Expert in Focus - Michael Bartier
BGC Housing Group’s Michael Bartier has swiftly climbed the corporate ladder at one of the country’s biggest homebuilding groups. In 2012, Mr Bartier joined BGC as a new home sales executive, quickly unearthing a passion for the building industry.
Just eight years later, Mr Bartier is now responsible for overseeing eight different homebuilding brands under the BGC Housing Group banner. He takes us through the ups and downs of that journey in the latest edition of Australian Property Investor Magazine’s Expert in Focus.
You didn't start your career in building and construction, take us through your journey to lead Western Australia's biggest residential construction company.
My career started in the automotive industry where I honed my sales and marketing skills. I then progressed into dealership management developing business management, people management and financial management skills. After this, I progressed into corporate management with Honda Australia specialising in business restructures and development.
My sporting career (in basketball & boxing) have also provided invaluable team experience and competitive drive, which is a great help in business.
What factor did BGC's extensive history and reputation as a market leader play into you joining the company?
Growing up, I was raised by a single mother in rental properties and became fascinated with the dream of building and owning a home of my own, as well as the residential construction industry. As a child, I would see BGC trucks and building sites everywhere and developed an interest in BGC and Len Buckeridge’s amazing story.
Additionally, BGC is a Western Australian icon, employing thousands of West Aussies and having constructed some of WA’s most recognizable landmarks including;
- Perth Arena
- NIB Stadium
- Westin Hotel
- Aloft Hotel
- Albany War Memorial
I am genuinely proud to be a part of BGC and everything it stands for!
What's been your biggest challenge in your career so far, and how did you overcome it?
Shortly after I was promoted from sales to management at BGC, I was tasked to oversee the initial stages of restructure to our housing division.
Given the timely decline in the housing market, it was imperative that I could identify where non-market-related improvements and efficiencies could be made to maintain our number one position. I led our Housing team through the change by shifting our focus to social media, improving build quality for effective brand positioning, enabling inclusive management by idea-sharing, and improving the sales focus of our frontline workers through commission reforms and incentives.
Tough economic conditions also highlighted the need for us to continue to modernise our business platform so we can continue to offer BGC customers the best value for money, quality, technology and inclusions in the market. Recently, BGC Housing Group has invested in a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art showroom in Osborne Park– WA’s newest and biggest homes showroom. Our new BGC Home contains over 1000sqm of inspiration and style to explore, showcasing hundreds of products, materials, technologies and fixtures.
What's your outlook for the residential construction sector in WA?
Despite the challenges driven by COVID and the lack of underlying population growth as a result, I believe WA’s residential construction sector is poised for a consistent period of growth driven by pent up demand, a shortage of rental properties and social and affordable housing stock. As a state Western Australia offers a high quality of living, affordable housing, employment opportunities and most importantly a safe place to raise a family. We are forecasting that interstate migration and investment will play a key role in a strong WA residential construction sector.
How has COVID-19 affected BGC Housing Group and its operations going forward?
BGC Housing Group took a proactive and vigilant approach to safety to protect our employees, clients and contractors during COVID-19. We were one of the first WA builders to implement social distancing onsite and in display homes and continue to do so today.
In a building sense, there has never been a better time to build in WA, with record low land prices and building affordability. Government stimulus has amplified this and resulted in a surge of demand that will drive construction, preserve jobs and aid in the recovery of the WA economy.
BGC Housing Group has recently consolidated its operations under one roof - how do you see the company evolving over the next few years?
BGC Housing Group continues to be the largest residential builder in Western Australia, directly employing hundreds of Western Australians and contracting thousands more. We continue to drive economic growth with annual revenue typically exceeding $500 million, and continue to lead the industry with the percentage of WA-manufactured materials used.
We intend to continue our successes by favouring technological innovation and developments as seen in BGC Home, the State’s largest showroom, which provides our clients with a premium experience and the ability to utilise technology such as screen cloud, VR, interactive displays and the latest green innovations.