With 25 years of residential and commercial building experience, veteran Tim O’Brien founded Tim O’Brien Homes in June 2007 and led the green-building initiative in Wisconsin.
Waukesha based-Tim O’Brien Homes is a semi-custom single family homebuilder with Green Built and Wisconsin Energy Star certification. O’Brien formed the company in partnership with Matt Neumann, former congressman and a current Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor.
Focused solely on building new homes in Wisconsin, Tim O’Brien Homes grew 64 percent into a $13.6 million company in three years.
“(We) saw where the market was going. The Gen Y and Gen X buyers were looking for smaller, comfortable homes that were commercially feasible and environmentally friendly homes not wasting heat, electricity and reduces the amount of energy use,” O’Brien said.
Despite the Great Recession and the severe downturn of the U.S. housing market, Tim O’Brien Homes sold 54 homes in 2009, capitalizing on its focus on building environmentally friendly homes. The company recently partnered with Wisconsin Energy Corp. to build 12 solar electric homes in southeastern Wisconsin. The last four of those homes are being built.
“We’re not victims (of the recession),” O’Brien said. “You are only a victim of the economy if you sit back and wait for it to get better.”
O’Brien attributes the organization’s success to his team and the way the company has branded its affordable, green, energy-efficient single-family homes.
“What I firmly believe in today is that people combined with a defined vision and culture is how to run a business,” O’Brien said. “You have to get the right people on the bus in the right seats. Our people are the greatest asset.”
Tim O’Brien Homes rewards employees for their hard work and recently took its staff on a trip to celebrate their success. The company also offers flexible work schedules, a home discount program and a referral program.
O’Brien credits his organization’s growth to a leadership philosophy that empowers employees to do their jobs and make decisions.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to be recognized, but for me, it (credit) is really the team,” he said.