Four sales and marketing executives at top home building firms shared top tips on what's working in even the most troubled markets during Big Builder '07, which took place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Check out some of the highlights.

Take advantage of the "green" buzz.

Green does sell, at least that's what Cheryl O'Connor, vice president of sales and marketing for Warmington Homes of Northern California, has found. She integrated "green" home and community features into a challenged townhome community. Not only were builders enticed to buy, but the local media's fascination with all that is green resulted in a lot of positive press that promoted the community and contributed to increased traffic.

Invest in new people.

According to Karen Murray, vice president of sales and marketing for Engle Homes in Phoenix, there are a lot of effective sales types waiting to be harvested. She said she targets school teachers for sales positions; teachers are patient, people focused, and typically not put off by lower compensations.

Send a consistent message.

Chris Ward, principle at Magnolia Land Development Co., said that the key to marketing communities effectively is finding a simple yet compelling message and using it consistently across all media. Pushing a consistent message through all media channels strengthens a community's value proposition.

Leverage models.

Bruce Dunlap, vice president of sales and marketing for Arbor Custom Homes in Oregon, said he began staging various events at community models. The models consistently sold not long after the events.