Citing a desire to focus on higher-end projects, Cody Pools, who has topped the Pool & Spa News Top 50 list the last two years, has decided to consolidate its operations serving the Dallas area.
The company is headquartered in Austin and currently has eight offices serving the Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth markets. In 2012, Cody signed a two-year lease on an office in the Southlake area to serve part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
“We opened … with just a 2-year option so we could test the market,” said Mike Church, Cody Pools’ president/CEO.
Rather than renew, Cody management decided to streamline its Southlake design staff to retain those with more specialty in high-end and commercial design, and move remaining personnel to its Plano office, approximately 25 miles away.
Church said the Dallas market is much more competitive than the others, with a higher number of total builders and larger proportion of more transient contractors. Not only that, he found that market had lower demand for the higher-priced pools and commercial installations his firm is accustomed to building. Higher-end pools in Dallas tend to sell for approximately the same price as the average pool in Cody’s other markets, Church said, so the contractor will keep its focus there.
Though the firm will serve the Dallas market from one office rather than two, Church said it doesn’t intend to do less business there.
“We’re going to lose in volume, but probably not in dollar amount,” Church said. “We just do better with the higher end. In Austin … price ranges start about $75,000. It’s harder for us to compete in the Dallas market when we’re trying to compete in the $35,000 to $40,000 range.
We don’t want to change our building standards just to get a more competitive pool. We want to build the same pool in every market that we’re in.”
Despite this change in Dallas, Cody continues in growth mode. By January, 2015, it will open a third office in the Houston area, this one in the Missouri City part, a high-end area in the Southwest part of the metropolitan area. Church also reports that Cody has experienced a 22-percent increase in business this year, with San Antonio and Houston proving the stronger markets.