Industry Movers and Shakers

Irvine, California's MBK Homes named Timothy A. Kane as its new president. Kane, who was serving as the company's vice president of sales and marketing, has been with MBK Homes since its inception in 1997 as part of the American real estate development arm of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., the world's third largest corporation. Kane has more than 17 years of experience in the residential real estate industry. Before joining MBK Homes, Kane managed an independent real estate consulting and appraisal company, which included MBK Homes among its clients.

First Home Builders of Cape Coral, Fla., promoted Bruce Robb to senior vice president, overseeing mortgage operations and opportunities. With more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Robb's career spans the entire life cycle of a mortgage loan and includes top management positions in retail, wholesale, and correspondent lending.

Richmond American Homes promoted Frank Della Cioppa to vice president of sales and marketing for its Phoenix West division. Della Cioppa served as vice president of sales and marketing for the company's Tucson division. He has more than 30 years of residential real estate, sales, and business development experience. In addition to being a licensed real estate broker, Della Cioppa is a residential contractor and private pilot.

Lennar's Concord Homes, based in Palatine, Ill., has promoted two of its senior associates. Mike Templeton is now vice president of marketing, and Rose Godek has been promoted to director of design studio and merchandising operations. Templeton, who joined Concord as a marketing analyst in 1994, became director of marketing and spearheaded the development of Concord's Web site. Godek joined Concord in 1992 after working with the builder's founders at Lexington Homes for 17 years. Godek oversaw the introduction and day-to-day operations of Concord's 3,800-square-foot design studio.

Personnel changes? E-mail Wendy Leibowitz at:

Boomers Set to Move

Del Webb, the active adult brand of Pulte Homes, recently released the results of its baby boomer opinion survey conducted annually since 1996.

Nationwide, 1,300 employed boomers (age 44 through 56) took the survey.

The results indicate that more than half of the respondents (59 percent) plan to move when they retire, a sharp increase over previous surveys. In the 1999 survey, only 31 percent of the respondents said they planned to move upon retirement.

Of those planning to move, about a third (31 percent) said they would relocate more than three hours from where they currently live.

Seven percent of the respondents who plan to move when they retire said that they may consider living in an active adult community.

The respondents stated that they exercise at least once or twice a week and that exercise is important to them. Ninety-three percent of the respondents stated that they expect to exercise the same amount or more in retirement.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive. There is an error rate of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

Up Periscope

A Las Vegas couple has launched a service for new home buyers called "Your Periscope." The company will monitor a new home for an absent buyer while the house is being constructed. For now, "Your Periscope" operates only in the Las Vegas area, at Suggestion to those who want to save "periscope" fees: Set up a Web cam.

Ashton Woods Joins Consortium

Roswell, Ga.-based Ashton Woods Homes is the latest builder to join Builder Homesite Inc., a consortium of big builders that is dedicated to improving the performance of builder Web sites (see "Digital Evolution"). Since the year 2000, when 32 builders joined together to form Builder Homesite, the number of builders in the consortium has remained stable at 30. Two acquisitions -- Pulte acquired Del Webb and KB Home acquired American Heritage -- dropped the roster to 30 members. Just as the consortium, which was closed to new members for its first three years, welcomed Ashton Woods in June, Pulte acquired Sivage-Thomas, keeping the membership at 30. "Our membership would grow if our members stopped buying each other," laughs Tim Costello, Builder Homesite's president and CEO. "Try to buy other companies" outside the consortium, he advised.


Discerning market trends many times is a matter of connecting the dots. And often, those dots are found amidst comments from executives speaking at industry seminars. Here are some comments overheard at the recent PCBC:

Don Tomnitz, CEO, D.R. Horton:

  • "We used to build the same product over and over again. Now we look at every piece of land from the perspective of maximizing density. We'll build a diversity of product lines."
  • "The industry doesn't get credit for being able to continue to produce affordable housing despite the escalation in land prices."
  • "As our earnings increase, our multiple decreases. There's no reason why we shouldn't be selling at 15 times earnings instead of seven or eight."
  • "The thing that keeps me up at night is trying to find the right people for the right job."

J. Ronald Terwilliger, national managing partner, Trammell Crow Residential:

  • "When we build apartments, we typically provide a pool, a fitness center, and a business center. Now we are experimenting with building larger apartments for the money without the amenities. We're providing a 1000 square foot unit in Houston without crown molding and other frills for only $650."

Bill Kreager, architect, Mithun Partners:

  • "We're starting to get mini-cities in places that used to be characterized as suburban."
  • Talking about the baby boom generation moving back to the city, or wherever they like: "The kids are gone, the dog has died, we're free at last." He and his wife have decided to move back to the city.

Tim Sullivan, principal, The Meyers Group:

  • "The toughest job to fill is the guy doing land acquisitions."