How We've Handled Material Shortages And Grew Our Home Building Business To $6M/Year

Published: May 26th, 2022
Michael J Parnell
Founder, MPC Builders
MPC Builders
from Manasquan, New Jersey, USA
started April 2012
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hi! I’m Michael Parnell, and I’m the founder of MPC Builders. We’re a custom home building company located in Manasquan, New Jersey, with a satellite office in Swedesboro, NJ that focuses on commercial construction in the Philadelphia metro area.

Our home building clients are typically very successful businessmen and women looking to build a custom beach house or looking to relocate their primary residence to the coastal areas of Monmouth and Ocean counties in NJ. They have busy lives, and need a full-service home builder to guide them through the process in an honest, transparent manner, and build a high-end product in an efficient time frame.

Our commercial clients are typically universities, and large real estate investment trusts or developers, who want to work with a highly professional construction manager who can take on a project and run with it. One who provides excellent communication and management expertise, and does not need a lot of hand-holding or oversight, so they can focus on their other responsibilities and be comfortable that the project they award MPC Builders will be built promptly at a high level of quality.

The last 12 months, and projected 12 months ahead are the busiest, most profitable years we’ve had since we opened our doors 10 years ago this April..!


Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?

Our business is booming, particularly our custom home building unit. Many of our clients no longer have to live in, or close to, New York City to work…they’re able to work mostly or even full time from home (remotely), so they’re moving down to the Jersey Shore at a record pace. That influx of high net worth clientele are buying older properties and building their dream homes along the coast, and in turn that’s driving the growth in our company!

With all home builders experiencing record growth over the last year, coupled with material shortages as well as large price increases, it’s been very challenging to manage projects and construction timelines for our clients. As a result of material shortages, we had to adjust our prices in line with the current market pricing, and we extended the lead times due to material availability.

The usual speed and efficiency that we like to build with is a challenge and takes extra effort in planning when to order materials and equipment. We have to build those longer lead times into our construction schedules, and good communication with our clients to explain any delays that come about is more important than ever to manage their expectations and keep them abreast of any changes to our construction schedule.

We take that aspect of our business very seriously, and at first when these material shortages started happening it was very frustrating, and we feared that we weren’t living up to our reputation.

But in times like these, we all need to take a step back and realize they’re unprecedented and understand that as long as we stay in constant communication with our clients and keep them updated on all aspects of the project, and impacts our schedules, we can work through these delays together to the best of our ability.

We’re still very much driven by referrals from former clients, as well as architects and realtors, but we’ve also created a video that explains our approach to home building, and our process, and it was filmed in one of the nicest homes we’ve built. We have that video running on a constantly paid advertisement on Instagram and Facebook and it’s driven a lot of traffic to our website and social media channels. It has yet to produce a sale but has produced several phone calls that could lead to a sale down the road if those clients can find a property to build on.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

Many small businesses went out of business due to the Covid19 pandemic, but our industry was fortunate in that it created this boom in home building and renovations, not only in our area along the Jersey Shore but across the nation.

My advice for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business is this: identify a cause that’s near and dear to your heart and have the business contribute to that cause.

We’ve taken advantage of that good fortune and have taken on as many new projects as we could while still ensuring that we can deliver for our clients at the level we’ve been known for. It has also allowed us to make sure we’re working with the right clients and turning down opportunities that don’t seem like a good fit. This is the first time in our 10-year history that we’ve felt comfortable turning down work that’s come our way.

2021 was a great year for personal growth for me. I trained for and competed in my first endurance event, called 29029, where I hiked up Stratton Mountain in Vermont 17 times (taking the gondola down) to hike the vertical foot equivalent of Mount Everest. It was an incredible event and experience, but the biggest impact it made on my life was the dedication and discipline it took to train for the event. I was training upwards of 40 hours per month, I ran over 500 miles and cycled over 1,000 miles, hiked over 300 miles, and walked over 300 miles in 2021.

On top of that training regimen, I was operating my business during the busiest market cycle I’ve ever experienced in the 10-year history of my company, and I made a promise to myself that training would not impact my time at home with my family, so I never missed family dinner, soccer practice or game, or dance recital. How did I do it? I was forced to operate as efficiently with my time as I’ve ever been in my life. I said no to meetings and calls that were not important, and passed on projects that were not the right fit for my business. Those lessons were invaluable.

I entered that event to raise money for the Cure JM Foundation, which is the only foundation that funds research for better treatments for Juvenile Myositis, a rare, and life-threatening autoimmune disease that my 7 ½-year-old daughters, Ryan, has had since she was 3 years old. I also entered that event to physically put myself in my daughter’s shoes, as her disease when it’s active causes muscle weakness in the legs, hips, and shoulders of the body.

I can tell you this, you can accomplish ANYTHING if you have a strong enough “WHY”. The event was a huge success… I was a finisher and earned my coveted “Red Hat”, was able to honor my daughter in the process and raise awareness for the disease, and raised over $100,000 for the Cure JM Foundation in the process!

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

Our plan for the upcoming years is to continue to ride this wave of business as long as we can and take on as many projects as we’re comfortable with while maintaining our standard of excellence for our clients. We will continue to fine-tune our business processes and procedures, and systems of the building.

I’ve created a 6-man team to compete in the Ragnar Relay “Reach the Beach” event on September 16-17, 2022. This event is a 200-mile relay race, from the White Mountains to the Beach in New Hampshire. We’ll again do this race to raise awareness for Juvenile Myositis, and we’ll fundraise for a new non-profit foundation that I’m creating called Ascent2aCure.

Our foundation will create a community for children with JM, and their families, and help them build relationships with other people “just like them” through shared experiences and adventure. We’ll host camps for them to come together, and experience adventure activities such as hiking, canoeing, camping, campfires, high ropes, and ziplines. We’ll have speakers for the parents on topics such as health and wellness, mindset, and mental health to help them manage their health and the pressures of caring for a child with medical challenges. It’s all very exciting stuff!

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

My advice for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business is this: identify a cause that’s near and dear to your heart and have the business contribute to that cause.

In January of 2020, we decided to donate 10% of our profits from each project we build to the Cure JM Foundation in honor of the clients that choose MPC to build their homes. We make that donation in the name of our clients, as a thank you for their support and to show that we’re dedicated to making an impact beyond our business. That has been a game-changer for us… because now we come to work each day not only to deliver for our clients but to help those who are struggling with health challenges. It shows our clients, and potential clients, that we care. And I truly believe that has helped our business grow.

If you could choose between Builder A and Builder B… and both deliver a great product but one of them also donates 10% of their profit to an inspirational cause, who would you choose? I know who I would choose in that case.

Where can we go to learn more?

Please visit our website to learn more about our company, building philosophy, and philanthropic efforts.

We’re very active on Instagram and Facebook.