in the industry. We really made a splash in the market.”

Looking ahead, Blake said the team will aim to double its growth in the next few years while focusing on increasing Pacesetter Homes DFW’s footprint throughout the region. The addition of Qualico Communities to the DFW area early last year will be a significant factor in that endeavour.

“Qualico Communities will have over 1,000 lots under development by the middle of this year. That’s going to allow us to continue to grow and have a steady source of lots ahead of us,” said Blake.

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