Future Builders Inc.
Drilling in the Bakken formation in northwestern North Dakota has sparked a major energy boom and an influx of people seeking work in the rural region. More jobs means the need for more housing and in Minot, North Dakota, Future Builders Inc. is meeting the demand with turnkey developments and construction as the one-stop shop for homebuilding and light commercial projects. As a member of the North Dakota Association of Builders (NDAB) and the Minot Association of Builders, Future Builders’ industry ties run deep and the company is known for quality construction.
“Our local market has been exceptional in recent years,” says Matt Geinert, co-owner of Future Builders. Following a devastating flood in 2011, the Minot area has managed to rebuild and come back strong. “We’ve nearly tripled in size over the last five years,” adds Geinert.
Future Builders was established in 1999 by Duane Johnson and in 2005 Geinert and Eric Wanner joined the company. “Duane was our high school teacher,” says Geinert. “Eric and I worked for him throughout summers during college, doing decks, framing houses and siding. After we graduated he brought us in and Future Builders has grown ever since.”
“In 2015 we expanded the ownership group with Kyle Morey,” Geinert continues.. “Kyle has been with us since 2005 and controls our custom home building division.”
Today the company employs 35 to 40 individuals, depending on its workflow, but workflow hasn’t been a problem lately, according to Geinert. “The energy boom has made the residential market a very strong sector,” he says.
Lately, Future Builders has more than enough work at home in Minot to keep its diverse team of skilled contractors busy. “Previously, we’ve ventured out of town to build homes, but recently, 95 percent of our work has been in Minot,” says Geinert.
Geinert says Future Builders’ claim to fame has been delivering turnkey construction. “Our staff consists of everything from excavating all the way to office personnel,” he says. “We’re known for being able to do everything as the start-to-finish homebuilder.”
Future Builder’s relationships with third-party professional engineers and architects allow for timely planning and the company has in-house excavating, concrete crews and framers. “I don’t know of many builders who have all of this in-house; plot plans all the way through the turnkey solution for custom and spec homes,” says Geinert. “We’ve done everything from 1,000-square-foot homes to a 153-unit apartment complex; we’re a sort of jack-of-all-trades.”
While Future Builders specializes in turnkey new home construction, building both custom and spec homes, the company has also tapped into the commercial sector. “In addition to the residential side, we also do light commercial work,” notes Geinert. “In either category, our in-house planning, [along with the contracted engineers and architects] makes it easy to make all of the necessary changes before the building process beings.”
“We can take our customers projects from the ground up,” continues Geinert. “We do almost everything in-house – with the exception of the ‘trades’ – so we don’t have to subcontract a lot, but when we do our subcontractors are the best in the business.”
Future Builders offers a full range of concrete services including ICF walls, aluminum forms, flat work and retaining walls. The company also offers land clearing, lot development, underground utilities and road and driveway construction.
Moving in the multifamily market
Future Builders has been busy building to meet the demand for housing in Minot as oilfield workers, students and the local Air Force base all search for midrange housing. “One of our most recent projects in northwest Minot is within the Development Bolton Heights,” details Geinert. “This is a seven building, 153-unit multifamily project for the midrange income price point, which we accomplished in a little over a year.”
Geinert says the company is also working on a 52-unit project coming online in mid-to-late 2015. “Country View, in Southeast Minot, is going to be a large project for us,” he says. “This is going to cater to the higher-end multifamily market.”
Future Builders has also completed a handful of high-end custom homes along the new Country Club, just being completed in Minot, many exceeding $500,000. “We’ve done more than 100 midrange homes too – this has been a particularly strong sector in recent years,” says Geinert.
While healthy demand certainly helps, Geinert says most of Future Builders’ growth is thanks to its talented team, including veteran project managers. “We’re really dedicated to quality work; that’s what we hang our hats on,” he says. “We have the volume-quality ratio just about right. We have enough staff where we can build quite a few homes but we never sacrifice quality for volume.”
The company’s affiliation with the NDAB and the Minot Association of Builders (MAB) also helps boost business. “The MAB does a nice job of marketing builders in the community,” says Geinert. “They host an annual home show the first week in March and that’s the best way to showcase local builders. On a monthly basis, the MAB promotes a ‘builders after hours’ meeting for networking and business happenings. Also, they put out a monthly newsletter that goes out to the community with spotlights on feature homes and this really helps to get builders’ names out there.”
Overall, both associations look out for the best interest of the homebuilding market. Recently the MAB helped the local builders work with the city staff on new building ordinances, from aesthetics to zoning. “It was a full overhaul of the Minot City Ordinances,” says Geinert. “The city did a great job of bringing ideas to freshen up the city codes. Mostly these were aesthetic issues that didn’t affect safety and quality of construction, but they sure have made a nice impact on the construction practices in Minot.”
“In the consolidated effort between the NDAB, MAB and the city of Minot, everyone came together for the betterment of the city and this is what really matters,” says Geinert. “The NDBA and MAB both advocate for our best interest and overall health of the industry.”
With solid industry connections and a longstanding name for quality, turnkey construction, Future Builders Inc. is on track for continued growth and progress.