When home builders are asked which information they deem most critical to the improvement of their businesses, info about new products is always near the top of the list. And for good reason.
On My List of New Year's Resolutions
After 36 years in the business, Allen Zaring III is finally resolving to retire.
|Allen Zaring III
It has been a big year for Allen Zaring III. There have been rumblings for months of a merger of his Zaring National and The Drees Co., but the official word came in early December: The Drees Co. closes on the deal to acquire Zaring National on Jan. 31.
Part of what took so long in negotiations was Ralph Drees’ meticulous examination of Zaring National Corp. The sticking point? A manufactured housing company called Homemax that Zaring started a few years ago and eventually lost him upward of $50 million.
The very public purchase of Zaring National by The Drees Co. — both are Cincinnati-based builders — made Zaring’s blunder in the manufactured housing world pretty well-known. "I think everyone knew it was my Achilles' heel," says Zaring. "In hindsight it was the dumbest thing I ever did."
Now that it’s over with, Zaring is moving on ... to retirement, after 36 years in the business. What does he resolve to do in the new year?
I resolve to:
- Never, ever go into the manufactured housing business again.
- Help newcomers start a home building business and take it public by teaching “Harvesting the Entrepreneurial Venture” at Xavier University.
- Get into more land development.
- Concentrate on building my new house in Canada after some dot-com kid bought my old one for $5 million in Beaver Creek.
- Brush up on my art skills, by returning to college and enrolling as an undergrad in the Fine Arts program.