Abrazo Homes may be a newer homebuilder for the New Mexico community, but the company’s employees say it has already established a great team environment that makes them feel valued.
The Albuquerque-based firm placed first in the small category for the Journal’s list of Top Workplaces. This is the third consecutive year the company has placed in Top Workplaces and the second time they have placed first.
“I have been able to grow at Abrazo,” said one employee, according to surveys conducted by research firm Energage. “They are my family and I am grateful to work for such an amazing company.”
“I get to be a part of creating neighborhoods, not just homes, where childhood memories will be made, where families will gather for important life events, and where adults will someday return to show their own children where they grew up!” said another employee.
Co-owner and co-founder Mackenzie Bishop calls Abrazo Homes a “networking company,” adding that they bring together a list of partners — customers, lenders, subcontractors — to build homes and communities they are proud of.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Bishop, whose comments have been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
What has Abrazo homes been up to in the past year?
“I mean, housing has been really, really hot — insatiably hot. People can’t find a house right now. Sales have not been the bigger challenge, though that is going to change here pretty dramatically; it already is changing with rates going where they are.
“But it’s been an operational challenge. One of the things we’ve really been focused on is going after and putting resources and attention behind the constrained supply in our business.
“So, whether that be land, lots, appliances, lumber, skilled labor — all the different aspects that have been so constrained over the past 18 months. That’s been a really big focus for our organization. It’s also been a really big drain on our organization.
“Sometimes, our people feel as if they’re banging their head against the wall on a daily basis. And so, you know, one of the things that’s really been a focus for us in terms of keeping our employees — even as they’re incredibly frustrated and, you know, bordering on burnout in certain circumstances — is how do we keep those people engaged, keep it light, make them feel appreciated, and keep them coming back? Because our team is how we accomplish all of the things we want to accomplish.”
How have you overcome some of those challenges?
“All workplaces have been going through some massive changes and experiments over the past two years. So, the reentry to work environment — people are doing that in different ways. Elon Musk is dealing with it one way, certain companies are dealing with it in other ways.
“Short of requiring people to come to work — because we have a very physical business, you know, we need to be on site for the most part, but we do have folks who can work remotely or flexibly.
“So, we’ve really tried to not over-legislate those things and give people the flexibility they need because childcare is an issue, and the world is different. So, we have to be realistic with and support people through that, but also accomplish the things that we want to accomplish.”