Two years and growing for Collins

  • By
  • | 12:00 p.m. January 12, 2006
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Realty Builder
  • Share

by Michele Newbern Gillis

Staff Writer

Collins Builders was built on a foundation of friendship and family.

Wayland Wiseman and Ashley Collins were friends and co-workers first. They decided to partner and open their own building company in May 2003.

“We were both working for another building company, but we had been talking about opening our own building company for years,” said Ashley Collins, CEO of Collins Builders. “After we felt that we had enough education and training from other companies, we decided to get our licenses and go from there.”

As far as the family aspect, they each have family members working in the company.

Adam Collins is Ashley’s brother and a project manager. Joe Wiseman is Wayland’s brother and a project manager as well. Cheney Robinson, Wiseman’s cousin, is a new home consultant and Banks Robinson, also Wiseman’s cousin, is the office administrator. Other employees are Danny Britt, project manager; Robert Rogers, sales manager; Steve Bourre, project manager; Leonard Williams, new home consultant and Joe Tillman, project manager.

Collins finds the land and buys lots. As the COO, Wiseman handles everything administratively and internally for the company.

“The field is handled by me,” said Collins. “I oversee the project managers, construction of the home and delivery of the home.”

Though they handle two different sides of the business, each have their own qualities that help the company run smoothly.

“His experience verses mine and his personality verses mine, I believe we complement each other perfectly,” said Wiseman. “He has the perfect mentality for managing the construction aspect of things and I have the perfect mentality for managing the things on the inside. I would not want to do this by myself. If I were to do this again, he’s the first person I would call.”

Since the company opened, it has been building homes in the Mandarin, Northside and Westside areas.

Collins Builders has built homes in Old Plank Plantation, Derris Creek, Plum Tree, Livingston Estates, Crystal Creek and recently opened two models in the Trails at Bent Creek on the Westside where the company will build 125 homes starting in the low $200s.

“It’s a booming area of town,” said Collins. “This is the next Mandarin.”

After its first year in business Collins Builders closed 45 homes.

“From year one to year two we doubled the quantity of units that we built,” said Wiseman. “We had 100 percent growth. We’ve doubled our staff as well.”

Wiseman and Collins design their own homes and offer about 20 plans to their customers.

The company offers what they call “Collins Standards.”

“They are amenities or features that we believe every home should have,” said Wiseman. “Most other builders would charge extra for these features. We do recessed can lights in all the family rooms and in the kitchen, separate garden tubs and showers in every single master bathroom and dual vanities in every single home we build. We do large baseboard, orange peel on the walls and knockdown on the ceilings in every home. We offer Termidor termite treatment and we have a 15-year warranty. These are all upgrades by most builders.”

Wiseman and Collins hand-picked their subcontractors and say they are very important to the success of their company.

“We are very loyal to our subcontractors,” said Collins. “When we first started, they were coming to us with us not really having anything to offer to them except for service back to them. They knew how we had treated them over the years when we were with other companies. One important thing in this business is how you treat people. We had the privilege to hand-select the best subcontractors in Jacksonville.”

Collins Builders’ next projects include Blackwood Forest, Cape and Hayden Lakes.

“We will go wherever the land takes us,” said Collins.

The prices of the builder’s single-family homes range from $170,000 to $500,000.

Collins has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stetson University. After he graduated, he returned to Jacksonville and got a job at a local home building company. He worked his way up to project manager and then went to another local home builder and received all his internal training as far as budgeting and pricing. His father, Joe Collins, is a former builder and now developer.

“I grew up in a builder/developer family,” said Collins. “I was always around the business.”

Wayland has a bachelor’s degree in building construction and contracting from Georgia Southern. He moved to Florida in 1998 and went to work for a local home builder. He started out as an assistant project manager and worked his way up to project manager.

“Eventually, I moved inside and did the budgeting and was the purchasing manager,” said Wayland. “That gave me experience on the outside and the inside portion of the building business.”

From their experience at other local builders, they realized that they could run a home building company better, so now they are.

“We offer production homes at custom quality,” said Wiseman. “We are locally owned, locally managed and quality is a big thing for us.”



Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.