Building Strong Partnerships in the Custom Home Industry

Building Strong Partnerships in the Custom Home Industry title on white background with photo of Amelia Lee and Duayne Pearce and Live Life Build Logo

Strengthen your connections. Learn the importance of building partnerships in the custom home industry.

Discover how strategic collaborations with industry professionals can enhance project efficiency and client satisfaction.

Watch the video now, or read the transcript below. Be sure to also subscribe to the Live Life Build YouTube channel.


Collaboration with other consultants, soil testers, engineers, designers, architects is incredibly powerful to your business.

The Value of Partnerships


Duayne, now 6P of partnerships is all about the partnerships you create with the other professionals that are really important as part of building and renovating custom homes. So we’re talking architects, designers, even engineers, town planners, and also your client, we see your client as a partner as well. So, in terms of thinking about the relationships that you create with your partners, 

How important do you think, as a builder, it is to build great quality relationships with other industry professionals?


It’s huge. And it flows so much under so many other areas of your business. I think collaborating with other people now is definitely a passion of mine. Obviously, our PAC process has really changed the way that I not only deal with other professionals but even what I think about them, and learn why and how they do certain things. It’s making me a far better builder. 

Since we started doing the PAC Process and deep diving into more of the Professional, it started out with just getting involved with the designer and the architect. But it’s now flowed on to… we’ve got incredible relationships with a couple of engineers. We collaborate closely with the designers and architects to coordinate drawings and ensure there are no discrepancies. 

But even things like the soil testing company, in the past, that was always something that was out of our control. But now, part of our PAC process is that we work with the architect or designer to schedule the soil test with the client. 

I go to the site now. I’m pretty much on-site at every soil test that gets done. And I’ve learned about soil. To the point where one soil test shows me this little tool that you can get to get a handful of dirt, push it on the dirt, and it will tell you the strength of the soil. And we’ve been able to purchase one of those tools so that when our boys are on-site digging foundations, and it has on the drawings, footings must be found in such and such, and we can test it. 

It’s just made me a better builder, educated me, and made my team better. But most importantly, the collaboration is just getting incredible results for our clients.


I think it’s really interesting, having been in this industry as long as we have, it’s very familiar that there’ll be a lot of architects blaming builders, builders blaming architects, engineers blaming architects, whilst we all need to work together to make these projects happen. There can be a lot of weird animosity between the different industry professionals. 

And a lot of frustration as well because we feel like nobody understands what we need in order to work. And it’s the same thing that we talk about with your team. If you are making assumptions that everybody else should understand how you work and why you do things the way you do, then you can, of course, run into problems with another industry professional doing things the way that they always do, and not understanding why you might need information a specific way. 

I remember having an architectural boss say to me very early on in my career, 

“Look, Amelia, any line you draw on that piece of paper, you’ve got to remember that’s going to be a piece of material that’s going to have to be loaded onto a truck, brought out to the site, physically moved into that house”. 

It was eye-opening to start cultivating those conversations with other industry professionals, even to the point of creating drawings. What is the best way for this information to be communicated? So you’re not wasting the time and money of the clients on the wrong information, you’re helping each other, do your jobs better, and it just streamlines things overall. 

When you have to spend a lot of time with these people, you want to spend time with people you enjoy and get along with. It’s important that getting to know and creating good relationships with these industry professionals really just streamlines so much.

Strategies for Building Strong Partnerships


In the past, I definitely didn’t see how much it could improve my business. And in the past, there were things that would come up on site that we just deal with ourselves, or we’d make it a far bigger deal than it was, or it did cause a variation because we certainly would get delayed. 

We had to check with the engineer. There were endless amounts of things that were going wrong that we managed to solve through doing a PAC process and collaborating. And even just sitting here now thinking and talking to you about it. 

One designer, one engineer in particular. We’ve built such a good relationship now that we’ve sat down and had team meetings about how you deal with this on-site. What are we going to do to make this better? 

The engineer knows now, on our jobs, where we’re happy to use steel, where we’d rather use timber. He understands our reasons for that. Whether it’s labour on-site or whether it’s cost to the client. 

There are a lot of close discussions about, 

“Look, this is what I need to do here, what’s your thoughts on this? Is it going to work? Is it efficient? Do you think there’s a better way to do it?.” 

But not only having those conversations through the design process, we don’t have hold-ups now, with that particular designer and engineer, throughout the entire job, I can pick up the phone, I can give them a call, I can say, 

“Hey, mate, we’re just on this particular job”. 

I don’t even most of the time have to say a plan number. I just say, 

“This is the job address.” He’s like, “Oh, yeah, I remember that conversation we had about this.” It’s more so with renovations. I can be like, 

“Look, mate, we’ve just stripped these walls, this is what we found. We discussed this, but would you mind if we did this?” 

And I can have an answer a lot of time on that on the phone call. I can get off the phone, sometimes, I might have to sketch a little bit of detail, or he’ll send me a detail through and problem solved! We keep moving. 

Whereas in the old days, a lot of the time the only way that I needed the engineer was for the stamp of their logo on the bottom of the plan. So when I was calling people up, trying to get information, a lot of the time I would have to go through an architect to get that information that was just this big roundabout that a simple question or decision that could have been solve over one or two phone calls, could drag it for days, so yeah, I love it now. 

I just think it’s great that everyone’s on the same page. But the biggest thing at all this is not only are we getting the best results for our clients. My business is able to operate so much more efficiently.

Overcoming Challenges and Developing Collaboration


I think this is the thing: you build these relationships with professionals who understand what standard of quality you want to deliver. They know and then start to understand how you work and what’s going to deliver a better result. 

You then start to discover because you get to know them better. 

Are they like-minded? 

Do they have similar standards for themselves in terms of their professional quality? 

Are they going to assist you in delivering the quality that you want to have? 

Or are they not a good match? And so you need to find other people to work with. 

That helps shore up your profitability as a business. And also, the other amazing benefit of creating these network and industry relationships is that you’re not the one that’s having to market your business all the time. And they’re not the ones having to market their businesses all the time. 

Clients always say, “Do you know an engineer? Do you know an architect?” 

The clients don’t always start with the architectural designer first. They sometimes go straight to the builder. 

Sometimes, they might even go to the engineer because they’ve had a structural issue on their site. Having those relationships with industry professionals means they can then recommend you into these projects. 

And that recommendation coming from another industry professional holds a lot of weight for a client and opens the door for you and your business that this just then means you’re not only having to market itself, but you’re continuing to work with people who know how you work and can work well with you. 

It’s just got so many benefits that networking is not one thing that builders necessarily greyed out or want to enjoy or seek out. Ultimately, it’s about building good relationships, isn’t it?

Leveraging Partnerships for Business Success


Yeah, it’s something that, for me in the past, it just never crossed my mind. I would get given plans, get asked to tender the job, price them up, and start the job. I never really considered how powerful it could be. 

The marketing side of it has become a lot bigger than what we would have expected. 

We have a couple of engineers now who put their names forward all the time. And to me, that is a really big one. Because structural issues are things that clients are really scared about, they see so many horror stories on Current Affairs. 

For us to get recommended by a good engineer has just done wonders for our business. 

But another powerful thing with this is, at the moment, we’re having these situations in the industry where shortages of materials and things. 

So the engineer has called me multiple times. And when he’s doing his drawings and the designer and said, 

“Hey, what have you heard about this? We’re thinking about this material, or we’re thinking we need to use these beams. What do you think?”

I can make some calls to my suppliers, check availability, and go back to them. And it’s happened multiple times where I’ve gone back to the engineer and said, 

“Look, that is available at the moment, but there’s possibly going to be a shortage. Can you give us two options?” 

And it’s worked so well because we’ve been able to start our jobs in particular in the last 12 months, then a massive shortage of roof trusses. But I don’t have to delay the job. I don’t have to go to the engineer because I already have an option for a hand-pitch roof. 

Collaboration with other consultants, soil testers, engineers, designers, and architects is incredibly powerful to your business.


Make sure if you see architects’ or engineers’ names on the drawings that you’re receiving, reach out to them. Reach out to professional colleagues in your area, organise a meeting, and start that conversation about what opportunities you have to build great relationships with them. Who knows what could come from it?

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