PodcastMaster-Planned CommunitiesTop Selling Master-Planned Communities

The Minds behind the Best-Selling Master Plans of 2020 (Part 1)

Dean Wehrli
Shelly Chen

Dean Wehrli

Shelly Chen

March 20, 2021

The John Burns Real Estate Consulting list of top 50 best-selling master plans makes waves in the industry every year. This list shows what master plans have been successful and where they are, but what about the why? To dig into that, we decided to chat with some of the minds behind the master plans. In this two-part podcast, we find out what makes these top sellers tick and what trends they picked up on that will be shaping the new home market ahead.

Featured guests

Cameron Jackson, Director of Marketing, Daybreak Communities

Caitlyn Lai-Valenti, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing, Brookfield Residential

Peter Dennehy, Vice President of Customer and Market Research, Newland


“What we've done is often referred to as kind of the missing middle….We've found some success with three-story single-family homes on smaller lots that are competing almost with townhomes on price, but then gives the buyer that detached single-family home experience.”

“I'd have to say that the three key drivers to why our master-planned communities are thriving from Southern California to Phoenix to Austin is amenities and lifestyle, location, and product segmentation with a strong value proposition….We really deliver high on lifestyle with desirable resort style amenities and that prime resident programming for the community to create that sense of connection.”

They learned from surveying their buyers and shoppers that “they were looking for a wide array of new construction options, including those that had either more space or multifunctional spaces, and they wanted a better sense of community….[The Newland masterplans] that were top sellers for us tended to have very good segmentation with lots of product offerings, including homes that were targeted to that first-time buyer or millennial buyer, which we saw a big increase in activity from this year.”

Next week we will bring you three more leaders with more insights, but some common themes you will pick up on when you listen to the podcast include:

    • How product diversity and proper segmentation allow a master plan to fully realize its sales potential

    • How critical the right amenities and lifestyle are to set master plans apart from the crowd

    • How millennial buyers have stepped it up

    • How the ongoing out-migration from urban to suburban and higher densities to lower densities has fueled added demand

    • How a master plan environment can provide a sense of safety and security—and add to the master plan pricing premium

    • And how the biggest concern right now at the best master plans is less about selling homes than it is about having enough homes to sell

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    About The Author

    Dean Wehrli
    Dean Wehrli
    Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.
    Shelly Chen
    Shelly Chen
    Research Analyst II, For-Sale
    Shelly is responsible for working on various research projects as it relates to residential for-sale, including supporting our Burns Home Builder Analysis and Forecast report.

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    Burns Top-Selling Master-Planned Communities Survey

    Every year, our team produces the most accurate ranking of master plan home sales in the country. Feedback from numerous industry contacts and our boots-on-the-ground consultants supports the diligent research behind our prestigious annual ranking.
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    Our research services enable our clients to gauge housing market conditions and better align their business and strategic investments in the housing industry. We provide a thoughtful and unique holistic approach of both quantitative and qualitative analysis to help clients make informed housing investment decisions.
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