PB December 2003

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Features

The list of charities John Laing Homes supports takes more than two pages in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to display.

The ability of U.S. cities to compete in a global economy depends on their willingness to embrace growing diversity in population and lifestyles.

Demand remains strong, though first-time affordability, tech toys and demographic changes beckon competitive builders.

It has been compared to the video game SimCity, but at $4,995 a pop, CommunityViz 3-D simulation and modeling software is no toy.

RWR Homes, based in Van Nuys, Calif., prides itself on its ability to add a little more custom to its production homes.

From CEO Larry Webb to the last employee on the organization chart, John Laing Homes (or WL Homes as it officially was known then) went through a difficult first half of 2001.

Set the bar high and understand which steps, people and skill sets are needed to reach it. Dedicate yourself and your associates to living the story you want told.

Perhaps most important, J.D. Power and most other customer satisfaction surveys miss the most critical factor of all because it's so hard to measure, and that is the impact of relationships.

The teacher in Bill Probert jumps out at you, just as the teacher in Larry Webb does, but Probert's retailing background might be even more important to John Laing Homes' success.

From land acquisition to customer service, this simple concept drives Laing's production processes.

How much land is enough? You never can tell, but don't despair - neither can Wall Street analysts or GIANTS such as Toll Brothers, the $2.3 billion luxury home builder based in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

At John Laing Homes, satisfying the luxury buyer - one uninterested in enduring the usual custom home process - means creating a division populated with people uniquely focused on their needs and wants.

Michael Bosgraaf, president of Bosgraaf Homes in Holland, Mich., implemented two strategies during the second week of November to boost traffic.

No major window manufacturer's product line currently includes SPD-Smart Glass technology, but a SPD-Smart developer has licensed a handful of companies to distribute SPD-Smart windows.

Larry Webb began his coaching career in 1971. His approach hasn't changed much, and the team is still winning.

Just like a home, the builders and subcontractors can work as a seamless system rather than a collection of workers with separate tasks.

In many ways, he fits the image of a financier. He dresses conservatively, speaks softly and guards his words. But Wayne Stelmar also drives a brand-new Porsche Carrera.

Thanks to demographic changes projected for the next decade, single-family home construction should be even more robust than during the past decade.

A new study from market researcher The Freedonia Group forecasts that U.S. demand for kitchen and bath countertops will grow more than 2% annually to 467 million square feet in 2007.

If you haven't seen your planned tax refund turn into a tax payment, be patient. Your time will come. Virtually every method you have used to reduce your federal income tax works against you under the AMT.

Originally crafted as a futuristic concept sink, The Mystic by Elkay wowed kitchen and bath professionals in April at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in Orlando, Fla.

The wonder of it is that anyone as passionate about teaching and coaching as Larry Webb ever found his way into managing a home building company.

Under a fun-focused management team that now owns the company, Professional Builder's 2004 Builder of the Year, John Laing Homes, is morphing into a new breed of home builder.

Builders faced with a permit fee hike might want to resist the urge to rush in plans before it takes effect.

The American Institute of Architects, which has published contract documents since 1888, has released an updated version of its contract document software.

Laing's new infill and luxury divisions are in place. San Diego and California's Central Valley might be next, and that's not all.

Under a fun-focused management team that now owns the company, Professional Builder's 2004 Builder of the Year, John Laing Homes, is morphing into a new breed of home builder.

Your assets, including your brand, present opportunities that you might not be realizing.

The Fort Worth, Texas, division of Melbourne, Fla. based builder Mercedes Homes began battling the expected holiday traffic slowdown as early as Oct. 15.

In October of this year, Woodcraft Supply Corp., a woodworking supply, materials and tools retailer, launched Woodcraft University at its retail stores nationwide.

Laing courts home shoppers with a new premise: The competition is resale homes and current residences, not other new home builders.

Despite what many believe, builders can construct homes that withstand tornadoes. Here's how.

John Laing Homes' move into the Southern California urban regeneration and infill housing market makes perfect sense to Dan Konnor, its director of infill land acquisition.

Richard Elkman, MIRM, president of Group Two Advertising, a real estate marketing and advertising firm offers recommendations to help builders overcome the holiday home buying malaise.

Keeping quality people is key to long-term success, but few of the builders who do succession planning go beyond the most senior-level positions.

Despite years of technological innovation, seemingly simple problems such as nail pops, cracks and other drywall problems continue to plague home construction.

Reduce financing costs by cutting construction times and the number of spec houses in inventory.

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