LGI Homes, The Woodlands, Texas–based builder whose rent-to-own marketing strategy has been one of the few unqualified success stories during the housing downturn, outdid itself last month when it closed 84 homes.

That broke the company’s previous record of 57, set in July, and represented a 200% increase over the 28 houses LGI closed in August 2010. The builder’s newest community, Luckey Ranch in San Antonio, alone closed 20 units in August.

The key to the eight-year-old company’s success and growth has been its customer service and marketing, says Eric Lipar, its CEO. LGI is sending out 15,000 mailers per week to residents in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Those flyers are directed primarily at renters and point out how owning a house is more affordable. For example, LGI’s website is currently promoting ready-to-move-in homes in Greater Houston whose monthly mortgage payments range from $559 to $820.

The company has recently expanded into Phoenix and Austin, and expects to close enough homes this year to rank among the 50 largest builders in the U.S. (It ranked 58th in 2010 on Builder’s Builder 100 list.)

John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Houston, TX, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX.