It’s been two years since real estate mogul H. Allen Thomason Sr. passed away, but DSLD—the residential construction company he founded—is showing no signs of slowing down.
In fact, the Denham Springs-based company is on track to complete nearly 3,000 new homes this year, as Business Report details in a new feature. In many respects, that’s because DSLD’s new management—Saun Sullivan, Jeff Purpera Jr. and Lee Foster, who spent years with the company learning from its founder—have continued to follow the long-time game plan of building high volume, mid- and lower-priced homes.
Yet, to their credit, says local developer Kevin Nguyen, the three have driven the business to a new level.
“(Thomason) was able to pitch the young leaders Saun, Jeff and Lee. I think they’ve been able to push farther than they’ve anticipated,” Nguyen says.
From both a financial and business standpoint, Purpera says the company was prepared to handle the loss of its founder, who served as a mentor to the three men for the roughly two decades he worked with them.
“A lot of the philosophy and business tactics we use today we learned from him and from working alongside him the last 20 or so years,” Purpera says.
Unlike other builders, the company doesn’t focus on a single subdivision at a time. Instead, the company focuses on consistency throughout its neighborhoods, says Foster. Utilizing what he calls an “even flow system,” the company starts and finishes 15 to 18 homes a week every week and buys an average of 250 lots a month every month.
And though business may be humming at the moment, DSLD’s leaders are always preparing for a downturn in the homebuilding market.
“There’s another downturn out there. We’ve been 8 to 9 years in a rising market, so we want the financial stability to weather another downturn,” Purpera says. “It would be nice in the next downturn to have Thomason’s 70 years of experience he had in business to go through it.”