Kimberly A. Suta
Photo Above: Lauren Keller
There’s something to be said about the legacy of a company like Burdick Custom Homes, which is built on a seemingly forgotten code of ethics and business practices, but which continues to serve its people well, whether they be staff or clients.
“There’s a history of accomplishments that accompanies our dedication to the finest custom home projects, and an equally long list of industry awards that represent our commitment to our clients’ satisfaction. And really, that’s our finest achievement of all,” said founder, Art Burdick.
In fact, Burdick Custom Homes recently won the 2022 Summit Award for Best Product Design for homes in the $2.5 – $3.0 million and their star salesman, Tracy Harris, won Sales Counselor of the Year award.
According to Art, who in his nearly 50 years in the business has served as President of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association and on the boards of the National Association of Homebuilders and Texas Association of Builders, “Burdick Custom Homes has been recognized as the leader in San Antonio custom homebuilding. We have received more awards from our peers and our industry than any other builder in our category. Excellence in design, craftsmanship and service has resulted in an unparalleled reputation for homeowner satisfaction. We continue to build on that reputation.”
Although Burdick builds in a number of affluent neighborhoods, including Huntington at Shavano Park, The Canyons, The Dominion, Cantera Hills and Anaqua Springs Ranch, they enjoy nothing more than being a Preferred Builder for Cordillera Ranch.
Before Tracy was the Director of Client Relations for Burdick, he held many interesting jobs, including a teacher, school administrator, golf coach and even a professional comedian in Los Angeles for a time.
“I came back from L.A. — I’d given up on maturing,” joked Tracy, “And I ran into David Hill, whose son had played golf for me when I was a high school golf coach. He asked what I was going to do now, and I told him I had no idea. He said, ‘I have something you may be interested in — a development north of San Antonio.’”
After passing a sales aptitude test, Tracy spent the next 15 years, up to 2012, working at Cordillera Ranch.
“When the gates opened, I used to play the theme song from Jurassic Park, for potential clients who had a sense of humor. Cordillera Ranch was my Jurassic Park because whatever you can dream of, it’s there,” shared Tracy. “It’s beautiful at night because of the restrictions on lighting. There are no street lights or speed bumps. I always say there’s no perfect house or development, but Cordillera Ranch hits on all cylinders.”
Nomad that he is, Tracy eventually decided to take a year off to travel the world. Upon his return, Tracy could have worked for any number of top builders. During his time at Cordillera Ranch, he had the opportunity to work with 28 different builders and got to see behind the scenes, so to speak. It was Burdick, however, that made him feel the most comfortable and won his favor.
Tracy started working for Burdick but, not soon after, got sick with hepatitis, which he had likely picked up on his travels. After a harrowing liver transplant and a long road to recovery, Tracy started working with the Burdick team yet again.
“I had lost over half my body weight. No one thought I was coming out of the hospital and I was beginning to wonder myself. It brought me closer to God, knowing that, hey, it wasn’t my time. I’ve seen some of the purpose of why in what I do. When they offered me my old job back it was like a dream come true. I said I’ll be over there tomorrow and the rest is history,” remembered Tracy.
According to Art, Tracy is something of a site selection virtuoso. “He’s as good at site selection and lot evaluation as anyone I’ve ever seen. Getting our clients to the right site is very important and not everyone has that ability. He’s also a character and just an electric and extraordinary human being. He truly cares about people and helping them achieve their goals as opposed to just selling them. Tracy will tell you the truth, even if it hurts him,” explained Art.
When it comes to site selection there are a myriad of variables that come into play and Tracy’s keen eye is constantly evaluating each of these factors. “I want to know where the sun is setting, where the prevailing winds are coming from, how much of a grade we’re dealing with, where your neighbors are going to be situated, and so on,” Tracy elaborated. Tracy asks clients questions, like what do you want to wake up and see every morning? It’s these kinds of questions that help him determine the best lot and it’s practically guaranteed he’ll find it.
Alexia Herber, the President of Burdick Custom homes, has been with the company for 24 years. She works closely with Tracy, Monika Morris-VP of Design and Dave Herber-Cordillera Project Manager throughout the design/build process. She claims to be more behind-the-scenes but it’s undeniably a team mentality and effort that keeps Burdick running like a well-oiled machine.
“We listen to our clients and try to make sure we get involved from the inception of design. A lot of customers have come to me with complete sets of plans that don’t work out well in the field, so it’s beneficial to have your builder involved to ensure the design fits the topography of the lot as well as your budget,” advised Alexia.
“We have many clients that have trusted us enough to build second or third homes. Additionally, we have new clients who are relocating from California and the Northeast. They’re wanting to come to Texas to retire because of the political climate as well as the general Texas Hill Country atmosphere,” she shared.
She, too, lives in Boerne and appreciates the surrounding hills, trees and beauty of nature. “Cordillera Ranch has done a fabulous job of preserving that aspect when it comes to design and size of the lots at the Village, for example, which allows the deer to meander and roam freely in the subdivision,” she said. “Cordillera provides a lifestyle for people of peace and serenity in a Hill Country environment that is still close to town. They have a Club and all the facilities and opportunities, such as the Gun Club, horseback riding and golf. Most people are relocating there now because of the premier golf course.”
Another aspect that has most assuredly impacted Burdick’s own premier status as a Preferred Builder is their commitment to work with highly skilled tradesman, even if that means they have to wait a little bit longer. For Burdick, quality will always trump quantity.
“Our loyalty and integrity have resulted in long-standing relationships with vendors, suppliers and subcontractors and, now their children, who have taken over the businesses. In this environment, it gets us preferred status, but ultimately we would rather wait on our highly skilled subcontractors. Timeliness is important but what’s more important is our clients’ satisfaction,” noted Alexia.
As the years roll by, we all learn change is inevitable. Although Art has such a love for his work and the incredible company he’s built over half a century, he is currently in the process of retiring.
“Alexia has been the president and my partner for a while. She shares my passion for this industry and is committed to upholding the reputation and level of client satisfaction I spent my career establishing. Alexia has been running the business for several years, and we’re now well into the transition of full ownership and control to her,” he said, proudly.
“Longevity is one of the qualities that has enabled BCH to achieve such outstanding homeowner satisfaction,” stated Art. “Most of our staff have been with us for more than 10 years
with several exceeding 20 years. They are each extremely committed individuals. This is paramount in our success and our homeowner satisfaction.”
Alexia, Tracy and team welcome the opportunity to visit with potential homeowners to discuss why you should choose Burdick to help you build your Cordillera Ranch dream home.
Burdick Custom Homes