Q&A with Nitin Jain from Crescent Homes
With Southwestern Ontario’s population experiencing steady growth each year over the past ten years, the challenge to develop housing solutions is a priority in communities across the region. Waterloo’s
Crescent Homes has answered the call and President Nitin Jain joins us to discuss their creative and innovative designs, their wider selection of interior choices and sound building processes.
Q: What is it that helps you stand out from other builders in your market?
A: We offer a lot of selective upgrades, whether that’s in the finishes or the design. Many new construction builders all have a standard list of common upgrades they offer which makes the homes look very basic. You have to upgrade and pay more even if you want something as simple as changing out a light switch. If a customer is spending 600K-1 million for their home, we want to make sure we provide an extensive selection of detailed interior upgrades. For instance, this includes upgrades such as stone countertops, flooring, fixtures, right down to the baseboards. We develop long term relationships with our building partners. We meet with our trades and suppliers to see how they can help and add their expertise, and what they can recommend. We trust them to ensure a sound project delivery in every aspect.
Q: In terms of customer service, a better customer experience can turn clients into brand advocates. How are you optimizing the home buying experience?
A: I think the key is to be as transparent as possible. Every member of our team works closely with each customer to ensure the home is built to their tastes and best suited to meet their family needs. Our sales representative works with them on plans and discusses any upgrade options, and our customer service team stays in touch regularly with the customer with all updates on the construction progress of their home. I inspect every unit and every home we build, and I think the customer appreciates that more when you take the time to stand by your product personally.
When I bought my first home, I was pleased that the builder came to the site and inspected the house himself. That meant a lot. I always remembered that and when I started Crescent Homes, I wanted to make sure I did the same. I haven’t missed a home inspection since we started.
Q: Smart growth developments encourage a mix of housing and transportation options. What is your approach when designing a new community?
A: Our approach depends on the particular development, the neighbourhood, and the community. We work with several talented architects who can do any type of architectural design that feels right for the project. We always want to make sure each community stands out on its own. It’s too easy to have one kind of product and reuse it in another subdivision. That’s an easy approach.
Instead, we base our communities on the current market trends. Our developments provide a lot of flexibility for different segments of the market, from families starting out, to empty nesters that are downsizing. We pride ourselves on the core value of delivering a quality product, so our builds are done to the highest possible standards. We are very meticulous about the details, not only with the craftsmanship throughout construction, but the ability to follow tight schedules accordingly and deliver to the customer on time.
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Q: What type of homes are in demand?
A: With southwestern Ontario’s population growth a lot of buyers today are not looking for 700 sq. ft. 1 or 2 bedrooms anymore. Building quality housing for families of all life stages and income levels is an integral part of a smart growth approach. We see a mix of young couples and growing families that want either larger units or single-family homes. Buyers are looking for 1400+ sq. ft. units with 3 and 4 bedrooms that have great amenity space and are close to plenty of trails and parks. Crescent Homes has always made it a priority to bring these family-centric communities to the market. Our Doons Crossing community in Kitchener is a great example of offering a mix of different homes. Within this community we have urban stacked townhomes, townhomes, and detached homes from 1800 to 3400 sq. ft.
Q: What is your assurance policy that your customers know their homes are safeguarded?
A: Before our customers take possession of their new home, they will go through our pre-delivery inspection (PDI), which is a comprehensive inspection to see how their home system operates. All of our homes are protected through the Tarion New Home Warranty, which includes the PDI inspection, plus an opportunity for the client to provide inspection lists at the 30 day, 1 year and 2 year marks after closing. Under Tarion, our homes are warrantied up to 7 years for major structural defects.
Q: What are some of your upcoming projects?
A: We have a lot of great projects we are excited to introduce. We recently launched a boutique condo project on the southwest side of Cambridge called The Georgie. It’s a 43-unit apartment building with five residential storeys and an additional street level with commercial space. West Galt is a great community with century homes and historic buildings close to the Grand River. This part of Cambridge is also well known for major studio film shoots so there’s always a lot of excitement, and there is easy access to highway 24 and the 401. It’s a nice balance between the charm of a small town and the convenience of modern amenities. The Georgie will consist of 1 and 2 bedroom + den modern luxury condo units ranging from 800 to 1500+ sq. ft.
We also have our Otterbein Woods project on Victoria Street North & Lackner Boulevard in Kitchener. Not far from the Grand River and surrounded by an established neighbourhood with easy access to Guelph, Waterloo, and Cambridge. Otterbein Woods will offer a new community of spacious, luxurious freehold and condominium urban towns.
Q: What does the blueprint for the future look like for Crescent Homes?
A: Moving forward, we will continue to deliver the state-of-the-art product that we are known for in multiple communities throughout southwestern Ontario. Building affordable housing is so important in today’s market, and we wish to identify new opportunities to address more affordable housing for everyone from young families to seniors. We want to make sure we live up to the high standards that we know our clients expect in a builder.