Selah Vista Homes developer and listing agent navigate supply chain issues, intensify marketing efforts | Business
In the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, major supply chain disruptions impacted work at Selah Vista Homes and countless other developments around the world.
As suppliers struggled to find their footing amid the global outbreak, Leading Force Contracting of Yakima — the building contractor for Selah Vista Homes — faced higher prices and uncertain delivery dates, if materials were available at all.
A big part of that was due to closure of the border with Canada. Anything coming from Canada, particularly lumber, took longer and cost more.
“We were shut down for concrete” the first few months, said Steve Weise, owner of Leading Force with his wife, Stephanie. “We couldn’t pour concrete. And most of the subcontractors got busier … (tradespeople) got really busy.”
But along with Brenda and Art Nunes of Nunes Group Real Estate, the Weises adjusted and work resumed on the development off West Goodlander Road after it slowed for several weeks. Workers are focusing for now on 2 acres of green space known as Selah Vista Commons.
Located on 60 acres with 60 building lots, Selah Vista Homes features low-maintenance homes with angular modern designs ranging in size from small cottages just under 1,000 square feet — construction finished on one recently — to larger, custom-built houses. Town homes are also part of the plan.
They’ve learned that health is becoming more important to many people looking for a “green” home, especially indoor air quality.
“We’ve built nine homes in two years,” said Weise, who partners with organizations like Indoor airPLUS and Zero Energy Ready Homes. “We’re very purposeful in what we do.”
Along with the unique architecture and materials such as reclaimed metal siding, home designs and materials are chosen with indoor air quality, energy efficiency, future technical upgrades and aging in place in mind. In mid-September, Leading Force was named a U.S. EPA 2020 Indoor airPLUS Leader Award winner. The award ceremony will take place during the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance Virtual High-Performance Home Summit on Oct. 5.
“What we’re doing is so very specific,” Weise said. “Imagine educating everybody. We’re having to educate a ton of new people. I just pulled the trigger on a new virtual tour.”
That’s a big lesson taken from the pandemic. Marketing already required a specific approach, as the development and its homes are different.
“In some ways, COVID has helped us. … COVID has helped us get a broader perspective of marketing online,” Brenda Nunes said. “We need to target market using multimedia — especially virtual, videos and social media — to look for buyers that want and understand what Selah Vista offers.”
With Yakima County in a modified Phase 1 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start plan to reopen Washington, open houses aren’t allowed and appointments are with just two clients at a time.
“It’s been difficult with our storefront closed,” Weise said. “We can do consultations online.”
Through it all, they’ve learned something, said Brenda Nunes: “Don’t take anything for granted.”