BIG BUILDER

Comp Time: Public CEO Pay Rankings for 2013

Public home building "named executive officers," most notably ceos, saw a 35% spike in their total compensation packages in 2013, thanks primarily to operational performance-related bonuses that kicked in as volume and pricing picked up pace last year. Here's a look at this year's public home builder ceo compensation rankings, which feature some newcomers to the list by virtue of a spate of Initial Public Offerings in calendar 2013.

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BIG BUILDER

Selling Success: An Inside Job

For fleeting instants, stars align, but for all the other times, it's good to build a resilient, adaptable, win-no-matter-what culture around training. What's your fallback for when circumstances do not contribute to, or even threaten your success? Forrest Performance Group's Jason Forrest--who'll be on our "Boot Camp" faculty at the Housing Leadership Summit--offers two reasons training is simply not an option in today's headwinds-filled housing climate.

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BIG BUILDER

Rites of Spring

Among domestic rites of Spring, perhaps none barrels and eddies headlong to a larger-than-life, kinetic sweep of such epic proportions as the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 men’s basketball tournament. How is home building's Spring Selling Season similar, and how will it remove ambiguity from the business's biggest question? BUILDER's John McManus comments.

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BIG BUILDER

Land and Money: Finance Options Open Up

The awaited credit spigot has begun to flow. At least in select markets, lenders and investors now compete with one another to finance acquisition, development, and construction capital for home builders to buy lots, develop them, operate, and go vertical. Here's the lowdown on a new program from North Star, which promises particular benefits to smaller, National Association of Home Builders members, and some context around this always-fraught issue of AD&C finance.

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BIG BUILDER

What to do next about new-home pricing?

Two challenges of the moment face production home building strategic leaders: 1) last week's bewildering series of data points--home builder sentiment, housing starts and permits, and existing home sales--fed into housing's atmosphere like a wet blanket, a mere pulse-beat or two after a highly exuberant showing earlier this month at the International Home Builders Show in Las Vegas. Which is real? More importantly, is this: 2) What's leadership's role--and what are the options--when near-term headline risk shows its ugly head. To get at both challenges, we need to look first at prices, particularly rising prices, and understand whether they're the true culprit for which cold wintry weather may be getting the blame. Or merely an associated factor?

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BIG BUILDER

Get behind the headlines

The headline data points and the screaming media would suggest that housing's fragile, painstaking, and selective recovery has run off the tracks. Monthly data sets, sourced as they are from government agency number crunchers, can sorely deceive. Thankfully, we can turn to Hanley Wood chief economist Jonathan Smoke and Metrostudy chief economist and consulting director Brad Hunter for dose of perspective and actionable insight into this morning's housing starts release.

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BIG BUILDER

Builder M and A takes no holiday: A Rocky Mountain tie

Word is two private builders who cross operational paths in the Colorado market will merge into a multi-regional power as Mountain Real Estate Capital-backed Colorado-based Oakwood Homes moves to buy Centerville, UT-based Henry Walker Homes. BUILDER's John McManus reports, with updates through the day today.

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BIG BUILDER

More care, less scare ... the shape of a winning motivational formula

Spring selling season is actually a series of sprints, three-to-four weeks long. If frigid weather slows the first sprint, the second, third, and fourth become all the more critical. Speaking of critical, here's a way to look at sales associates motivation inside-out. It could give you a leg up in the Spring selling sprints to come. Check it out. Also, how can a relatively small, single-state privately-held home builder triumph over a dozen behemoth, cash-bloated publics in the acquisition of one the San Francisco Bay Area's most coveted 184-acre tracts? BUILDER's John McManus talks to Trumark Homes principal Mike Naples for a sliver of insight. Here's the link.

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BIG BUILDER

McGuyer, Hillwood team on a Houston master-stroke

Inside the mechanics of the new joint venture that teams Texas super-regional home builder McGuyer Homebuilders and Hillwood Communities for Hillwood's first Houston-area masterplanned community--Pomona, a 1,000-acre, $700 million tract along Houston's Highway 288 corridor in Manvel, there are flashpoints into how this leg of recovery's working to put money where opportunities lie.

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BIG BUILDER

Lots of uncertainty

The enormous 75,000-person real-time home builder confidence index that was last week's annual National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show in Las Vegas scored high marks in fuzzy-wuzzy areas like "vibe" and "karma." Now, the story will be all about execution on a per-store basis. Here are the 10 most-pressing questions we see facing higher-volume home builders with the onset of the 2014 Spring Selling period.

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REDFIN

Bidding to win

Expecting that at least in some markets over the next few weeks, bidding wars will flare up as spring selling [and buying] fever intensifies, Redfin's Rachel Musiker looked at data from more than 10,000 offers Redfin agents wrote in 2013, analyzing which strategies work better than others.

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BIG BUILDER

Meritage, SunPower team on a national solar deal

News does happen at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show, and as proceedings get underway today in Las Vegas, we picked up this exclusive insight in our travels: Meritage Homes and SunPower have agreed on a national supplier deal that leverages SunPower's marketing and training force in the support of solar power in Meritage's new home communities. BUILDER PULSE is onsite here at IBS and we'll be looking out for more helpful scoops, so stay tuned to www.builderonline.com for updates throughout the next few days.

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