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Housing : March 2009
a step This Sunshine Coast builder’s success is based on always being a step ahead of the market. Housing reports. T Below: (L–R) Tony Bryan and Tim Hendy of Ausmar Homes. ahead ony Bryan is a man who believes some rules are there to be broken. One rule in the building industry is that business partnerships are often difficult and rarely run smoothly. He took over Ausmar Homes in a partnership between himself and Tim Hendy six years ago and, in his own words ‘it has been working a treat ever since’. Rule number two is that if you must go into partnership, never do it with a friend. ‘Tim and I have been best mates for 25 years,’ he says. Last year the Sunshine-Coast based company completed 151 homes and turned over $40 million, adding to its total of 20 building industry awards in the process. It is listed at No. 61 in the top 100 builders in Australia and has won the Queensland HIA Vero Small to Medium Professional Builder of the Year award two years in a row. Tony says his secret is in the very different personas and skills he and Tim bring to the business. ‘I am a licensed builder, I can build anything, but I’m not confident with the financial side of things; Tim is a chartered accountant with a feel for the industry who looks after the general management and finance side – it’s the right mix. Tony’s secret is in the very different personas and skills he and Tim bring to the business ‘We met through racing dirt bikes when we were in our early 20s. We are both still heavily involved in motor sport, but Tim has gone on to cars and does a lot of hill climbs, rallies and street circuits at national level. I’m still racing off-road enduros all over the state.’ Tony has been involved in the housing industry for as long as he can remember. ‘My dad, Barrie, was a builder in Ballarat and he had a large building business. He used to take me off to building sites every Saturday and eventually I did my carpentry apprenticeship with him – it’s in my blood. ‘But I always had the desire to go out on my own, so I became one of the youngest licensed builders in Victoria at the age of 20 doing pergolas, extensions, renovations and the odd new home.’ During this time he married and began to raise a family. ‘I had been working extremely hard and decided to take time off and drive a motor home around Australia, working when we needed the money,’ he says. ‘It was a good way of spending time with my wife and very young family.’ It was the Sunshine Coast and Ausmar Homes that eventually snared him for good. ‘I began working as a contract supervisor for them, then construction manager and eventually the opportunity came to buy the business. I didn’t think twice before calling Tim 54 HOUSING MARCH 2009