Record year
Home building, sales soaring for Hillcrest
By Mark Sherry
Mark Sherry photos
The ability of Hillcrest Builders and Hillcrest Realty to deliver what customers want—either from a selection of available plans or customized projects—is one of many reasons why the business posted a record year in 2013 and is well on its way to topping those marks in 2014.

Last year was a record for Hillcrest Builders and Hillcrest Realty in terms of the number of new homes constructed and existing homes sold.

This year is already shaping up to be even better—in all likelihood significantly better—and there are several reasons for that.

While there are outside influences contributing to the significant growth of Hillcrest Builders and Hillcrest Realty over the past year, the number-one reason is Hillcrest itself—what it has to offer potential clients, how it goes about its business, and what it delivers in terms of the end product.

Owner Oyvind Solvang has assembled a top-notch staff which shares his ability to deal with people in a friendly, professional, low-pressure way. The abilities of his staff allow Solvang to spend most of his time not behind a desk at his Glenbeulah office, but at Hillcrest’s Plymouth selection center meeting with customers and potential customers. “That’s important in any business,” he said.

Staff increases

“We’ve doubled our staff in the office and added crews as well,” Solvang added. “Our team has grown very strong in terms of people’s experience and talents.”

One of those recent staff additions is on the real estate side of the business, where Lisa Darr is bringing her 13 years of real estate experience to Hillcrest Realty.

Darr was already very familiar with Hillcrest Builders and Hillcrest Realty before joining the team. “I had always done business with Hillcrest before,” she said. If one of her clients was looking to sell their existing home with thoughts of building new, they could not go wrong selecting Hillcrest Builders to do the job—and Darr was happy to bring the prospective clients to Hillcrest.

So when the opportunity arose last fall for Darr to join the Hillcrest Realty team, it did not take her long to say “yes.”

“It was just time,” Darr said recently from Hillcrest’s gorgeous selection center / model home in Plymouth’s Greystone Settlement. “I knew the product. It’s a dream job for me. Every day is different.”

Knows the area

Darr began working for Hillcrest in early November and has stayed busy right through the cold, snowy winter. She has come a long way in her real estate career from a time in which she thought it would be just a part-time opportunity. It helped that she knew the area, having grown up in Sheboygan Falls where her father was the police chief for 28 years. Although her family moved to Wausau prior to her senior year in high school and she spent some time out of the area when her husband Tim was in the Army, eventually they returned to settle in Plymouth and raise their children Tim Jr., Taylor, Alex and Sara.

Her knowledge of the area is an advantage she brought to Hillcrest, and Hillcrest has supplied her with a briefcase full of advantages as well.

“Our customer satisfaction rating is extremely high, which promotes the building,” she said. “I think the construction is superior. It’s a product I believe in.”

She added, “I really enjoy working with Oyvind, and I love learning. It’s everything combined.... We make a great team. Oyvind values other people’s opinions.”

The person who benefits the most from these Hillcrest advantages is the customer. As a builder of new homes, a remodeler and a real estate company, Hillcrest is a one-stop shop for anyone who needs something done with their home. “We always have an answer for

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