Why has high school Spanish failed so many students? 
It is not a secret to regular readers that increasing a home builder’s customer satisfaction increases referral sales.  Many home builders blow away the 15% national average of referral sales and achieve 40-50%, by virtue of meeting the customers’ hierarchy of needs and having in place a respectful referral sales strategy.
Today we have a ranch (or if you are on the East Coast, a rambler) to review. It is a Lean Design with a ton of amenities, and it is a beauty. I’m betting Brent Musburger would have a field day with this looker. Let’s explore further: A. Open kitchen plan is perfect for entertaining and allows a direct site line to the Great Room fireplace (and TV). B. A fan favorite -– the laundry room is accessible from the master suite. This is one of the most popular trends that I encounter throughout the country.
I subscribe to the print editions of several publications, including Architectural Digest. Go ahead and call me old school — I know I’m not the only one who prefers to flip through the pages of a glossy magazine when there’s a big story beckoning.
  A report last year by the NAHB Research Center found that “increasingly, today’s homebuyers want energy-efficient, low-maintenance, well-insulated and well-sealed homes. Survey data in the last few years has also shown that consumers are willing to pay a premium for these types of homes and that they are typically more satisfied with them than with their previous, less efficient homes.
The market bottom is clearly behind us, and this is validated by three very reliable indicators.  First, annualized home starts have more than doubled from the Spring of 2009.  Second, consumer confidence (and therefore builder confidence) continues an upward trend, and for regular readers, you know these are good predictors of sales activity for the next 6-9 months!  Third, and my favorite market turn around indicator, is that the Salesperson Auto Indicator (SAI) has turned positive.
The luxury housing market is back, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Some of the properties mentioned in the WSJ report are off-the-charts expensive:  $88 million for a condo in New York City; a one-bedroom home in Los Angeles that sold for $20.1 million; a record $47 million sale in South Florida.
One of the world’s most influential architects, Barry Berkus, passed away at the end of November. While I didn’t know Barry well, I admired and respected him greatly.
The Six Sigma methodology DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) is used to improve an existing process.   Design for Six Sigma is used to design a new product or service. The methodology used is DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify). Define the goals and customer (internal & external) requirements. What is Critical to Quality. Measure customer needs and specifications this should include benchmarking competitors. Analyze the options.
“You Can Buy More Land in an Afternoon…   Than You Can Get Rid of in a Lifetime.”
There is no question that Lance Armstrong has one of the most unique comeback and sporting histories of all time.  He was a little known triathlete, cancer survivor, turned seven time Tour de France winner, and founder of an extremely successful non-profit foundation, before dramatically falling from public grace by virtue of the U.S Anti-Doping Association (USADA).  As a fellow cyclist and racer, I held Lance’s accomplishments in very high regard, adorning my office with Lance posters and a picture from our meeting after his 7th tour victory.The first lesson that I learn
My December column just came out on and you can read it here: or in the Professional Builder magazine.


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