While Other Custom Homebuilders Struggle, Mendham N.J. Home Builder and Customers Declare New Approach to Selling Homes A Success

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Grant Homes, a custom home builder in Mendham, N.J., grappled with the changing homebuilding market by creating a warm, friendly storefront environment where customers could shop for a new home, renovation or addition. As experts begin to talk about a stabilizing market, CEO Jay Grant and the customers who are enjoying this new business model have declared Grant's approach a success.

With the housing market declining in Morris County over the last several years, premium home builder Jay Grant knew that despite 20 years of success, his approach to business needed to change. With that in mind, he created One Main Street, a unique showroom where his homebuilding company has developed affiliations with other craftspeople to provide a streamlined way for customers to shop new homes or for home renovation. Today, as the market begins to stabilize, the reaction of customers and the continued success of those involved in One Main Street is leading Grant to declare the new approach a resounding success.

Grant, CEO of Grant Homes LLC of Mendham, NJ, (http://www.granthomesusa.com) has primarily focused on pre-sold custom home projects. Over the years, Grant had come to know his customers. Applying that experience, Grant collaborated with 20 other local and national businesses to create One Main Street, a place where shoppers could sit in comfort and get to know him and the other affiliates, build trust and work on their project.

“We know how overwhelming the process of building a home, adding a major addition or doing a renovation can be,” said Grant. “My goal has always been to make the process easier on my customers. One Main Street takes that to a new level. In today’s market, you can’t just provide quality work. You have to make sure the customer is well-informed and comfortable with the value they are getting. That’s what sets us apart.”

Customers are endorsing One Main Street by selecting Grant and his colleagues for projects. For instance, Robyn Brown’s Mendham home already had a finished basement, but the family never liked the layout. When flooding from Hurricane Irene did significant damage, the family decided to see the incident as an opportunity to renovate.

“It’s one-stop shopping,” says Robyn. “You can see and touch the products. It helps you envision how the end-product is going to look because he has so many sources displaying their work.”

The showroom is located at 1 East Main Street in downtown Mendham, across from the Black Horse Inn.

Inside, visitors enter the club room, where they can sit on comfortable couches and easy chairs in front of a commanding fireplace, surf the net on a tablet computer that controls a 3-D, 55-inch TV and the room’s lighting, electronic shades and media. All of the affiliates have displays that represent their work, including partners Millwork & More, California Closets, Future Home Technologies and Pella Windows. The visitor is treated like a guest in someone’s home.

“It’s an environment designed to emulate your home and allow us to chat casually about what needs our clients are trying to solve.” said Jay. “It’s a chance for me and the affiliates to get to know and understand what our customer is looking for.”

For One Main Street customer Robyn, the process was perfect.        

“We wanted to turn our basement into a living space that was more reflective of our house,” she said. “We just wanted more space when we were entertaining or when we have guests. Jay was incredibly responsive. He treated our project as importantly as if he was building a million-dollar custom home.”

She also received ideas from some of the displays created by One Main Street sponsors. For example, she said, she saw the high-tech approach at One Main Street to operating lights, HVAC, and home entertainment. Robyn is now using Future Home Technology (one of One Main Street affiliates) for her home theater in her basement.

“That’s exactly what we want to see happen,” said Grant. “Instead of a process filled with stress and confusion, One Main Street offers comfortable discussions and new ideas.”

One Main Street in Mendham is operated by Grant Homes. It’s a show place for custom homes and custom renovations. More information is available by calling (973) 543-2021 or clicking on http://www.ONEMAINSTREETMENDHAM.COM

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Doug Fenichel, APR
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