How to Market Your Master-Planned Development Before Sales Begin

July 12, 2023

How to Market Your Master-Planned Development Before Sales Begin

How do you market a master-planned community before it is built? Before the streets are constructed, amenities are completed, and the model homes are ready to be toured, how can you effectively reach homebuyers and share what your community offers?

They say actions speak louder than words, but words come first when building a master-planned community. The process of constructing a master-planned community takes years from concept until the time dirt is moving, but marketing efforts can’t wait. Establishing strong branding and marketing strategies even before development starts creates an essential foundation and sets your development up for future success. 

Although it may seem overwhelming to build a marketing strategy before your master-planned development is complete, it will save you plenty of time and effort in the future. 

Marketing Before Your Homes Are On The Market

We've all heard about the value of establishing a simple brand that is engaging and easy for consumers to remember. Developing a holistic differentiated brand for your master-planned community is time consuming, so start the process simultaneously with zoning and planning.

The brand for your community should focus on lifestyle and a paint a picture of what the future holds. Your branding should connect with potential buyers on an emotional level and help them to envision a future living in your community. As the creative endeavor progresses, you'll likely discover a need for additional pieces you had never considered. To create truly unforgettable branding, you need to focus on details like: 

  • A unique brand position
  • Community name
  • Implicit and implied brand promises
  • Community logo
  • Brand colors, typography, and photography themes
  • Brand Archetype
  • Community signage themes
  • Amenities & future programming

Once the branding elements are in place, Milesbrand can assist in the development and execution of your Go-to-Market plan. This plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines all marketing tactics for launch and sustain leads for your master-planned community, the associated budgets related to each tactic and a timeline for execution. 

Every dollar and moment spent on branding is an investment in the consumer experience. While branding helps showcase your identity and offerings, it’s also improves your ability to effectively reach and engage with potential homebuyers. It's no secret that buying a home is a highly emotional, important decision. The sooner you connect with homebuyers' hearts and pique their interest, the sooner you'll have them booking tours and imagining themselves calling your community home. 


Bringing Master-Planned Marketing to Your Audiences

The most effective branding strategies are built for a specific target audience. Though creating something everyone loves is fun, it's better to focus on building a solid relationship with your target market and brand personas. By doing so, your development can be marketed to an audience whose needs and desires it most closely resonates with, resulting in robust engagement rates. In the long term, creating a small group of close connections and leads will be much more lucrative than reaching more homebuyers who only feel lukewarm about your development. 

When marketing your master-planned development, there are two primary groups to win over: real estate agents and prospective homebuyers.

Real Estate Agents

Ties between community developers and real estate agencies epitomize a mutually beneficial relationship. For real estate agents, outstanding master-planned developments are a gold mine full of incredible new home options they can showcase to their clients. Agents reap the benefits of offering their clientele a wider variety of the latest home designs with luxury features and livable layouts that meet varying homebuyer needs. With more homes to sell, they're more likely to find the perfect match for each family they meet. 

As a community marketer, the value of real estate agents and brokers cannot be overstated. Partnering with real estate agencies provides a pipeline of qualified leads and potential sales that are actively shopping for a home. Real estate agents foster one-on-one relationships with their clients and provide a highly personalized selling process for each homebuyer. Excite real estate professionals about your development’s new home builds, and the rewards of increased visits and sales will follow. 

Prospective Homebuyers

In some cases, prospective homebuyers choose to shop without a real estate agent. These savvy home shoppers will already know a lot about your master-planned community from visiting the community website and seeing your other marketing efforts.  Successfully reaching these homebuyers requires strong messaging conveying the development's lifestyle opportunity and product mix to match the needs of their family. Though these prospective customers may not be interested in your community pre-construction, early marketing tactics will still help draw them in. Homebuyers want to buy from home builders and developers that have great reputations and that they can trust. Part of that trust is built by consistent branding and a high-quality, trustworthy online presence for your master-planned development. Every marketing touchpoint should be an exceptional representation of the customer experience homebuyers can expect if they  choose to purchase in your new home community. The longer your brand has been present online, the easier it is to discover and the more credible and reliable it appears. When your development appears online during homebuyer searches, it increases brand recognition and awareness. This also offers an ideal opportunity to engage prospective homebuyers by inviting them to join a VIP list for your community for presale pricing, special incentives, and the promise they will be one of the first to know about community updates.

Simple Strategies for Building Brand Recognition

Marketing to homebuyers in today's digital age is all about establishing a strong online presence. With the vast majority of homebuyers beginning their search on the internet, it is essential for master-planned communities to create user-friendly and informative websites, engage with audiences through social media, and invest in digital marketing strategies such as 3D tours, videos, search engine optimization (SEO) and targeted advertising. This online presence allows potential homebuyers to easily discover and explore your new home community. Furthermore, by leveraging data and analytics, you can continuously refine your online marketing efforts to better connect with your target audience and deliver a personalized, engaging experience that resonates with their unique needs and preferences. In the digital era, marketing has never been easier or less expensive. However, this simplicity also means web users are inundated by ads, options and flashy distractions. Here's how to showcase your real estate development and help it feel like a place homebuyers can call home online.

Establish a Clear Vision

Your brand shouldn't just serve to name your community and its values — it should reinforce them. As you brainstorm names, logos and taglines, don't lose sight of the promises you want to keep to your customers.

Luxury homes should come with classy names and the upscale attention-to-detail you expect from a higher price tag. Nature-oriented communities should include branding details that tie back to their best outdoor assets and use their brand to continuously share the beauty of an active life enjoyed in nature.

Flashy and unique titles can be fun, but above all else, your designs should never be a distraction from the community’s values and promises. 

Create a Strong Community Website

As you begin marketing your master-planned community, building a strong website is crucial. It is your most powerful marketing tool for capturing homebuyer interest and converting leads. The development’s website should be the final landing place for every marketing activity you enact. This is where homebuyers explore what your community offers before they can see it in person and begin forming an impression of your brand. For the best chances of keeping homebuyers engaged on the site, it should be responsive, load quickly and be interactive. To create a strong website design, you should also be sure to include:

  • Prominent calls-to-action (contact forms, VIP list signups, newsletter signups, digital brochure downloads, etc.)
  • Several options to contact your team (phone numbers, email, social media platforms, live chat, etc.)
  • Interactive community map
  • 3D tours, videos, planning tools
  • Home plans, included features
  • Planned amenities
  • Driving directions
  • Blog and other informative resources
Bolster Your Social Media Presence

To market your new master-planned community, you need to build a social media presence. Create pages on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to promote the community’s brand and the ongoing development.

Post regularly to keep your target audience engaged and coming back for more! Social media is the perfect outlet to form relationships with homebuyers and initiate engaging conversations to build interest. The sooner you can make your real estate development’s online presence look trustworthy, the sooner you can start successfully connecting with potential homebuyers

The great question, then, is: What should you post exactly? If you're beginning your marketing pre-construction, you don't have the luxury of professional, stunning shots of brand-new homes. Buyers want to see development progress, so take drone photos and videos to get potential homebuyers excited about the vision. Use technology to bring your blueprints to life with 3D tours, renderings, planning tools and more. We recommend leveraging programs that can build 3D renderings. These virtual images build anticipation and allow your followers to begin picturing themselves within one of your new homes. Don’t leave your audience waiting to see what your homes will look like, or they’ll be more likely to lose interest, explore other options and potentially find their new home in another development. 

Amplify Your Virtual Voice

Once you've created top-quality content, it's time to ensure potential shoppers can see it. Although consistently posting pieces increases your chances of being discovered, promoting or optimizing it for search engines provides additional assistance. The number of results that find their way to the first page of Google Search purely organically is dropping every year, so make sure to use other efforts, including:

  • Paid search with a dedicated landing page with strong call to action
  • Paid social media ads
  • Email marketing
  • Display marketing

Writing blogs and publishing them on the development website also improves SEO. Potential blog topics could include:

  • Home Design Features
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
  • Amenity Features
  • Things to Do in the Surrounding Area
  • Join the VIP List

The more blog content you publish, the more opportunities homebuyers have to discover your website while conducting online searches. When buyers begin to search for new homes or master-planned communities online, blogs with optimized keywords increase your site’s rankings among the search results. The higher your website ranks and the more frequently it appears in results, the more likely it will be to receive strong organic traffic from search engine users. Ultimately, the more website traffic your development receives, the stronger its brand reach and awareness will become.

Remember to include Facebook and Instagram ads as part of your paid budget. A combination of web clicks and boosted posts will send traffic to the website while garnering additional followers.

Head Start Your Master-Planned Development Marketing Strategy with Milesbrand

The Milesbrand team specializes in connecting master-planned communities with future residents. We'll work with you one-on-one to build and execute a master-planned community marketing strategy perfectly suited to your needs and vision.  

We've earned a reputation as the gold standard through our years of delivering exceptional real estate brands and mastering marketing strategies. Now, it's time to build yours. Contact us today! 

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