LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (June 17, 2015) — Recognizing the company’s explosive growth, Builder Magazine has named Neal Communities, southwest Florida’s premier homebuilder, to its annual list of the best homebuilders in the nation, increasing its ranking from No. 50 in 2014 to No. 47 this year. Sales of Neal Communities’ homes have increased 58 percent since 2011, making Neal the most dominant homebuilder in the region.
“This is a significant increase for us, especially if you browse through the other builders on the top 100 list,” said Pat Neal, founder and CEO of the prolific, Lakewood Ranch-based homebuilding firm. “While the southwest Florida market continues to stay strong, and conditions are very favorable for buyers, I believe our success is in large part due to our culture and our brand. We are a privately owned firm with local ownership and family values, competing well against publicly owned national builders. The difference is that all of our decisions are made in the markets where we operate, based on what is good for our community and our homebuyers,” said Neal.
Every year since 1984, Builder Magazine has ranked the nation’s top homebuilders, evaluating both privately and publicly held companies through direct surveys and basing its results on the number of home closings. Overall, Neal Communities recorded 835 closings in 2014, an 8.5 percent increase over the previous year, and its gross revenue in 2014 amounted to $278 million, a 17.3 increase over the previous year.
“It comes down to the people,” said Michael Storey, Neal Communities’ president. “We have a tremendous team from our executive leadership group to our front line to our subcontractors, and we’ve always try to stay one step ahead of the market. If you can predict where you are going and plan for it, you can avoid growing pains with careful planning and communication. We spend a lot of time investing in our employees and letting everyone know where we are going so there are no surprises,” he said.
Storey credits the company’s expansion into the south Florida marketplace, including Lee and Collier counties, for such sensational growth. The company has seen 294 percent growth in the last three years in its southernmost communities alone. Additionally, he notes that overall 30-40 percent of the firm’s business continues to be inventory homes – offering buyers quicker move-in options. That plus a strategic land plan helps drive business.
“We very carefully evaluate properties during our land acquisition process to make sure we’re expanding in the right places, and our decision to expand into the counties to the south is what is largely driving our current growth,” said Storey. “We’ve added 11 new communities total in our region so far this year, with three more on the horizon, and we have outperformed all of our markets according to every metric.”
The company’s luxury brand, Neal Signature Homes, has also contributed to the company’s expansion. With 44 sales to date this year, Neal Signature has already sold more homes than it did in all of 2014.
Adding to those factors, Neal Communities has also adjusted its home plans and streamlined operating processes and systems in recent years. It has fine-tuned the purchasing processes and made changes to everything from home designs to products.
Storey’s goal for 2015 home sales is 1,078, which, if achieved, would represent yet another peak year for Neal Communities. This is a dramatic increase from the 390 home sales the builder marked just four years ago.
“We’re not just a regional homebuilder anymore,” Storey said. “Our team has developed systems, processes and technology that match the builders ranked above us, while still preserving our family culture. We’ve become a formidable presence everywhere we build. We can go toe-to-toe and compete with any of the biggest national builders.”
About Neal Communities
Neal Communities was named one of 2012's "America's Best Builders" by BUILDER Magazine and voted the “2013 Best Residential Builder in Southwest Florida” in a readers’ poll sponsored by Gulfshore Business Magazine. The company is ranked No. 1 locally by Metrostudy and by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence based on number of home sales and ranked nationally among the top 50 builders by BUILDER Magazine. To date, Neal has built over 10,000 homes in southwest Florida. As the area's largest and most established, locally owned and operated private builder, Neal Communities is continually striving for excellence in every aspect of the home building and development business. Neal Signature Homes, Neal Land Ventures, Charlene Neal PureStyle, Waterscapes Pools & Spas, Fiducia Insurance and Allegiant Title Professionals all contribute to the firm's continued, record-setting local success. The company's honors and accolades include 44 Parade of Homes 2015 awards, 50 Aurora Awards, 5 Best in American Living Awards and hundreds of local and regional industry awards.