Champion Real Estate Company is a family-owned developer and investor specializing in building and owning “dense housing.” Founded by Bob Champion in 1985 to redevelop properties in Southern California, the company currently develops and invests in multifamily and student housing, but has invested in office, storage, and retail in the past. Champion has grown steadily over the years and now owns real estate nationwide worth over $500 million.
Greg Beck is currently Senior Vice President and Partner at Champion Real Estate, where he’s responsible for project approvals and construction and helps develop the company’s larger business strategy. He has been with Champion for over nine years, completing many mixed-use developments valued at over $755 million, including campuses, residential and commercial condominiums, offices, retail and restaurants, and public parking uses.
Champion primarily serves housing residents and aims to provide unique products through lower costs and better services. According to Greg, Champion is most passionate about “finishing projects we’re proud of on time and on budget.”
Although Champion has an excellent track record of building high-quality housing developments over the years, the company was still struggling to get accurate cost estimates. Specifically, Champion needed accurate cost estimation through every phase of project development—including sketch, schematic design, design development, construction documents, and cost-benefit analysis for potential changes.
In the past, Champion would simply use general contractor estimates, but those were often inaccurate: “Nearly all of the estimates from general contractors were low due to the fact that real costs often aren’t provided by the market until there’s a deal to be made, resulting in inaccurate estimates.”
What’s more, because Champion builds projects differently than most real estate developers, historical data was unreliable for determining final project costs. WhatChampion needed was a cost estimating service that could provide detailed cost estimates coupled with a greater understanding of the project elements required to build.
Greg found what he was looking for with 1build. He discovered 1build when he began work on a construction cost estimate for a 102-unit multifamily project in Los Angeles, and chose 1build over a typical general contractor because of 1build’s cost and speed. Greg said, “1build could develop a detailed and accurate estimate within days at a more affordable price than other estimating services.”
Greg quickly set up his online account and was immediately contacted by a1build estimator with years of experience determining project costs for large multifamily projects.
“My experience working with 1build has been really great so far and getting started with the service was a piece of cake.”Greg Beck, Champion Real Estate Company
As Greg worked closely with 1build on his estimate, he was most impressed by the how 1build’s estimator customized his estimate to fit his project’s unique needs. He said, “1build always tailors the price and estimates to meet my constraints.” By having detailed conversations with Greg about Champion and their current projects, 1build was able to work closely with Greg, increasing the accuracy of their estimate.
When 1build delivered the final estimate for Champion’s multi-family project, Greg was amazed by how accurate it was.
Just how accurate was the estimate 1build created for Champion’s multifamily project? The final budget 1build submitted to Champion was within 3% of the general contractor contract price, easily achieving Greg’s primary goal: estimate accuracy. Moreover, by delivering an affordable and accurate estimate, 1build saved Champion months of time working through value engineering to eliminate unwanted costs that arise from inaccurate estimates.
Beyond time savings, 1build has also helped Champion validate the viability of new business plans worth tens of millions of dollars, and 1build’s quick turn-around has dramatically streamlined the company’s decision-making, increasing the likelihood of completing their 102-unit project on time and on budget.
An added benefit of working with 1build is that Greg now feels “more comfortable about material and labor costs as well as production rates.” By knowing what the costs should be upfront, he’s able to “make better design decisions and feel more confident during negotiations.”
In fact, Greg strongly recommends 1build to any developer focused on results:
“At Champion Real Estate, we’re focused on results—especially meeting cost and time commitments and accuracy of work product. If I need something quick and cost-effective,1build estimators walk through the estimate to define what shortcuts have been taken and what assumptions were made as a result. In the end, there’s an evidenced-based discussion about contingency and escalation to ensure we’re getting the results we need—a cost-effective estimate fast, without sacrificing accuracy.”