In your opinion, what is the current state of the industry?
The size of the industry has been greatly reduced over the past few years, both in terms of the number of homes built and the number of buyers looking for a home. As a result of fewer new homes and fewer prospective buyers, the homebuilding industry has become a much more competitive environment. The result of the competitive environment has been that successful homebuilders have improved their operations and increased the functionality of the products they build. The end result of the changes experienced by the homebuilding industry in the last few years is that builders have a better product to offer buyers and a better procedure for delivering a quality home to buyers at a very affordable price, particularly in light of the low interest rates that exist today.
What is the status of your company and where is it headed?
Van Daele is more efficient now than we were three to four years ago. We are also much-improved in the area of providing an exceptional home-buying experience. One of the areas we have focused on most during the past few years is how we can better serve our buyers and create a lasting relationship with them. We are financially sound and in a great position to take advantage of future opportunities as they arise. We have expanded into new markets in San Diego and Orange counties and will continue to grow in those markets, as well as in other parts of Southern California. We will also continue to build in the Inland Empire and grow at a smart and sustainable pace.
What are the key factors to helping your company or the industry rebound in the next 12 to 24 months?
We will continue to apply the lessons we have learned:
• Operate efficiently while delivering a better product and better home-buying and home-ownership experience than in the past.
• The design and function of a home at an affordable price is critical for success.
• Training and maintaining a talented and motivated group of employees is critical for providing exceptional service and products to our buyers.