Since the Public Home Builders Council of America hatched in 2003, its main task has been to get its 14 member companies to forgo the head-to-head competition and stand shoulder-to-shoulder. Constantly under fire from Wall Street skeptics, industry naysayers, and pretty much every other economic doubting Thomas, the group has needed a go-to guy to tell their story.

Enter former Masco vice president of investor relations Samuel “Skip” Cypert, who was recently appointed as the council's executive director. His voice, one of a 30-year communications and industry veteran, is expected to rise above the cacophony, balancing out what the big publics view as a proliferation of misinformation about them.

“I was considering retiring,” says Cypert. “I was going to ski in the winter and fish in the summer. And then they came along with this opportunity, and it's looking like more fun than anything else.”

Under his direction, Cypert says one of the organization's main thrusts will be better educating the investment community about the home building industry and big builders' operational models. Despite the population of builder associations, Cypert says the messages going out to analysts and investors fail to adequately represent the public home builders' economic success. The large public builders have been able to bring their management process to a level of sophistication so that much of the cyclicality of the industry has been all but removed, Cypert says.

HOP, SKIP, AND A JUMP: Under the direction of Samuel “Skip” Cypert, the PHBCA aims to better educate the investment community about the industry. “If you look at the collective builder associations, they have a broad spectrum [of members]—from builders doing 400 to 500 homes a year to the D.R. Hortons,” Cypert explains. “[The public builders'] needs for disseminating information are completely different.”

Looking to shake the public builders free from such stigmas as “the Rodney Dangerfield of Wall Street” or “the next Chicken Little,” the organization hopes that once the public builders' reps are cleaned up with the stock analysts, the public will turn a kinder eye toward them.

“We would like to change some of those [negative] perceptions [about public builders] because they are all linked,” Cypert says. “Investment people own houses, have friends who own homes, and talk to the media—it all sort of overlaps.”

The PHBCA Roster The Public Home Builders Council of America's membership includes the brawniest competitors in the home building landscape. Hard hitters include Beazer Homes, Centex, D.R. Horton, Hovnanian Enterprises, KB Home, Lennar Corp., MDC Holdings, Meritage Homes, Pulte Homes, Ryland Group, Standard Pacific Homes, Technical Olympic USA, Toll Brothers, and WCI Communities. Here's a snapshot of their collective muscle:

  • Delivered more than 270,000 homes across 37 markets in 2004
  • Had combined annual sales of more than $77 billion during fiscal year 2004
  • Controlled almost 30 percent market share in the top 25 housing markets
  • Employed more than 75,000 employees nationwide
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