How To Read Professional Builder

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In the spirit of total commitment to our readers, and not just to a portion, as this month’s cover implies, here is a tour of Professional Builder’s April content and my thoughts on why it will impact your business.

April 03, 2000

In the spirit of total commitment to our readers, and not just to a portion, as this month’s cover implies, here is a tour of Professional Builder’s April content and my thoughts on why it will impact your business. Like every issue of Professional Builder, this one is about the people, projects and practices that advance our industry and improve the profitability for everyone in the channel.

This tour only requires your attention, a marker and perhaps a file folder for the remains. Let’s rip it up. PB Upfront: If you’re like many of our readers, your single biggest hang-up with manufactured housing is the roof pitch - it’s too low. Well not anymore. The article on Next Generation manufactured housing on page 16 details one of the first real technological breakthroughs of the PATH program - a two-story factory-built home with a 12/12 roof pitch. Hinged roof trusses make the innovative design possible and might make manufactured housing a viable option for every builder and developer.

"The ABCs of Customer Service" on page 42 shows how Iacobucci Homes created a Customer Care Manual to stake out its territory as the superior service company in the competitive suburban Philadelphia/South Jersey marketplace.

In Think Fast, our on-going series that examines the dos and don’ts for start-ups seeking a market leadership position, senior editor Bill Lurz warns that the labor situation of today may be as good as it gets for a very long time. He outlines ways to become the employer of choice among a very selective group of potential employees.

Lessons Learned: Like always, Scott Sedam lampoons our industry for its failings before presenting a prescription to cure what ails us.

Housing’s Giants: This report includes all the numbers you expect on the industry’s 400 largest home builders and a whole lot more. From these companies we learn of the greatest opportunities and biggest challenges ahead. We get a glimpse of the way technology is changing - and will change some more - the home building business.

Movers & Shakers: These are the companies that stand out within the GIANT 400, by climbing rapidly through the ranks or staking claim to strategic high ground. Settle in, this is a very important read. Remember these names: Lennar Homes, Regis Homes, Morrison Homes, Newmark Homes, Brookfield Homes, The Estridge Companies, Crossman Communities and ALH Holdings. Every one of these companies is aiming for market leadership.

Out of Whack on Wall Street documents what many in our industry are already painfully aware of: It’s a touchy stock market for public home builders as Wall Street rewards clicks...not sticks and bricks. Until new economy thinking decides to remember the benefits of old business models, home builder stocks - and that of building material manufacturers as well - are part of the past.

What does this have to do with me and my business, you wonder? Too much to ignore. Here’s why: Home builders of every ilk are embracing technology in all its forms in a search of a more profitable future in the era of e-construction. The leaders in this race just happen to be the very companies Wall Street has written off. They will be surprised. To be ready for the "I told you so" comments, read this feature on page 128.

LEARN: Who amongst us hasn’t faced the customer that couldn’t be satisfied? In Part IV of the Negotiating Skills class-in-print from Home Builders Institute, learn how an agreement can be reached that satisfies both sides.

Please don’t forget to enroll in HBI’s Certified Graduate Builder program to earn credit for the time you spend with this content. For more information all 800/795-7955, ext. 7739.

There is much to be learned from the following pages. I hope this tour helps you focus on what’s ahead. The next step is up to you - using this industry intelligence to make a difference for you, your employees and your customers.

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