For Frankel Building Group, the evolution of technology in the real estate and construction world was the next logical step in creating a sustainable and viable company. By incorporating technology into its client-based custom design and build firm through the use of a personal app and 3D renderings, co-president and principal Scott Frankel said Frankel Building Group is years ahead of the rest of the competition.
Frankel, who runs the company alongside his brother Kevin, described it as "a responsibility to do better and to show more."
"Our company, when I got here, was politely a little bit in the stone ages," Scott Frankel tells InnovationMap. "In order to be a customer facing business, and in order to compete in the market, we have learned to be a very technology-forward business. I would say out of every custom builder in the country, we are probably the most technology-reliant builder out there. That's a good thing."
The building group, which was started by 30 years ago by Scott and Kevin's father Jim, uses technology in every aspect of its projects.
Five to 10 years ago, builders would have to import designs into AutoCAD, a software that allows builders, engineers and architects to see their drawings in 3D form. Those AutoCAD drawings would then be printed and given to the homebuyer.
At Frankel Building Group, clients are able to login to an online portal that allows them to see every communication between them and the Frankel team, as well as building plans, updates, and digital 3D renderings of their homes. Everything from estimates to the latest updates from their assigned project manager are available to homebuyers from their phone.
"Our clients want that access," Frankel said. "If they don't get that access, they are going to be left with more questions than answers."
Frankel believes that they are only doing what the clients expect from a custom homebuilder: increasing communication through every means possible to make sure the client is satisfied with what the builder is doing.
"My brother and I are not huge technology guys," Frankel said. "We didn't come from this as framers who became custom builders. We came from a family that built custom homes and (using technology) only makes logical sense because it's something that makes it better. It's kind of like when you're banking with Chase and they came out with online banking — it just makes it better."
Within the next five years, Frankel believes that the technology they are using will evolve even more, perhaps to include holographic 3D models of homes they hope to build for their clients.
But, for now, Frankel Building Group is focused on growing their business one day at a time.
"Our focus is people in Houston who want to design and build that home for them on their property," Frankel said. "We just want to make sure we're putting the best product out there."