PB September 2003

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Features

A residential developer based in Commerce, Mich., Retzlaff has a passion for carving that grew out of a decision to find a hobby to which he could completely retreat after a long day on the job.

Buyers at The Green Co. don’t just buy a home. They enter into what amounts to a planned immersion in home building and home buying.

Pulte’s customers get personal treatment that beats that of most small custom builders.

Increasingly, buyers and builders seek out reclaimed wood, used lumber “harvested” from old homes, factories, warehouses, barns, wineries, breweries and even bridges and railroads.

Measuring customer satisfaction leads to superior customer satisfaction, which means more business.

Because compensation is not synonymous with job satisfaction, you can start saving money today by treating employees with respect.

As the industry phases out wood pressure-treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), keep in mind that the high level of copper in the alternatives reacts with aluminum, causing corrosion.

The best practices that lead to superb customer satisfaction.

Eight weeks after closing, Maryland builder Marvin Ausherman schedules a single day when all trades return to wipe out warranty list items.

Simonini Builders still understands the impact of a phone call from the top guy to a trade contractor to move a warranty item off a customer’s list.

Conrad Properties’ success with an urban-chic product in the urban-suburban location suggests huge pent-up demand for that type of product in a number of mature markets.

The porch reclaims its position as the elevation's main attraction.

Improvements in construction and energy-efficient designs have resulted in today’s “tighter” buildings, which often require dedicated ventilation systems.

Personal relationships with buyers are just as important as quality control.

Tax credits for energy-efficient home construction are closer now that the Senate passed energy legislation that includes builder incentives.

A campaign of destruction by a radical faction of the environmental movement might force builders to rethink their security procedures.

In less than a decade, transplanted Californian Perry Ashby has helped change the Missoula, Mont., new home market for the better.

If you’re looking for metrics to measure your performance as a business executive, you might check how the dollars you take home stack up against those of the top public builders’ CEOs

Shamrock Builders would rather walk away from a sale than work with a client they know they won’t please.

A longstanding, profitable partnership with a real estate firm helps solidify Barone’s reputation as the customer satisfaction leader in the Rochester, N.Y., area and now, nationally.

Trends in home design and fashion come and go, and pendulums swing, so what must your about-to-open models feature for your communities to stay leaders in today's competitive marketplace?

One builder told me his company is doing away with its design centers because it learned that too many choices actually lower customer satisfaction scores.

Your administrative department must provide timely, accurate information for you to make important fiscal decisions such as whom to hire, how much to pay, what to buy (capital expenditures) and whether you can expand.

The Easy-Arch is a preformed, 25-gauge galvanized steel framing arch that nails in place in a fraction of the time it takes to build an arch the traditional way.

Profitable insights from this year's winners - including what makes them so good

Above all else, determine two factors during the feasibility or “free look” period of a land purchase agreement

Look past the accomplishments on a job candidate’s résumé and explore the stuff that never gets bullet-pointed: failures, mistakes and bad decisions.

Local officials are counting streets and intersections to gauge whether the index of street connectivity satisfies local requirements.

Job-site communication can be a problem if workers, foremen and superintendents are not somewhat familiar with construction terms in English and Spanish.

While the land buy sets the stage for profit potential, direct construction costs are the major variable that actually determines what the profit will be.

WCI Communities achieved the first U.S. gold-level certification from the Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary Program at its Raptor Bay Golf Club in Florida.

Simplifying the purchase process and delivering quickly on warranty service build trust and satisfied customers.

Own the market by understanding these five value-based groupings of home buyers.

Last year J.D. Power rated builders in 16 cities, and this year it’s measuring more than 20.

Warranty service order requests at Pringle Homes in Leesburg, Fla., seldom go beyond a week without com-pletion by a subcontractor. When they do exceed a week, a superintendent must meet with the construction man-ager to explain why.

Customer satisfaction comes down to individual decisions made by employees and trade contractors, beyond all of the industry best practices imposed from above.

Tweaks and tactics to boost your share of the surging ranks of Internet home buyers

The small, etched logo that appears in the corner of all tempered-glass windows now can be a builder’s logo.

Profitable insights from this year's winners - including what makes them so good

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