'If we need to offer more to sell more houses, then that is what we will do'
FOR 24 years, Richard Beal has dedicated his life to his family's business.
He's conquered a tough housing market and it seems there's little that stands in the way of the Beal Homes managing director.
The company was launched in 1968 by Richard Beal's father, John, and his uncle Raymond.
Richard said: "I think I was always destined to be a builder.
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"I started working on the site, digging foundations. I started at the bottom and became managing director in 1996."
The whole family is involved in the property development company.
John retired in 2010 but still plays an active role as non-executive chairman in the company. Richard's mother, Mary, is part of the business, as is his wife, Gemma. Even three-year-old Charlie has "started his apprenticeship", according to his dad.
Richard said: "I love my job. It's a way of life for me.
"When you are passionate about what you do, you live and breathe it and, as a family, we are very passionate about the business, local people and the local area.
"This is why we employ local people and use sub-contractors and suppliers in the region."
Like most industries, housing has been badly affected by the recession.
But Beal Homes, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary next year, has maintained a strong face in a tough economic playing field.
Richard said: "We've had a very good year.
"We have continued to make a profit throughout the difficult times and our turnover this year has been in the region of £22 million."
As business has succeeded, Richard said he has ensured he kept the "core" team together. He said: "I spent ten years building a team of good people and didn't want the recession to jeopardise that.
"A good business only runs if you have got good people."
Today, Beal Homes has a 100-strong workforce, which includes apprentices – an important part of the team, according to Richard.
He said: "We have had great success with apprentices and we are on the lookout for more to join the team."
The company builds new homes in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with a number of well-known developments, including sites in Kingswood. Beal was the second developer to build new homes at the north Hull development, buying the first site in 1996.
Richard said: "We have built more than 600 homes in Kingswood.
"We could see this was going to be an area that was going to become popular and we are proud to have been involved here from the start.
"We hope we are here for many years to come."
The proof of the business's victories has also been made apparent by the number of houses it has sold this year at its Village development in Kingswood – exceeding its expectations.
Richard said the company had budgeted to sell ten houses in The Village development, but it has exceeded this.
He said: "We started building in March at The Village this year and have sold 36 to date – 34 of these will be occupied by Christmas.
"The demand has really exceeded our expectations."
In line with the sales achievement, the company is set to increase its building targets.
Richard said: "This year, we are looking at completing 112 new homes but we want to increase the target to 150 homes per year by 2015."
As figures remain high, the housing developer is planning a prosperous future.
Next year, Beal will relocate its head office, which is currently in Hedon Road, to west Hull.
The new base will house a new Selection Lounge, where customers can design their new home from scratch.
The Selection Lounge was launched two years ago but the new premises will enable it to be placed in a larger space and allow customers to design their house exactly how they want it.
Richard said: "People can design homes to suit their lifestyles.
"If we need to offer more to sell more houses, that's what we will do.
"At this level, we are pioneering in the industry.
"We need more space, so the relocation will help to boost the business further and enable us to offer an even better service.
"We want people to remember the 'buying part' of getting their house and we want the process of selling to be an environment that is relaxed and allows someone to create a home that suits their lifestyle.
"We have a responsibility to offer what people really want. People shouldn't have to make do in this day and age – they should be able to have choice."