Rise Of The Building Broker


– Richard McHenry and Paul Cheverall

“Essentially we help our clients design their dream homes. Then, using our bulk buying power, we get builders to reduce their profit margins, thereby getting our clients more home for less.”

It’s your most significant financial and emotional investment, so it only makes sense to want your home to be created in the simplest and best way. If you’re feeling unsure about engaging a builder without assistance, or you want to delegate the work involved to an experienced industry professional, using the services of a building broker may be high on the agenda for you. The role of a building broker is to help home buyers manage and organise the design and construction of their home, and to save them time and money in the process. Richard McHenry and Paul Cheverall are the managing directors of Home Builders Advantage, a Balcatta-based business, and between them have more than 45 years of experience in the industry.



Whether it’s a new build or a renovation, Home Builders Advantage (HBA) works hard to ensure clients will save money on their project, explain McHenry and Jewell. “Once the client has engaged our services, they will work directly with our designers to produce a detailed concept design,” says McHenry.

“This design will have been based on the client’s brief and taken shire restrictions and passive solar principles into account. Our team [members] will carefully explain the ideas behind their design and discuss any changes. We will then continue to work with [the client] with unlimited design time to achieve [the] perfect home – and with HBA thehome will always be within budget.

“We then send [the client’s] completed design out to a wide range of builders, all of whom have received our seal of approval both in quality and service. Once quotes are back, we will then meet with the client to analyse all proposals to ensure complete clarity. [Our] clients know exactly what is included and precisely how much it costs before making any financial commitment to a builder.

“Once the client has shortlisted their preferred builders from the quotes provided, HBA will then facilitate meetings between the client and each builder. We organise viewings of the builders’ current projects, and referrals. HBA ensures clients have the best results and are able to make a fully informed decision on their final choice of builder. This process means we can guarantee to save our clients’ money.

“Once the client has selected a builder, HBA will then begin the interactive 3D modelling process, which allows the customer to walk through their new home before it is built. We also provide clients with a beautiful photo-realistic front elevation image of their new home. For our developer clients, the planning approval process begins at this point.

“During construction, HBA remains involved … and any assistance or advice [clients] require is part of our standard package. HBA is with its clients every step of the way to ensure smooth progress.”



There are two big finance-related questions when it comes to building brokers: how do they make money, and how much do they save for home buyers?

“Building brokers are generally paid a commission based on the value of the home,” says Jewell.

“This can vary across brokers and we feel that it is very important that the client asks not only what the broker can save them, but exactly how much [the broker] will be getting paid.”

In terms of saving clients’ money, he explains that, as a large broker, HBA offers a significant amount of work to a large pool of builders and “therefore the savings are greater”.

“HBA is the largest broker in Perth by volume of homes tendered. With HBA, a minimum saving for our clients on the overall costs of a one-off designed home is $20,000-plus. Savings for our multi-unit development clients can often equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Further, he explains, “All our builders quote on exactly the same floor plan, elevation [and] client specification, which … will have been completed with HBA’s guidance prior to tendering. All builders provide us with written confirmation to show they have included all items as per [the client’s] specification and floor plan.”


 In addition to working with a long list of Perth’s finest builders, HBA is “more than happy for clients to nominate any builder they wish to be added into the tender process,” McHenry explains.

“In fact, we actively encourage our clients to seek additional quotes from independent parties, as the comparison … serves to show the huge savings we make on the client’s behalf.”