PB November 2006

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched Rescheck 101, a self-paced online training course for its Rescheck software. The software allows builders to check the basic compliance codes with the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

NRS reports its annual Customer Satisfaction Awards. The 2006 NRS Awards presented by Professional Builder recognizes builders based on the results of surveys completed by home buyers across North America.

Farnsworth Development has truly set itself apart as a company that uses customer service to thrive in a hyper-sensitive market. The secret of the company's success is a caring and customer-focused company culture.

We've recently made changes to our Web site that make it easier for you to easily find the information you need for your home building business.

When complete, Bayside will offer 1,640 units of single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes and condominiums. The Delmarva Peninsula location appeals to mid-Atlantic residents who will retire but don't want to move to Florida because of the distance it would put between them and family and friends.

Bob and Karen Schroeder, owners of Mayberry Homes in Lansing, Mich., have only been in business since 2002, yet they have garnered more awards for customer satisfaction than most veteran builders. Mayberry Homes caters to first-time home buyers and those moving up from starter homes, as well as higher-end empty nesters.

The model home opened Sept. 16 at KB's River Garden community is not what you'd expect from a national production builder: an exquisite re-creation of a New Orleans Greek Revival home, a style built in the late 19th century in the historic districts that surround downtown. And like the homes of that day, it doesn't have an attached garage.

At The Green Company, 97.5 percent of customers would recommend it to others and 55 percent of the company's actual sales come from buyer referrals, thanks to a unique brand of customer care. This fact, in combination with the excellent customer experience surveys, puts this builder No. 1 in North America in customer satisfaction.

Builders can tackle problems with skilled labor and climbing energy bills at the same time by considering using insulating concrete forms (ICFs) or structural insulated panels (SIPs) in their next project. Many traditional stick-frame builders have successfully adopted both technologies and have watched business prosper because of it.

Ray Tonjes, president of Ray Tonjes Builder Inc., Austin, Tx., tells readers about a few of the materials they prefer to use in their projects.

We sent top builders a survey that asked them to rate the qualities that draw them in and keep them with a manufacturer and their products. Here's how they responded.

Shea Homes ranks number four on the list of top performing builders in the Phoenix market. Shea builds homes in a variety of price points, ranging from $200,000 entry-level homes to $1 million luxury houses.

Professional Builder Columnist Scott Sedam creates a scenario illustrating how builders, contractors and trades can work together to cut costs without severing relationships.

You're looking at the 3,315 square-foot Gunnison, Wilshire Homes' new model home at Belterra, a 1,400-home master planned community in Austin, Texas. If you like it and want to buy one just like it, that's fine. But the big story here is that if you want to change something about it — anything — you can.

With a presence in 54 markets throughout the U.S., Pulte is the largest home builder in North America. In Arizona alone the company operates four divisions: one in Tucson and three in Phoenix, under the direction of John Chadwick, Arizona division president.

Green builders, have we got a match for you. VerdeEnergy.com — a free online Web site — has been matching pre-screened green professionals called Verde Pros with customers who provide their project information through an online survey. Users receive competitive bids from up to four contractors in their area who will contact them personally about their project.

Mattamy Homes has invested time and resources trying to empower its employees to deliver outstanding customer service — not an easy task for an organization that builds more than 4,500 homes a year.

Here's a look at some of the incentives that builders are using to boost sales in the slow housing market.

Featured in this article are products from Ditek, On-Q, Open House, Escient, Lutron, Exceptional Innovation, B&K Components and LiteTouch

It has been more than seven years since we last had a buyers market for resale homes, so it is not surprising that many new-home sales professionals have become anxious when dealing with customers who have their own home to sell before a deal.

T.W. Lewis' excellent customer loyalty ranking helps make it No. 3 out of 41 on the list of top performing builders in the Phoenix market as a higher-end luxury production builder. Homes range between $500,000 and $850,000. The builder delivered 350 homes in 2005 and another 330 are expected by 2006's end.

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