After a new development has been completed, property developers are left with the task of filling the new residential properties. At the initial stages of obtaining planning permission for the property, local communities should have been informed regarding new housing opportunities, which should help to spread the word once the development is finally complete. Pre-marketing will also help to attract off-plan buyers (before the development is completed).
However, to attract buyers for the properties as fast as possible it helps to implement a comprehensive marketing and PR campaign, which may include some of the following:
You can use newsletters (print version at this stage as you won’t have emails as yet) during the pre-marketing phase to tell local people about the development and its progress. You can also use it to drive people to the development website to see high quality CGIs (computer generated images) of how the development will look when it’s built and then feature real photos as the development starts to emerge. The website could be developed in creative ways to stimulate engagement with prospective buyers, for example, by creating a forum for discussion about the local area, or creating a gizmo that helps people think about and plan for the day they move home and include enquiry form for data capture.
As you begin website promotion, you should also start communicating about the new development through your established social media channels, focusing on the new development. For example, sharing information on the development’s progress, who the properties would most appeal to, listening to feedback, responding to questions, inviting local people to the launch, running promotions, giving advice on moving home – and a whole lot more.
Tailor your message to the demographic
Go beyond simply describing the type of property and facilities on site. Different segments of the population have different needs, so it pays to mention the relevant amenities and local information depending on your target demographic. For instance, if the properties are ideal for families, then let prospective buyers know about local schools and activities for children in the area. The information about local amenities and opportunities can also be promoted on the development website on social media, in local newspapers and more.
Host a spectacular launch event
You only get one opportunity to do a launch event, so go for a big splash, perhaps with a themed event that fits in the with local culture. Food never fails to entice local communities to congregate, so why not design a culinary themed event? If your budget allows for it, booking a celebrity chef can really help to attract visitors to the development. The chef can do a cooking demonstration in the show home kitchen, providing lovely party cuisine for visitors to sample, and then wonder around experience the show home. If its summer time, perhaps a barbecue will go down well. Whatever theme you choose, be sure to hire professional staff to provide the catering and take photos (great photos of a fun/exciting launch are valuable not only for media, but also for your other marketing collateral for other developments.
A good number of your own staff should be present to meet, greet and look after visitors – and of course show them around the properties and tell them about all the facilities, amenities and sales packages.
Be sure to have a system in place to collect the contact details of all attendees as this will be vital for your sales and communications follow-up. There should be personal 1-2-1 follow up, but you can also send an electronic newsletter once people have given you their email address for further information.
And vitally, do have a discrete area for discussions with visitors who want to take business there and then!
Your invitation should say WOW! This will most likely go via a door drop and should stand out on the door mat. Make sure its high quality and gives a real flavor of what visitors will experience when they visit the development and take part in the launch. Include a message that tells those who can’t attend the launch when they can visit the development, who they can talk to and how they can get in touch.
While promoting the development on the internet is vital (on your website and property portals), don’t forget promotion on the development itself to attract people walking or driving past the development. Compelling signage building on the pre-marketing branding is essential and should proudly show off the development’s name and key features. There should be a good contrast between the foreground colour and the background colour of the sign boards and it always helps to keep the size as large as possible for readability purposes.
A good way of keeping the interest going in the properties is to update the sign boards as properties start to sell, for example, “50% already sold.” This will encourage those who are interested and don’t want to miss out to visit the development. Onsite branding and directional signage also makes it easy for prospective buyers to find the development.
You should communicate with the local media on an ongoing basis; don’t wait until you’re ready to sell! When you are ready to launch the development, contact the local newspapers and magazines with a good story, based around the theme of your launch and the value of the new homes to the local community. If your story is strong enough, you may even persuade the local newspaper to send along a photographer – if that’s not do-able, be sure to send your strong news story and photo to the media.
You may also need to support all the above activity with advertising in the property section of the local papers/magazines through duration it takes to sell the properties, but this cost is justifiable if it helps you to reach the buyers you want to attract.
There are myriad ways of promoting a development – these are just a few tips to get your started. For more ideas, get in touch.
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