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Todd Eshenbaugh

When you’re in the construction and homebuilding field for more than 25 years, you acquire a lot of experience, and when you do it well, people tend to notice you. Such is the case with Todd Eshenbaugh.

Todd has a history of doing great things, especially when it comes to setting up and scaling a company. In his last role, he created a building division that grossed $9 million in sales in its first 90 days. In his modest way, Todd shares, “My passion is taking smaller organizations, building on their strengths, and growing them into something special.” Modesty aside, Todd has proven himself to be a valuable asset, and it was precisely his mastery as a market strategist that led Jim Anderson, founder of J. Fuller Homes, to recruit Todd for the position of vice president.

Established in 2009, J. Fuller Homes builds in the most desirable Triangle communities of North Carolina, including Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary, and Raleigh. Their goal is to offer well-designed, well-crafted homes in the $500K to $1M price range—and they’ve already got nearly 500 homes under their belt in the Morgan Ridge, Sanderway, and St. Mary’s, Pinecrest subdivisions. Now, with Todd at the helm, armed to infuse his mission with the company’s motto, “Build your Life™,” they’ll set their sights on achieving $40 million in sales for 2023. “I feel confident that we are positioning ourselves to hit that number easily,” Todd declares. Still, growing the company’s market share is not the only goal for Todd. He’ll also focus on the customer experience while expanding their signature floor plan offerings and streamlining homebuilding operations.


“My recent focus has been on creating the business plan and marketing strategy to achieve a five-year growth pattern. My plan to fulfill that goal includes the creation and implementation of systems and procedures that allow us to grow, while creating efficiencies that achieve the best possible customer experience,” Todd reveals. And, as a servant leader with the skills to back up his plans, Todd will unite his team to not only meet, but surpass, those targets.


We spoke with Todd to learn more about his new role, how J. Fuller Homes distinguishes itself in the industry, and his objectives for the coming year.

Todd, are you seeing greater demand for homes as a result of COVID?

The demand has dramatically increased for new homes. During the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns that followed, many people discovered that they didn’t have enough space or that they wanted something different, and that spurred the search for a new house that better fit their lifestyles or future plans. Seventy-five percent of our new customers are from out of state, from the West Coast to New York and Florida. Raleigh has been growing rapidly, but we’re seeing a new level of interest from non-residents. We also have four major corporations opening new headquarters here—Apple, Google, the U.S. Army, and Amazon, so that influx will continue to grow exponentially.


How does your background in construction benefit your team, the company, and customers?


It’s a huge factor. I have experience in just about every role of a homebuilding company, which allows me to train as well as understand everybody on my staff. It also allows them to feel comfortable knowing that if they get into a situation that they have trouble with, I have the experience and hands-on knowledge to teach them how to overcome most challenges. I’ve been there and done that, so I look at challenges as opportunities for me to jump in and create a teaching moment.

How does being a servant leader reflect in your approach to your staff and impact the overall customer experience?


The effect has been especially important with regard to the staff. My main goal in hiring and managing is to employ people who are the best in their field and to support, not micromanage, them. I let them have a voice and support that voice. It allows them to feel invested in the company and a true part of it, and that relays back to the customers because you’ve built a team that truly cares about everything they do.

How does J. Fuller’s approach to its clients differ from others?


We do “semi-custom,” which we design and build to the client’s specifications. The biggest difference, and we’ve been told this a lot, is that we are more communicative than anyone in this market. That is a major factor. In the building process, you’re constructing a product involving thousands of parts—things can go wrong. What never goes wrong is our communication. A lot of homebuilders are great at telling homeowners the good news, but they’re poor at disclosing the not-so-good or they try to hide things. We never do that. Our customers are a true partner with us, so to be a good partner to them, we need to be honest and forthright. If they have questions or concerns, the response time is critical. We also ask about their current and future needs. We’re designing floor plans for what customers want, not for what we want. That’s where our tagline, “Build Your Life,” came from.

While many other homebuilders are outsourcing various aspects to the lowest bidder, regardless of location, J. Fuller remains committed to using only local vendors and experts. Why is this important to the company?


We’ve built our reputation from relationships, not numbers or revenue, and we value those relationships with our clients, partners, vendors, and the community. In fact, part of our profits are donated to charity. Using local vendors also helps the community thrive and improves product outcomes because when you’re engaged with the local labor force, they tend to take pride in the project and want to provide quality workmanship.

Lastly, Todd, what do you enjoy most about your work?

What I enjoy most is seeing communities come together through our subdivisions. We are creating a great place to live, where people can raise a family. I love seeing their excitement when they move in, with their children running through the house, exclaiming, “This is my room!” and playing in the yard. For most people, it’s a dream that they’re finally achieving, and we, as a company, played a small part in helping them. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Todd Eshenbaugh

Vice President, J. Fuller Homes