The Nashville Business Journal announced Goodall Homes as one of the top five builders in the Nashville market with 169 closings in 2010, a 21 percent increase over the previous year. The Gallatin-based builder has home listings in 12 local subdivisions. Goodall's average sales price for 2010 was $196,709.
Gallatin-based Goodall Homes began shifting its strategy in mid-2007, as the residential home market was teetering on its peak. The changes it made then have helped weather the resulting recession and helped begin 2010 with its best first quarter in six years.
Bob Goodall Jr., president and CEO, said there have been three keys to the company’s success: a switch to an “easy-living” floorplan aimed at aging baby boomers; hiring key employees, largely from national builders; and price negotations with subcontractors.
A consultant’s study in 2006 suggested that Goodall Homes beef up its management side. As a result, Goodall hired several new managers from the ranks of national builders, including NVR, Lennar, Beazer Homes and Centex.
This part of the metamorphosis was painful, said Keith Porterfield, chief operations officer. Some of the company’s previous positions — particulary on-site laborers — went away. While Goodall once employed 50 people, it now has 35 full-time employees.
The new blood, though, created momentum, and new employees bought into Porterfield’s Great Game of Business program, where all employees are briefed weekly on the company’s performance and are given bonuses based on the company’s profit.
Goodall’s third prong was negotiating cost savings with the company’s subcontractors. Officials decided they wanted to shave overall costs by 10 percent. Instead of telling each subcontractor they had to simply reduce their costs by 10 percent, the company brought each contractor in to see what savings might be realized.
While the overall economy lagged, Porterfield said the company logged $25.6 million in revenue in 2009.
In the doldrums of 2008, Goodall Homes closed on 96 homes, but that number grew by 46 percent in 2009. The company improved to the fifth-largest Nashville area builder in terms of market share, according to MarketGraphics Research Group.
Goodall has historically focused on Wilson and Sumner counties, leaving Davidson, Williamson and Rutherford counties untapped. The economy’s impact on land prices, though, is opening the door to some of those markets, such as Franklin and Nolensville.
“We’ve really just scratched the surface,” said Chris O’Neal, a former NVR employee.