This month is Building Safety Month, as recognized by the International Code Council (ICC).
Armed with years of management improvements and a recession-busting attitude, Professional Builder’s Builder of the Year kept its focus on a diversified and value-rich product offering to emerge as one of the best-run builders in the business.
The home building industry’s approach to design, plans, and specifications needs a comprehensive overhaul to find and eliminate waste in product and process. Professional Builder columnist and Lean guru Scott Sedam provides a primer on getting started with Lean design.
While conducting research on a builder for a recent issue of Professional Builder, I did what most people do first when they want to learn more about a company, or any subject for that matter. I went to Google. I punched in the builder’s name and was immediately taken aback by the Page 1 search results. Naturally, the first few items related to the company’s website, but the third and fifth items where consumer feedback websites laced with comments blasting the builder.
Two years ago, at the height of the global financial crisis, investor Warren Buffett pulled out this gem of a quote to describe the situation. “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” And while this is an accurate expression of what happens to weak businesses when there is a downturn in the business cycle, it seems particularly apt as a description of the builder market before and after the housing market bubble burst.
Successful builders obsess on sales conversion ratios, tracking key metrics, hiring the right people, and knowing where they stand in the marketplace, writes Bob Schultz in his latest column. Schultz offers 14 ways builders can win in the sluggish economy.
While home builders are less than upbeat about the health of the overall housing market, most are optimistic when it comes forecasting revenue and profit for 2011, according to a survey of Professional Builder readers. More builders than not indicated that they are planning for flat or higher revenue and profit in the coming year, with nearly a fifth of respondents projecting revenue growth of 7 percent or higher.
Beazer Homes has agreed today to pay a $925,000 civil penalty to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations at its construction sites in 21 states, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced. As part of the settlement, Beazer will also implement a company-wide stormwater program to improve compliance with stormwater runoff requirements at current and future construction sites around the country.
Home builder DR Horton paid its top two executives nearly $4 million in bonuses after the company had its first profitable year since 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company had a net income of $245.1 million, up substantially after losing $549.8 million in 2009.
Behavioral interviewing is said to be 55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10 percent predictive. As a result, more companies are adopting behavioral interviewing methods.
Though counterintuitive in today’s market, a new pricing study from McKinsey & Co. suggests that a modest price increase on a cost-per-square foot basis might be worth considering.