2018: A monumental year for Lennar following the merger with CalAtlantic
By Julia Edinger
Curated By Abby Pittman
After much consideration, combined with input received from our readers, Builder and Developer Magazine is excited to name Lennar as 2018’s Developer of the Year. Following big accomplishments from 2018, Lennar strives to improve and become even better. Founded in 1954 and listed on the NYSE (LEN), Lennar has delivered homes to more than one million across the nation. In fiscal year 2017, Lennar delivered 29,394 new homes. Lennar primarily sells single-family attached and detached homes to first time, move-up, and active adult homebuyers. Lennar seeks to meet the changing needs of their customers and to create diverse communities.
There were many changes in 2018 that contributed to the increasing success of Lennar as a homebuilding company, but the most significant change was the merger with CalAtlantic. The merger closed in February this year. Nine months after the two companies were fully integrated, Jon Jaffe, COO and President of Lennar, described the pride in the combined team and the success of the two companies’ integration. According to Jaffe, “I think that I can very fairly say that today, we’re one company. We’re one Lennar.”
Mergers can be challenging; they typically take about two years for most organizations. For Lennar, in terms of the tangible measure of system-integration, the merger was completed extremely efficiently. Lennar worked to ensure that in all aspects of integrating the systems, they were creating a better experience for the customer. Other aspects were easier to integrate; from the beginning, associates were in positions in which they could remain once the companies were combined. “We are one group of people and one culture,” says Jaffe. “So, we move forward in 2019 as one Lennar.”
The outstanding emphasis on the culture of the company is one factor to which Lennar can attribute its success. Jaffe describes the culture of the company as “a tool,” which connects the company and enhances effective communication between associates. This focus undoubtedly played a role in both the success and the efficiency of the merger; enhanced communication creates a better work relationship among associates, and consequently, a better work environment for all.
Another factor to which Lennar can accredit its immense success to is the holistic approach to sustainable, smart, and healthy homebuilding. Lennar took the time, years ago, to seek the best method of how to create energy-efficient homes for customers. The company went as far as to create its own solar panel company, SunStreet, to establish a way to effectively provide solar power to the homes they were selling. Now, Lennar is able to include solar as not just an option, but as a feature of the product, with each of their homes in California. They have expanded this feature to other markets, as well, including Colorado and Las Vegas.
Lennar’s Wi-Fi certified home design also contributes to energy efficiency; combining smart home technology with solar power reduces energy bills for homeowners and helps both the homebuilder and homebuyer to move towards being more environmentally conscious. However, the primary purpose of this feature is to contribute to the Everything’s Included® platform, creating an innovative home automation experience. Lennar’s approach to the Wi-Fi certified home ensured that there would be no “dead spots” in the house, in terms of wireless connection, by making sure that the entire environment was Wi-Fi certified, ensuring residents would have the best connection. With their Everything’s Included® platform, they are able to maximize their purchasing power; this allows them to include luxury features as standard features in their home.
The company is also focusing on marketing a multigenerational home design: Next Gen® – The Home Within a Home. The design seeks to connect families while securing privacy. It allows families to live together and share a mortgage without compromising the primary home. This provides an option for families with elderly parents, an adult child in a transitional phase, or families seeking an affordable living solution. Jaffe describes it as “a merging of two environments,” and merging two separate environments is something Lennar has proven they can do effectively.
While Lennar acknowledges that the labor shortage has affected all of their trades, they have focused on how to overcome those constraints. With their Everything’s Included® platform, Lennar makes things easier for their trade. According to Jaffe, Lennar is “very focused on making sure homesites and homes are ready for the trades when they come out.” Lennar recognizes the challenging environment of trades, and works to be the builder of choice for them as well as for consumers.
Lennar’s goal for 2019 is to continue focusing on being the builder of choice for its five constituents: customers, trade partners, shareholders, associates, and the community. Lennar’s Everything’s Included® platform sets them apart from the competition, making the process of home buying easier for everyone involved. Lennar works to discover what people want in a home and then deliver those features; by doing so, they save buyers both money and time. Lennar intends to maintain their dedication to the company’s primary values: quality, value, and integrity.
Moving forward, according to Jaffe:
“The company is focused on how we can do better. There’s always opportunity to improve. We won’t get caught up in what we’ve accomplished yesterday, and today. How do we get better? How do we learn from our mistakes and keep improving?”
Julia Edinger is the Editorial Assistant at Builder and Developer Magazine. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Abby Pittman is the Editor for Builder and Developer Magazine. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view this feature in the magazine, please click here.