Stay Focused

If you believe the experts, as I do, business for home builders will be better at the end of this year than it is now. The housing market correction is expected to end toward mid-year and start heading upward in the second half.

And if you believe the results of our survey we published in the December 2006 issue, the outlook for the custom home market in 2007 is good. In fact, 68 percent of you said your outlook is excellent or good, with an additional 26 percent that said your outlook was fair. Nobody seems worried.

Now that we all agree the custom home market will be just fine in 2007, what will you do to capitalize when the upturn begins? You can do what custom builder Paul Magleby, CEO of Magleby Companies in Lindon, Utah, does. Why? He’s NAHB’s 2006 Custom Home Builder of the Year.

Each year, Magleby addresses corporate needs by focusing his efforts at the International Builders’ Show. When he needed accounting help, he visited accounting software manufacturers. When employee issues surfaced, he attended seminars on employee management, and his success is indisputable.

One seminar that might be of interest at the 2007 International Builders’ Show is titled Profit Debate: Cost-Plus vs. Fixed-Price. The debate is between Residential Design & Build columnist Jay Grant and fellow custom builder Dennis Dixon. Debating begins Fri., Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. and will be moderated by yours truly.

Our seminar is one of hundreds to attend, and thousands of products to see at the show. No wonder it’s easy to be overwhelmed. By focusing energy on addressing specific needs, however, Magleby created positive, rewarding experiences that paid off on his travel investment. You can read more about Magleby’s success here.

Grant, by the way, not only agrees with Magleby’s trade show strategy, he has put it to good use. While remaining focused at the Builders’ Show, Grant has found accounting software, hired a marketing consultant and hired a project manager.

What are your company’s needs? Maybe you need a new siding product that could make the homes you design or build truly stand out from your competitors’. Or perhaps you need to discover new faucets that no other custom home company in your market is specifying. Whatever you need to help your business succeed or make it stand out, it’s at the builders’ show.

A preview of show highlights and features begins here. A sample of new products on display at the show is included as well. The show is in Orlando and begins Wed., Feb. 7. For more details visit

As the year moves forward and business picks up speed, stay focused and remember to take time to address your company’s greatest needs. You’ll thank yourself.