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Taylor Morrison Takes Top For-Profit Private Builder Spot on BUILDER 100 List

Closings decline 21% among 10 largest private home building firms.
By:Teresa Burney www.builderonline.com

Surviving the worst housing market since the Great Depression represents a major achievement for a privately funded builder, but the top 10 for-profit private builders of 2009 were able to do more than just stay alive–they also managed to hold their own against the cash-rich publicly funded builders.

No private for-profit builder took a top 10 on the BUILDER 100 list, but one, Taylor Morrison, at No. 13 with 3,347 closings, came close. (Nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International achieved the rank of No. 8 on the list, with 5,294 closings.)

David Weekley Homes, The Villages, and Shea Homes weren’t too far behind with more than 2,000 closings for each of them. (See sidebar below for individual companies’ closings and revenue numbers.) However, Shea Homes, with a 35.2% drop in closings and a 40.1% fall in revenue, dropped several spots, falling behind David Weekley and The Villages.

Yet, as a group, the top 10 private builders were, for the most part, able to stay close to the same spots on the lists they held last year. Woodside Homes, even under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, only dropped one notch, from No. 20 to No. 22, with 1,788 closings in 2009.

Of course, 2009’s difficult business conditions made an undeniable impact on these firms. Business remains a fraction of what it was during home building’s peak, and most large private builders on the BUILDER 100 took a sizeable hit again last year. As a group, closings were down an average of 21%. Revenues were off as well, by 23.9%, as the companies discounted homes to get them sold.

Only one private builder, Ashton Woods Homes, grew closings last year, boosting its business by 9.7% to 1,319 deliveries. However, its revenue still declined 9.5% in 2009.

(Editor’s note: Housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, the No. 1 builder on this list of top 10 private builders last year, would have also been the biggest private builder this year based on last year’s criteria. However, this year we decided to restrict this list of the top 10 private builders to for-profit firms only.)

Top 10 For-Profit Private Builders in 2009

1. Taylor Morrison (B100 rank: #13*)
3,347 closings, $1.3 billion revenue

2. David Weekley Homes (B100 rank: #17)
2,229 closings; $690.million in revenue

3. The Villages (B100 rank: #19)
2,115 closings; $658.5 million in revenue

4. Shea Homes (B100 rank: #20)
2,091 closings; $838.9 million in revenue

5. Woodside Homes (B100 rank: #21)
1,788 closings; $469 million in revenue

6. The Drees Co. (B100 rank: #22)
1,500 closings; 519.6 million in revenue

7. Highland Homes (B100 rank: #23)
1,455 closings; $511.2 million in revenue

8. Ashton Woods Homes (B100 rank: #24)
1,319 closings; $319.5 million in revenue

9. McGuyer Homebuilders (B100 rank: #25)
1,280 closings; $325.7 million in revenue

10. Perry Homes (B100 rank: #26)
1,267 closings; $368.7 million in revenue

Source: BUILDER 100
* Numbers in parentheses refer to the company’s overall rank on this year’s BUILDER 100 list.

BUILDER 100’s Top Private Companies Spent Last Year Stuck in Neutral

But moves by several of the largest for-profit, private builders put them in better shape to reap rewards in 2011.
By:John Caulfield www.builderonline.com

Ask anyone at Shea Homes how tough it was to make a buck in 2010.

The Walnut, Calif.–based company was once again one of the 10 largest for-profit, privately owned builders in closings that year, according to our annual BUILDER 100 ranking. (See chart below.) But those closings were down slightly from 2009 and Shea’s revenue was flat, despite J.D. Power & Associates recently rating Shea the industry’s No. 1 builder for customer satisfaction.

No one could argue that Shea was simply waiting for the recession to recede, either. In June, it acquired a bankrupt Levitt & Son community in Florida for $5.3 million from Bank of America, which includes 345 developed homesites and undeveloped lots with the potential for another 390 homesites. In the first phase of the $2 billion Civita project in San Diego, Shea is building two subdivisions of 200 condos, townhouses, and attached homes. And the builder continued to expand its popular Spaces house design concept, which features room flexibility, to other markets.

Moves made in late 2009 benefited two private builders, Ashton Woods USA and Woodside Homes. Georgia-based Ashton Woods USA converted $125 million of its public debt to private debt, which appears to have given this company breathing room to grow. The company has since expanded its operations into Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas. Ken Balogh, a former Centex executive who was Ashton Woods’ COO, was promoted to CEO after Tom Krobot, who had held that post since 1995, retired on Dec. 31, 2010.

North Salt Lake City, Utah–based Woodside came out of bankruptcy in November 2009 and soon afterward began jumping on distressed land opportunities. Its strategy, says CEO Joel Shine, has been to “go where there’s a little less competition” from builders or existing homes, with an emphasis on being near job centers. As of November 2010, Woodside’s biggest deal since coming out of Chapter 11 was in Temecula, Calif., where this builder/developer placed in escrow $7.2 million to buy 210 finished and unfinished condominium lots. The company also acquired lots in Las Vegas; Mesa, Ariz.; and Roy, Utah.

Many private builders are hoping that 2011 presents their companies with a more robust business climate. Arizona-based Taylor Morrison, at the top of the list, is looking to return to profitability after its British parent, Taylor Wimpey plc, sold Taylor Morrison and Canada’s Monarch Homes in April of this year to an investment consortium for nearly $1 billion.

Texas-based David Weekley Homes, which incurred double-digit dips in revenue and closings last year, looked East for growth—to Indianapolis, to be precise, where last month it entered that market by acquiring The Estridge Cos., which only weeks earlier had discontinued its home building operations because it couldn’t get financing to continue. Paul Estridge will become president of Weekley’s Indianapolis division, which is already selling homes and is expected to restart construction next month.

Rank Company 2010 Closings Change 2010 Gross Revenue Change
14 Taylor Morrison 2,570 -23% $1,500 million 14%
16 The Villages of Lake Sumter 2,208 4% $512 million n/a
18 Shea Homes 2,002 -4% $835 million 0%
19 David Weekley Homes 1,857 -17% $612 million -11%
20 Highland Homes 1,704 17% $599 million 17%
21 The Related Group 1,634 n/a $961 million n/a
22 The Drees Co. 1,511 1% $513 million -1%
23 Woodside Homes 1,444 -19% $361 million -23%
24 Perry Homes 1,298 2% $364 million -1%
25 Ashton Woods 1,197 -9% $310 million -3%

John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, Indianapolis, IN.

Texas Housing Market Shoulders the Burden of Performing Well Under Pressure

From www.bigbuilderonline.com

While the nation mostly zigged, Texas zagged. While most corporations stockpiled cash and plunked all their lean-production savings on the bottom line of profits, Texas’ oil-driven economy kicked and buckled and kept people in jobs, and even expanded some capacity beyond the immediate, foreseeable demand for its inventories.

What’s more, Texas dodged the bullet of a bubble housing economy, which didn’t feel so very good during the last-decade boom, but feels pretty derned blessed right now. Consequently, hordes of folks weren’t buying homes as part of the national Ponzi Scheme of getting something for nothing, then flipping it to go onto the next square in the game. On the contrary, folks in Texas mostly bought their homes to live in them. What a concept!

This is why Texas tends to break the model when it comes to matching up failed loans with loan types. So many of those folks in Texas who bought homes during the past decade were among the riskier quality borrowers, with semi-ok credit scores and low- to no-down payments. Yet, percentage-wise, more of their loans are intact today than in most other regions of the country. Which is why there’s a relatively normalized–although low-pulse–marketplace for housing in the Lone Star State.

The big issue there is access to home loans and down payments. Since all regions are tarred with the same brush as the worst of them when it comes to rolling up the statistics on loan risk, banks don’t tend to look at Texas and say, “well, okay, we’ll accept a 580 FICO on a Federal Housing Administration-backed loan.” Just isn’t happening. So qualifying your average paycheck-to-paycheck style household, the backbone of home buyer populations for lo, these many yeaers, is well nigh a pipedream.

So, Texas, being Texas, is going to have to set a good example at helping the rest of the nation figure this dilemma out. And it probably will do just that.

Here is the Texas Housing Update from equity research analyst Buck Horne and his team at Raymond James & Associates.

Texas Housing Update: March Sales Fall 11% Y/Y; Median Price Flat Y/Y

* Sales fall 11% y/y. Existing home sales in Texas dropped 11% y/y in March, which was comparable to February’s 10% y/y decline. From our view, the negative y/y sales totals are not terribly surprising and should be kept in the context of 1) increasingly difficult y/y tax-credit sales comparisons, 2) relatively fewer foreclosure liquidations in the region, and 3) the state’s price stability. Overall, Texas remains a very competitive market, but over the past two years, it has been one of the few bright spots for many homebuilders. More recently, though, increasingly difficult mortgage underwriting and higher fee structures for GSE/FHA loans are creating new challenges in Texas, in our view, given its higher mix of credit-constrained buyers. Thus, with difficult tax-credit comparisons still ahead, we suspect y/y existing home sales results will likely remain negative at least through May until the tax credit comparisons are lapped. Locally, North Texas pending sales (Dallas area) were down 13% y/y in March. Similarly, Austin area pending home sales dropped 17% y/y. Houston area pending sales only fell 1% y/y in March, but both KB Home and Lennar recently noted renewed signs of pricing pressure among new homes for sale in Houston.

* Major market sales drop 10% y/y. Transaction activity in the four largest markets for public homebuilders (Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio) outperformed the state as a whole but were still down 10% y/y in March (versus a -7% y/y comparison in February). Drilling down, sales in Dallas fell 14% y/y, and Austin sales declined 12% y/y. Meanwhile, Houston reported the least severe decline among the major markets in March, falling 6% y/y. Overall, we believe San Antonio area home sales have been buoyed by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) initiative. That said, sales dropped 10% y/y in March as this submarket lapped a difficult year-ago comparison (+28% y/y).

* Inventory slides 2% y/y. March listings in Texas were down 2% y/y but up 3% from February to 126,051 units. Since 2004, the average seasonal sequential increase between February and March has been roughly 4%. Texas’ total listings represent 7.5 months of supply, which is up from 7.1 months of supply reported in March 2010 but still below the 8.4 months of existing home supply reported nationally as of March. Existing home inventory declined in three of the four major markets. The only y/y increase among the major markets continues to be reported in Houston, where inventory grew by 5% y/y (a deceleration from the 9% y/y increase reported last month). Elsewhere, San Antonio listings dropped 4% y/y and Dallas listings fell 2% y/y. The most substantial y/y decline was registered in Austin, where listings dropped 12% y/y.

* Median home price flat y/y. After climbing 4% y/y in February, the median home price remained flat y/y in March. Over the last 24 months, y/y median price comparisons have oscillated in a narrow range between -3% and +4%. In our view, this suggests that Texas home prices have remained relatively stable. At a median price of $143,700, Texas’ existing median home price is 10% below the March national median price of $159,600 (-5.9% y/y). Thus, in our view, Texas will likely avoid the level of price declines seen in markets still flooded with distressed properties. On a local level, two of the four major markets reported a y/y increase in the median sales price in March, with the breakdown as follows: Dallas (-2% y/y), Houston (-2% y/y), Austin (+3% y/y), and San Antonio (+3% y/y).

* Fewer foreclosures in Texas. Recently released fourth quarter mortgage delinquency data from the Mortgage Bankers Association revealed only 1.9% of loans (69,000 mortgages by our estimate) in the state were in foreclosure versus 4.6% nationally. While slightly above the rest of the nation, the level of implied future foreclosure activity is still far less threatening than many other key states for the homebuilders. Specifically, 9.2% of Texas mortgages were delinquent versus 8.9% nationally and 10-12% in the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Supporting the Mortgage Bankers Association data, according to Lender Processing Services, the “non-current” rate (delinquency rate + foreclosure rate) in Texas for February remained comfortably below the national average (10.5% versus 13.0%).

* Texas faces fewer headwinds than most markets. In our view, once a sustained recovery is underway, homebuilders with a strong presence in Texas will ultimately benefit from the state’s 1) limited foreclosure overhang, 2) highly affordable housing markets, 3) business-friendly growth policies, and 4) relatively small percentage of borrowers in a negative equity situation. Specifically, based on data from First American Core Logic, only 10.4% of properties with a mortgage were “underwater” in Texas as of December (versus 23.1% nationally). After ending its streak of 16 straight months of y/y declines in employment last May, job growth has steadily accelerated in Texas. Specifically, based on seasonally-adjusted data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas payrolls rose by 251,100 jobs, or 2.4% y/y, in March. Evidencing the favorable market dynamics, M/I Homes announced in early April it acquired the assets of privately held TriStone Homes, based in San Antonio.

* Builder exposure. For reference, as a percentage of their total 2009 unit closing volumes, Meritage Homes, The Ryland Group, and Lennar Corp. have the largest respective exposures to Texas.

Battle of Orleans

We’d like to say “Well Done Guys”! Orleans has been near and dear to our hearts here at JCP for a long time!

Source: BIG BUILDER Magazine
Publication date: November 1, 2010

By Teresa Burney

BENSALEM, Pa.–Mitchell B. Arden, corporate turnaround specialist, walked in to work for his first day as Orleans Homebuilders’ chief restructuring officer on March 5, four days after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.

“By nine o’clock that morning, I sat back down and asked, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ ” remembers Arden, senior managing director and shareholder of Phoenix Management Services. His answer, in a word, was “chaos.” Employees, contractors, vendors, home buyers, bankers, lawyers—all wanted answers and direction.

At that time, if anybody had asked Arden what the odds of successfully reorganizing Orleans Homebuilders versus selling it were, he would have said somewhere south of 5 percent. With his 20-plus years of experience working directly with roughly 150 distressed companies, he knew what he was facing.

“Reorganizing a middle-market company in bankruptcy is a very, very hard thing to do,” says Arden. And that’s in a normal economy. Then, factor in that you’re trying to reorganize a home building company in the middle of what may be the worst housing recession in decades.

Seven months later, Orleans appears to have beaten those long odds—and Arden’s initial pessimism. At press time, the company planned to be out of bankruptcy by the end of 2010. It had a proposed plan up for vote among its creditors that has the backing of the company’s unsecured creditors’ committee as well as its three major secured debt holders, who will, if the plan is approved by the bankruptcy court, own a majority of the company. And the firm was on the verge of hiring a new CEO.

“The success here was driven by a bit of luck, a lot of hard work, and a tremendous effort by many folks, including the company’s employees, contractors, and vendors, as well as its advisers,” Arden says.

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JCP's own Erica Lockwood with Myers Barnes and Mike Lyon in Big Builder Magazine!

An inside-out look at what it takes to succeed as times stay tough.

Source: BIG BUILDER Magazine
Publication date: October 8, 2010

By Teresa Burney

Erica Lockwood’s home builder clients think her job recruiting home sales managers should be easy. At least, that’s what she thinks.

“The typical response I get is, ‘Well, Erica, you should have hundreds of people to choose from.’” As she sees it, the perception is that, in the wake of all the industry layoff s, there must be sales managers aplenty.

The problem is, there aren’t many good ones now, because there weren’t many good ones before the crash, say recruiters and sales trainers. The overheated market covered up a lack of basic sales skills, plus the skills a sales manager needs now are considerably different and broader than they were in the past.

“The truth is, there are not any more ‘A’ players in the workforce now than there were five years ago,” says the Kingwood, Texas–based recruiter. Plus, most of them remain employed, have become more loyal to their employers during the downturn, and are reluctant to move to a new employer that may be less economically stable, she adds.

“Those people are very sought after,” she says.

That demand is increasing as more builders seek to bring back middle-level sales managers to bulk up for recovery in the new-home market. Not just any sales managers will do. They’re looking for professionals who can motivate and train frontline sales agents who have been beaten down by the market and who may have never learned what it takes to sell in a depressed environment.

“The need for top-notch salespeople has increased dramatically over the past six to nine months,” says Lockwood.

TANDEM TRAINING

Lockwood and other experts point out that the best sales managers now must exhibit a wide range of skill sets, some old-fashioned sales tools that were left by the wayside during the boom years and some new ones created by the technology revolution. Plus, he or she needs to be able to demonstrate those skills, teach them to agents, and insist that they use them.

“The salesperson has not gotten markedly better than they were in 2005,” says Jeff Shore, an Auburn, Calif.–based new-home sales trainer. “That’s not universal, but it is common.” He says that’s because sales training requires more than just an occasional lesson or role-playing exercise. Successful techniques and strategies need to be regularly demonstrated in the field, in a real-world environment, by somebody who knows how to employ them.

“It’s coaching, not just training,” says Shore. “These need to be sales managers who work shoulder to shoulder with the sales professionals.”

“[Sales managers] need to spend at least four hours a day in the field, side by side with the agents, shadowing, teaching, showing,” says Kitty Hawk, N.C.–based sales trainer Myers Barnes. “You almost have to touch these people daily.”

And for those whose salespeople are spread too remotely for daily contact, Barnes is a fan of Skype, the video-chat Web site, which he sees as a potent new tool.

“You can call them up at 10 o’clock randomly,” says Barnes. “You can chat face-to-face with a person every day. These are powerful tools of technology.”
Click here for larger image

Still, lip service is one thing. Salespeople, and sales trainers, are known to talk a good game. For hands-on training to prove successful, managers need to have the right kind of personality to be accepted by the trainee. “Oftentimes, they’re not welcomed by the seasoned [sales] veterans,” Shore says.

“They need to truly be a motivator,” adds Lockwood. “To the point that [the sales associates] don’t know they’re being motivated.”

It takes more than a pep talk to combat the negative energy that most sales centers exude these days, says Shore.

“It’s a retail market to which people are bringing a negative energy,” he says. “That sales office has got to be a positive-energy experience.”

HUNTER VERSUS FARMER

The ability to motivate is especially key in a market where sales agents get little positive reinforcement from the meager sales that do occur and where agents need inspiration to work harder and more creatively than they have had to work before.

The experts say they need to learn to work differently, as well.

“It was a paperwork job,” says Barnes. “Now, it’s people work. You were handling sales, and that’s the operative word, ‘handling.’ Today, you need to be the creator of sales. Most people don’t grasp that.” Teaching sales agents to hunt for customers rather than wait for them to come in the door is one of the biggest challenges, say sales trainers.

“A builder can no longer say, ‘We are going to provide you with all the traffic,’” says Barnes. “Now, you have to prospect” for leads and customers.

Building partnerships with Realtors is one often-overlooked way to generate leads, says Barnes. During the sales boom years, Realtors were frequently all but ignored by home sellers because, frankly, they weren’t needed as much (and then there’s the matter of commissions).

“Today’s customer is no longer just the customer,” says Barnes. “Today’s customer is a Realtor, too.”

Another source of live prospects is the builder’s Web site. Most home buyers begin their search online, yet many sales agents are failing to mine those lists of cyber-shoppers, explains Shore.

“You need to connect with the leads you already have,” he says. Online leads are valuable because you already know they’re interested enough to click on specific neighborhoods and floor plans, he adds.

“Take every prospect lead as far as it will go,” says Shore, though he admits that doing that is a skill that most sales agents have lost—or never had.

“Only 10 percent of sales executives will follow up more than three times,” says Shore. “It takes five to 12 connection points for people to make a buying decision. We lose it at three.

“Lead conversion should be the No. 1 focus of every sales manager,” Shore continues. “Saving a few bucks on a flat of flowers, that is not lead conversion,” he says. “Sitting in a meeting you don’t need to be in is not lead conversion.”

CYBERSPACE, NOT MODEL SPACE

Since most people are shopping on the Internet first, most of the work of selling a home now can and should be done via Web sites, e-mails, and text messages before a customer even sets foot in a model center, say sales consultants. They say the ideal sales manager is comfortable with technology and knows how to use it to market, hunt down leads, and sell homes.

“Twenty to 25 percent of sales are coming from online leads, calling, and e-mailing,” says sales consultant Mike Lyon, of Tulsa, Okla. “If [sales professionals] can’t specifically point to 20 to 25 percent of sales coming from online leads and sources, then they’re missing a huge opportunity.”

That number can easily be boosted to 30 to 35 percent by focusing more on mining Internet leads, he says.

That requires agents who have enough tech savvy to communicate primarily through e-mail, text messages, and social media, as well as by telephone with many clients. Yet the industry still has old-school sales agents who are reluctant to embrace new technology or who have done so infrequently and grudgingly, says Lyon.

Builders need sales managers who go beyond telling agents to use the technology—they need to use it themselves and demonstrate its effectiveness.

“If you’re not doing that as a manager, and you’re not committing, how can you expect that to be transferred down to a sales agent?” says Lyon.

That extends to lead management systems, too, which some agents are reluctant to use consistently.

“The sales manager better know how to use these sales systems,” says Lyon. “If they don’t, the salespeople see it and call their bluff and say, ‘He’s not going to be able to check up on me anyway.’”
CULLING CONSEQUENCES

Holding sales employees accountable for poor performance is a new mantra among builders and sales trainers.

Lockwood hears builders complain that “sales-people aren’t organized [and are] not willing to play within the black-and-white rules that people have in place.”

Agents have gotten used to managers who create new systems or roll out new technology and then look the other way when agents don’t use them consistently or at all. “It’s a question, over time, of variable standards,” says Shore. “You look the other way when salespeople tell you they won’t work on them.”

Barnes goes his colleagues one better. “I don’t believe in accountability management,” he says. “I believe in consequential management. I’m not just holding you accountable. If you don’t do it, there are consequences attached to it.”

But the problem is, if you let somebody go, you need somebody better in line to replace them. That’s why Barnes thinks the ability to recruit new, better talent is a must skill for sales managers.

“You almost have to be running like a professional sports franchise, building a deep bench,” he says.
TEACHING SUCCESS

A seasoned sales veteran shares his insights on the importance of coaching and mentoring today’s sales professionals.

Two years ago, when Shawn Ricks went on a cross-country job search for a management job selling and marketing houses, he met with rejection despite 10 years of builder sales and marketing experience and 10 more years as a successful custom home builder.

“Everyone was bracing for the worst, and these positions just evaporated,” says Ricks, who eventually found a job working for Sivage Homes in San Antonio. “Sivage had the opposite attitude,” Ricks remembers. “It was, ‘If there ever was a time to invest in sales training and a good sales force, now is it.’”

During Ricks’ tenure, Sivage gained market share and turned a profit, despite considerable pressure from the big production builders in town.

“We had tremendous results in the face of the toughest market in history,” says Ricks.

Recently, bigger builders came calling, looking to recruit him. He had offers from Meritage Homes and PulteGroup before deciding to become general sales manager for the latter’s San Antonio division.

The results at Sivage, and the way Ricks helped achieve them, made him the model for the type of sales manager builders are looking for as they work to refill their middle sales ranks.

“I’m a guy who has actually delivered in a tough market,” he says. “I am very proud of that.”

He chalks up his success to hands-on coaching and mentoring. “Honestly, that’s my secret sauce. That’s what made me different. I am deeply involved in the sales counselors’ lives.

“I work alongside them,” explains Ricks. “I don’t mean competing with them. We tag-team buyers, side by side; I’m teaching them, showing them how to follow up on phone calls, doing role playing, just real in-the-trenches, hand-to-hand combat.”

Such intense coaching is necessary because salespeople either have forgotten or never learned how to really sell, says Ricks. “I think there’s an entire generation of salespeople out there who are very ill-equipped to sell homes in today’s market.

“If they’re old dogs, they’ve either forgotten or can’t quite bring themselves to go back to what they had to do 10 to 15 years ago,” he explains. “And, if they’re younger, they don’t know what a tough market is. We have a bunch of sales counselors who don’t know what to do, or how to do it.”

Ricks says he understands why many sales agents are downtrodden and confused these days, especially because so much about selling houses has changed since the go-go days of home building. One of the hardest things he had to realize is that whatever he had done in the past doesn’t matter; it’s how you perform in today’s market.

“I think there are a lot of people who think that their laurels, their past successes, are sufficient to get them hired,” he says. “I went through a period like that. It was a rude awakening for me. It’s kind of a harsh reality.”

It’s how sales agents have dealt with that harsh reality that serves as a gauge to help Ricks decide whom to hire. He asks all sales applicants how they’ve survived the market and what they’ve learned.

“It’s amazing what you hear, and I can tell if somebody has really grown and improved and reinvented themselves or if they are in denial and have their heads in the sand,” he says. “About half the people out there haven’t changed; they’re just hoping things are going to change for them.”

Ricks looks for candidates who have “grabbed themselves by their bootstraps, who are humble, teachable, open-minded. Your pride is not what it used to be.

“And there is no resting on laurels these days. Every day is war.”

Lennar posts better than expected Q3 financial performance

Lennar posted Q3 earnings this morning that either met or beat analysts’ consensus on performance across key measures. In light of a broader context of malaise in the market, it would seem Lennar is outperforming the new-home business environment nationally. The question is, are other publics doing that as well?

Here’s what the company says about its most recent financial quarter.

Third quarter net earnings attributable to Lennar in 2010 were $30.0 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to third quarter net loss attributable to Lennar of $171.6 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, in 2009.

Stuart Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lennar Corporation, said, “During our third quarter, as expected, our sales pace declined as a result of the expiration of the Federal homebuyer tax credit at the end of April. Although high unemployment and foreclosures have continued to present challenges for the national housing market, our communities have been less impacted than the broader market.”

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