(Excerpt from Professional Builder Magazine, titled "Home Builders in Action", written by contributing editor Scott Sedam, published on September 20, 2013. See http://www.housingzone.com/home-builders-action
Keith Porterfield is one of the most instantly likeable guys you will ever meet. Make no mistake, Keith is an executive with his eye always on the ball and not much gets past him. Yet his open, receptive manner pulls the best from everyone. During the worst housing recession in history, Goodall Homes grew from No. 13 in the super-competitive Nashville market to No. 2 today. When I ask Keith how Goodall jumped 11 spots competing against a boatload of national builders, what I get is a long list of “things done right” that add up to a consistent, purposeful strategy that takes advantage of opportunities that fit Goodall’s strengths. During this time Goodall tripled in volume without taking on additional debt. Just how does a builder do that? Purchase finished lots? Check. Develop your own land? Check. Structure complicated deals with developers to share risk and profit, thus reducing investment levels while building more homes? Check. The down times forced Goodall to get creative and the results are nothing short of spectacular. They were the first in their market with an easy-living concept to serve the move-down market, with wider doorways, zero-step entries, and complete living areas on the first floor. Designed with seniors in mind, they found everyone loved them. Another genuine strategic advantage is Goodall’s adherence to true even-flow scheduling. That brings them the best trades, the best crews, and controls cost. Yet while describing each of their strategies, Keith is quick to harken back to having great people and taking care of them as the most productive strategy of all.