Business Advisor

Sofa chair

Marketing High-Performance Homes

Posted on May 21, 2009 by Dina Lima

High performance homes save energy, conserve water, are more durable, cost less to maintain, are healthier for the occupants and are less stressful on the environment. Simply put, they are better homes! However, how do you explain “better” to your customers to help them make the decision to buy your green-built homes?

Here are some tips to help you market and sell more homes.


Reflections on a Green Home Tour

Posted on May 18, 2009 by Michael Chandler

One thing our local Green Building Council really does right is the annual green home tour. We get great turnout from the public, and it gives the more experienced green builders a chance to open their homes to the novice green builders and share what’s working and how we choose features that make sense for our region. Here are a few of the elements that make our tour such a success.

Berry Bath

A $3,000 Bathtub? It's an Emotional Thing

Posted on May 13, 2009 by Michael Chandler

I have a not-so-dirty secret. Every house I have built for the last three years (except one) has a bathtub that cost well upwards of $3,000.

What is the payback on a $3,000 bathtub? Is it more or less than the payback on a $6,000 solar water heater? Are either of these truly rational purchases?

What is the value of the enhancement to your equanimity and marital harmony from that iconic bathtub? Do I calculate the payback on that solar panel based on today’s energy cost or that in five or ten years? What about resale value?

Persuading the sceptics

How We S’posed t’ Get Paid fer This Green Stuff?

Posted on May 6, 2009 by Michael Chandler

I teach the NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification. Certified Green Practitioner class, and it’s a wonderful gang of skeptics and beleaguered tough guys I’m faced with every time. These guys don’t sign up for the class until they’re ready and eager to learn, they want to build tighter, healthier, more durable and efficient homes. But they are convinced that the customer isn’t ready to pay for it. The bottom line is, they aren’t ready to sell it, and if they can’t get the contract signed at a price that supports the effort of stepping up to Certified Green building practices, this whole movement is dead in the water.

Small giants

Book Review: Small Giants

Posted on March 26, 2009 by Michael Chandler

Small Giants was written by Bo Burlingham, who also co-authored The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Game with Jack Stack. His point is that, while it’s easy to feel beleaguered as a small-business owner — competing against bigger companies with deeper capital reserves and expert boards of directors and investors — the business is better able to follow the leader's intuition and to harvest information more quickly and act on it with less need for justification.

E-Myth Revisited cover

Every Green Builder Needs to Have This Book on the Shelf

Posted on March 2, 2009 by Michael Chandler

There are a small number of books that have been so important to me that I buy them in quantity to give to friends. To new parents I give Kids Are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso, and to new employess, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Among the books I give to my fellow green builders is The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.

Bill Beasley and the NGBS

NAHB-ICC National Green Building Standard hits mailboxes!

Posted on March 1, 2009 by Michael Chandler

It's big, it's green, but is it really a good thing?

The new NAHB-ICC National Green Building Standard (NGBS) guidebook hit mailboxes on Friday. I arrived home to this delightful picture in my in-box (see picture at right), along with an equally playful e-mail from my fellow shelter nerd, Bill Beasley.

Triple bottom line

Sustainable business begins with sustainable practices

Posted on February 26, 2009 by Michael Chandler

The number at the bottom of your balance sheet doesn't tell the whole story about the success of your business.

As the green movement has evolved, it has been interesting and a little disheartening to see how many green businesses clearly "don't get" the concept of sustainable business. Green Building is about stepping lightly on our planet. Sustainable Business principles focus on the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profits, each holding equal importance in the way we manage our businesses.


A Green Production Home

Posted on January 13, 2009 by Daniel Morrison

Ideal Homes builds inexpensive, energy-efficient houses; it just doesn’t call them green

You can look high and low on the Web site of Oklahoma City developer Ideal Homes, and you won’t find the words “green building.” Since its founding in 1990, Ideal has built and sold more than 7,000 homes, and it expects to sell a further 500 this year.

authors-tommy strong

Green Remodeling is a Process of Discipline and Discovery

Posted on January 10, 2009 by Tommy Strong

When you're talking about building and remodeling three words should be part of the conversation: Green, smart, and quality.

Some parts are up to consumers, some are up to us. We guide the discovery process and use a disciplined construction process to boost value whatever shade of green our clients aim for.**

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