Successful Quartet Executives of (clockwise from top left) Gehan Homes, Stanley Martin Cos., Oakwood Homes, and Schell Brothers were all big gainers in 2010.
Credit: Photos: clockwise from left: Dave Shafer
Great minds think alike, the saying goes. So it’s not surprising to discover common threads that connect the recent successes of the four regional builders we profile on the following pages.
All of them have refreshed and edited their house plans within the past 24 months, often by introducing new series with flexible designs. The builders have concluded as well that offering more choices through options empowers their customers and generates more profit per sale.
Another common thread is construction efficiency. Each company used the recession to work out how to build houses quicker with significantly fewer employees but without sacrificing quality. Simplifying their house plans certainly helped, as did the availability of labor willing to meet the builders’ higher production demands. Keeping their associates and subs happy is now a critical component of each company’s business model.
It’s worth noting that each of these builders projects healthy growth over the next few years within its local markets. That doesn’t mean, though, that they aren’t also looking to attract out-of-state buyers who are relocating for reasons of business, lifestyle, or retirement.