Collins, the Trend Tracker

Analyzing the Data

Apr 14th, 2014

There are enough government and private agencies reporting key economic data that a new release comes out every few days. It can be difficult to form an accurate picture because the myriad data out there seldom point in the same direction at the same time. While this is a source of frustration for door and […]

A Customer Focused Business to Emulate

Mar 10th, 2014

During the International Builders’ Show, I had the distinct pleasure of dining at Gordon Ramsay Steak restaurant. While there, I observed a number of characteristics of the restaurant as a business operation. It occurred to me as I watched this fascinating machine at work that the most important characteristics of the restaurant were also attributes […]

Selling During the Slow Months

Jan 14th, 2014

I had occasion last week to talk to the owner of a modular homebuilder. We were discussing the positive market outlook and the state of the residential housing industry. As you can imagine, January is a slow housing month in pretty much the entire Northern Hemisphere. That’s why I was surprised to hear that this […]

Miami Real Estate Bubble

Dec 16th, 2013

Miami’s image as a tropical paradise drove interest in Florida real estate and set the stage for its real estate boom. Easy credit was extended at low rates and many people borrowed money to buy real estate. Many investors bought real estate with no intent of ever utilizing it on the belief that they would […]

A Changing of the Guard

Nov 26th, 2013

“We are witnessing a massive changing of the guard. Baby boomers are retiring and leaving the workforce. The members of generation X, who were born between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s and whose ranks include me, are being promoted into those positions. However, there are more baby boomers leaving than there are qualified generation X individuals to assume their positions. This creates a talent gap that can be difficult to address.” —Mike Collins

Near Misses, Near Hits

Oct 28th, 2013

In recent years, there have been several near misses, where an asteroid passed unacceptably close to Earth. That image came to mind recently when a manufacturer shared with me the fact that they track “near misses” when it comes to workplace accidents. All companies are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to […]

Examples of a Bettering Economy

Sep 27th, 2013

There have been a number of blogs recently on the generally positive tone at this year’s GlassBuild. For me, my impressions of the show always start several weeks in advance of the opening of the show doors on the first day. I typically reach out to owners and presidents of door and window companies to […]

Opportunities in Modular Buildings

Aug 8th, 2013

The concept of modular buildings has caught our attention of late. The beginning of a recovery is a time when building is taking place again but stakeholders are being very careful with their resources. Modular building fits well into that theme. By replacing expensive field labor with less expensive plant labor, modular buildings are less […]

Homebuilder Buyouts

Jul 23rd, 2013

There has been a good deal of merger and acquisition activity lately among the largest publicly traded homebuilders. These buyouts have important implications for the door and window industry, some positive and some negative. Large homebuilders are profitable again and homes are selling at increasing prices. They are buying small, privately held homebuilders that lack […]

How the World Views U.S. Real Estate

Jul 2nd, 2013

The Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) is worth watching to track the world’s opinion of U.S. real estate. Each year, AFIRE surveys its 200 members, who together own roughly $2 trillion in real estate assets around the world, to ask where they are interested in investing in the year ahead. When the […]