Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Industry Spotlight: Homebuilding


With the Homebuilder Sentiment Index at its highest level since January 2006 due to low interest rates, improvement in employment and consumer confidence, and declining foreclosed and short-sale home inventories, many builders are finding that it’s time to plan for increased consumer demand by building the right team. And many are finding that building the right team means hiring veterans.

Major homebuilding companies have hired nearly 550 veterans through Orion International, the nation’s largest military recruiting firm. And these companies continuously find that veterans succeed in a variety of roles including:
  • Construction Managers
  • Customer Service
  • Estimators
  • Field Managers
  • Land Development/Acquisition
  • Leadership Development Programs
  • Project Engineers
  • Project Managers
  • Purchasing Managers
  • Sales
  • Superintendents
One of those veterans is James Bailey, a former Army First Lieutenant. During his time in the military, Bailey served in as a Cavalry Scout Troop Executive Officer, which entailed managing over 100 employees and 26 vehicles and associated equipment. He is now a Field Manager for Wayne Homes, a custom homebuilder

“All the intangibles that I developed as a Army Cavalry Scout Troop Executive Officer will come into play in this new position.  Logistics, resourcing, relationship building, and accountability are the final four that I see connecting my previous experience with my new career,” explains Bailey, “Also, the military background prepared me by the constant coordination for major operations, anticipating the points of friction and verifying what needs to get done, does.

Specifically, veterans, particularly those that were in the Corps of Engineers or a Seabee in the Navy, with technical degrees, project management skills and leadership experience perform well as Project Engineers.  Many homebuilders draw on veterans’ ability to calculate statistical data, as well as use material price lists, cost per man hour, historical data and equipment costs to estimate projects and future developments by hiring them for Estimator roles. 

Veterans' strong leadership, excellent communication skills, and understanding of how to drive timelines, resources, and manpower make them excellent candidates for Superintendent roles. Finally, many homebuilders find that creating Leadership Development Programs helps them to attract, train, and retain military talent for their key leadership roles.

David Crowe, National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist, states "Builders are seeing more motivated buyers coming through their doors as the inventory of existing homes for sale continues to tighten. Meanwhile, as the infrastructure that supplies homebuilding returns, some previously sky-rocketing building material costs have begun to soften." Optimism like this coupled with expectations for single-family home sales for the next six months accelerating to 67 points from a revised 60 point to a bright future for veterans in home building.

To learn more about Veterans in Homebuilding, please click here.

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