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sponsor spotlight By Kylea Bitoka

“I wake up, put my feet on the ground, and think, ‘Where can I find more land today?’” states Tripp Bunker, Vice President of Land Development for Sagamore Homes. “There’s so much land. I’m always scouting it out, whether I’m driving to work or riding with my wife and kids to a game.” Tripp lives and breathes home building. Since 1999, Tripp has built his career in land development and home construction. “I enjoy doing it. There isn’t anything else

Sagamore HOMES

I would rather be doing.” Partners Ken Anson and Jim Merrill agree. The dynamic trio each built a successful career in the construction industry before teaming up to take Sagamore Homes to the next level. Friends for many years before their

New Partnership Q&A

partnership, each member brings valuable experience and expertise that translates into high value for Sagamore’s buyers.

32 • October 2019

“There is nothing like getting out into the field and watching a house constructed from the ground up, especially the framing part because that’s where my roots are,” shares Jim Merrill, Director of Construction and Operations. Jim started in the industry in 1985. He’s worked for regional and national builders and is highly-experienced in general contracting. Ken Anson, President of Sagamore Homes, continues a family legacy. “My dad was a builder; it’s all I’ve ever done!” Ken graduated with a degree in Construction Science and started in the industry as an intern in 1983. From there, he worked for two of the largest homebuilders in the nation before starting his own home-building

company. After selling the company, early retirement beckoned him; however, he quickly realized retirement wasn’t for him. “There wasn’t anyone my age to play golf with, and I was driving myself crazy sitting in the house!” Tripp and Ken had talked about teaming up in the past. It was clear that this was the moment. And Ken knew he wanted Jim on board for the next venture. Soon, Sagamore Homes was reborn. The three owners sat down with Triad Real Producers to talk about the metamorphosis of the business through their new partnership and what buyers can expect from trusting in Sagamore Homes.

Q: WHERE DID THE NAME SAGAMORE HOMES COME FROM? A: In English tradition, every man’s

home is his castle. They used to name their estates. Sagamore Hill is the name of Teddy Roosevelt’s place. I always liked the name for some reason. It’s as simple as that,” says Tripp with a chuckle. Q: HOW DOES THE CURRENT PARTNERSHIP SET A DIFFERENT STAGE FOR THE FUTURE OF SAGAMORE HOMES? A: “We are primed for growth. We

have an amazing team of experienced individuals from our partnership with Superintendent, Jacob Brown, Vice President of • 33

Every decision we make and how we operate our business is geared towards keeping costs as low as possible and passing the savings along to the consumer.

34 • October 2019

tion, Jacob Wilkes, Office Manager, Kelli Rajacich, Accounting, Danielle Lytton, and the Blue Door Group Sales and Marketing Team. The human element is the hardest part to get right and assemble. If the team is right, everything else falls into place. I know that finding the lots will happen, leading the company will happen, building and selling the homes will happen. It happens as a result of the team that’s available to execute. And our team excels at delivering results,” states Tripp. Q: HOW HAVE YOU ATTRACTED A TEAM OF EXPERIENCED CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS? A: One of the things that attract

something we are not; we are not a custom builder. Every decision we make and how we operate our business is geared towards keeping costs as low as possible and passing the savings along to the consumer. We offer the most value per square foot of what they purchase.” Ken continues, “Being locally owned means that we don’t have the same inefficiencies as large, publicly-owned companies. We make all of our decisions in-house. When we are negotiating lot agreements, prices, or terms with developers, we don’t need to get approval from a corporate office. We can make a decision immediately, and that gives us an advantage.


Ken shares another example. “We had a customer ask us to make a structural change to the house that had to do with window placement. We are not a custom builder, so we don’t typically make structural changes. We can’t do custom plans and offer the same value that we are known for. However, as we reviewed the request, we realized it would improve the current floor plan. We changed the layout, printed new brochures, and within two weeks, we were already selling the new version. Bigger builders can’t make plan changes in two weeks. We can react to our customers’ feedback without any wasted time. If we need to do something, we make that change happen.

the markets in which we build. We give you the most for your dollar. We don’t pretend to be

Jim expounds on the home features that make a Sagamore

people to work here is we don’t have the layering that the bigger builders do, and we don’t have set quotas. We concentrate on getting it done correctly. We focus on quality over quantity. Our management style is leadership by example,” shares Jim. He adds, “That, and we have really cool shirts!” Everyone laughs. The comradery is contagious; one can feel the joy and pride they share in every element. Sitting in a room with them is like being with your best friend, an expert builder, who can make your dream house a reality. It’s a good combination!

home unique. “It’s the details. We offer rounded corners on drywall. We also offer homes that have a pest control system built into the walls, and we incorporate smart technology into our homes. Some of our models offer oversized garages, pantries, and storage space. The floor plans are very functional. Q: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU EACH DAY? Ken: I remember walking

through one of my dad’s construction sites and smelling the unfinished house. I think that very moment sparked my passion for building. My dad passed it on to me, and I’ve passed it on to my son as well. He’s also in the construction industry. At Sagamore Homes, we are a great team because our motivation is the same—we all enjoy this business and want to create a positive buyer experience. Plus, we like working together. It’s fun! And that makes it easy to go to work every day. Tripp: I enjoy the work and getting to meet new people. I’ve had jobs where the paycheck was good, but I hated it. This is my passion. I love hunting for land, finding the right property, and negotiating the deal; it’s a rush! Jim: “I just like coming to work to see Tripp!” Jim jokes and laughter breaks out. Then he continues, “I’ve always liked the construction process, whether it’s hands-on, supervising, or managing the construction team. It feels good to put something together where people can live and enjoy life.” • 35

Profile for Blue Door Group

Sagamore Homes - New Partnership Q & A  

Get to know the behind-the-scenes partnership of the owners at Sagamore Homes in this spotlight by Triad Real Producers magazine!

Sagamore Homes - New Partnership Q & A  

Get to know the behind-the-scenes partnership of the owners at Sagamore Homes in this spotlight by Triad Real Producers magazine!