top of page
ep. 7 curved linkedin.png
grey listen now.png

Listen Now

Ep. 7: Fred Balda talks straight about the market, values, and leadership.

In episode 7 of the Alosant Innovator Series, host April LaMon is joined by Fred Balda. President of Hillwood Communities since 1992, Fred is instrumental in providing leadership in operations, acquisitions, design, and development at Hillwood. Fred’s experience in development spans more than 100 master-planned communities across 13 states and two countries. He is dedicated to thoughtful placemaking — designing and developing communities that inspire a sense of belonging amongst community members and creates long lasting value for everyone involved. Read highlights from the episode below. Fred’s Projections for 2023 With Fred’s extensive experience in the development industry, we were curious to hear how he was viewing the upcoming years, market conditions, and what he sees on the horizon for the industry. Fred recognizes the uncertainty in 2023, but is also calm and excited about the fact that there is a lot of work to do at Hillwood. He’s looking forward to seeing how the spring of 2023 plays out. With visibility into home sales already softening, builders at Hillwood communities are going through home price discovery exercises to properly price existing inventory. Fred expects 2023 and 2024 to be a year of velocity and price correction. Amongst the uncertainty, Fred is energized by the opportunity to focus on improving their internal processes. Alongside their slated development, they are focused on enhancing their internal reporting and softwares, acquisitions, their team, and doing better overall to be ready for when the market returns in a few years. Delivering a quality product is Hillwood’s top priority, and in the episode Fred talks about how many other companies resist the tug to sacrifice quality in uncertain times. How Hillwood Raises the Bar From designing powerful senses of arrival like Pecan Square, to thoughtful lifestyle programs and a focus on a financial discipline, Hillwood continues to set the gold standard for master planned community development. That being no easy task, April asked Fred about the core values amongst the teams at Hillwood that keep them focused on delivering quality products. They call it their SWESI, which stands for: Sense of Community Well-being Enrichment Stewardship Innovation Fred views the SWESI as a set of guiding principles that help everyone at Hillwood raise the bar. The Real Estate Development Process at Hillwood Fred explains three key steps in Hillwood’s process that helps them create a development in a thoughtful, innovative and interactive way. Take Inventory of the Land The first step is to take inventory of the land such as identifying land features and historical structures as well as opportunities to use existing land in creative ways. 2. Innovation Workshops Once inventory has been taken on the land and the project teams have been assembled, Hillwood coordinates Innovation Workshops, events where stakeholders of the project gather to ideate on the future vision of the community. Builders, engineers, amenity and lifestyle designers, city officials, stakeholders, among other industry leaders are involved in this process. Throughout the workshops, architects turn ideas into sketches and models that are then shown to participants in the days following the workshops. Fred points out the importance of this step in the process as it instills confidence in the stakeholders and boosts momentum and excitement for the project. Searching for the Big Idea Fred and his team are constantly searching for the “Big Idea.” They’re consistently asking each other questions surrounding key differentiators and what will stand out to potential residents. What advice would you give to your 25 year old self? At the end of every Alosant Innovator Series episode, April asks guests “what advice would you give to your 25-year-old self?” Here’s what Fred had to say: Do the right thing, with class Respect Excellence Be bold, have courage Go deeper in life, never stop learning Work hard Never quit, be dependable and accountable Surround yourself with go-getters Be humble Communicate Have a great attitude Connect with Fred (working on links) Connect with Fred on LinkedIn Learn more about Hillwood Communities If you are ever in DFW area, Fred invites you to get in touch

Are you an Innovator?

Stay in the know

Subscribe to get new episodes delivered to your inbox.

bottom of page