DECIPHER™ Case Study 21:
SunCal Companies


Comprehensive Consumer Research and In-Depth Focus Group and Survey Analytics


CA conducted an extremely comprehensive series of focus groups to determine buyer behavior and preferences for a ultra-luxury condominium project in West Los Angeles. The surveys, workshops, focus group exercises, and innovative probative inquiry process delivered deep insight for decisions that would impact over $100 million dollars in development decisions.


More than eight decades of commitment and experience have made SunCal one of the largest real estate development companies in the United States that specializes in large-scale, mixed-use master-planned communities. From the second homebuyers get their first set of keys, they know why families love living in SunCal communities. It’s just different here. Open spaces abound. Parks and schools are right around the corner, and tree-lined streets lead you home. It’s the kind of place where families put down roots and pride runs deep. It’s the true embodiment of community. This commitment to community is what leads landowners and city officials to continually trust SunCal to plan and develop their most valued projects and significant land holdings. And it’s why families love to call our communities home. Boris Elieff – a European immigrant – set out more than 80 years ago to create a different kind of real estate company. His European upbringing instilled a strong sense of community. He longed for close-knit neighborhoods where kids play, neighbors talk, and everything you need is just a short walk away. He knew these values would set his company apart, and lead to communities families love to call home. Soon after, with a handshake and a plan, the first SunCal community began to take shape. More than eight decades later, SunCal still holds true to these beliefs. Three generations of steadfast leadership have grown this small family-owned business into one of the leading privately held development companies in the United States – but Boris’ vision can still be seen in every one of our communities. That’s what makes SunCal communities so unique. You may be familiar with some of our master-planned communities. You might even live in or visited one and not even know it. Some of SunCal’s successful developments include Amerige Heights in Fullerton, California; Lincoln Crossing near Sacramento, California; Westport at Mandalay Bay in Oxnard, California; and Potomac Shores in Prince William County, Virginia.


CA was to conduct multiple focus groups with real estate brokers specializing in affluent high-rise condominium sales in the West LA market. The focus group covered the following topics through surveys, discussions, and exercises: Homebuyer demand, Homebuyer demographics/psychographics, Timing, Amenities and Options, Architectural Design, Product Design, Marketing, Resident Services


A major Southern California land developer commissioned CA to aid in the pre-development of an ultra-luxury high-rise condominium in West LA. CA used its proprietary QAEA analytical approach to summarize its findings. This approach a) provides the findings from the surveys, discussions, and exercises, b) expands on their real world implications, and c) makes actionable recommendations based on facts.


The land developer received a full set of design recommendations that covered design and amenity aspects backed by objective facts. The report serves as a bank of comprehensive market intelligence shared with the developer’s project managers, designers, marketing executives, and operation executives at each stage of pre-development. And although the project has yet to be developed, major pre-development decisions, such as which well-known architect, if any, should be used to design the building have been decided; a topic that CA’s focus group findings discussed in detail. The complete report findings coupled with the homebuilder’s experience created the optimal conditions for successful decision-making in today’s competitive markets.

Return on Analytics


“Competitive Analytics (“CA”) is a niche economic and market research firm that I highly recommend. In my mind (as well as many industrycolleagues), CA is one of the most highly regarded research firms in terms of accuracy, completeness, and client service. CA has extremelyintelligent analysts and I would say they are the most passionate of any firm I know. CA offers a very broad array of analytical and researchservices and they are very adept at solving complex market questions...and they are very tuned–in to using the latest technology.”

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