September 08, 2021
How to Allocate a Master-Planned Community Budget Over a 10-Year Period
So you have a solid marketing fund created for your master-planned community, but how should the funds be budgeted for the life of your project? Keep in mind the budget must last from now throughout the community’s build-out, which in most cases is 10 years.
Allocating the master-planned community marketing budget properly allows home builders and developers to monitor how much is spent on each tactic, prevent overspending, analyze effectiveness of efforts, and possibly discover new opportunities to promote the community over time. Although a master-planned community marketing budget should be flexible, it’s vital to form a long-term allocation strategy to ensure promotional efforts are consistent and effective.
Throughout the course of 10 years, various changes may occur within the master-planned community, as well as changes in marketing opportunities, but a marketing budget allocation plan provides a guide to navigate any shifts in marketing efforts. A marketing budget allocation plan offers an overview of overarching goals for the master-planned community and determines how money should be spent to fulfill marketing goals or handle unprecedented circumstances.
In a previous blog, we discussed how to build a marketing budget for a master-planned community. Now, let’s delve into how to create an allocation plan over a 10-year period.
First Phase – Pre-Opening Launch Strategy
A large portion of the master-planned community marketing budget is allocated during this first phase, perhaps as much as 25 to 30%, as this is when the branding platform is established, the website is built, and many other assets are created. Some master-planned communities utilize as much as 40% of funds to establish a strong presence prior to its opening.
Prioritize the master-planned community’s brand concept and imagery by allocating funds toward website design, signage, digital and print branding, professional videography and photography and any other applicable community representations. Most of the master-planned community marketing budget money utilized during this phase is spent to set a solid foundation for the community.
When preparing for the opening of a master-planned community, it’s crucial to prioritize building brand visibility and awareness among homebuyers. This requires a higher amount of the master-planned community marketing funds. Implement strategies that establish the community’s brand identity and vision through appealing promotions. The first phase centers around instituting approaches to leave a lasting impression on homebuyers and cultivate interest.
Without the availability of tangible homes and amenities to promote, it’s important to invest in powerful branding that incorporates captivating values, messages and imagery that resonates with the target audience. During this phase, focus on establishing the brand and messaging, as well as creating the website, blog, collateral, magazines, social media, virtual tours and videos.
About three months before the master-planned community’s grand opening, content should be placed on every marketing channel to expand promotional efforts to capacity. Build pre-opening sales through several tactics including search engine marketing, social media advertising, SEO practices, geofencing, acquisition emails and more.
Second Phase – Pre-Sales Grand Opening Strategy
Allocate another large portion of the budget during this Grand Opening phase. You only have this one chance to launch with momentum to build steam. Set 15% to 20% aside to launch.
Leading up to the community’s grand opening, the focus should be capturing high-quality leads to build VIP lists. Capture more leads by implementing creative, strategic tactics to offer consistent updates to interested homebuyers and potential leads. Share the community’s building progress to pique interest and build anticipation for the grand opening.
This phase includes the Grand Opening, and you’ll want to make sure that it attracts home shoppers, so budget accordingly.
During this phase, assets should be utilized with the goal of solidifying homebuyer interest by showcasing the entirety of the master-planned community’s offerings from home design to streetscape, amenities and branding vision.
To gain substantial digital reach through branding, promote the master-planned community with display banner ads, social media ads, email marketing and community landing pages. Start posting on social media, blogging, set up listing ads, this is the phase where you start to push traffic toward the website and its landing pages.
Third Phase – Maintaining Interest
The remainder of the budget should be allocated fairly evenly over the lifetime of the project. Make sure to budget more for quarters that have new models opening, a clubhouse opening or a big event. Create a contingency budget that is saved for unforeseen opportunities that are certain to arise.
The focus is now placed on general maintenance and upkeep for the community. For these efforts, less funding from the master-planned community marketing budget is required.
The goal of this phase is to keep the master-planned community top-of-mind for prospective homebuyers but to do so without heavy funding. Retain interest among prospective homebuyers with a digital brand presence that continues to share engaging content.
Post on social media to consistently reach and interact with followers, homebuyers and potential leads by sharing attractive aspects of the master-planned community. Building a good social media presence is a vital route to build connections and cultivate stronger interest through effective engagement practices.
Utilize digital and print advertising to amplify your brand imagery and messaging and bolster chances of discovery among homebuyers. With exceptional branding and insightful messaging, these advertisements are a powerful way to attract attention from homebuyers.
Host events such as Realtor open houses and decorated model home tours to allow visitors to experience the community atmosphere and answer any questions. This immersive occasion is a great way to offer greater insight into the community and strengthen buyer and Realtor interest.
Maintain a presence on listing sites to remain easily accessible to homebuyers and potential leads. This presence offers an easy way to enter the path of searching homebuyers and boost online traffic.
Create news releases to share community updates and gain higher reach through prominent news sources. This is yet another way to enhance the spread of the master-planned community and subsequently support brand visibility and recognition with potential leads.
Don’t forget to continue email marketing and to man the website’s online chat. These are both key to keeping buyers engaged.
Fourth Phase – Closeout
As the master-planned community nears close-out, it’s important to gauge where the community stands and how many homes are left to sell. If there is a higher number of remaining homes, funds should be increased to gain necessary traction.
Similar to the initial phases, use more assiduous tactics to capture necessary attention from homebuyers. Perhaps a push needs to be made for specific final phases in the community or for individual homes and home sites. Consider expanding the master-planned community marketing efforts with email marketing, social media ads and Google pay per click.
With only a few homes left, amplify Realtor outreach. Offer closing commission or throw in various upgrades on the last phase to sell out more quickly.
Allocate Master-Planned Community Funds Effectively with a Strong Marketing Strategy
To allocate master-planned community funds effectively, it’s important to have a strong marketing strategy with firm goals during the community’s build-out. Milesbrand helps home builders and developers set a foundation for their master-planned community through award-winning branding and successful promotional strategies.
At Milesbrand, we take your master-planned community from land to brand by communicating your unique value propositions and introducing your brand to the right target audiences. Talk to our team today to discuss our experience creating exceptional advertising campaigns and how we can uniquely position your master-planned community brand.