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    Press Releases

    Friday - July 16, 2021



    Lakewood Ranch’s 3-D “community Xplorer map” was awarded gold for best innovative use of technology at the Southeast Building Conference’s 42nd annual Aurora Awards. The map is a centerpiece of the community’s website, Winners were determined after evaluation by a panel of judges, including designers, planners, and builders.

    The map was developed by LWR Communities, in partnership with Cecilian Partners, a company that specializes in the customer service experience for community developers, home builders, and home buyers.

    “We’re really setting the standard for how customers will explore communities like Lakewood Ranch in the future,” said Phil Worland, chief strategy officer at Cecilian Partners.

    The map is completely interactive and searchable. There are built-in filters to assist the user with a list of villages that might be a good fit for them. In addition, in one view, a user can see all of the villages, product types and prices ranges in relation to their location near shopping, schools, parks, and other community amenities. There is also a regional map that highlights the beaches, arts, shopping districts and other conveniences and attractions outside of The Ranch, allowing for a full perspective of the area.

    “Lakewood Ranch was looking for a way to show prospects everything the community has to offer, without them having to be at The Ranch in person,” said Rachel Gray, marketing manager for LWR Communities. “This was something we were searching for pre-pandemic, but the pandemic changed consumer behavior and it became an even more important tool than we could’ve imagined.”

    Feedback has been notably positive. “Users appreciate that they can see everything in the same place; they no longer need to bounce from the village page on the Lakewood Ranch website to a Google map page to get their bearings,” Gray said. “Many people want to be close to a specific area – for instance, near the interstate for an easy commute to work – and this has given them the ability to find what they want or need. Other users appreciate that they are able to plan their visit to The Ranch in advance by using the map; they know what is here before arriving, so they can be sure to see everything that interests them.”

    Earlier this week, Lakewood Ranch was recognized as the best-selling community in the U.S., according to national real estate consulting firm RCLCO’s 2021 mid-year survey.

    “Our insistence on innovation to make the homebuying journey as productive and enjoyable as possible has paid dividends in generating home sales,“ said Laura Cole, senior vice president of LWR Communities. “This week was very rewarding in that our efforts to build a first-class community and to share its benefits through our marketing platform is being recognized and is resonating with a broad audience.”

    For more information about Cecilian Partners, visit

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    Lakewood Ranch is the 33,000+-acre award-winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. Just minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches and cultural assets in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is already home to more than 50,000 residents and features A-rated schools, a hospital, the Sarasota Polo Club, the 75-acre Premier Sports Campus, its own Main Street with theaters, shopping and dining, and more than four million square feet of commercial property. For more information visit