- California-based Connect Homes specializes in manufactured homes.
- The houses can accommodate families in urban, suburban and countryside areas.
- Greg Leung, CEO of Connect Homes and former Apple executive, explains how the company works.
- Visit Insider’s Business section for more stories.
What do Apple, Tesla, and manufactured homes have in common? Apparently a lot if you are the manufacturer of prefabricated houses Connect Homes.
California-based Connect Homes specializes in manufactured homes. Although not a new concept, prefabrication is increasingly seen as a potential solution to our housing crisis.
Currently, prefabs can be seen across the spectrum, from homes that can accommodate families to shelters for the homeless. And recently, several prefab manufacturers – including Plant Prefab, Pallet, Dvele – have seen a surge in public interest and sales.
But unlike other manufacturers of prefabricated modular homes, Connect Homes builds its units the same way Apple builds its phones and Tesla builds its vehicles: by “understanding every stakeholder and every element of the journey,” said Greg Leung. , CEO of Connect Homes, at Insider.
Leung, who served as CEO of Connect Homes for about six months, previously spent 12 years at Apple overseeing the planning and management of its global supply chain. Despite the obvious differences between Apple and Connect Homes, Leung says his background at the tech giant – and a previous smart home tech startup – has lent itself to transforming Connect Homes and the industry. from the prefabricated house to a company capable of producing better quality houses more frequently while using less time and money.
“Imagine you approach building a house like Apple would approach building a product… from an end-to-end perspective,” Leung explained. “By thinking about it from that perspective, you are able to optimize and make decisions that allow the whole to work seamlessly for the end consumer, and for [the process] to operate effectively and efficiently. “
For manufacturers of manufactured homes, this execution could mean the difference between being a niche home builder or a “game changer” that could replace “traditional construction in many use cases,” Leung said.
And for Connect Homes, the goal is to become a key national builder.
“The prefab has been around for decades, and it’s been over-promised and under-delivered because the prefab itself isn’t the solution, it’s a technique used to solve the problem. [of our housing crisis]”Leung said.
Create a connected home
The growing popularity of Connect is undeniable. The company recorded the most bookings in its history during the second quarter of 2020. Now it looks like the first quarter of this year will beat the numbers of the fourth quarter of last year, and the coming second quarter is already on track to outperform this quarter.
Among this influx of orders, there was a strong mix of demands for housing in urban, suburban and rural areas. Whatever the destination, Connect’s modular units can be delivered across the United States using semi-trailers, railcars or freighters.
All of these homes are built at Connect’s California plant using an “assembly line construction” method. As a result, Connect is able to build a house every six days, while an entire house can be produced in 24 days, according to Leung. When the units are complete, Connect will deliver their homes 90% complete and install them for their customers using a crane.
Compared to traditional homes, Connect homes are more efficient – in terms of time, money, waste and carbon – to build “by order of magnitude,” Leung said. This ecological angle can also be seen in all of its homes: Connect units are equipped with insulation, energy-efficient systems, a roof with high solar reflectance and LED lights.
A Sneak Peek of Connect’s Most Popular Home
Not all Connect customers are first-time home buyers. In some cases, Connect’s customers are city dwellers looking to physically replace an existing home with a new one. Other times, it’s the looking home buyers for the “city-to-country” exodus we’ve seen throughout COVID-19.
The company has also received inquiries from cooler tourist destinations such as ski resorts, which benefit from Connect’s strong insulation, year-round building capabilities, and shipping homes almost. complete.
While Connect does not build purely custom homes, the existing models are semi-customizable via different finishes and devices. There are also different packages – including one for cold weather and another for smart home technology – to further customize the space.
Connect units – which sit on steel frames – are no different from a typical modern home. The company offers 14 models, ranging from Connect $ 1,202,700 460 square feet, to Connect $ 10,997,000 3,200 square feet. It is important to note that these prices include the estimated costs of the house and “work on the site”.
Connect’s most popular model, the Connect 8, approaches the larger model at 2,560 square feet. The two-story Connect 8 is a “quintessential family home” with its high-ceilinged living room and entertainment areas. The galley also flows into the aft deck, creating an indoor-outdoor feel.
In total, the nearly $ 814,000 home includes three bedrooms and bathrooms. The second floor contains the three sleeping areas, including the master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and a walk-in closet. The top floor also has a second bathroom and a utility room.
Going down, the lower level houses the living and dining area, a pantry and a bathroom.
It’s all lined with floor-to-ceiling bay windows to bring in as much natural light as possible.
According to Leung, the house’s success stems from its “versatile footprint” and its ability to fit into thin but long urban plots.
“It’s not your sprawling larger ranch home, which doesn’t always fit into urban environments, but it’s also just as good in the country,” Leung said. “We sell them everywhere.”