Buildertrend unveiled their new headquarters last night with an open house that welcomed roughly 800 clients, friends and associates from across the Silicon Prairie.
Their new location offers convenient access to Omaha and Lincoln and features thousands of square feet of modern and functional space including an open floor plan, bar, large patio, game room and room to grow.
With a space designed for 800 to 900 employees, Buildertrend Co-founder Steve Dugger said that the new office will allow the company to continue growing in Omaha while attracting a national audience.
“We think we can get about 800 at max capacity. We’re about 300 today,” said Dugger. “We absolutely love it. We were really starting to bust at the seams at the old office.
Buildertrend has expanded quickly over the course of their twelve-year history, outgrowing offices every few years.
“This is our fourth building, fifth office if you include the basement [office],” said Co-founder Dan Houghton. “It feels like home. We’re in the business of people so we put all our capital into our employees. We’ve got to make a great place for them.”
Houghton said that out of the company’s first ten employees, nine are still with them. Growing that ten to 300 has been a long journey but he and Dugger always saw success for themselves.
“The first five years were a grind––it’s still a grind,” said Houghton. “I don’t think we would have started this unless we thought we could be really successful at it.”
The co-founders know that their employees have driven that success. They planned the new office around creating an environment based on what makes them feel most welcome and efficient.
“More than anything, [the new office is about] giving people a place where they’ll enjoy coming to work,” said Houghton. “The design is open, nobody has an office outside of HR, everybody is really accessible and it’s easy to get around.”
The decision to eliminate offices in the new building was a strategic one to encourage connection among employees.
“I can tell you personally that I love it. I can’t imagine how I was ever in an office that long, I don’t know how I ever did it,” said Dugger. “You just feel so disconnected [in an office]. You want to be out there knowing exactly what’s happening, being approachable and feeling like you’re part of the team.”
“Being approachable is the biggest thing,” added Houghton. “We’re hiring somewhere between 5 to 10 new people a month and they might not know who [the founders are]. It’s not a very fun place to work if you don’t know who you’re working with.”
Last night’s open house was the first look most people have had of the new space. Houghton said that the support and interest from the community in seeing Buildertrend’s progress have been encouraging.
“We’re thankful Omaha supports us,” said Houghton. “The biggest thing for us is finding great talent and the fact that people want to work here, we’re very grateful for that. You can do this in Omaha. That’s the message.”
They said their success in Omaha can be attributed to the operational value that exists here, as well as the unbelievable work ethic of people in this region.
“The three biggest benefits that come to my mind are the low cost of living and the high quality of life, the work ethic, and it’s a good tax state for software companies,” said Dugger. “When you put those pieces together, it’s a great place to do business.”
They believe the key to making Omaha a hub for tech companies can be achieved through valuing tech talent. But is there enough talent here to support a rapidly growing software company?
“There’s absolutely enough talent,” said Houghton. “The question is how do we cultivate even more of it?”