Schuber Mitchell Homes
Creating Change in Housing
By Kathleen Swift • Photos by Savanah Mandeville
The most devastating time in Joplin’s history was the tornado that struck in May of 2011. In the aftermath of the storm, great change came to the city and the people who lived and worked in Joplin. Dan Mitchell was one of those people whose life has taken a major change since that awful day.
“At the time of the tornado, I was in ministry running The Bridge. I had been in ministry in the Joplin area for 14 years when the disaster hit. We lost seven young people from our ministry in the tornado. In those first six or eight weeks following the storm, we had to simultaneously search, mourn, help survivors, clean up and begin planning the rebuilding.
“The challenge became apparent very quickly. How could a town with so much devastation and with so little production capacity for home building rebuild fast enough to maintain and then grow its population post disaster? Both the Schuber family and the Mitchell family, like many others, saw a need for rebuilding our community, but the only thing we had going for us at the time was a love for the people of Southwest Missouri. So, we reached out to some very good friends that had built thousands of homes in Texas. The Betenbough company told us that if we wanted to learn the business, they would help us. They said, ‘Nobody can take better care of the people in the community than the people who are here.’”
With the committed help of the Betenbough team, Daman Schuber and Dan Mitchell set out to bring quality, affordable homes to Southwest Missouri. The team at Schuber Mitchell Homes is committed to every family for whom they build.
“What drives change for us is thinking of our customers and trades and lenders and realtors – anyone we serve, before ourselves. The cool thing about Joplin is that we were able to risk so much precisely because we live in a community with a high regard for valuing others. We mourned and did the best we could for each other under terrible circumstances. But we were willing to risk change because we were putting ourselves on the line for a community that notably values one another above self.”
Schuber Mitchell Homes has built over 1,000 new homes since 2011 and are on track to add another 200 homes in the Joplin area and 150 new homes in Northwest Arkansas in 2019.
“We stepped up to the challenge to provide affordable, all-brick homes with luxury finishes such as granite countertops, good construction, Heritage roofs and a variety of floor plans for all people. We have an important role in building the kinds of new homes people can afford.
“However, because the greater value is on providing more home for less money, suppliers must have the capacity to serve our customers well and bring products that are superior at a lower cost, no matter where they have their store front.”
Technology is one change in the home-building industry where Schuber Mitchell Homes has made a major investment.
“We use a construction management software that allows our teams to check work, provide feedback and then pay by direct deposit as soon as a home is finished. We complete a new home almost every day, so we also provide a stable work place for the trades that work on site. This consistent work allows for higher quality installs because our homes are intelligently designed, and the teams that work on the homes get better and better at the process over time.”
Schuber Mitchell Homes not only builds quality, affordable homes, they create neighborhoods where the concept of community can thrive.
“There are only so many parcels of land in a given city where single-family homes can be built. We are always impressed when a city recognizes the power of new homes and when the city officials create an environment where more homes and families can locate using up less precious land resources. We try to design and plan communities that are efficient, friendly and beautiful. We know people like sidewalks and front porches, and we plan neighborhoods accordingly. We hope that our neighborhoods give families a chance to connect with each other and build a better quality of life as they build equity and reduce debt.
“I love driving through a new neighborhood and seeing all the new trash cans lined up along the curb when a street is sold out. I know that sounds silly, but those cans represent more vested property owners, more jobs, more kids in school, and inside those cans are boxes from Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot and other local businesses, which equals more people participating in our community, helping to pay their part for police and fire and parks and roads. I enjoy seeing the economic impact of the new neighborhoods and adding to that solid foundation of community.”