Women in Real Estate: Natasha Gandhi Talks Housing Affordability

Headshot of Natasha Gandhi

Armed with a BA in Architecture and an MBA and Masters in Real Estate and Construction Management, Natasha worked for two other national builders before finding her place at Richmond American Homes. Now Division President of Southern Colorado, Natasha recognizes that to be successful, homebuilding leadership needs to evaluate a variety of economic factors when positioning itself in the marketplace.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we’re in a strong housing market,” Natasha says, “But there’s a shortage of housing caused by rising demand.”

According to Natasha, affordability is the biggest obstacle facing homebuilders right now. Every builder seems to be scrambling to react to a growing need for affordable options in new home construction. But the problem is more complex than building inexpensive houses. More and more millennials are entering the market. They’re savvy and they’re looking for more than the cheapest possible living space.

“Every builder has a strategy for the affordability problem,” Natasha says, “And that sometimes means cutting down on design choices. We’ve found a way to be a premier brand and offer those selections even within the affordable market.”

And the market is responding. The success of the company’s Seasons™ Collection, a series of homes with a smaller footprint that still offer features such as center-meet sliding doors and 9-foot main-floor ceilings, is available in most of the areas where Richmond American builds. The company’s top-closing floor plan in 2019 was from this collection and a second affordable line of homes with duplex-style plans, the Urban Collection™, is rolling out in select markets.

Natasha credits Larry Mizel and David Mandarich for creating a solid foundation that allows senior management within Richmond American Homes Companies to lead from a place of strength. “Richmond American has a lot of history; the processes are in place and we know what we’re good at. It allows us to be more innovative and less reactionary to the whims of the market.”

That innovation includes developing land in a way that preserves open spaces, creating neighborhoods that work alongside the existing topography, not against it. “Taking a piece of land, developing it and helping families build their dreams. I don’t know what else could be more gratifying,” she says.

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