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The Betterment of Home Building


March 2014

Lauren Hunsberger

Michael Matti

More Washingtonians live in Quadrant homes than any other company. What does it take to garner such a loyal following? Just ask president Ken Krivanec.

You can tell a lot about a man by his home. In Ken Krivanec’s case, however, it’s the homes he builds that tend to speak the loudest.

Ken Krivanec, president of Quadrant Homes

For example, Krivanec, the president of Quadrant Homes, recently launched a new line of homes under the brand Evoke. There are currently four Evoke communities (one in Issaquah, two in Kirkland and one in Sammamish), and the homes all boast sleek modern designs with tall 10-foot ceilings and large windows strategically placed to maximize natural light and views of Western Washington. They are also built for sustainability, have ample outdoor living space, and come with hundreds of customizable options for everything from the fixtures and appliances to the location of the master bedroom and the slant of the staircase.

“We share the same values as our buyers. Progressive homebuyers want modern designs that are very flexible and open. They want to be able to personalize and customize their home to meet their lifestyle,” Krivanec says. “People don’t want any more waste. Instead of extra space, they want premium homes, specifically designed for them with efficiency in mind.”

This philosophy of combining customization, sustainability and modern design is so engrained in Krivanec and the way he chooses to lead the company that he has a created a special term for what he and his team do. “We’re passionate about being lifestyle architects,” Krivanec says.

He explains that being “lifestyle architects” means that the team members concern themselves with every last detail of how their clients live. They want to know things like how much clients entertain in their homes, whether they have elderly family members that visit, how comfortable they are with technology, and whether they work out of the home—anything that might affect their desired lifestyle.

“My real passion is to innovate with a really good product and then see how customers’ lives improve because they acquired  our home,” Krivanec says, who also draws inspiration from his own family of four daughters and his wife, Kay.

The philosophy seems to have resonated well with homebuyers, too. “We have one of the strongest markets in the country, and there are a lot of homebuilders in the area,  but more Washingtonians live in homes built by Quadrant than any other company,” Krivanec says. “At one point, we sold and closed 1,300 homes in a year.” Officially launching last June, the Evoke homes are just a sliver of that success right now, but Krivanec says the project, which started as research and development during the height of the recession, is a key component to carrying the company into the future and further manifesting his own personal ideas of what homebuilding should be.

“This innovation came as part of the downturn. We asked ourselves, ‘This isn’t going to last forever. There will be a recovery. What will be the best space in the market that has the hole in it?’”

After much research, Krivanec and his team decided they found a hole: luxury sustainable housing with a high level of customization. More research told him new homebuyers wanted to be on the Eastside. So after a few more years of development, Evoke launched. Krivanec says the research was the backbone of the project, but his extensive background with homebuilding also played a large role in how the details unfolded.

“My entire professional career has been in homebuilding,” Krivanec says. “At an early age, my brother-in-law asked me to come work with him. I was exposed to all kinds of different things. It was great. Working with a local family business, you could move around, so I was exposed to sales, project management, even working with city entities, really the A-to-Z about how everything works.”

With this intimate knowledge of the industry and family-business mentality, Krivanec created a business with a culture based on caring.

“I just love and learned to really appreciate what it takes for an individual or a family to buy a home,” Krivanec says. “It is the real manifestation of a lot of hard work.”

But it’s not just about caring about the clients. Krivanec encourages all of his fellow lifestyle architects to use a certain number of hours per quarter to give back to the community in whatever way they choose.

“The culture at Quadrant is really unique. It’s the people. We believe that innovation and character equals progress and performance,” says Krivanec. “My boss has been a great mentor for me and sitting down and talking about values that were non-negotiable—how you treat one another, how you treat customers, and how you protect the future and the franchise.”

And this culture says just as much about Krivanec as do the homes he proudly builds.

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