Written by Stephen Paul, Executive Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Builders in Rockville, Maryland
Mid-Atlantic Builders has been building and developing award-winning communities and homes in the metropolitan Washington, DC area since 1979. We are often asked the secrets to surviving the ups and downs inherent in our industry. Simply put, we focus on five key areas: creating uniquely designed products, utilizing technology to increase efficiency, maintaining strong financial reporting systems, participating as an NAHB Builder 20 member to compare best practices, and upholding a commitment to continuous team training and development.
Create Products that Exceed Expectations
First, always look for ways to differentiate your company by offering better products than your competitors. At Mid-Atlantic, we consistently work with outside custom architects to ensure that our designs are fresh and current—and better than the competition. We highlight features like our Owner’s Suite Spa Baths to serve as a unique brand advantage that draws buyers. If your market is filled with large national builders, look for features you can offer that the public builders can’t: Our customization program allows our clients to personalize their homes to a greater extent than our national builder competitors. Clients can customize their floor plans and exteriors and even adjust the position of their homes on their home sites. We also provide a design studio consultant who doesn’t just show clients their selections—she offers professional advice as though our clients have hired an interior designer. Our clients can feel confident as they tailor-fit the finishes of their homes to their personal lifestyles and preferences.
Embrace The Power of Technology
Using technology will increase your company’s overall efficiency and help you better manage through good times and bad. Today’s customers want lots of information before they even speak with a salesperson. Use technology to let them sell themselves on your company before they visit your community. We created an easy-to-navigate website that allows prospective buyers to generate their own customized floor plans through an interactive floor plan module. Buyers have the tools and information to decide what they want in a home and how it should be designed. The website is truly the hub of our company marketing program.
Capture and Use Financial Data
Never neglect to perform systematic financial monitoring and measurement of your company’s performances. Mid-Atlantic conducts financial monitoring on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. We use job cost reconciliations to monitor the quality and performance of each house budget. Since we offer a wide array of home customization, we also maintain a detailed option job cost portfolio to protect profit margins. Our automated subcontractor purchase order system allows trade partners to get specific work orders and pricing electronically along with scheduling instructions. Construction schedules are reported weekly and available daily through an online trade contractor portal. Additionally, always closely monitor soft costs, including field indirect, sales, model home, advertising, warranty, and general and administrative expenses with monthly accounting reports.
Train and Develop Your Team
Keep an open mind to attract and retain the best employees. Mid-Atlantic Builders has had much success in recruiting college graduates. Providing these hires with extensive career development and skills training has given us many opportunities to facilitate internal promotion and career advancement. The company encourages team members to think and work as entrepreneurs within an organized company structure.
Mid-Atlantic Builders proudly remains a leader in the creation of beautiful communities and quality-built homes in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Looking forward, we will continue to grow across different sectors by diversifying products and pursuing opportunities in new locations. we will build resources with a college-educated workforce and will continue to evolve technologically. Integrating technologies such as mobile applications and touch screen displays into our sales and production processes will ensure that employees are able to best serve our company and its customers.