Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 97

QUALITY FOCUSED

"[We were] pretty much
starting from zero and
building it back up with
all the same structure
and foundation."
of many homes was less than the cost to build. "Even when the
market was bad people were still buying," he explains. "The problem was you couldn't get appraisals.You couldn't get the value. So
it slowed down production."
The company had $300 million in land during the housing
boom, but the economic downturn cut the value in half. Montalbano Homes responded by shutting down and starting over
as Rally Homes. It had a good strategy in place, but needed to
go smaller to survive in the recession market. "[We were] pretty much starting from zero and building it back up with all the
same structure and foundation we had from the previous years,"
Montalbano says.

Like many companies, from manufacturers to homebuilders,
Rally discovered a common truth in the post-recession market:
Quality matters more than quantity. Rally homes are priced competitively - ranging from $160,000 for an entry-level townhome
to $700,000 for a top-end single-family home - but come with
luxury features built in that competitors usually consider add-ons.
Granite countertops, hardwood floors, architectural roofing
shingles and nine-foot ceilings are standard for many of Rally's
communities. "You can walk in and take all the standards and be
happy," Montalbano says.
The emphasis on quality solidified Rally's resurrection following
the recession and the company is taking care not to compromise
itself as it begins to grow again. There have been opportunities to
expand its footprint to Chicago's northern suburbs, but Montalbano says the company is more comfortable sticking to its present
region, where it can keep employees closer together and maintain
better control quality.
"We're trying to stay as local as we can right now as we grow
because it's easier for us to manage," he explains. "If you go too fast
your quality is going to fall and that's not what we're about." )

STARTING OVER
Rally's scope of projects is far smaller today than at the peak of
Montalbano Homes. In 2016, it will construct 14 single-family
homes or townhomes in four communities, mostly located in Chicago's west and south suburbs.
Its workforce has similarly scale back. Montalbano Homes once
had managers and assistant managers for nearly every project.
Montalbano says the recession taught Rally to be much more efficient and today it has seven employees. "Ten years ago things we
so good everybody was overstaffed," he says. "You had more people
than you needed."
But while there are fewer people working on each home, Rally
believes it has resulted in a high-quality end-product for residents.
"I think the people we have are focusing and building a better home
today than we every have," he says.
Rally has seen a similar change in the contractors it hires to construct the homes. Trade business owners used to be more handsoff, but with fewer people on a crew, owners must take a more
active role and work right alongside their employees. The result
is more and better supervision, Montalbano argues. "You got the
owners of the company out there working, that's their name,"
Montalbano says. "The guys who are in business today are people
who do good work - did good work - and were able to weather
through it [the recession]."
Winter 2017 www.mhb-magazine.com

97


http://www.mhb-magazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017

Contents
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover1
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover2
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 1
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 2
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 3
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Contents
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 5
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 6
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 7
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 8
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 9
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 10
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 11
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 12
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 13
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 14
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 15
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 17
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 18
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 19
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 20
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 21
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 30
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 31
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 33
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 38
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 40
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 41
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 42
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 43
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 50
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 58
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 60
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 61
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 62
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 97
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover3
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue4b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue4a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue3b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue3a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue2b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue2a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue1b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol7issue1a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol6issue4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol6issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol6issue2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_vol6issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2018winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2017fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2017summervol3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2017summervol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2017summervol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2017spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2017winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mhb_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2016winter_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2015springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mhb_2013fall
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