When things get stressful at Hanover Family Builders in Orlando, Fla., employees hit the basketball court or ping pong table that are conveniently located in their office, to blow off a little steam.
“Home building occasionally creates a stressful workplace, so we wanted the office to be comfortable,” says co-presidents Steve and Matt Orosz. “We incorporated Team Building Thursdays and an occasional office ping pong tournament. It’s a great way to celebrate small victories as a team.”
To help separate their homes from the competition in the hot central Florida housing market, Hanover offers some extras as standard features including covered lanais, smart home integration, and showers with dual heads controlled by Kohler’s DTV+ system. The private company competes against 20-plus publicly traded companies in the area.
“Success in the home building industry is all about understanding what features and floor plans buyers really want, and what they are willing to pay for them based on a specific location within the market,” says Matt Orosz.
In order to compete with the big national firms, Hanover keeps a land bank of 4,000 home sites in its back pocket. (See related story here.) The location of some of those sites will play a major role in Hanover’s next move as they prepare to open their largest and most unique community to date – Hanover Lakes near Medical City and Orlando International Airport.
Most of the 600 homes will back up to navigable canals and allow for private boat docks. The canals will provide direct access to a 3,400-acre lake that’s part of a seven-lake chain. Homes start in the mid $200s and a grand opening is scheduled later this month. Hanover Lakes was conceptualized and developed by their affiliated land development arm, Hanover Land Company.
“It’s s a signature community for us,” says Steve Orosz. “The canals and lake access provides a unique setting, and we designed homes that are attractive for our core group of buyers. One of our long-term goals is to develop other major communities throughout the area.”
Bill Orosz, Matt and Steve's father, started the predecessor to Hanover in 1991 as Cambridge Homes. He grew the firm and then sold it to K. Hovnanian Homes in 2005. Matt and teamed up to launch Royal Oak Homes in 2010, recognized as one of the fastest-growing builders in the country in 2015 before selling out to AV Homes.
Two years later, the two brothers were joined by their brother Andrew and friend Colby Franks to form Hanover Family Builders. In 2017 the company opened 10 communities, sold 366 homes and are set to nearly double those numbers in 2018.
All the Orosz's grew up in the home building business, cleaning up job sites and sweeping houses as a kid. They've also seen the Florida market through several cycles as it changed from an affordable market in the early 1990s to the boom times of the mid 2000s when home prices soared and too many builders took too many big risks, to the current highly competitive marketplace that includes many of the top national builders. The successful Orosz family homebuilding legacy appears to be firmly in place as the next phase begins.
“Our philosophy was to ensure we helped build the right team and processes for where we are going, not where we are,” says Steve and Matt Orosz. “Given our performance in the first year, we’re doing a good job of answering the needs and desires of our buyers.”