Builder 100 Spotlight: Fulton Homes takes its cues from national retailers

Doug Fulton of Fulton Homes / Builder

Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Fulton Homes

Employees at the Arizona firm use techniques learned in the clothing business to sell homes and satisfy customers.

By Scott Sowers | Builder

The Fulton family got into the home building industry by accident in 1976 when Ira Fulton, who at the time was running a chain of men’s clothing stores, loaned some money to a nephew who was trying his hand in the building business in Tempe, Ariz. When things didn’t go so well for the nephew, Fulton grew concerned and called in his son-in-law Norman Nicholls to keep an eye on things. At the time Nicholls was working in retail in Missoula, Mont.

“So Norm comes down from Missoula and six months later they not only made the original money back, they built 17 homes that year,” says Doug Fulton, the son of Ira and current CEO of the firm. “My dad said ‘just keep doing it, keep going’ and that’s the beginning of Fulton Homes.”

The Fultons ran Eagelson’s Big & Tall stores until 1996, when they decided to pivot full time to home building, which they saw as a more profitable endeavor. “In those days we could turn a cornfield into a model complex in a few months,” says Doug.


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April 2019