Mohsin Masood and his father and uncle formed Digram Developments in 2005. Before long, the Markham, Ontario-based company had built a reputation as a developer that could turn empty parcels of farmland into residential and commercial hotspots.
In 2014, Masood’s brother Abubakar Masood joined the team and the duo formed Digreen Homes, realizing that they could build up the lots it developed in Markham, Brampton, Caledon, Vaughan, Oakville and other Toronto-area communities.
“We were interested in both growing the business and seeing projects through from beginning to end,” co-owner and President Mohsin Masood says. “Right now we have projects in Markham, and future projects in other places located in the greater Toronto area as well.”
Digram Developments and Digreen Homes work hand-in-hand to purchase and service the sites of homes built by Digreen, including installing water mains and building sidewalks, curbs and asphalt work.
“Digreen’s products are superior in quality,” Masood says. “In our home packages we offer a lot of what our competitors sell as additional add-ons, such as granite countertops, oak staircases, higher ceilings and more aesthetically appealing elevations. For us, those upgrades are standard features in all of our homes.”
The locations where it builds also set Digram apart from competitors. “Our locations are usually in-fill or where people aspire to live,” Masood explains. “For example, one of our projects, 16th Avenue, which is in Markham, was one of the last parcels of land that a developer could build on in that area. Our other development, Stowmarket Springs in Caledon, is completely surrounded by existing development and is also one of the last parcels of land that one can build on.
“So our communities are usually right in the middle of thickly populated areas, which gives homebuyers one of the last opportunities to purchase a house of their choice or liking in areas that are more convenient, which is more desirable for them.”
In addition, Digram and Digreen’s integration allows the company to maintain faster schedules on its projects. As Masood notes, it is uncommon for other companies to deliver completed homes within six to eight months of their closing dates.
“We don’t like our clients to wait for years to have their dream house built,” he says. “In some cases, other builders have taken two to even four years to build a clients’ home. We like to build our clients’ homes in eight to 12 months so that they don’t have to dream about living in their dream house for a few years. By streamlining the process, they are able to get in sooner and enjoy their home.
“As a matter of fact, we made our sales for our project at 16th Avenue in July and August of last year, and now we are breaking ground,” he adds. “Hopefully, by August of this year, we will be able to start delivering houses.”
The project includes large, high-end townhouses with multiple-car garages and tall ceilings. “Because of our style, we always like to deliver a top-notch product with other amenities that essentially makes it an executive house,” Masood says. “We are catering to a certain niche in the market and we want to continue doing that. That niche is a superior-quality product with many standard upgrades that are already included in our home packages. Again, those upgrades are standards to us because they should be in all homes.”
Eye For Quality
The company’s clients include those with “good tastes,” Masood notes. The company has noticed that it doesn’t matter which municipality it works in, all of its clients have a superior eye for quality.
“They appreciate what we put inside our homes, [and] that includes everything from our faucets to our hardwood floors, and granite and stone accents,” Masood explains. “We have also seen that it’s not a specific age group with a specific income from a specific geographical area. In all the communities we work in, we find people that have the same good tastes as we do and we try to deliver what they want because they appreciate it.”
The company uses only engineered lumber and synthetic pipes in its homes. All of the windows and doors in its homes are Energy Star certified. In addition, the homes built by Digreen are offered at a price point that is competitive with other builders, which is another aspect that clients appreciate, according to Masood. “Our prices are in line with our competitors, even though we are offering higher-end products,” Masood says. “We want to cater to the tastes of the communities we service, so there is no need to charge extra for what people should already have included.”
Digreen teams with a number of vendors and sub-trades that help it maintain its reputation for high quality. “We work with trades who are recognized by the quality of their work,” Masood says. “We tend to work with the same trades on more than one occasion because we have the complete faith that they will be able to deliver the quality that is expected of them. And they deliver every time. For example, we recently gained a few occupancies for one of our projects in Markham and that was because it is top quality because of the trades that we chose.”
The company seeks buy-in from its trades about choosing additional upgrades to its homes. “Even though we do have standard upgrades in our homes, we seek input from our trades about the type of things that people are looking for so we can also offer those as standards,” Masood says. “For example, DeLuca Plumbing does phenomenal work for us. Ganeva Trim is amazing and Moscone Marble and many more. All of these guys do amazing work and that is why we have huge confidence in and continue to work with them repeatedly.”
Communication and collaboration play huge roles in maintaining these relationships, Masood adds. “At the end of the day, it has been a saying in my family that ‘a team is only as strong as the weakest link,’” he says.“So we try to make everyone strong by keeping those lines of communication open and having everyone involved for every step so that we deliver the best possible product to our clients.”
The same emphasis on collaboration and communication is just as essential for Digram Development’s employees. “Everything is evident when you see us preparing for a sales launch,” Masood says. “You’ll see our entire team working hard and we are blessed with a very good team. From the very beginning, our focus has always been that our work culture and environment encourages that type of hard-working but fun atmosphere. In our opinion, employee productivity goes down if they are not given a favorable environment.”
Clearly, theDigram and Digreen team has contributed to the success of the company. “Our team is a very hardworking team and they do a great job,” Masood says. “It’s not just the team in our offices either, but also our trades and architects as they do a phenomenal job as well. Also, it’s all about quality. At the end of the day, if you work hard and delivery quality to clients, you will always be successful.”