Daniel Mazzei, Director of Mazzei Homes, the Victorian luxury custom home division of the Better Living Group, spent some time with TheUrbanDeveloper.com to talk about various aspects of home building and the industry.
How did you first get involved in the property industry?
After beginning a commercial law degree at Monash University, my entrepreneurial desire to create something of my own quickly set me on another path. Inspired by my family of builders, I decided to change my course and pursue a carpentry qualification, starting the path to developing my expertise in the building industry.
I then acquired a four-year apprenticeship in the renovation of existing homes, which led to me running my own carpentry business in 1994, before taking on the role as Project Site Manager looking after multi-unit developments in 1999, and finally onto large scale customised residential builds in 2005.
The Better Living Group was formed as a family business in 1973 and is now the name behind the development of some of Melbourne’s most successful residential and commercial projects and as a result has greatly influenced me.
Can you please tell us about the reasons for creating Mazzei Homes and what sets it apart?
We noticed there was a gap in the luxury housing market, and as a result in 2016 I launched the new luxury branch of the Better Living Group, Mazzei Homes.
The company embodies my passion and commitment to delivering excellence, providing bespoke homes that really reflect the client’s needs and lifestyle. Mazzei Homes is founded on family values, client dedication and dependability, as well as our ability to manage projects from the initial design stages through to completion.
We passionately believe that a new home must be an expression of the owner’s personal requirements and this is only possible through strong client relationships, so the teams spends time with their client discovering how they life, to create a design to match this.
Can you describe the ideal client relationship in creating a dream home?
The ideal client relationship is one that is founded on learning their individual needs and as a result creating a home that is perfectly suited to them.
At Mazzei Homes we have developed a unique approach that is tailored to each client – an upfront planning and design service whereby each customer is given the opportunity to work with their design team, to prepare concept plans and develop initial costings for no charge so that they can really scope out their available opportunities.
It is important to really value the relationships built with clients and place the customer at the centre of everything that is done. There needs to be a passionate commitment to ensuring a client’s vision becomes a reality, providing total peace of mind throughout their exciting life milestone.
What are some of the changes and opportunities from a construction materials perspective you’re seeing and how will they change the end product?
We have recently seen an increase in cost efficiency and accessibility to products that have originally only been used on a commercial level are now affordable for domestic use due to increased demand, for example aluminum cladding.
We’re also noticing that we’re receiving more requests for timber frame windows as they create a much more elegant feel and have much better thermal levels than aluminum alternatives, this is in stark contrast to the trends of a few years ago.
When designing a more modern style of home, customers have expressed they are looking for an abundance of natural light. As a result, we’re incorporating increasing numbers of large floor to ceiling windows and corner windows into our designs to let in as much light as possible.
Who has been a key mentor or someone you’ve been inspired by in the Industry?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to come from a family of builders so there has always been someone there for me to look up to and ask for help when I need it. I’ve also always admired entrepreneurial people from afar and used their achievements and experiences to drive my own momentum. Richard Branson is someone I admire for his businesses acumen, sheer determination and success.
What major policy issue do you see affecting your industry the most?
A rise in interest rates is definitely a concern for our industry, as it creates a much more difficult environment for borrowing, slowing down home sales and making building new homes a less attractive prospect. In addition, the continued growth in restrictions on international investment also pose a threat to home builders as over the past few years we have seen a considerable increase in international interest in home building.
What are three Australian or overseas developments you like and why?
The Guggenheim, Bilbao – a wonderfully classic, world class building that continues to stand the test of time and is internationally recognised and appreciated.
PETRONAS Twin Towers – architecturally it is one of the best developments in the world, and from a construction stand point it is incredibly intricate in modern-times.
Roman Ruins – paying homage to my Italian heritage I love the history of the ruins and as time has shown us, the buildings are structurally sound, considered and have an incredible history.