Rebuilding Your Building Company. . .

By John Garrett, May 7, 2008 | In Home Builders |

All across the nation there is product sitting and sitting and sitting. The building boom created many “casualties.” Companies that got into the industry during the boom, but couldn’t operate or produce at a level that would sustain them for the long haul.

So for the companies that are still in the game, what is the next step? The “pre-sale” has taken a leave of absence and with the amount of product sitting, most builders are trying to unload the hefty mortgages they pay every month. So, are builders stuck waiting, even hoping, the market will come back or is there something they can do now?

If you’re willing to ask yourself the hard questions, you may come to some answers that will sustain you in the current market. Here are a few to get you started. . .

  • Am I an “average” builder? That is to say, is the quality of what I build strong enough to compete in a flooded market?
  • Do I build homes I would live in?
  • Are my house designs generic, out dated or standard?
  • Do I use the cheapest materials I can find?
  • Is my Curb Appeal anything to write home about?
  • What builders do I respect and what do they do better than me?
  • Do I have efficient business management systems in place?
  • Do I have a relationship with a designer who helps me gain “pre-sales” and refers me business?
  • Is my supporting cast strong? Is it even alive?

Necessity is the mother of all innovation. You may have never had a reason in the past to ask these questions. The truth is, only good builders are going to survive this season and the best builders are going to do well in it. Take an honest look at yourself and your product and ask, “Is there something more I can be doing?” Hold yourself to the highest standards, then hold your designer to the same. Provide a home that is thought out, built well and attractive. Deal with the fact that your margins aren’t going to be as high right now, but celebrate that your homes are selling.

But remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. If your product is sitting, make some changes.

Good Luck!

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