When it comes to constructing dream homes, you’ve got to have a dream team. That is, an outstanding homebuilding team. The players must have unparalleled talent, knowledge, and decades of experience — just like the superstars on the Preserve Homes & Neighborhoods (PH&N) team. You may have already read about a few key members of this powerhouse contingent, like Division Managers Kevin Popson and Dave Durham. Now we’re proud to introduce you to our Project Manager, Dan Marro, an undeniable MVP at PH&N.
“One of our biggest wins for PH&N was bringing our Project Manager, Dan Marro, on board. …we all knew he was a significant asset. Having him run the day-to-day operations for PH&N was a huge win for us.” – Kevin Popson, Division Manager of Preserve Homes & Neighborhoods
You’ll soon learn why Dan is such an incredible asset, but what really distinguishes him is the fact that he’s not only the PH&N Project Manager, he’s also a PH&N customer. He and his family are building their very own dream home in Bay Creek, our beautiful coastal community on Virginia’s Cape. So, Dan not only talks the talk, he walks the walk — quite literally putting his money where his mouth is.
We recently chatted with Dan to learn more about his decision to join the PH&N dream team, as well as his impressive background, work experience, and notable drive. We even got him to divulge the customized home plan he’s building at Bay Creek right now.
Dan, you went to college in Pennsylvania, so what brought you to the Southeast?
Throughout college, I worked in construction, so I already had established a love for the industry. After graduation, my wife had accepted a teaching position in Atlanta, Georgia. I, of course, followed her and, on the advice of my father-in-law, interviewed with John Wieland Homes. To make a long story short, I got the job and ended up working at there for almost 23 years, eventually becoming the president of their Raleigh-Durham division. But after Pulte purchased John Weiland Homes in 2016, I left the organization to start my own homebuilding business, Dream Shelters. Over five years, we did a lot of great work building custom homes and a few fix-and-flips, too. It was a success, but I was ready for a change.
So what prompted you to join forces with Preserve Homes & Neighborhoods?
Over time, I discovered that I missed working with a close-knit team — particularly my old colleagues at John Weiland Homes. I enjoyed working with Dave Durham and Kevin Popson. Dave was actually my boss for several years. So I already knew these gentlemen were highly accomplished, successful, passionate, and forward-thinking. Joining forces with them to create a brand new homebuilding business was an incredible opportunity — one I couldn’t pass up. I knew I could contribute significantly to the endeavor, so I happily came on board in July of 2021.
What does your role as project manager entail?
I utilize every bit of my 30 years of residential construction experience at PH&N. I personally oversee all the details of each home project. You name it — planning, purchasing, billing, site visits, etc. I’ve established trusted relationships with industry suppliers, contractors, designers, and all the rest to help ensure our customers enjoy an exceptional homebuilding experience. I know that building a custom home is one of the biggest decisions in life, both financially and emotionally, so I strive to make it the best it can be. Open communication and attention to detail are key elements in making it a rewarding and meaningful experience for our clients.
What’s your favorite part of the homebuilding process?
I’m more of a “hands-on” type of guy rather than a “behind the desk” type of guy, although I’ll gladly do both. But, if I had to choose, I’d be on-site every day. I love seeing a home take shape and enjoy interacting with the people making it happen — subcontractors, tradespeople, and especially the clients. It means a lot that they trust me to make their dream home a reality. It’s a high-stakes, high-reward position to be in, but I love it. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of hearing a client say, “This is perfect. It’s everything I ever wanted.”
From your recent interactions with homebuyers, what are the most popular trends and requested features? More importantly, how is PH&N catering to those requests?
Due to the pandemic, there’s been a historic shift in working remotely. Today, work happens anywhere, not just in the office. So, we’re seeing many people taking advantage of that fact. They’re moving to resort-style communities like Bay Creek and Albemarle Plantation to gain easy access to top-notch amenities. They want to step out of their home office and experience authentic coastal living. They want to play a round of golf, walk on the beach, go boating from their own private marina, hike in a nature preserve, or take a trip into town via their golf cart. And speaking of trends, we’re seeing many homebuyers nix formal dining rooms and opt for sophisticated home offices instead. We’re happy to make that happen and include all the latest technologies to make working from home easy and pleasurable.
What are your hopes for the future of PH&N?
My hope is that we continue to steadily gain momentum and grow while honoring our mission to craft personalized quality homes for discerning buyers. If we can do that, it’ll open the door for even more future homebuyers to discover and enjoy an exceptional lifestyle in Preserve Communities. For me, that’s an exciting prospect.
You’re currently building PH&N homes in Bay Creek and will soon start building in Albemarle Plantation. What are your favorite features in those communities?
I have two favorites at Bay Creek — the Life Center and the long stretch of pristine beach nearby. They’re both fantastic amenities that are impossible to find anywhere else. At Albemarle, my favorites are the private, deep-water marina and the Dockside Café. The full-service marina there is pretty impressive as it’s one of the largest private boat basins on the Eastern Seaboard.
We’ve learned a lot about you and Preserve Homes & Neighborhoods, but would you care to share a fun fact about yourself?
I love the outdoors, especially fishing, playing golf, hiking, biking, and boating. My family loves those activities too. That’s why it made sense for us to make Bay Creek our home. It’s funny — At PH&N, we pride ourselves on creating homes where residents can live, work, and play. I’m actually doing that!
So you not only work at Bay Creek, you live there too. Tell us more about that. And we must know — what home plan did you choose?
We moved to Bay Creek this past July and adore the lifestyle here. We’re currently living in one of Bay Creek Resort’s vacation rentals as we prepare to build our brand new PH&N home. Right now, the home plan we’re leaning toward is The Tidewater but with the additional separate bath upstairs. We hope to have our new house done in about a year — and we can’t wait to make it our home.
Our PH&N team understands those who are rethinking what “home” means today. If you’re one of the many re-evaluating your priorities and considering ways to enhance your quality of life, we can help. A PH&N home offers the unique ability to work, live, and play in an exquisite, purposefully crafted lifestyle community — not just today, but every day. Intrigued? Take a look at the great work Dan and the PH&N team have already started at Bay Creek. If you like what you see, contact us to learn more, or better yet, schedule a tour.