Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
When this magazine was launched as Practical Builder in the spring of 1936, the outlook for Americans and the rest of the world was far bleaker than what we face today. Back then we were in the throes of an extended economic downturn that would only subside after World War II ended nine years later. Since that time — 1945 to the present — housing and the American Dream have been inextricably linked. This magazine and the generations of editors and publishers that helped guide it no doubt played a role in disseminating the kind of quality information that the industry came to rely on as it grew and prospered.
As demand for new-home construction began to wane, Steve Laughlin of Cornerstone Builders tapped into his past clients by offeri
Sure, the past five years have been chaotic and the prospects for 2011 don’t exactly look entirely sunny. But there are plenty of builders and developers that are planning for growth this year by doing anything but the status quo. We reached out to Professional Builder’s 112,000 readers, as well as dozens of the industry’s top consultants and experts, and asked them to share their best practical, proven ideas for growing revenue and increasing profits in 2011. We present the top 35.
When it comes to specifying window systems for new-home projects, energy efficiency and price are the top considerations among home builders, according to a December 2010 survey of Professional Builder readers. Nearly eight in 10 survey respondents ranked energy efficiency as a top factor, while about two-thirds said price is a key consideration.
Home building giant David Weekley Homes has launched a website that allows its buyers to stay updated on the progress of their new home. Upon signing the sales contract, clients receive log-in details to their personal buyer home page at MyDWHome.com, where construction updates and progress photos are posted regularly.
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.
At a scant 528 square feet, the Eco-Cabana model from Palm Harbor Homes may be small in stature but it is mighty when it comes to green living. Designed to meet DOE’s Builders Challenge energy performance requirements of sub-70 on the HERS Index, the model will be loaded with high-performance, sustainable features.
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.
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.
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.