Hurst’s home truths

Peter Hurst is a homegrown success story. Over 30 years operating Hurst Homes, Mr Hurst has forged a reputation as both a leading builder and a passionate industry advocate. He spoke with The DAabout why honesty and authenticity are the building blocks of any great career.
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BUILDING SUCCESS: Peter Hurst of Hurst Homes says a work ethic and attention to detail have helped him achieve success.

What was your first job?

I worked for my dad in his transport depot business from a young age. I helped deliver beer to all the pubs in the main street. It really taught me the value of a work ethic –if you want to achieve something, you need to put your head down and your bum up.

How did you get the idea for the business?

I always thought I had more to offer than just being a carpenter. I remember when I started, we launched a home and land package in Glenfield that sold for $95,000. We’re locally owned and operated and the buck stops with us. Customers have a local contact and relationship. We’re not coming in from a metro area with no real skin in the game.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve been given?

Assumption is the root of all evil –communication is massive. We try and be as transparent as possible. We let customers be educated to make their own decisions. Building a house is an emotional journey for people and you have to respect that.

What are the main challenges facing your business?

The changing media landscape over the last five years has made it a challenge to get our message across. Land supply in Wagga has always also been a big issue. There’s also lots of competition here.

How do you balance your work and home life?

We’ve got four kids and that balance can be hard to achieve. I go into work nearly every day and work is so accessible now with technology. Christmas is a pretty crucial period for our family; it’s a shutdown period and we try and get away on holiday. I’m probably doing 70 hours a week but self-employment still gives you some flexibility. I make sure I go to school presentations and other milestone events, and I coach my young fella’s footy team.

Where would you like your business to be in 20 years?

Good question. People always talk about succession planning but I don’t know if that’s applicable to us. I’d hate to see all the processes we’ve put in place wasted so I’d like to take on a mentoring role eventually.

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