Each month, Majestic Kitchen & Bath Creations will feature a profile on an area leader in the residential building industry. This article highlights Charlie Tipton, Coastal Carolinas Division President of PulteGroup.
Charlie Tipton was fresh out of college with a construction management degree when he joined Atlanta, Georgia-based home building company PulteGroup as an intern.
Nearly two decades later, Tipton is still with the company, currently managing its Coastal Carolinas Division, which is overseeing construction of the Del Webb community in RiverLights, a master- planned community on River Road in Wilmington.
While he has long held a passion for construction, his passion for PulteGroup runs nearly as deep, and he has found in the company a model for humble leadership that includes valuing people over product, creating trust with customers and co-workers alike, and taking a team approach to each decision he makes.
What about PulteGroup made you want to continue in your career with the company?
The importance we put on our customers, the homes and communities we build, and, most importantly, the value that PulteGroup puts on our team members has been amazing for me to see.
Who motivated or inspired you the most early in your career?
There was a gentleman I had the privilege of working for early in my career at PulteGroup who taught me that getting the best outcome was more about the people than the process.
So, what I learned is that if you can find a way to connect with and inspire those around you, amazing things will happen.
What have you learned that still sticks with you today?
Build relationships every step of the way with your co-workers, your competitors, your trading partners and, most importantly, your customers.
What is the biggest challenge your division has faced?
Opening in a new market like Wilmington, there were many challenges getting started, from finding the right team members that align with the values and vision we have as an organization to working with the
local trade base to deliver on the high expectations we have for build quality and the consumer experience.
What is the biggest challenge you currently face?
The biggest challenge the business faces today is trying to maintain affordability. Whether it be through buying new land, controlling build costs or other expenses, we’re focused on providing consumers with the home and neighborhood that they can both love and afford.
How many homes did you build last year?
We built just over 1,000 homes in the Coastal Carolinas Division. In Wilmington, we opened our first community last year – Del Webb at RiverLights. We delivered our first homes beginning last summer and we closed just over 50 in that half-year period. We recently opened up our second community in the market - Adair Park under our Centex brand – which is located in Leland. And we plan to continue growing throughout the greater Wilmington market.
How many employees do you currently have?
We have just over 180 employees in our division and, of course, we’re actively growing and looking for additional talented individuals to join the team. We have several open positions in Wilmington to support our ongoing growth that we see there in the market.
What is the best advice you have received in your career?
Surround yourself with great people and be humble enough to learn from them.
What does being a leader mean to you?
I’ve found that it is an incredible privilege to work with the team that we have here at PulteGroup. I know that each of these individuals cares just as much about the business, our coworkers and our customers as I do, so that’s what inspires me.
How do you build trust and loyalty within your organization?
We have a very transparent relationship throughout the organization. It’s part of the Pulte culture.
One of our four key priorities at the company is being a great place to work, and you can’t be a great place to work unless you have built trust with one another, which then leads to loyalty.
How do you handle tough decisions?
I thoroughly think through them prior to making the decision and I lean on the talented individuals we have on our team to fully understand the outcome we have to achieve, and the potential risk associated with each decision.
What would you say to those just beginning their careers in the building industry?
Work hard, take nothing for granted, and choose your attitude every single day.
For a quarter century, Majestic has offered a wide selection of products for homebuilders, from counter tops, shower enclosures, shelving, door hardware and accessories for kitchens and bathrooms, in North and South Carolina. Acquisitions just within the last year of many well-established companies – including Builders Glass & Hardware Inc. in Wilmington and similar businesses in Greensboro and Charlotte – allow Majestic to be the most professional trade partner. Visit www.gomajestic.com or call (910) 762-2252 for more information.