Builder survival strategy

Staying power in evolving housing market As a young man, Donald J. Tomnitz watched the arrival of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. doom his aunt's local drugstore in Mexico, Mo. Today, as chief executive of one of America's biggest home builders, D.R. Horton Inc., Mr. Tomnitz likes to compare his company to the steamroller that put his aunt out of business. Both Wal-Mart and Horton were founded by folksy entrepreneurs rooted in Arkansas. Both cater mainly to moderate-income customers and have relied on high volume and rigorous cost controls to crush less-efficient competitors. Both have stellar long-term records: Horton, which sells more new homes than any other company in the U.S., says it has recorded a rise in earnings for every single quarter since it was founded in 1978. How Big U.S. Home Builders Plan to Ride Out a Downturn [Real Estate Journal]

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