Heartland Homes built its 100th modular home last week, a notable achievement for the Rockmart, GA-based company, who builds HiPerformance modular homes by Nationwide Homes in 20 counties of western Georgia and eastern Alabama.

“It was a two-story, 3,000-square foot home with four bedrooms, five bathrooms and an underground storm shelter with 10-inch thick walls,” said Heartland Homes founder Wayne Turner, who owns the business with his wife, Alice, and a small crew.

The 100th home installation was also noteworthy for Wayne Turner on a personal level.

“This is my second career,” he said.

Turner started Heartland Homes 16 years ago, at the age of 59, after retiring from a 39-year career handling business administration for a Southern Baptist church.

Being a licensed Nationwide Homes builder in Georgia, he was selected to participate in building a modular home for ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” program (Williams Family – May 2010). “We installed a 4,000-square foot house in 106 hours,” he said, adding that national exposure has helped increase business demand for modular homes in Georgia and Alabama.

“People are drawn to modular homes because they are extremely well built at the factory. So we have a quality product. And when we say ‘We can have you in this product in six to eight weeks,’ that’s a definite selling factor, too,” Turner said.

Indeed, modular homes can be installed in a fraction of the time that it takes to construction site built homes.

Turner has also fine-tuned his installation by using the same team. “I use the same crew and the same subcontractors wherever we go,” he said.

Turner also pays attention to customer service and being responsive to phone calls and website inquiries. “We respond usually the same day, and certainly within 24 hours,” he said.

That makes a difference.

It also helps to be selling a reputable product. Nationwide Homes is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of modular homes. So when Heartland does installation, he knows he’s working with quality modular homes.

“We want people to be happy,” Turner said, adding that he builds referral business by giving customers a $3,000 referral fee. “We take that out of our profit. It’s an investment in our future.”

Before the recession, Heartland was building one modular home every 5.5 weeks. But even now, Turner said, business is stable and the company continues to build a new home about every eight weeks.

Turner celebrated last week’s installation with a catered barbecue lunch and encouraged his customer to invite anyone she wanted to invite to see the new home being installed. “Her children can hardly wait to move in,” he said.

For more information about Heartland Homes, visit the company’s website at www.heartlandhomedev.com.