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As a resource, Shinn Consulting would like to share articles and publications you may find useful. Below are the links.

May 1, 2004  Profitability Starts With Land
Bottom–Line Building - Soaring land prices the past several years have spurred more builders to enter raw land acquisition and development for the first time. 
Source: Professional Builder
May 1, 2004  Staying In The Game
Despite the talk of consolidation, the local and regional builders of the Next 100 have no intention of folding...
Source: BUILDER Magazine
April 4, 2004  Cost Control

Builders can quickly slice their purchasing costs by following these basics.
Source: BUILDER Magazine

April 1, 2004  Watch Bottom Line, Not the Top

Bottom–Line Building - Know your strength. To maintain competitive strength, you first must understand yourself and your company well enough to identify that strength — and where weaknesses lie. 
Source: Professional Builder

March 1, 2004  Watch Staffing to Control G & A
Bottom–Line Building - Fast-growing builders often throw additional staff into overburdened systems and processes, driving up general and administrative expenses with little or no impact on the core problems.
Source: Professional Builder
November 1, 2003  Indirect Construction Costs: Check Staffing Level
Bottom–Line Building - Indirect construction costs are overhead such as superintendent salaries and bonuses, general labor, trucks, trailers, warranty costs, etc. They're part of the construction process but can't be tied to individual houses. The target for these costs is 3.5% of sales. 
Source: Professional Builder
October 1, 2003  Operating Expenses

Fool's Gold for Improving Profit - A builder's operating expenses are those costs not directly related to building houses. They include indirect construction costs (field overhead), financing, marketing and sales, and general administrative costs.
Source: Professional Builder

September 1, 2003  Direct Construction Costs: Key Profit Variable

Bottom–Line Building - While the land buy sets the stage for profit potential, direct construction costs are the major variable that actually determines what the profit will be.
Source: Professional Builder

August 1, 2003  Land Buy Sets Profit Potential
Bottom–Line Building - Look closely at the target financial ratios in the table that accompanies this column. The key to profitable building is to keep cost of sales at 70% of the base home sales price. That's the combination of the lot and direct construction costs of a house, before options muddy the water. 
Source: Professional Builder
July 1, 2003  Price to Hit Your Velocity Targets
Bottom–Line Building - - To reach the first target, a cost-of-sales ratio of 70%, a builder must control land and direct construction costs. However, Shinn insists we first discuss pricing to a targeted velocity of sales. 
Source: Professional Builder
June 1, 2003  'Road map' Targets Financial Ratios
Bottom–Line Building - "Step one is to stop blaming your lack of profitability on the market, and focus instead on home and option pricing, reducing construction costs and maintaining balance between sales volume and operating costs," Shinn says.
Source: Professional Builder
May 7, 2003  Fatal Flaw
Sloppiness - As his reputation grew, the builder gave up the tiresome tasks of counting and recounting his gold. He paid himself lavishly and spent much of his spare time dallying in the royal court. Soon, his newfound wealth was gone. 
Source: BUILDER Magazine
April 4, 2003  Pundits
Through the Years - When we asked 10 well-known "pundits" to comment on housing's progress in the last quarter century and its future promise, we had no trouble finding a common thread. In fact, it's more like a steel cable that links every concern about housing, from land use, to innovation, to mere survival. We're talking, of course, about affordability.
Source: BUILDER Magazine
January 21, 2003  Sensible Accounting
Builders who set clear business goals before choosing their accounting software won't get bamboozled by paperwork.
Source: BUILDER Magazine
July 3, 2002  Fatal Flaw
Dependency - With the aid of the magician's wand, the young builder was able to lift blocks of enormous size. As promised, he built the castle in one night. Only later would he discover the importance of a sturdy foundation.
Source: BUILDER Magazine
May 1, 2002  Save Bucks by Getting the Dirt on Your Dirt

Be it sandy or clay-based, dirt accounts for local and regional differences in foundation construction around the country. But experts say many builders rely too heavily on local practices...
Source: Professional Builder

April 1, 2002  Callbacks Revisited
Assessing the true cost of been there done that - Callbacks, defects, warranty work, omissions: Call it what you want, it all amounts to a much greater impact to the bottom line than most builders realize.
Source: BUILDER Magazine
March 7, 2002  Fatal Flaw
Ignorance - If a villager asked for a house of polished obsidian, the builder would construct it himself, and say nothing of the extra cost. After many years, his back ached; his fingers became twisted and bent. Yet he grew no richer.
Source: BUILDER Magazine
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If you are familiar with an article or publication you think other builders would benefit from, please send it to, and we will get it posted.