Modern Home Builder - Winter 2016 - Volume 2 - 95
Smith Douglas Homes was established in 2008 but traces its roots
back to 1975 when owner Tom Bradbury founded his first homebuilding company, Colony Homes. Colony's mission was to create
a highly productive building process to reliably deliver high-quality
homes at an affordable price. By 2002, the company had become
the second-largest builder in Atlanta. That success attracted the attention of national builders and in 2003 KB Home acquired Colony.
PUTTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER
In selling Colony, Bradbury retained control of the proprietary operating system that fueled his former company's growth. Five years
after the sale, Bradbury's non-compete agreement with KB Home
expired and he resurrected that operating system in starting Smith
Douglas Homes. Bradbury also brought back many of the people
he worked with at Colony and KB, including Schetter and Greg
Bennett, now COO of Smith Douglas Homes.
The eight years since the new company's founding have proven
that Bradbury's original 1975 model still works in the post-recession housing market. The company closed on 526 homes in 2015,
generating $110 million in revenue and making it the fourth-largest builder in the Atlanta market.
Smith Douglas Homes is not a developer but the company does
specialize in building communities of 100 to 120 homes. The average home ranges in price from $150,000 to $350,000, depending
on the upgrades the buyer chooses. Bennett says working on that
scale allows the company to deliver uniform quality throughout a
neighborhood. That is not to say every home will look the same.
Smith Douglas Homes works with its customers to ensure home
exteriors provide attractive variation in the streetscape.
But the approach does give Smith Douglas Homes better control over the quality of the community. For the majority of the
communities, Smith Douglas strives to include a homeowners association that maintains the front yards. Residents may tend their
own backyards, but an association manages the landscaping in the
front. That setup ensures that communities remain attractive for
the long term. "When you come back to one of our communities
four years later, it still feels fresh like the first day," Schetter says.
During the summer of 2015, Smith Douglas Homes' leadership
began thinking about how they could ensure the company would
remain a family driven private homebuilder in an increasingly na-
Winter 2016 Volume 2 www.mhb-magazine.com