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Meet Greg Shain of Shain Development in Pacific Palisades

Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Shain.

Greg, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My parents were one of the first high-end residential spec developers on the Westside. At the age of 15, I started working at construction sites on the weekends with my father. By the time I graduated high school, I was working at the construction sites full time. Not only did I learn from the ground up about luxury home development, but I also learned a great deal about design and materials. Before I knew it, I was drafting floor plans, elevations, site layouts and building homes on my own.

In my early twenties, I met my wife, Grace. Together, with my building expertise and her passion for design, we started building our own spec houses. We were designing many one-of-a-kind, exceptional homes and the market was on fire. In 2007, we started the design and construction of a stunning home on Tigertail Road in Brentwood. We were so proud of our accomplishments and more excited than ever. Then, three months before construction was set for completion, the 2008 financial crisis happened and the housing market collapsed. Although we found a buyer and sold the home with no issues, we knew the market had fizzled out and it was time to move on from spec homes.

In 2009, we decided to transition our business from the investment side to the general contracting side of the industry. We then became licensed general contractors and Shain Development, Inc. was born.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been plenty of struggles along the way. Even though we are experts in our field of design and construction, the general contracting business is a whole different ball game. The transition from the investment side was tough; we had to recruit and train an office staff to oversee budgets, insurances, schedules, and bill packages for the homeowners we work for, and learn how to respond to the everyday needs of our clients and accommodate daily changes in the plans. It has been an incredible learning experience, but after nearly 10 years on the general contracting side, I feel like we have mastered the transition. One aspect that is still a challenge for us is getting the word out that we are no longer just spec developers; we are custom dream home builders, too.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Shain Development – what should we know?
We specialize in luxury home development, which includes new construction, remodels and restorations. Our main goal is to provide our clients with high quality, efficient and cost-effective services.

We are known for our attention to detail; we are thoughtful and care deeply about what we do and how we do it. We are organized; we have weekly meetings at each one of our sites that keep the homeowner, designers, architect and superintendent involved in all the critical details of the project. We are easy to work with, enthusiastic and strive to provide the client and everyone involved with an unmatched experience and finished product.

We set ourselves apart from the others because we truly love what we do and I believe it shows in our work, our process, and the desire to make the homes the best they can be. We treat each one of our projects as if they are one of our children. Caring for the house, the project, the way the pieces are all put together is what we instill in our workforce every day. We tell everyone that works on our projects that everything must be perfect, whether it is inside the walls or under the dirt. Everything must be plumb, level and square. We strive for perfection and work tirelessly to achieve that on a regular basis.

I am most proud of how Shain Development has successfully transitioned and grown. It is a team effort, spearheaded by Grace and me that would be impossible without the support of our office staff and employees on the field. Everyone gives 100% every day, which is why we are who we are and where we are today. I am so very proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to see what the future has in store.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years. Any big shifts changes or trends?
This industry has grown at an astronomical rate. Right now, there is an abundance of capital in the marketplace and more wealth than ever before. Los Angeles is one of the world’s greatest urban communities and this town thrives off real estate. Housing demand is especially high in Westside neighborhoods such as Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, the Pacific Palisades and Malibu. We have been experiencing a building boom and I do not see this changing anytime soon. The homes keep getting larger and more elaborate, and housing prices continue to set new records on a daily basis.

We have also noticed a rise in material prices like steel, concrete, lumber, etc. We realized that we need to start purchasing our materials 6-9 months in advance just to control our building costs.

One trend we are noticing is that consumers want to incorporate finer materials in their homes. We are seeing a lot of steel doors and windows, and one-touch motorized sliding doors that pocket into the wall.

Of course, technology has been revolutionizing homes as well. We are seeing home automation systems controlled entirely by phones and tablets and elaborate security systems with fingerprint and face recognition. Homes are also becoming increasingly eco-friendly and we are incorporating efficient systems like rain recovery tanks so we can re-use rain water to irrigate our client’s gardens.

This business is changing all the time, whether it’s related to design, technology, specific building techniques, or specialized building materials. We move fast to keep up with all of these changes and I am excited to be at the forefront of this industry’s evolution.

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