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Cory Osborn: Community, Productivity, and Inspiration Create Success for Custom Home Builder

Wanting to make each build better than the last. Working to always improve in all aspects of the business.  These qualities are what drive Cory Osborn in his unending pursuit of excellence in luxury custom home construction.

Cory with his brother and co-owner Michael, collaborate smoothly in Osborn Homes, based in Lincoln, Neb.  From realty to property management to construction, Cory Osborn’s swiss army knife approach has served to position him as an expert in marketing, sales, and business strategy. Meanwhile, Michael, the company’s project manager, demonstrated a knack for working with his hands at an early age and now guides the hands-on parts of each build.

What is it that drives the Osborn brothers’ unending pursuit of excellence in luxury construction?

“To be better. Period,” Cory Osborn says firmly. “Each one of our builds is more fine-tuned than the last. No matter how much we learn, there is always room to learn more. Technology is constantly changing, trends are always evolving, needs of clients are different.”

Osborn Homes remains at the forefront of technology and innovation by choice, Osborn says. “The construction industry as a whole has shifted so much in recent years that if you aren’t constantly changing and trying to stay ahead, you’ll get passed.”

“We are constantly (and by constantly, I mean each and every single day), reading articles, watching videos and learning about new things that are entering our industry or are about to enter our industry. Some things appeal to us and when they do, we apply them. We love to try new things. For the record, they don’t always pan out. If we don’t like the way something turns out, we fix it and move on. Not everything works, and that is OK.”

Aesthetics and functionality in home design harmonize in a delicate balance for the homes that his company builds. Osborn says there are many factors to consider when designing a home, and not everyone takes all the parameters into account. This attention to the entirety of the project, how each piece works with the other, how the rooms flow, how the house as a whole fits into its environment, these are all important to consider as a whole, rather than only individually.

“Functionality is so vital when building a luxury home,” Osborn says. “Anyone can build a plan and then slap some high-end finishes everywhere. Sure, it looks great, but does the house utilize space efficiently? Are you maximizing the space that you have? What about taking advantage of natural light with proper window size and placement? It’s all about the details. Properly executed details highlight the aesthetics in a way that simply cannot be replicated without immense planning and thought.”

Another very important aspect to success in business is keeping the team motivated and inspired in this competitive field. Too many stories hit the news of lackluster and unmotivated workers in many businesses these days, causing downturns in productivity, but Osborn works hard to keep his team feeling like a valued community.

“You have to have your eye on the prize,” he says. “For everyone, that is going to be different but for us, we know where we want to go and that is what we are working towards every single day. For the team, it’s important to just be a big family. Let’s all go out to lunch one day or maybe we pick up a case of beer for the guys after they just spent a few extra hours in the heat working to get finished so we can move to the next phase. Maybe that means throwing them a bonus on the job itself because they went above and beyond on a job and they deserve it.”

This focus on quality and hard work also applies to what Osborn Homes has done for Lincoln, Neb. Not only bringing on good jobs and good homes, but also good works in the local community, hosting educational classes for Realtors at new custom homes in order to better equip them with construction knowledge and understanding so they can better serve their clients. Osborn says he’s currently exploring similar opportunities in higher-eduation.