Tell us something about your company and your role in the company.
Hansmann & Sons Construction builds fine custom homes and we also do remodels. We have been building homes since 1979, and give our clients unparalleled customer service. We operate our business with honesty and integrity. I am the owner/president, and my wife Julie handles our marketing and is our office manger, allowing me to spend the majority of my time with the clients and the sub-contractors at the job site. I am a second generation builder, learning the trade from my father John, and now I am teaching the trade to my son John, the third generation of Hansmann builders, thus our name Hansmann & Sons.
What was your first job?
At age 15 I started learning how to build homes with my father who was a custom home-builder in Santa Cruz, California. So I have been in the trade for 42 years. My father taught all 5 of his sons to be builders. I performed every aspect of the building trade from foundation, electrical, plumbing, painting, roofing to finish work.
What is the growth potential for your company and your industry in general?
We expect our company to grow substantially in the next few years. All builders nation wide saw a major decline in business with the downturn in the national housing market starting in 2007. We have been fortunate to have stayed busy in the past few years, but are expecting the desire to build new homes to increase in the next year. With Central Oregon’s natural beauty and outdoor activities that bring many visitors to our area, I feel people will continue to come here, have the desire to live here, and they will want to build residences and second homes.
What has been your company’s greatest challenge?
Getting our clients to move forward with their building projects. Many clients have felt uncertain about the economy and have chosen to not start their home until they have more confidence in the national economy.
Please share your thoughts on what Central Oregon could do to make the region more business friendly.
The City and County need to make it more attractive financially for national and regional companies to start a company in Central Oregon or relocate here. They also need to lower building permit fees, which have increased in the past few years.
What is the biggest highlight of your career?
In 2009 I was building two impressive homes at the same time that were on the opposite ends of the spectrum. One was an older log home that we extensively remodeled, reusing many of the existing logs in the new structure. The other home was a new Contemporary home with modern styling and intricate finish work. It was challenging and exciting to be working on two completely different homes at the same time.
What has been or is the biggest challenge in your company and/or industry?
With the economy, the challenge for clients and builders has been that it has been difficult to obtain financing. The new construction home loan market was very tight, but the loan market seems to opening up now in 2011.
What advice would you give to other leaders with regard to managing a growing company?
Pay attention to every detail and every cost in every aspect of your business from operating expenses, to costs of your labor and materials. We have been in business for 32 years and have survived three recessions, you have to learn to be flexible and change with the changing and challenging times.
What do you do to relax? How do you spend your weekend, your vacations?
I love to snowboard and water ski with my wife and 3 young adult children. We also enjoy camping in the beautiful Cascades Lakes and house-boating at Lake Shasta every summer, a tradition we have done almost every year for the past 32 years.
Tell us something about you few people know about – your favorite pastime, worst indulgence?
I love the water. In addition to being a member of the Sundance Water Ski Club and water skiing in the summer, whenever I have a chance I make it to the ocean, as I grew up surfing and still love to surf.
In terms of volunteering, what is your personal or company’s contribution to the community?
I coached Summit High School Men’s Lacrosse team for 2 years. The program was struggling and in need of a head coach. My son Dave played on the team, and as a parent I did not want to see the program end, so my wife Julie and I took on the responsibility of coach and team manager. We helped the program grow and become successful, Summit’s Lacrosse team now has over 70 young men in the program. Lacrosse is now one of the largest and fastest growing high school sports in Central Oregon. Even though I have retired from the coaching position I still go to every game and keep score for them and enjoy watching them develop as players and young men.