Building Landmark Homes for 45 years

Their vision to build houses that offered something more exciting than just the average home saw Paul and Debbie Clarke start building Landmarks in 1977. With a design attitude which places creativity and quality at its core, Landmark Homes has not only built more than 2000 homes, but also a reputation for honesty, quality, and innovation in everything they do.

Paul and Debbie began their own independent building company in the ‘70s and established Landmark Homes in Tauranga soon after. In the years since, the landscape of New Zealand’s home building industry has evolved dramatically – something they’re proud to have been an integral part of.


“Our focus has always been about exciting design,” says Debbie. “Back in the ‘70s when we started the business, everyone was building single level bungalow type houses. Our first Landmarks were a Cape Cod style home with a 45-degree pitched roof and an upstairs bedroom. The design offered something more than just the basic little boxes being built at the time by other companies – they were homes that made creative use of space but, even then, were also beautiful to live in.” 

Debbie Clarke

PUTTING THEIR TALENT ON SHOW

Landmark Homes has a reputation for building innovative Showhomes that combine bold design with cost effective build solutions. Paul and Debbie set a benchmark in Tauranga by building the city’s first Showhome on Waihi Road in 1979.

Debbie, who has an interior design qualification and many years of sales experience, is still actively involved with Showhome designs.

“Showhomes are our face to the world and we’ve always been very focussed on showing people what we can offer,” says Debbie. “You just have to walk inside a Landmark and you instantly get a real life example of what’s available and how it would feel to have your own.”

GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

The success of Landmark’s growing number of franchisees is a reflection of the company’s solid blend of well-earned credibility, robust and repeatable systems and processes, and a commitment to only choosing the best people for the job.

“Choosing the right people is a big deal,” says Debbie. “And we’ve been very deliberate in how we do that. As a result, we’ve got a great community of people who are all incredibly supportive of each other and have a shared vision of helping Kiwis not only build their dream home, but to make that process an exciting and memorable one.”

Paul and Debbie believe that the foundation of building beautiful homes begins with building solid relationships. “Relationships have always been really important to us,” says Debbie. “From our clients, suppliers to our franchisees. And each one is equally important – a good relationship with our suppliers means we can offer a better result for our clients – and vice versa.”

HONESTY AND COMMUNICATION

While innovation and creativity have underpinned Landmark Homes’ success for decades, these qualities are just part of the success formula. Paul says that honesty and good communication are just as important. “We don’t try and hide any bad news from our clients,” he says. “In fact, we make a point of communicating any potential issues early. We’ve always believed in proactive communication – it’s absolutely paramount. The fact is that there will inevitably be unexpected issues but communicating those professionally and with a solution-driven focus makes all the difference to our clients.”



LOOKING AHEAD

With plans to expand their Showhomes and franchises into more areas of New Zealand – including Nelson, Wairarapa, Kapiti, South Canterbury, and Otago – Landmark Homes is on track to have a full presence nationwide.

With a great CEO and a strong management team in place, Paul and Debbie say they’re very positive about Landmark’s future. “It excites us to see people succeed,” says Paul. “And we’ve got some outstanding franchisees that have a very exciting path ahead of them.

“Our overriding ambition is to see 100 percent of our franchisees doing really well, to continue our founding principles of delivering beautiful, unique homes and to provide an excellent build experience for every client.”

ABOUT THE LANDMARK NAME

Driving home to Tauranga one weekend, Paul and Debbie were brainstorming names for their new company, but nothing stood out. As they neared the famous mural town of Katikati a trig station caught Paul’s eye. He pointed it out to Debbie saying, ‘’Look at that over there, that’s a bit of a landmark, isn’t it?’’ In that moment, the pair turned to each other in agreement, “Landmark… that’s it!”

That now infamous trig station also inspired the shape and colours of Landmark’s logo, which still endures to this day.

A look back to the first style of Landmark Homes’ branding
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