The Porchlight Developments story begins in 2008. With nearly 20 years of residential development and building industry experience between them, Rob Butler and Neil Braun each started their own companies. The two of them collaborated together on a few projects and soon found they had different yet complimentary strengths. The underlying principles they shared forged the partnership. They understood the importance of innovative design to enhance the homeowners’ living experience; the strength of an empowered, dedicated and trusted team, a true appreciation for the corporate relationships essential for success; and the prerequisite of integrity. With several years behind them and more than 2,000 homes completed, Porchlight is positioned strongly for the future.
Based in Turner Valley, Alberta, Porchlight’s projects are mainly located in Regina, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Porchlight builds anywhere from 325 to 475 homes per year, building medium-density townhome and mid-rise wood frame properties focused on the entry, move-down and rental market segments.
Making its Mark
The company’s current new home projects in Regina include the Jade at the Greens on Gardiner condo project, the Life at Harbour Landing townhome project and the Velocity in Harbour Landing condo project. Its projects in Regina also include the Parliament condo project in the Harbour Landing neighborhood. In Winnipeg, Porchlight’s new home projects include the Unison at Transcona condo development and the Life at Amber Trails townhome project, and its rental communities include the Lumen at South Pointe townhouse development.
The Joyy at South Pointe townhomes in Winnipeg and the Sage at Harbour Landing townhomes and Skyy Lakeridge townhomes in Regina are among its past projects. Others are the Joyy at Harbour Landing townhomes in Regina, the RGB single-family homes project in Harbour Landing, the Riverstone at Cochrane townhomes in Cochrane, Alberta, the Fieldstone Condominium Residences in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and the Sage Hill Village townhomes and Sage Stone at Sage Hill townhome project in Calgary.
Porchlight is able to cater to all manner of customers, whether they are looking to rent, purchase their first condo or upgrade to a new townhouse. It says it strives to offer color palettes and upgraded finishes that will ensure that its home will match the customer’s style. Its sales team and project managers are all committed to providing beautiful, quality homes to homeowners, and its after-sale commitment ensures that the company can answer any questions, and provide guidance and any added warranty services a customer may need.
Ultimately, Porchlight has been successful because the company can offer a multi-family home that is designed well and at a price point that isn’t easily attained. It is able to accomplish this through the number of units that the company allocates to any given acre.
“As opposed to building townhomes at 15 to 16 units per acre, we offer our townhomes at 28 to 32 units per acre,” Butler says. “That combined with a real desire for our clients to have a great experience and excellent quality have been key to our success.”
The company feels that it has become best known for elements such as great interior design, the curb appeal of its buildings and caring deeply about all of its customers. In addition, Porchlight has been able to offer a quality product that did not previously exist in the markets that it serves.
“We have a disciplined approach toward quality, scheduling and budgetary controls,” Butler says. “Our goal is to forge partnerships with our industry, land and financial partners in a manner that is truly a win/win situation for all involved.”
Porchlight believes that the key investment it has made into its long-term stability is its well-established team, which it continually empowers and provides with the tools and resources they need. In addition, the fact that its founders have been in the industry for 25 years has allowed the company to take advantage of several longstanding partnerships with subcontractors. Porchlight prides itself on treating its trades fairly and always with a high degree of integrity.
“We believe integrating our goals with those of our financial, land and industry partners is essential for the success of our rental and for sale projects,” Butler says.
At the same time that the company focuses on investing in personnel and partnerships, it is also keeping a keen eye on the trends and challenges facing its markets. The biggest trend in its industry is municipalities’ demand for density, and Porchlight has been successful at coming up with density solutions without compromise to the beauty and livability of its homes.
As for challenges, one of the short-term situations facing the market in western Canada is the softening of the petrochemical energy sector. The long-term challenge is understanding and catering to the millennial lifecycle. Porchlight is aware of the fact that the millennial generation follows a different path from the generation that came before it. They are settling down and starting families later in life.
“It will be important for us to understand the path millennials are following and provide this generation with livable, loved, innovative and affordable homes,” Butler says. “This will become even more important for our industry in the future.”