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The Tuesday Interview: Krista Long, president of the Home Builders Association of Charlotte

Krista Long, president of the Home Builders Association of Charlotte

Hometown: Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

Age: 42

Family: husband, Mike; children, Ryan, 16, Kyle, 12

Education: bachelor’s degree in business administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Krista Long, who took over as president of the Home Builders Association of Charlotte in January, says she got into the homebuilding industry largely through chance.

But it’s paid off.

She’s been in the industry for 19 years, including 12 years at Beazer Homes and since 2004 at Ryland Homes, where she’s vice president of sales and marketing.  She’s also served in leadership positions with the HBAC, including board member and first vice president.

She says her competitive nature has helped her advance in her career. It’s also helped her on the volleyball court.

At 5 feet 6 inches tall, she attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on a volleyball scholarship and serves on the board of directors and the executive committee of the UNCC Athletic Foundation.

What got you interested in the construction and homebuilding industry?

Honestly, it was an opportunity and I needed a job. During college I never thought about going into the business, but then a sales and marketing position opened with Squire Homes in Charlotte. The company started out as a small, local homebuilder, and then it grew into a national company when Beazer took over. I was in the right place at the right time and worked my way up.

With the recession and record-high number of foreclosures, what are homebuilders doing to survive?

Most builders are monitoring the inventory homes that they build a lot tighter than they used to. They’re moving towards designing more efficient homes with respect to room counts and affordable interior features.

What signs of improvement, if any, have you seen in the Charlotte market for new home construction?

Sales traffic is up, and single-family home building permits in Mecklenburg County have increased for the first three months of the year. And Builder Magazine published an article in March where they ranked Charlotte the eighth-best housing market in the country.

What changes will occur within the homebuilding industry as a result of the recession?

You’re seeing more affordable homes being built. But at the same time, we’re facing regulatory and legislative issues such as Mecklenburg County’s residential design guidelines, urban street design guidelines and stormwater requirements, which make it increasingly difficult for us to deliver an affordable product to the marketplace.

Are you still involved in sports?

I’m still very competitive, and I play volleyball, softball and kickball, which is probably more competitive than you would imagine. But a lot of my time now is spent watching my kids play sports.

If you could travel to one place in the world, where would you go?

I can’t pick just one. The two on my bucket list are Greece and Italy. I’m fascinated by the food, culture and architecture of both places.

Sam Boykin can be reached at [email protected].

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