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Benchmark Homes Wins Pacesetter Award

     Custom Home magazine has named Benchmark Custom Luxury Homes of Jacksonville Beach as a Pacesetter Award winner for 2005.

   Benchmark Homes was designated as one of the custom building industry’s top achievers in 2005. Company owners Rich and Nancy Morrison, and Vice President of Operations Irina Johnson, accepted the award in front of industry peers on November 12, 2005 during the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Custom Builder Symposium at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta.

   “We’re ecstatic,” said Benchmark owner Nancy Morrison. “It’s very nice to be recognized by the NAHB and a national magazine for all our hard work. We were up against fierce competition, and it was quite an honor to be chosen.”

Benchmark Homes has won the 2005 National Association of Home Builders' Pacesetter Award for Management. (Left to right) Vice President, Operations Irina Johnson, and Benchmark owners Rich and Nancy Morrison. (Photo by Paul Johnson)

   The 11th annual Pacesetter Awards, co-sponsored by Custom Home and the NAHB Custom Builders Committee, honor the industry’s highest achievers. “The Pacesetter winners are among the best in the business,” said Custom Home editor Leslie Ensor. “We received a record number of entries this year and these winners truly are the best of the best.”

   Winners are chosen because of their achievements in the building business, and are selected by the magazine’s editors for their excellence in one of six categories critical to business success. Through their customer service, design, innovation, management, production, or marketing techniques, award recipients set the standard for excellence in their industry.

   Benchmark Homes took top honors this year for their management practices.  During the past five years, the company has created a management philosophy designed to maximize the effective use of resources and personnel and create a system that is not only efficient and profitable, but one that also keeps their customers satisfied.

   “We recognized a need in the custom home building industry,” said Morrison. “We wanted to create a business model with a corporate infrastructure, but with the flexibility and dedication to customer care that only a small company can offer. Since we’re a custom builder, each of our homes – and each of our customers – is unique. In the end, we’re driven by the needs of those customers, and it’s our job to make sure that each home we build is exactly what they want.”

   Attention to detail and making sure each custom home is completed on time and on budget is one of the ways Benchmark Homes keeps their customers happy. “We place a great deal of importance on scheduling and adherence to strict quality-control checklists,” said Irina Johnson, the company’s Vice President of Operations.

   “From the minute the lot is purchased, we oversee every aspect of design and construction, to make sure every detail of each home is as perfect as it can possibly be,” Johnson said. “From choosing the placement of the home on the lot to take the greatest advantage of its natural surroundings, throughout the entire design and construction process, we’re there.”

   Morrison is also quick to point out that the company’s relationship with their customers doesn’t end when their home is completed. “We want our clients to know that we’re there for them after the sale,” she said. “We don’t walk away when the initial job is finished. We don’t just want the customers happy the day they move in – we want them to stay happy. We are very dedicated to following up immediately on warranty issues or any other assistance our clients may require.”

   Benchmark’s employees share Morrison’s dedication to customer care and excellence. “We make a practice of hiring and retaining people who share our vision for quality,” she said. “Our project managers are some of the best in the business, and we limit the number of homes each one takes on at any given time, to make sure each customer gets the level of attention they deserve.”

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