Tag Archives: Best Practices

Innovative yet practical land development and acquisition strategies for up and coming builders to meet the shortages and challenges of your market.

Acquiring land is the starting point for all builders, and is often a major issue. Regardless of size, land acquisition will dictate your volume of builds, the market size and demographic you can sell to, and can change the way you finance a new community development.

What The Experts Say

“Small to medium sized builders were crushed during the recent land depression in the recession, and a lot of their equity base is just gone so they don’t have the cash to close or the equity that is now required for a lender,” says Richard Guerard – Illinois attorney. Guerard’s legal expertise is in real estate transactions, he recommends that growing builders “compete with big builders by developing their own lots based on their specific strategy”.

To understand the effects on land development during the recent recession, also try – Land Pressure: Combating “Zombie Subdivisions”

Top 3 Land Acquisition Tricks for Rising Builders in 2018:

  1. Approach Land Acquisitions with Multiple Payments – Establish a purchasing schedule to buy the land gradually while selling homes to clients
  2. Band Together with Smaller Builders – Unite with other local builders and establish your presence and buying power as community members in acquiring land together in strategic locations
  3. Begin Small, then Build Up – Local builders have an advantage over giant production builders by harnessing local relationships – automate your purchasing capabilities as you focus on acquiring more land in strategic locations


To reap the benefits of these tips for land development, builders need a level of commitment to standardized work process. Bonus Tip:

  • Investment in Technology is an Investment Towards Success – these tips cannot be implemented with spreadsheets alone. Prospecting various land packages, and working with other local builders, requires an advanced land acquisition and development software solution.

The Verdict

Having the right strategy alone may not be sufficient enough to outpace the big players in the industry. Always look for innovative technical solutions for purchasing and land development. Our Land Development software – LandDev automates lot planning while integrating financial data with established enterprise resource management platforms. Investing in an integrated land development solution will take care of resource allocation and vendor contracts to maximize profits. Cost efficiency means you can start planning your next big land purchase for new communities!

Content Source: Land Strategies for Small Builders | Brian Croce – BuilderOnline.com

Join Us at The 5th Annual Real Estate Private Equity Forum

Increasingly, today’s market is about catering to millennials as first-time homebuyers, ensuring creative – yet cost-effective homes are tested and taking advantage of niche markets. Join our Director of Professional Services at The 5th Annual Real Estate Private Equity Forum. Bob Swainhart will cover:

  •         Innovations in homebuilding and condo products
  •          Appealing to the modern homebuyer
  •          Effective building strategies for cost savings
  •          Testing new home designs and taking advantage of niche markets

Event Details:

The 5th Annual Real estate Prive Equity Forum on Land,

Homebuilding & Condo Development (East)

April 10-11, 2018 | Four Seasons Miami, Miami, FL

Register here

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Constellation News, Events, FAST, LandDev, NEWSTAR | Tagged , , | Comments Off

While attending a session entitled Creating and Maintaining Company Value presented by Ron Robichaud at the 2008 Pacific Coast Builder Conference in San Francisco he says Information management systems are the second most important components in operational excellence.

“The second most important tool to achieve and maintain operations excellence is information. Now there are a number of providers who are actually successfully electronically integrating the full complement of sales and marketing, operations, production, service and financial functions into a seamless flow of live information readily accessible and useable to all parties as well as customer friendly.  Every builder is painfully aware of the costs generated by inaccurate plans, incomplete budgets, poor schedules, information slipping between the cracks, poor communication within the organization as well as with vendors, trades, and homebuyers.  All of the above is a function of information management.  The role of effective information processing, distribution and flow in creating and maintaining a well run company cannot be over-emphasized.  A consistently superior financial performance is not usually the result of some single secret formula or weapon, but rather the result of doing many things right, and the single most important way to do that is by managing information.”

Ron Robichaud
2008 PCBC
San Francisco

Posted in Best Practices, Events, Important Event, Trade Show | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Chuck Miller

In one of my early Institute of Residential Marketing courses, the instructor said something that really hit home with me as a builder. He pointed out that marketing is about differentiating yourself in the marketplace and stated that you can differentiate yourself by product or you can differentiate yourself by process and procedure. He then pointed out that if you differentiate yourself by product and you have a great product – great floor plans, unique trim details, energy-efficient building practices – eventually everyone is going to copy what you’re doing. Thus, you constantly struggle to find new ways to differentiate yourself. But then he emphasized that if you differentiate yourself by process and procedure, others are far less likely to copy what you do.

Previously featured authors have discussed the value of best management practices like using purchase orders and work orders and eliminating billing errors to save money and improve your bottom line. But there are a number of best management practices and implementing any or all of them will save you money and improve your bottom line. More importantly, implementing best management practices will increase your sales. I believe that everything we do is marketing and the best, most cost-effective marketing is referral marketing. I emphasize that our customers include not only the people who hire us to build their homes but also our trade contractors, vendors, and service providers. Particularly in today’s market, buyers are hesitant. They have read and heard all the news stories about builders facing financial problems or filing bankruptcy. But people are still buying new homes. If you follow best management practices in your business, it can go along way toward reassuring them that you are not like all the others.

Differentiate yourself by implementing best management practices like creating critical path schedules for all of your jobs and updating those schedules at least weekly; using work orders and purchase orders that not only set the price but that are also tied to your job schedule; having a system in place to notify your trade contractors and suppliers when they are expected to be on your job and when they are expected to complete their work; ensuring that your jobs are ready for them when they show up as scheduled; managing your accounts receivable and accounts payable so that trade contractors, vendors, and service providers are paid in a timely manner; and providing your lenders with accurate financial statements on a monthly basis. Not only will you receive preferential service and pricing from you trade contractor and vendor partners, but I guarantee that if you do all of these things, the word will spread. Your trade contractors, vendors, service providers, and lenders will become some of your best sales people. You will become the builder of choice in your market.

Integrated software programs make it relatively easy to implement most of these best management practices. But like any good tool, you have to take it out of your tool box and learn how to use it. I encourage you to do so.

About the Featured Author:
Chuck Miller is a Graduate Master Builder (GMB), a Member of the Institute of Residential Marketing (MIRM), a Certified New Home Marketing Professional (CMP), a Master New Home Sales Professional (MCSP), and a Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP). In addition to his role as President and CEO of Chuck Miller Construction Inc. Chuck is an instructor for the National Association of Home Builders University of Housing Graduate Builder, Graduate Remodeler, and Institute of Residential Marketing programs. Chuck has been a Buildsoft user since 1992. You can learn more about Chuck and his company at www.chuckmillerconstruction.com.

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems
As the largest homebuilding software company in the industry, Constellation has helped more than 1,400 homebuilding companies manage their information technology costs with integrated software solutions to run their business from dirt to warranty. From planning to homeowner services, we have land development software, new home sales and marketing software, production, purchasing, scheduling, accounting, warranty and homebuilding vendor portal solutions designed exclusively for the homebuilding industry.

Media Inquiries
Cathy Kotsopoulos
(888) 723-2222

Download PDF

More Information

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Constellation BLUEPRINT | Tagged , , | Comments Off