McKee Homes Celebrates 30 years
In 1987, Martin McKee opened a small home-based business on Alpine Crescent that would soon become one of Airdrie’s premiere home building businesses. Opening first in Airdrie due to its proximity to Calgary, without the pace of a larger city, McKee started modestly, building four homes in Airdrie in 1987, and working from the vision of building quality, well-crafted, and innovated homes for Airdrie families.
Fast forward thirty years, to 2017, and that small home-based business has grown and changed immensely. Currently in their fifth location since starting in 1987, which is located at 406 1stAvenue NW, McKee Homes is now run by Martin McKee’s daughters, Elaine McKee-Doel (President), Grace McKee (Executive Vice President), and Elaine’s husband, Rob Doel (Vice President Land and Sales).
Celebrating 30 years in the business has been an exciting milestone for Elaine, Grace, Rob and their team. The Executive Team, along with 32 staff and 8 sales team members, have grown the company into a highly sought after home building business that builds up to 200 homes per year in Airdrie and area. The team is proud to have over 3000 families living in McKee Homes. With an average household size of three people per home, over 10% of Airdrie’s population has a McKee built roof above their heads!
When asked what they like about owning a business in Airdrie, Elaine laughed, “the five minute commute is fun for us, though it did double when Airdrie installed its first traffic light!” In all seriousness, she says, “we love Airdrie. We love the people, the shopping, the social amenities, the volunteer groups, the business community, the opportunities for recreational pursuits, the schools, the integrated path systems, I could go on.” Elaine says that not only have they raised their families here, her, Grace, and Rob all went to school in Airdrie, so at the end of the day, Airdrie is home.
The proudest moments over the past 30 years for Elaine are when she sees a homeowner who is so happy with their home. She is also very proud of the Building Futures program, which brings Grade 10 students together in a non-traditional learning setting, where they learn what it takes to build a house. They receive real-world skills, while also completing the entire tenth grade curriculum. “I think we are making a difference for many young people, and perhaps even for our own industry down the road, by showing youth the tremendous ad varied rewarding career opportunities in the construction industry,” Elaine explains.
McKee Homes was the winner of the Best New Home ($485,000-$549,000) at the 2016 SAM Awards for the Carlingford RT in Bayside
The McKee team is also well known for giving back to their community, having received the Volunteer Ambassador award a few years ago. You will find the team contributing to their community in a number of ways, including being a part of local groups such as the Chamber of Commerce.
Elaine mentioned that joining groups like your local Chamber of Commerce is excellent advice for any new entrepreneur starting out. She also suggests to new entrepreneurs that they should develop a good relationship with a financial institution. In addition, focusing on education, and advancing yourself as an entrepreneur and a business to ensure you are the leader in your field is very important. Finally, she says, “always be true to your word, and get ready for some long hours – but it’s worth it!”
So, what’s next for this veteran company? “We are hoping to move into additional communities within the city as new land becomes approved. We will continue to focus on quality and innovation in our materials, design and service to our customers,” just as they have done for the past 30 years.