Please forgive me for borrowing my title from the opening lines of Richard III, widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. I certainly would not dream to suggest that the quality of my writings is even in the same universe as those of the Bard. And in all honesty, I have mixed feelings about that play as it is impossible for me to remember that monologue without thinking of Richard Dreyfuss’ portrayal of the title character as an exaggerated stereotypical effete in the movie, The Goodbye Girl.
Winter will soon be upon us, a typically lethargic period for the homebuilding industry. This year portends an even more challenging selling season than usual with the continuing economic conditions, the still present foreclosure overhang, rising mortgage rates and the renewed and now real possibility of the removal of the homeowner’s mortgage interest deduction.
Instead of concerning ourselves with things beyond our control, however, I would suggest that we, as residential developers and homebuilders, adopt a proactive posture and fix our sights on what we can do to improve our sales and profitability. My belief is that life is journey in which the goal is to learn and the key to a successful journey is education. Knowledge is power. When we learn, new horizons open that enable us to learn even more and thereby obtain the tools that will increase our sales and our profits.
The first task toward gaining the essential knowledge in the homebuilding industry is to educate ourselves. We must perform a Strategic Marketing Audit, an examination of our development’s and our company’s total marketing environments, both internal and external. This analysis of the recent and likely continuing changes in the economy, the competitive marketplace and the target markets and their impact on us as homebuilders and developers will provide the knowledge to allow us to create realistic strategies to optimize our performance and profitability. Continue reading