Realtors and developers say they are busier than ever, at a time of year when they are not usually busy. What’s been driving the sudden bump in demand, they say, appears to be certain shifts in oil and gas companies’ hiring practices.
Service companies are now focusing on moving their new hires to North Dakota this time around, rather than offering them attractive per diems and travel allowances.
Mike Dolbec, with Windsong Contracting, is building some of the homes these workers are buying. He said it looks to him like the service side of the industry is in growth mode, and he is seeing more and more of them seeking homes.
That sector of oil and gas has tended to use fewer transient workers than the exploration and production side, but Dolbec believes some attitudes are also changing.
“I think the oil companies are realizing that if they can get permanent employees here, they are more loyal,” he said.
It is more economical long-term to train someone who agrees to move to North Dakota, too, Dolbec suggested, rather than paying someone enough to keep a second home in another state. And such a person is likely to have more loyalty.
“Those are the people we are building homes for,” Dolbec said. “And for lifetime Williston residents, too. People who have been in the area for a long time.”
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