JB Homes builds custom homes where there is demand, whether that’s in a subdivision or on acreage. The company has no set “product,” but instead is inspired by its buyers’ visions. As an increasing number of home buyers look for such amenities as acreage, low taxes, a school district with a small town atmosphere, a country lifestyle with convenience to the city, JB Homes has established an important niche market in the land-rich counties west of Fort Worth.
“We’re experiencing a great amount of activity in such areas as Aledo and Willow Park, and on the western side of Tarrant County. An extra 10 to 15 minute drive is well worth it for the lifestyle our buyers are finding there. This parallels the same trend that has made northeast Tarrant County neighborhoods so desirable. Now, the resurgence of commercial construction in the city of Fort Worth and revival of the downtown business sector have prompted people to explore the west side of Tarrant County as a new alternative that provides the lifestyle advantages of a small town atmosphere, while not being too far away from the city” said Trey Bliss, co-owner of JB Homes.
“For example, from Deer Creek Estates, near Aledo, Interstate 20 connects to Interstate 30 to get you to downtown Fort Worth in about 15 minutes. The driving is all highway. To get to Dallas, you have a choice of I-20 or I-30. Also, the future expansion of Highway 121 will provide an easy access from western Tarrant and Parker counties to the Mid-Cities area.”
Robert Joslin, Trey’s partner in JB Homes, added, “Surprisingly, it’s not people moving out of Fort Worth who make up the primary buyers in Parker County. We are attracting out-of-state buyers who are comparing the area to Dallas, northeast Tarrant County, the city of Fort Worth…virtually every corner of the Metroplex, and deciding that the west side is truly the answer to their needs. I think the availability of land and the fact that traffic on this side is so much lighter makes the area a true escape, while its accessibility is excellent.”
Robert and Trey came to know each other when they were both hired to work as builders for the custom home division of Youngblood Homes. Primarily, they were responsible for meeting the needs of customers who wanted to build on their own sites, away from the neighborhood developments where the company offered production homes. The custom home division also allowed buyers to customize home plans.
When Bill Youngblood retired, Robert and Trey applied the same family-business principles they had learned from their experience with Youngblood, and formed JB Homes.
“Trey and I represent two young families helping other families to build homes that are designed and built to meet their needs,” said Robert.
Truly, JB Homes is a family business. Robert’s wife, Sally holds an interior design degree and provides design services for JB Homes’ clients. Barbara, Trey’s wife, helps the company with marketing.
What has made JB Homes a success through the struggling economy of the late ’80s into the more prosperous ’90s are the qualities of product and service.
“Our buyers have the advantage of being able to bring in their own sketches and ideas for a home. We start from scratch, and help them design a home to meet their lifestyle. Whether the home being built is in the $200,000 or $400,000 price range, they get the same level of attention,” explained Robert.
“Value for the price is exactly what earned us First Place award in the Spring Tour of New Homes™ in 1993. The comments we heard were of surprise that we could deliver 100 percent solid ash cabinetry, raised panel doors, superior trim, and upgraded carpeting and still price the home competitively,” said Trey.
“Home buyers should judge value not just by visiting a builder’s model, but in taking a look at the production line, as well. They’ll find that our value is consistent in every home we build.”
“What pleased the buyers as much as the value is that they deal directly with us. We are not only the owners of the company, but we, ourselves, are the builders,” said Robert. “We personally check the daily progress of every home. Little things that we do during the construction process cost us slightly more, but make the difference in our product. Getting the cheapest price only gives you the cheapest product. We look instead for value.”
“We engineer every slab, and after it is poured, we remove the forms the same day and smooth out the sides. We change the hinges on all the doors after painting. If we see something that isn’t right, we fix it. After it’s all said and done, we hope to have educated the buyer about the nuts and bolts of building so that they can fully appreciate their new home.”
JB Homes finds that in order to deliver the personal service they do, that annual production is ideally about 12 homes a year. Their reputation for value and service has generated a healthy business in referrals.
“We have built for several members of the same family,” said Robert. “When a parent refers their child to you, or a brother recommends you to his brother, you know you’re doing the job right.”
Here’s one for credibility–Trey and Robert built Adam S’s home on an acre property in Benbrook in 1995. He was so satisfied with the building experience and with the quality of the home that he kept referring others to JB Homes until he decided he should make a career out of selling homes for the company!
“But JB Homes doesn’t stop there with its marketing,” said Robert. “We shop our competition, study plans, visit other subdivisions in our area and outside of our area, and read industry publications. As members of the Builders Association of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, we attend seminars and other educational programs. We constantly analyze our customer profile to know our market and get their business. We take literature to Realtor offices, hold open houses and have participated every year in home shows.
“We recognize the importance of staying diversified in area, price and home style. We will make every effort to work within whatever price range a buyer’s budget dictates,” Robert noted.
“In addition to providing a valuable product and knowing how to market it, it takes several other things to make you a success in this business,” Trey added. “Knowing the right people in the trades and using their loyally is important. It’s also essential to establish the right contacts in the financial business, and seek their advice and council regularly.”
Robert Joslin and Trey Bliss have appropriately adopted “Homes Built with Pride,” as JB Homes’ company logo. It’s a fitting description of their style, which comes down to honesty, ethics, and a commitment to offer the best value they know how to deliver.