When Zane Beckett started his building business at age 19 he didn't intend to be a property developer.
But 15 years on, after market conditions forced his hand, ZB Homes has become the first ever construction business to take the top honour at the Deloittes Fast 50 National Awards.
The Courier mentioned the awards last year when ZB Homes was named winner of the Fastest Growing Services Business Award for the Central North Island and named in the National Top 50 index.
The Fast 50 index ranks the top 50 businesses in New Zealand according to their revenue growth over the past three years.
Entrants are required to have been in business for a minimum of three years, and have had operating revenue of at least $300,000.
Mr Beckett said he was encouraged to set up his own business by the people he did his apprenticeship with.
"They said I should get out and do my own thing.
"I was motivated by the challenge of creating something that was mine," says Mr Beckett.
The business was going well — but not well enough for the owner's liking.
He says he wanted to drive more growth, but a lack of land was making it hard for local firms.
His answer was to expand into subdivisions and offer house and land packages.
"That created the growth we wanted," he says.
ZB Homes now operates out of Te Awamutu and Tauranga and employs about a dozen staff at each office, as well as local sub-contractors.
Mr Beckett says there are about 40 building projects on the go at any given time.
The team offers design and build options for landowners, land and home packages and investment opportunities.
He also likes to embrace technology to maintain a high level of communication with the client, so they know exactly where their project is at.
"We make sure we listen carefully to what people want and we make sure we keep to the agreed budgets.
"Our aim is to keep being innovative, keep growing and make sure every client is treated as an individual," he says.