Texas Builder Has Banner Sales Year

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Despite the challenging economy and market, one builder has had their third consecutive year of increased sales. When this builder first heard about the housing slow-down, he decided he was not going to participate.

Two areas where builders should never cut their budgets, are in marketing and sales training. If you do your marketing right, you'll know. It's a good market, if the phone is ringing. Once the phone starts ringing, you better have a great sales staff.

Despite the challenging economy and market, LGI Homes of Conroe, TX has had their third consecutive year of increased sales. In 2004, 2006 & 2007, LGI Homes was listed by Builder Magazine as one of the top 200 builders in the country.

LGI Development started with it's first home site community in Magnolia, Texas in 1995. Since then, LGI Development has grown from a respected local land developer, into a nationally recognized corporation that includes affordable new home construction and mortgage lending services. LGI Homes started their first community in 2003.

In the past three years, one record after another has been made. In 2006, they sold 418 homes; in 2007, they increased sales to 434 homes; and in 2008, they had a banner year, selling 475 homes. All of their sales have been in the same 3 subdivisions that focus on first-time homebuyers. Their homes sell in the $95,000 to $160,000 range. LGI properties are located in Houston, TX, at Sunrise Meadow; at Creekside Village, in Spring, TX, and in San Antonio, TX at Canyon Crossing.

According to industry reports, they were only one of nine builders in the top 200, to increase closings from 2006 to 2007 and are probably the only builder to increase sales in 2008. A three-year consecutive increase, definitely puts them in a class by themselves!

Philosophy
Much of their success is due to their business philosophy. The company focuses on three main business practices.
1. Adhere to self-imposed quality standards, far exceeding those in the industry.
2. Deliver customer service unequalled by their competitors.
3. Embrace a corporate culture that upholds honesty, integrity and personal accountability at every-level of the organization.

In an interview with BuilderRadio.com a year and a half ago, Eric Lipar, President of LGI Homes said, "When I first heard the news reports about the housing slow-down, I decided that I would refuse to participate in it. Instead, we set our course for our company to sell more homes at a record pace, in three communities. We focus on the customer and helping them build dreams."

Business & Marketing 101
Their business philosophy runs deep, however, the core of their business model is pretty basic. In a new book titled "The Insiders Guide to Selling More Homes," LGI Homes was featured in one of the book's chapters. Here are just a few items that Eric shared with readers, on why they are increasing sales in this ecomony.

Customer First
"When a call comes in, it must be handled professionally. We make sure there is a 'live' person that answers every phone call and we keep sales offices open when people are likely to shop. Our sales offices are open 8:30 am - 8:00 pm, 7 days per week. We keep 5-8 salespeople, an administrative assistant, a sales manager and a loan officer in all offices, to handle the calls and sales volume. We maintain a staff of 8-11 people per office, when most of our competition has 1-2 per office."

Training
"In order to have the best people working for us, we keep our emphasis on training and maintaining a professional sales force. LGI College was established for training new salespeople and employees. We spend a lot of time with new people, before they get to work with customers one-on-one. The first 30-days is spent educating them about our company, product, communities, competition and the paperwork. After they have progressed to this point, they spend another 70 days in sales training. After 100 days, they are ready to serve customers and to start making sales."

Budgeting
"Two areas where builders should never cut their budgets, are in marketing and sales training. If you do your marketing right, you'll know. It's a good market, if the phone is ringing. Once the phone starts ringing, you better have a great sales staff."

For more information on LGI Homes go to: http://www.lgidevelopment.com.

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Rachael Lyons
LGI Homes
(281) 362-8998
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Jerry Rouleau
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