In the year 2000, Taber LeBlanc made the life-changing decision to enter the home building business, and has never looked back. Homes by Taber takes a common-sense approach to building a home, proudly paying attention to details that enhance the way people live their lives.
The company’s focus on improving quality of life through unique features that other builders consider luxuries or upgrades has made the award-winning company a leader in the Oklahoma City area’s building industry. Taber LeBlanc is excited to continue to build in these growing communities and to frequently give back through local non-profits at every opportunity.
As Lindsay Haltom, Director of Marketing at Homes by Taber tells us, “Whether it is dealing with our customers or employees, one of our core values is doing the right thing, and putting the right thing before anything else.”
When making any business decision, Homes by Taber takes a six-pronged approach to determine whether or not it’s the right move. “We make decisions that have to be good for the six participants involved: the community, employees, subcontractors, vendors, bankers, and our customers. Decisions are easy to make if they meet those criteria, and if they don’t meet the criteria, they aren’t something we are willing to do. The foundation of our company is built around those principles,” Founder Taber LeBlanc states.
As the company’s website says, when it comes to a Taber home, “the difference is in the details.” Being located in a part of the U.S. known colloquially as “Tornado Alley,” this builder is the first to include full steel storm shelters as standard in all of its homes. LeBlanc himself – along with many other Oklahoman residents – has had firsthand experience with multiple natural disasters, and understands that you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
From there, all Homes by Taber come with sprinkler systems pre-installed and upgraded landscaping packages. They also include granite or quartz product lines, upgraded walk-in showers, jetted tubs and tankless water heaters for endless hot water. Moreover, all Taber neighborhoods are in close proximity to essential highways, top schools, and other amenities that are in high demand.
“We are big on outdoor living, including outdoor fireplaces, gas lines for grilling, and electrical outlets for TV. We spend the money to make our homes look the best and be the most functional for improved quality of life for our customers,” says LeBlanc.
And at Homes by Taber, comfort doesn’t have to come with wastefulness. The modern homes were designed with energy efficiency in mind, scoring as low as 46 on the HERS Index, a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). A typical American home scores much higher at 130, meaning residents of Taber communities can save up to $1,508 a year on their energy bills.
“We build some of the most energy-efficient homes on the market. Because the new homes are airtight, we have air filtration systems in all our homes for healthy living, which provide hospital-grade air inside your home,” shares LeBlanc.
Taber communities aren’t just enhanced by these great homes. Philanthropy is also an essential part of the company’s values, being a part of LeBlanc’s six-pronged business approach that includes always considering the wellbeing of the community. In 2017, Homes by Taber donated over $90,000 and 1,000 volunteer hours to local community service.
“Philanthropy is who we are; it’s our culture. For every house that we sell in a given month, we have a charity that receives a check for $250 per home that we sell. This year we have already donated $40,000,” LeBlanc says. In a statement for the company website, LeBlanc has also remarked, “I want to do so much more than just donate money. That’s the easy part. I want to use the power of my company and our relationships with our business partners to make an impact by being involved.”
This year, there were 12 diverse local community charities selected by employees at Homes by Taber. The employees are given time off to serve the community by contributing their time during work, after work and on weekends. The company encourages its 71 employees from all departments to volunteer their time, whether it is with a group of coworkers, or even alone with a charity that is personal to them.
“A lot of these charities need people to sort and unpack things, or fold clothes. Only a fraction of our company is made up of home builders; we have a variety of skills to offer,” says Haltom. “The charities relate to children, people facing an illness, and the homeless.”
The charities selected for 2018 include Infant Crisis Services, Inc., City Rescue Mission, Make a Wish Oklahoma, Ally’s House, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Project 66, Sunbeam Family Services, Oklahoma Outdoor Outreach, Free to Live Animal Sanctuary, Susan G. Komen, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma, and the Anna’s House Foundation. “Just yesterday I was in a hundred-degree warehouse with several of our team members, sorting and unloading food for Project 66,” adds LeBlanc.
A good corporate citizen, Homes by Taber has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Best Philanthropic Business of the Year. This spring, it won a 2018 Torch Award for Ethics, an internationally recognized award granted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Oklahoma. Also this spring, Homes by Taber was announced as a finalist for The Journal Record’s 11th annual Beacon Awards – a charity award in which participants are nominated by peers. In addition, it has received numerous Best Builder awards in magazines and newspapers, as voted by consumers. “Just in the past week, we were awarded Best New Neighborhood for two of our new developments, Ironstone and the Waters,” shares Haltom.
All of these accomplishments are a result of the company’s founding principles. By always focusing on doing the right thing for all stakeholders, Taber LeBlanc has created a company where everyone can thrive.
“Our culture sets us apart; we wouldn’t be who we are without having the beliefs that we do. We hire the right people and have created the right culture, which is why we are successful. We use the consumer value taglines ‘proudly overbuilt’ because of everything we include as a standard in our homes. We are not the cheapest builder, but we create the most value for our customers based on what we put into our homes,” says LeBlanc.
But he couldn’t do it alone. Every part of Homes by Taber’s six-pronged approach is equally valuable, and the best business decisions are those that involve win-wins, where everyone is satisfied.
“We refer to our contractors and vendors as partners, and they are just as important as our employees,” LeBlanc points out. “We take their feedback on how to develop better, more efficient processes and listen to them as much as our employees, which is also a huge part of our success.”
The builder is expanding in communities throughout the Oklahoma City region. At the moment, Homes by Taber is constructing new homes just off of East Edmond’s main highway. When complete, the large neighborhood will have a pool, park, splash pad, and playground. The company has just announced the development, and is already having success in that community. It also just closed on a 155-lot neighborhood, offering smaller and more affordable new abodes for first-time buyers or those who wish to downsize in the Edmond community.
Additionally, the builder is opening two brand new communities: one in the Norman suburb, on the southern end of Oklahoma City’s metropolitan area, and the other in Choctaw, to the east. These are both new communities for the builder, and Homes by Taber is excited to be expanding into these areas, as well as several more throughout the metro region.
In the future, the growing business will continue to invest in making the best decisions, always staying on top as the industry continues to change with evolving technology, marketing, and business practices. LeBlanc invests millions into internal development, making sure the team at Homes by Taber is keeping ahead of the industry and improving their capabilities as the company takes on new employees.
“The marketing team asks candidates to take a personality test before we hire anybody, in order to find the right fit for our culture. Everyone should have a service heart, with the importance of charity to our culture. We also value education and want everyone to grow and develop their skill set,” Haltom remarks.
“We hire based on attitude, and not necessarily based on work experience. We can teach you the job if you have the right attitude,” LeBlanc confirms.
The service-oriented business goes above and beyond to look for ways that it can offer more to its customers and its communities, but never stops looking for new ways to take what it already offers to the next level. “Everything is changing so dramatically in the home building industry. We don’t want to get stuck with the status quo. We want to continue to be the leader in the industry in Oklahoma City, evolving with the times as the world changes,” concludes LeBlanc.