Florida Residential Construction Review – August 2017

Out of the 5,400 Florida housing starts in August, Orlando was a leading area for new construction.

Over 5,400 housing starts with a total value in excess of $1.5B were added to the HBW database for Florida last month.  While construction activity was not ahead of July’s figures, August had a healthy level of new permits across the state with Orlando leading for total starts (1,408 permits).  While DR Horton and Lennar Homes continued to flex their megabuilder muscle in four out of five regions, Pulte Homes held strong in the southwest region having 150 housing starts in that area for the one-month period.

Here is a closer look at the breakdown by region:

ORLANDO

Central Florida’s “City Beautiful” was up one spot since July to rank #1 in August for total housing starts.  Out of the more than 1,400 starts and approximately $444 million in total construction value, DR Horton was the leading builder having more than 200 new permits in the area for the one-month period; the home builder was most active in Osceola and Brevard counties as 62% of all their new building activity took place there.  The average value of residential construction was on the higher end in Orlando at more than $315k, and the highest concentration of housing starts could be found in Orange (494 permits) and Brevard (270 permits) counties.

TAMPA

The gulf coast Tampa area was second highest for new construction last month.  More than half of the 1,340+ housing starts and approximately $350M in total construction took place in Polk (401 permits) and Hillsborough (385 permits) counties.  Out of the 190 active builders in the area, Lennar Homes took the lead for total housing starts having more than 200 new permits on file with HBW for the month; nearly all of Lennar Home’s new residential construction took place in Pasco and Hillsborough counties.  The average value of new home construction in Tampa runs fairly close to the average for the state at nearly $261k.

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The southwest region ranked third highest for total housing starts last month.  Just about half of the 1,121 housing starts and nearly $279M in total construction took place in the counties of Lee (343 permits) and Collier (233 permits) counties.  The average value of new home construction in the area was nearly $249k.  Out of the 225 active home builders on file in August, Pulte Homes ranked #1 with 150 housing starts.

JACKSONVILLE

Out of Jacksonville’s 900+ housing starts and $223M in total value last month, DR Horton was a leading home builder having more than 186 new permits on file; the majority of DR Horton’s new construction took place in St. Johns and Duval counties, two counties that are currently experiencing the highest levels of new home construction in the Jacksonville area.  To be more exact, more than 70% of new residential construction activity was concentrated in the counties of St. Johns (381 permits) and Duval (266 permits) last month.  Jacksonville continues to carry a lower average value of construction in comparison to the four other areas reviewed, having an average value just over $245k for the one-month period.

SOUTHEAST FLORIDA

There were nearly 650 housing starts in the southeast region of Florida last month, and more than half of all new residential construction took place in the higher value counties of Miami-Dade (194 permits) and Palm Beach (179 permits).  Out of the 180 active builders on file for the month, Lennar Homes came out on top with 127 new residential construction permits; just about 50% of Lennar’s new home construction in the southeastern region took place in Miami-Dade County during the month of August.

Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures for Florida residential construction was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

Texas Report: New Residential Construction – August 2017

Texas Total New Resid. Permits – August 2017

Last week, we reviewed the latest on new swimming pool construction in Texas based on HBW’s construction permit reports.  This week, we have used the same reports for finding out where new residential construction is taking off in Texas.  Out of the more than 6,000 new residential construction permits and $1.5B in total value for the month of August, Dallas held the highest total new permits and the highest average value of construction for the month.

Here is a closer look at new residential construction across the four major metro areas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio) of Texas during the month of August:

Dallas

Total Permits: 2,426

Average Value of Construction: $294k

Top County: Collin (1,016 permits)

Total # of Active Builders: 242

Top Builders for Total Permits:

1. DR Horton
2. Pulte Homes
3. Megatel Homes

 

Houston

Total Permits: 2,322

Average Value of Construction: $205k

Top County: Harris (1,255 permits)

Total # of Active Builders: 277

Top Builders for Total Permits:

1. Lennar Homes
2. DR Horton
3. Perry Homes

 

Austin

Total Permits: 757

Average Value of Construction: $256k

Top County: Travis (531 permits)

Total # of Active Builders: 115

Top Builders for Total Permits:

1. KB Homes
2. Meritage Homes
3. DR Horton

 

San Antonio

Total Permits: 556

Average Value of Construction: $231k

Top County: Bexar (259 permits)

Total # of Active Builders: 132

Top Builders for Total Permits:

1. Continental Homes
2. KB Homes
3. LGI Homes

 

Information utilized for Texas residential construction reports was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

HBW Report: Texas New Swimming Pool Construction – August 2017

 

While it’s not often that we look at pool construction in Texas, every month hundreds of new swimming pool construction permits are added to the HBW database, giving us plenty to review and share with our subscribers.  In August, there were more than 600 new pool permits totaling more than $30.5M in construction value added to HBW’s database, and more new leads are being generated every day.

Here is a look at new pool construction activity in the four major metro areas of Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio last month:

Dallas

Out of the four major metro areas reviewed, Dallas had the highest concentration of new pool construction last month.  More than 30% of all new pool construction took place in Collin County, and out of the 135 active builders in the area, Gold Medal Pools ranked #1 for total pool starts during the one-month period.

Total Permits: 340

Average Construction Value: $50,234

# of Active Builders: 135

Top County: Collin County (106 permits)

Top Builder (for total permits): Gold Medal Pools

Houston

While much of Houston is working through recovery and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, there is also new pool construction taking place with some Houston-area homeowners.  In August, there were nearly 150 pool starts with an average value of approximately $51,500.  Just about 60% of all new pool construction took place in Harris County where there were 84 starts during the one-month period.

Total Permits: 145

Average Construction Value: $51,497

# of Active Builders: 80

Top County: Harris County (84 permits)

Top Builder (for total permits): Platinum Pools

Austin

Austin ranked third for total pool starts having 65 new permits on file for August.  The average value of construction was highest out of the four areas coming in at $56,005.  The majority of all new construction took place in Travis County (56 permits).

Total Permits: 65

Average Construction Value: $56,005

# of Active Builders: 45

Top County: Travis County (56 permits)

Top Builder (for total permits): Aquatech, Inc.

San Antonio

San Antonio held both the lowest amount of new pool construction activity and the lowest average value of construction, having 52 permits and an average value of approximately $43,500 on file last month.  Nearly all of the new pool permits originated from Bexar County (44 permits).

Total Permits: 52

Average Construction Value: $43,502

# of Active Builders: 22

Top County: Bexar County (44 permits)

Top Builder (for total permits): Keith Zars Pools

Information utilized for Texas swimming pool construction reports was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

Tips for Recruiting Top Talent

In an industry that is in desperate need for growth in its labor pool, it is critical to make the most of recruiting efforts.

It’s not a secret – The construction industry suffers from a shortage in skilled laborers.  And while there are a myriad of ways to develop and train certain technicians and laborers, attracting and retaining top talent can pose difficult challenges.  In addition to the limited number of qualified candidates available, your business may also face challenges in retaining the few that you may bring on board.  From construction managers and estimators to laborers and equipment technicians, here are a few easy tips for recruiting construction professionals:

  1. Use Industry Networks – Whether you work through your local construction association or get involved with an industry publication, you can get your career opportunities noticed through industry-related groups. While casting a wide net with larger mainstream job bulletins will bring in a greater amount of job seekers, using industry-specific networks can be helpful in filtering candidates who have a true interest in construction.
  2. Use Social Networks – Social media has become an effective way to recruit and spread the word about opportunities with your business. In addition to posting jobs on your website and sharing them within your own network, groups and recruiting tools on LinkedIn can be helpful for inviting job seekers and engaging candidates who have experience that directly fits your current needs.
  3. Use Your Team – While hiring within is a great way to motivate your team and potentially increase performance, don’t overlook your team’s networks. Share job opportunities with your employees so they can share it with their contacts.  Most likely one of your own top team members has someone in mind for a new position or has a previous co-worker that would be interested in working with them again.  Offer a referral reward for anyone who is hired and retained.
  4. Get Competitive – To attract top talent, you will need to offer a competitive package. Your next manager may not be actively seeking a new position, but if you put together a competitive compensation package, they may be willing to entertain new opportunities.
  5. Use Your Time Wisely – Recruiting takes resources, and resources take financial investment. For this reason, you must use your recruiting time (and money) wisely.  Don’t waste time interviewing as many candidates as possible.  Instead, use your filters and plan for preliminary interviews on a limited schedule.  Have a timeline for the new hire, from posting the ad to final interviews and decisions.  By having a clear schedule, you and your team can focus on recruiting efforts that are cost-effective and lead to the results you need.

While there are many ways to go about recruiting, using industry networks, the power of social media and following a detailed schedule will get you closer to finding the right candidate at the right time.

For more industry news and construction business tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information on construction data reports and industry leads.

Communication Before and After a Hurricane

source: wikipedia

Earlier this week, we explored some basic steps you, your family and your business can take to prepare for Hurricane Irma and hurricane conditions.  As the storm nears Florida, many people are either still on the road, putting up shutters or getting a hold of last-minute supplies (if any available).  Once the storm comes through, there will most likely be limited communication available, and without cell phone towers and electricity, your charged phones may be rendered useless despite your best efforts to have everything charged in advance.

For this reason, we have looked into some of the most useful advice we could find regarding communication before and after an emergency weather situation.  The FCC and FEMA have devised a list of valuable tips for being ready when loss of communication is on the horizon.  Here are some ways to prepare for and communicate during such emergencies:

Preparation:

  • Get back to basics – Radio and television broadcasters are an important source for news, safety and updates on local conditions. For this reason, secure a radio that is either battery-operated, solar-powered or crank-operated so that you can get news updates you will need later.   Also, make sure you are familiar with the radio and know how to use it; you don’t want to be figuring it out when you are actually in an emergency situation.
  • Have a printed list of contacts – As mentioned in our post earlier this week, a contact list should be printed for your business, as well as your family. Thanks to smart phones, most of us no longer know actual phone numbers anymore, and with contact lists on our phone requiring power, you will need a printed copy on hand.  Once printed, seal it in a Ziploc with other important paper documents.
  • Know your landline – Depending on the phone service you have for your landline, it may still require power to use it. Check with your service provider to know if you have VoIP, which is provided over broadband connections, or more traditional telephone service, which typically is powered over telephone lines. You will also want to make sure you have a phone that does not require power; cordless phones still require power and will not function during an outage.

 

During the Storm:

  • Limit phone calls – Only use the phone when needed for emergency situations. If you have service, a text to key contacts and family can be helpful for check-in, but you will want to conserve battery-life and keep the network open for others to be able to do the same.
  • Know your apps – Quite a few people have been buzzing over apps like “Zello” that allow you to use your phone like a walkie talkie. Make sure you understand the limitations as many still require a wifi connection.  An actual walkie talkie system may be worth the investment if you need to reach people nearby.
  • Adjust your power – On your cell phone, you have settings to adjust the power use. By adjusting the dimming/brightness of your screen and disabling and closing apps, you can conserve more energy.  If you do not have service, turn your phone off and check again later.  Do not leave it on and waste battery power just to see when service may or may not be up again.
  • Hold on the redial – It is easy to continually call a number multiple times in a row when we don’t reach someone. Try to avoid continuous redials as it can increase network congestion; allow for ample time in between attempts so that you conserve battery-life and avoid crowding the network.
  • Car as last resort – If you do not have power in your home and your car is not severely damaged, remember that your car can charge your phone. Only turn on your car if it is safe to do so and is located in an open space.  Do not start it up in a garage or closed spaces.

Communication can be frustrating during and after a storm, but be patient and safe.  Charge everything before the storm and conserve battery-life after it has passed.  Having a plan will alleviate some of the stress and increase the likelihood of making contact when you need it most.

Find more information at www.ready.gov http://www.redcross.org , or www.fema.gov 

For printable details on the tips listed above and more, visit: https://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/emergency-communications-tips.pdf

For information on construction business and marketing tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information.

Preparing for Hurricane Irma

 

If you are anywhere near Florida right now, chances are you are surrounded by panic and unanswered questions about where to go in time for Hurricane Irma’s arrival.  As of the Weather Channel’s report on Wednesday September 6th (11:30am), Hurricane Irma is a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane that is heading toward the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Cuba before posing a serious threat to Florida and parts of the Southeast beginning this weekend.  Where it will land in Florida and expected impact have yet to be determined, but in the meantime, it is time to prepare, not panic.  Here are a few key things you can do to get you and your company prepared for any impact the hurricane may have on the southeast:

  1. Communicate – Communicate your company’s plans for closure with your team and your clients. Have an emergency number available (if possible) for your clients to reach you or have the ability to leave a message that will be returned.  Have a call/text contact tree for your employees so that they can check in with each other if help is needed or if they are unable to get back in town once operating hours resume.
  2. Back Up – While you should already have back up of your computer systems in place, now is the time to perform an entire system back up to be stored in a secure, watertight location off site. Make a minimum of two copies to go with separate team members.  Also, use the cloud; whether you choose Microsoft cloud, Dropbox or something similar, be sure to have important documents and files uploaded to a cloud source you use and trust.
  3. Take Photos – This tip goes for home and office. Take photos of all equipment, furniture, etc. prior to the storm.  You should have everything of value photographed in case it is needed for insurance and/or replacement purposes.  Just as with your other important files, upload the photos to a cloud-based drive as well.
  4. Gather Documents – Paper documents including but not limited to property insurance, tax documentation, medical information, policies, etc. should be scanned and stored in your back up systems and cloud, and the hardcopies should be stored in watertight containers.
  5. Save Contacts – Your phone may be waterproof, but service is far from guaranteed after a storm. Make sure to back up your contacts on your phone to the cloud, as well as print out contacts to store safely.  You never know if you may actually need to dial a phone number from a different location, and having access to necessary contacts and phone numbers is essential.
  6. Protect Hardware – Computers, printers, cameras, monitors and other hardware should be protected in the event of a roof leak or broken window. Make sure to seal them and store them in a room where there aren’t any windows.  If you have covers specific for this purpose, great – If not, heavy duty garbage bags (doubled) and duct tape can be potentially helpful.
  7. Secure the Site – In addition to removing any of your materials and equipment from open projects, you may also be able to assist your clients by warning them of any outdoor furniture, grills or other items that they should secure indoors. Loose objects ranging from gardening tools to chaise lounges are usually the first things to get picked up by strong winds and can be the most damaging to buildings.

There are many steps to properly prepare for a storm of this magnitude.  No matter where you are and how little you may expect to feel from Hurricane Irma, it is time to have a plan in place for your business and family.  Food, water and flashlights are the basics that are essential for hurricane preparation, but you also want to make time to protect valuables, including data, so that you can expedite recovery from the storm and be back to business in the coming weeks.

For information on construction business and marketing tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information.

Eco-Update: Solar and Sustainability in Florida

Earlier this summer, we reviewed the latest green building efforts in Florida through South Miami’s recent commitment to solar on new and renovated structures.  Since then, there have been quite a few stories published about solar and sustainable construction efforts happening throughout Florida; news about solar has been buzzing in the Sunshine State, and with Florida being one of HBW’s focus areas for construction leads, we decided to dig a little deeper to highlight just a few more earth-friendly efforts that have made headlines in the past month…

Solar is looking up in St. Petersburg, Florida.

It appears that South Miami has a friend in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The gulf coast city just outside of Tampa is looking to help pave the way for solar.  Similar to the law recently passed in South Miami, St. Pete’s City Council is considering a new law that would require solar panel installations on new homes; unlike South Miami, this law would also require solar panels to be installed on repaired roofs that have sustained heavy damage.

If the ordinance is passed, St. Petersburg would become the seconds city in Florida to require solar to be installed on new homes. Questions regarding the potential cost to homeowners was addressed by the Tampa Bay Times and answered as follows:

The typical new Florida home uses about 12,720 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. Adding an 8 kilowatt photovoltaic system at $2 per watt, minus the 30 percent federal tax credit, equals an average up-front price for residential solar panels at $11,000, according to the Florida Solar Panel Center at the University of Central Florida. That would lead to a monthly power bill of $11 instead of $125 per month.

While the ordinance has a road of discussions and review ahead, a tentative schedule calls for considering a final version by December, with the effective date in 2018. (source: Tampa Bay Times)

HERO program is behind sustainable improvements for Palm Beach homeowners.

As recently announced by Renovate America, homeowners across Palm Beach County now have access to “HERO”, a financing program that supports energy, efficiency and wind-resistance improvements.  Haven’t heard of HERO yet?  Well, if you are in Palm Beach County and looking to make sustainable improvements to your home, it is worth knowing about how HERO can assist in managing the cost.  The program enables homeowners to pay for upgrades over a period of time through an additional assessment on their property tax bill.  As a result of a partnership between the Florida Development Finance Corporation and Renovate America, HERO is the largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program in the country.

Improvements that meet the eligibility requirements include solar, energy-efficient HVAC systems, storm shutters and other wind damage protection that meet or exceed Florida Building Code requirements.  The products eligible for financing through the program have the potential to lower utility bills and/or insurance premiums and offer homeowners additional safety and comfort.

In addition to Palm Beach, other Florida counties that offer HERO financing include Broward, Brevard, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Brevard, Orange, Leon, Nassau, Pasco and Charlotte.

Volusia County has a solar energy cooperative.

Earlier this week, Volusia County provided residents an opportunity to take part in a solar co-op.  The co-op has a variety of partners including but not limited to the League of Women Voters of Volusia County, Sierra Club’s local chapter, Stetson University and the City of Deland.  The group is the 16th solar cooperative in Florida.  To continue to move forward in Volusia County, the cooperative will need secured commitments from a minimum of 30 homeowners.  The informational sessions are free to attend, and the co-op is free to join.  The first session is scheduled for September 20, 2017 at Stetson University, with other sessions to follow through October and November at various locations throughout Volusia County.  For more information, visit the FL SUN website.

For more industry news and construction business tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information on construction data reports and industry leads.

Home Builders Helping Houston

Ways home builders (and anyone) can help residents of Houston rebuild and recover in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

You don’t have to be in Houston to know that it sustained massive flooding and damage from its recent hit by Hurricane Harvey.  Open any newspaper or watch any news network in the U.S., and the heartbreaking images of the devastation that Houston is facing can be overwhelming.

The truth is that recovery from natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey take time, but they also take the right people and groups to make the rebuilding happen.  As home builders, we are in a unique position to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need.  From working with building material suppliers to partnering with Houston-area builders to support their businesses and growing demand, home builders can do much more than write a check.

When searching the internet for ways to support Houston, the list is seemingly never-ending.  For this reason, we have selected a handful of options and sources for supporting victims of Hurricane Harvey.  While this list is not to endorse or favor any one organization over another, it is to serve as a starting point and guide to get you going on your own efforts to be part of Houston’s recovery.

  1. American Red Cross – While this seems the most obvious, it is always worth looking into the many relief programs that are being led by the American Red Cross. Beyond receiving direct donations, they mobilize a network of volunteers, on the ground, to get to the families and people who need it most. If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, you should visit the volunteer section of redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to apply to be a volunteer.  In addition to any donations or volunteering you may offer, sharing their social media posts that direct people to the correct contacts and phone numbers for help can also help them reach those in need.
  2. Donate Blood – In addition to donating blood through the American Red Cross which provides 40% of the nation’s blood (source: ARC), local centers like the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are in great need for blood donations. It has been stated that the greatest need is for O positive and O negative.  To find a list of locations, click here.
  3. Find a Charity – If you are looking to provide direct support (financial or other) to a local charity in Houston, then you will certainly want to do your research. You can check out credentials of charitable organizations through websites such as Charity Navigator.  Charity Navigator provides valuable information about charities and now offers a specific section for Hurricane Harvey.  To confirm an organization’s charitable status, there is always the IRS.  By using their EO Select Check Tool, you can confirm their listing as a nonprofit.  Keep in mind that smaller groups like churches may not be listed.
  4. Help Rebuild – While immediate needs for survival and cleanup are occurring now, there will be a need for rebuilding in the near future. Groups like Habitat for Humanity Houston have an inside line to those in need of shelter and are constantly open to new volunteers.  This is where you and your business have a chance to make a difference.  By offering a group of volunteers, leading a building project or sponsoring a home, you can put your construction expertise to good use.  As previously mentioned, you may also reach out to contractors in the area to learn of their needs and see how you can partner up on relief efforts.
  5. Donate Food and Clothing – According to a recent release from CNN, “Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking people to donate clothing, medical supplies, baby items, and food to nearby shelters. Feeding Texas is coordinating with local food banks to distribute food and cleaning supplies. The organization is asking people to drop off non-perishable food, bleach, and paper towels. The Texas Diaper Bank is seeking diaper donations. You can mail them to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Texas 78238 or drop them off at the same address.” (source: CNN).  Houston Food Bank is Houston’s largest food donation foundation; it will be providing food and supplies in the short term and for many months to come to residents in southeast Texas.  Through its partner agencies and network, the Food Bank aims to get food to those in greatest need.  They currently have volunteer openings as well as a list of food and supply donations needed.

While we could write a book on the many charities currently active in Houston, we encourage you to seek a partner that is the right fit for you and your business.  Once you find a charity, make sure to contact them directly to get an idea of what they need most.  Often, especially with food banks or shelters, donations of clothes and food will be sent with the right intention but may not be right for that particular organization.  Inquire about their wish list and find out how you and your business can be most effective in rebuilding the Houston community.

For information on construction business and marketing tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information.

Florida Top Home Builders – July 2017

HBW residential construction report and builder spotlight for July 2017

FL New Residential Construction Permits by Area – July 2017

Since June, residential construction is looking up across Florida.  During the month of July, there were more than 6,200 housing starts reflecting a 24% month-over-month increase.  Out of the five areas reviewed (Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Southwest, Southeast), Tampa came out on top for total starts having nearly 1,600 new residential construction permits on file for the month.  Orlando was next and following close behind with more than 1,420 new permits.

While Lennar Homes and D.R. Horton were the most active builders having the most starts across the state in July, when taking a closer look by area, there are a few other builders making their mark as well.  Here’s the breakdown of top builders and new construction activity for July and by region:

TAMPA

As previously mentioned, Tampa was the leading area for starts in Florida last month.  Nearly 200 active builders were responsible for close to 1,600 housing starts with an average value of approximately $255k.  Lennar Homes was the leader with more than 180 starts, and most of the leading builder’s new permits originated from Pasco and Hillsborough counties.  The top three builders are as follows:

Lennar Homes – 181 permits, average value: $248k

D.R. Horton – 139 permits, average value: ~$200k

Standard Pacific Homes – 115 permits, average value: $279k

ORLANDO

Last month, Orlando had more than 1,420 housing starts with the highest average value ($308k) of any other region in the state.  Out of the 200 active builders on file with HBW in July, D.R. Horton was positioned on top with close to 200 housing starts and an average value of construction close to $254k.  Here is a look at the top three home builders in Orlando for the month:

D.R. Horton – 194 permits, average value: $254k

Pulte Homes – 93 permits, average value: > $316k

Lennar Homes – 92 permits, average value: ~$204k

SOUTHWEST

In July, there were more than 1,400 housing starts with an average construction value just over $253k in Southwest Florida.  More than half of all new construction took place in Lee and Sarasota counties.  Out of the close to 250 active home builders on file, Lennar Homes led for total new permits with 224 housing starts. The top three builders in the southwest region for July are as follows:

Lennar Homes – 224 permits, average value: $210k

D.R. Horton – 106 permits, average value: $221k

Pulte Homes – 88 permits, average value: $201k

JACKSONVILLE

Nearly 150 home builders were active with new residential construction in Jacksonville last month.  Out of the 970+ housing starts at an average construction value of $247.5k, close to 40% took place in St. Johns County.  The top three home builders in the area for the month are as follows:

D.R. Horton – 152 permits, average value: $153k

Dream Finders Construction and Homes – 117 permits, average value: >$290k

Lennar Homes – 69 permits, average value: $277k

SOUTHEAST

In the southeast region, there were more than 820 housing starts with an average value of $271k.  St. Lucie County had the most new construction on file out of all southeast counties reviewed with 233 permits for the one-month period.  Out of the 200 active home builders in the area, Lennar Homes was a leader for total permits having 122 housing starts with an average value just over $151k.  Here is a closer look at the top three home builders for total new residential construction permits:

Lennar Homes – 122 permits, average value: >$151k

D.R. Horton – 102 permits, average value: >$227k

GL Homes – 65 permits, average value: ~$407k

Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures for Florida residential construction was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

5 Ways to Get Your Company “Out There”

Beyond the standard self-generated social media posts, here are five ways to get your business noticed.

Content, content, content – today it is all about content.  From Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to generating buzzworthy videos and posts, your marketing success depends largely on the content you are generating, and distributing.  The truth is that you can create content for days; whether you provide an aerial video of your latest construction project or choose to highlight new products or services, if you have an active business you have plenty of content.  What you do with that content is really what counts.  We all know how easy it is to simply tweet or retweet, upload a video to YouTube or tag clients in the latest FaceBook news, but distributing content effectively is much more complex than any single post.

One post can only go so far.  Social networks are called “social” because they are social by nature.  Your content must be shared (and shared again) in order to spread across your audience.  Sure, you can tap into the latest viral news or video or produce your own buzzworthy content, but there are more strategic ways to make sure you maximize your reach.  Here are five ways to get noticed and share content beyond a singular post in your network:

  1. Other Networks – While your FaceBook page may have thousands of “Likes” and your Twitter account gains new followers every day, don’t overlook the power of other networks. Reach out to a publication that is distributed to your target audience.  From online publications and construction newsletters to industry magazines, the options are endless.  Consider writing an advice or how-to article to submit to your chosen publication.  While you won’t have the opportunity to plug your product, you most certainly will have the chance to highlight your expertise and get your company name out to an extended audience.
  2. Partner with Giants – Every industry, including construction, has their big fish and giants. Those giants are often influencers within the industry and can be great partners for sharing content.  Before approaching any big player (individual or corporation), make sure you have a clear understanding of your objective.  Perhaps you would like to quote them in your marketing materials or embed their latest video on your website. No matter how you choose to include them in your marketing plan, make sure it is mutually beneficial and designed for them to share the content within their networks as well.
  3. Nurture Relationships – While you should always be seeking and nurturing prospects, don’t overlook your current clients. One kitchen renovation or landscape design should not be the end of your relationship.  Your current clients are just as valuable as your future clients when it comes to sharing content.  For this reason, you must keep them engaged and continue to serve as a resource for them.  In turn, they will have the opportunity to share your latest newsletter or how-to video within their networks.
  4. Signature Content – Your email signature can be a powerful player in sharing content. Think about it… Every email that leaves your business has the ability to be forwarded and shared; with hundreds of emails each day, your team’s signature should have information beyond an address and website.  Consider having members of your sales team add something new to their signature each month.  From promotional discounts to eye-catching images that link to your portfolio, give your team the tools and content they need to get noticed in everything including email.
  5. Lead Follow-up – When following up with your leads (including your latest HBW leads), it is important to send more than a generic “Did you get my message?”. In addition to the featured link that will be in your signature (see #4), you should also provide them with something educational.  For example, if you are looking to offer new windows, consider providing a link to a company video that shows them the signs of windows needing to be replaced and how they can better prepare their home for changes in weather and energy savings.

By combining your current social media marketing efforts with other groups and outlets, you will be able to multiply your reach and increase the likelihood of getting noticed where it counts.

For more information on construction business and marketing tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information on construction data reports and industry leads.