Paul Cheverall discusses how he lead the company to success

Interview with Paul Cheverall, managing director of Home Builders Advantage, a building broker business that has had proven success for many years.

Paul Cheverall from Home Builders Advantage
Paul Cheverall, managing director of Home Builders Advantage. Photo: Supplied

Mr. Paul Cheverall is the managing director of Home Builders Advantage. Based in Perth, he and his team have become the one of the leading building brokers. They are members of the HIA and The Master Builders of WA (MBAWA) and they are the only brokers to achieve this accolade.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up choosing the construction/ property field.

A: I had a traditional education and left school without much direction. I took a job as a trainee in the construction industry because it offered variety, office and site work, and a real product to be proud of.

The training was interesting and took place over 6 years of day release from work and night school at Technical College resulting in qualification as a member of the Chartered Institute of Building.

I loved the blend of working 4 days and studying 1 day and 2 evenings. There was never a chance to get too bogged down in study and you learnt whilst experiencing real life working conditions. The ability to see a product emerge from a hole in the ground on a featureless piece of land has always been and still is a real buzz.

Throughout most of my business ownership I have been able to influence design, buildability and value for a client’s project, standing back and handing over the keys to a smiling customer is the best feeling ever.

Q: What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?

A: Frustration over working hard only to be overlooked. Having a ceiling placed on my achievements. Getting paid well but ultimately being disposable as any employee.

Gaining a place on the board but having no chance of sharing the real fruits of the company’s success. Realising that I was good at my job and that I needed to prove to myself that backing my instincts was the only way to really achieve the thrill of fulfillment.

Q: What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

A: Credibility, financial support, creating opportunities. Starting a business from scratch inevitably relies upon your own personal track record. That might get you listened to but on its own it won’t convince savvy buyers to take a risk on your new venture.

When you approach a customer you have to make credible and deliverable promises. This needs hard work great presentation skills and not least a little bit of luck getting a foot in the door. Financial support is vital as lack of it will stop your dream in its track.

Get this in place well before you attack any other of your business plans. Risk your own money alongside any lenders so that you are credible to them too. Create every opportunity that you can. Be innovative in your approach and spend time with people to look for that perfect break to exploit.

Remember nobody is just out there waiting for you to make them an offer they can’t refuse you have to find them. Branding and positioning yourself with a clear unique proposition helps immensely.

You should spend far more time on your business rather than in its process until you have a market developed sufficiently to provide you with work.

Burning the candle at both ends to start a business is the most common hurdle to overcome. Try and feel the excitement of the potential you are creating rather than the burden of hard work. It will drive you on.

Q: How do you personally define success? What does it mean to you?

A: Success to me means feeling good about what I have achieved and how I did it. Be that the overall state of things at a point in time or just one task. Achieving a goal by whatever means possible and adapting to the twists and turns that the journey throws up on the way to that goal without giving up means success.

Being in it to win it! There are absolutely no rewards for not trying, so if you want something go and get it. That’s success in itself because most of the good lessons in business only come from missing the mark or tripping up in some way. If it was easy everyone would be doing it so I congratulate myself regularly when I succeed and try harder when I don’t.

Q: What was the biggest business mistake you made and what did you do to learn from it?

A: Trusting in something that sounded too good to be true and turned out to be just that, a complete scam. I was offered the chance to raise project development funding via a consortium of wealthy investors.

To do so involved paying for their due diligence, insurance and various other deliverables over many weeks. The offer to fund my company would have been a game changer and was pitched to meet our needs very well.

Hence I committed to the chance very significantly both in time and money. The potential funding never came and the money for due diligence turned out to be no more than a lining to the pockets of the fake investors.

The lesson learnt cost me very heavily on a number of fronts. My eye was taken off day to day business, money was wasted and commitments made were broken. I now don’t trust anything that looks too good.

Most often what is difficult to achieve is the most rewarding and has the highest chance of success. Shortcuts rarely work and there is no such thing as a quick buck without risks that outweigh the rewards.

Q: Name 3 people in the business world who inspire you the most.

A: Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Alan Sugar.

Q: Who is your hero and why?

A: Stephen Hawking. He has beaten all the odds against a hideous disease and yet contributed so much to our understanding of science in spite of his personal disability and discomfort. An inspiration to everyone who thinks something is too hard and who might give up.

Q: What is your business all about?

A: My business is all about saving people money. It’s about turning dreams that seem just beyond reach into reality through our unique process. We turn clients’ ideas into innovative, adaptive and current designs that maximise the value both intrinsic and financial available to our clients’ projects.

We are able to match quality, value and service at wholesale rather than retail prices using our huge buying power thus delivering on our written guarantee that our price to build can’t and won’t be beaten.

Our service is a broker based process and value for the client takes the lead in all our decisions. The list of inclusions that customers of HBA receive through our design and tendering process is enormous. Delivering custom designed homes at project home prices sums up our aims and objectives very simply.

With so many years of proven success, Mr. Paul Cheverall from Home Builders Advantage knows what it takes to be a true leader in the building broker industry.

You can learn more about Mr. Cheverall and this business at www.homebuildersadvantage.com.au.