| Award Recipient
The Jones Company
15,000 new homes, Robert Jones says he is still energized by the
prospect of building new and innovative housing developments. "It's
still very exciting to find the right piece of ground, go through
the planning stages, and see the project come to fruition. I like
investing in new ideas and new projects."
leadership, The Jones Company has been Missouri's largest homebuilder
by dollar volume for the past 14 years. Jones had a vision early
on to become the largest homebuilder in the St. Louis region.
He bought the company from his father in 1961, and started with
a single new home development with 27 lots. The company now generates
more than $200 million in annual revenue.
building his company was not without risks. In order to overcome
larger and more established competitors, he took numerous financial
risks in an industry known for its volatility. But he was able
to overcome major obstacles by creating new home communities with
a wide range of prices and lifestyles. He has built a reputation
for customer satisfaction and product value that has resulted
in 30 percent repeat business and a 92 percent referral business
from his home-buying customers.
In the 1960s
and 1970s when St. Louis County was rapidly growing, Jones' strategy
to attract young families was to offer new homes in a variety
of price ranges and options, with extra amenities. This continues
today with the company's portfolio of five different home collections,
each one designed for a different stage in the life of a family.
To keep pricing competitive, The Jones Company owns the contracting
subsidiary that acquires materials and employs craftsmen.
that "knowing what people want before they want it"
is the key to creating value and customer satisfaction in a new
home. This approach began in the early days when Jones personally
attended every new home closing to determine what customers wanted
in their homes.
company conducts market research and focus groups to further understand
customers' needs. In response to today's homebuyer, The Jones
Company offers a special package to include wiring for surround-sound
home theaters, computer-ready telephone and TV outlets, high-speed
cable modems with Internet service, and digital cable.
Company continues to expand throughout St. Louis and beyond. The
company recently entered the Metro East market in Illinois, and
has plans to build new homes in the City of St. Louis. Jones is
also involved in several master-planned communities including
WingHaven in O'Fallon, Mo. Outside the region, The Jones Company
entered the Nashville market in 1995 and has built 600 homes since.
The company plans to start operations this year in Indianapolis
and enter two additional Midwestern markets during the next five
led several successful efforts to improve community infrastructure
by building public support. His active involvement with the Metropolitan
Sewer District, Missouri Highway and Transportation Department,
Citizens for Clean County Water and the Special School District
helped open the west St. Louis County area for rapid development
and led to the voter approval of the Page Avenue Extension, among