WITH HISPANICS EXPECTED TO ACCOUNT for 31 percent of household growth this decade, it's no wonder builders are looking for ways to reach them. And while complicated buyer profile studies and U.S. Census data mining can certainly offer valuable insight, panelists at the International Builders' Show stress Spanish translation as the first critical step to successful selling.

According to Tim Coughlin, a director at Translations.com in Boston, Hispanic households are both younger and larger than the average population. Approximately 79 percent speak Spanish at home, and—here's the kicker—Hispanics are four times more likely to make a purchase when they are dealing in their preferred language.

To that effect, some builders such as KB Home and Beazer have made great strides to keep things comfortable—marketing to Hispanics through Spanish sales materials, incorporating Spanish-speaking associates in their sales centers, and bringing a Spanish version of their Web sites online. Taking the steps to address Hispanics in their own language builds trust and appreciation, according to Marilyn Gardner, vice president of sales and marketing for Beazer. Hispanics, she notes, are eager to pursue an American lifestyle, but it doesn't mean they are ready to give up their own culture and heritage.