Step of faith
OKC couple’s homebuilding company grows with the market despite giving up Sundays.
Authentic Custom Homes committed heresy as far as business is concerned, but deciding to close on Sundays — everything: office, model homes, staff phones — was a step forward in faith. Business, it turns out, didn’t suffer a bit, said Brandi Woods, co-owner with her husband Kenyon. In fact, it grew, as the pair expanded their work from the northwest part of the metro area into Choctaw and Stillwater. Model homes were closed Sundays starting in January 2017. “Most people embraced it. We did have some push back both internally and outside of the company initially, but we stood strong that this was our new normal,” Wood said. Authentic started 59 homes and closed on sales of 42 in 2016; started 61 and sold 61 in 2017; and started 87 this year, which will see 70 sales, Woods said. “The community has embraced the fact that we are closed on Sunday and now our model homes are busy on Saturday,” she said. “Realtors are welcome to show our homes on Sunday, but our staff will follow up on Monday, as their phones are off. I keep my phone on, just in case something is urgent, but rarely does it ring as people are now used to our hours.” Authentic’s growth helped push construction up 4.9 percent through November in the Oklahoma City area compared with the same period last year, according to The Builder Report by Dharma Inc. in Norman. Builders started 4,526 houses, compared with 4,315 through November 2017, in Oklahoma City, unincorporated Oklahoma County, Bethany, Blanchard, Choctaw, Edmond, Midwest City, Moore, Mustang, Newcastle, Noble, Norman, Shawnee and Yukon, according to the report. The increase wasn’t as great as in the same period 2016-2017, when the number of starts went up 7.4 percent — but construction has been positively rosy in 2018 compared to 2015-2016, when starts fell 17.3 percent. This year has had “a little bit of everything: rising interest rates, never-ending rain in August, an election, and more,” said Steve Shoemaker, vice president of sales and marketing at Ideals Homes of Norman. “We had a really conservative forecast moving into the year. Then the first quarter jumped out of the gate with the strongest sales for a quarter that we’ve ever seen at Ideal Homes,” he said. “The sales leveled off, but stayed consistent throughout the year.” Shoemaker said Ideal saw surprising upticks in demand this year in Moore and southwest Oklahoma City, especially in its Featherstone addition, on the north side of SW 164 west of S Western Avenue, and Native Plains addition, north of SW 164 on the east side of S Pennsylvania Ave. “We can’t get lots off the ground fast enough to meet demand,” he said. “When all the dust settles, 2018 will be the second best year of revenue in Ideal Homes’ 28-year history.” Woods said 2018 will go on
Authentic Custom Homes’ books as a success in more ways than one because of the Sunday closings.
“This company is built on Christian values and we value family and people above all else. It was time to take that bold step of faith,” she said. “We have had considerable growth over the past two years and great opportunities have
come our way as we believe that God is opening doors and blessing this company.
“Not everyone has a pulpit to preach from, but we believe that everyone has a platform, and we are using the platform that we have been given to spread
the love of Christ. Putting family first — ours, our customers, and that of our employees — is very important. After all, family is what fills the homes that we build. What could be more important than that?”
Authentic Custom Homes is building this home at 12916 Firerock Circle in The Porches at Ponderosa addition on the east side of County Line Road north of Memorial Road.
Kenyon and Brandi Woods, co-owners of Authentic Custom Homes, are shown in one of the company’s model homes, which are closed on Sundays.