Get to know Allen Walker
Gage + Bella Custom Homes
Where did you grow up? Tell me a little about your background?
I grew up in a small town in North Texas, south of Ft. Worth. I went to college in Stephenville at Tarleton State University, and supported myself through college. I met my wife while in college, and we were married the same year we graduated. We have been married over 20 years and have 2 kids.
Did you begin your career in the homebuilding industry?
I did begin my career in homebuilding, right out of college. I had a business management degree with an emphasis on small business management. I didn’t know a lot about construction, but there was a lot to learn. I cut my teeth with a privately owned homebuilder based in Chicago but running a division in DFW. I learned a ton and loved every minute of it.
What do you love most about the custom home building industry?
I love so many things about it. I love the variety of plans, the options offered, and watching the blue prints become reality through hard work and planning. Most of all, I love the people. There aren’t many things you can be or do in this world that have a greater impact than delivering the American Dream. It is great to work with Texas families, and create a space that caters to their lifestyle and taste! When that process is complete and the keys are handed over, the expression on their faces make it all worth it!
What’s the most important aspect of homebuilding?
Listening. Listen to the customer. Listen to what they want, and listen to what is important to them. Then set expectations and deliver.
What are the key phases in your homebuilding process and how do you approach each phase?
Proper expectations will start the project off correctly, and keep things running smooth.
A client pre-start construction meeting allows for a general review of the project and is a time where expectations are set. This touch point meeting will open up the lines of communication and outline critical things to come.
Before drywall, we’ll have the client pre-drywall meeting. This touch point meeting is a general review of events thus far – a review onsite of the current snapshot in time, and a review of things to come. This check and balance meeting serves as a critical milestone to ensure everything is accounted for thus far, as the behind the wall systems will be covered up soon. This is an exciting time, as the home somewhat splits into two projects, exterior and interior.
The last key phase is the Conveyance and Orientation walk through at time of delivery. This final touch point is a demonstration of the new home to the client, walking through all of the areas in the home, and reviewing the features and options that are installed.
How did you get the name for your company?
Gage & Bella – they are the names of my two kids. This is the biggest reputation stamp I can have.
What sets you apart from the competition?
I want to involve the client, and make things fun. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made from a design and selection stand point. There is also a ton of emotion that goes into the homebuilding process. This is the biggest investment that most families make, and it is a stressful time. We want to set expectations, deliver against them, and make things fun.
How do you want to be perceived as a homebuilder?
We are the group that isn’t the biggest, by any means. Through effective communication, we are the group that will continue to do things right, listen to the customer, and deliver a high quality home. We are highly organized, and will do what other homebuilders refuse to do.