February 22, 2021
What Do Award-Winning Master-Planned Communities Have in Common?
For many, if there is an American dream, buying and owning a home is a significant part of this vision. This is not only a financial venture for many but also an emotional one. It happens on the back of years of hard work, resilience, and the persistent pursuit of a dream.
As such, master-planned community marketers must realize this truth — you're not only fulfilling someone their childhood dreams and aspirations, but also their own personal refuge. A place they will call "home," raise their kids, build lasting friendships, and grow old.
According to the National Association Of Realtors, 70% of homeowners believe that owning their own home brings them closer to their American dream.
So, what are marketers to do when trying to build not just any master-planned community brand, but an award-winning and revenue-generating one that consistently exceeds expectations? We’re glad you asked.
What Keeps Marketers Awake at Night
This is what gives many marketing heads sleepless nights — the scale of this purchase and the magnitude of its emotional impact.
How does a marketer set themselves apart from their competition? How does a marketer develop their brands to meet the needs of their customer?
Like the popular 70s TV ad that convinced Americans to perceive buying a home as buying their own small piece of America, master-planned community marketing must match your customer's emotional weight.
Master-Planned Community Expectations
To capture a prospect’s vision of their childhood dream, you must look at your master-planned community in the eyes of your prospective customer and put yourself in their shoes.
For one, they are making a significant investment in their future. Your marketing must make them feel that this is the best investment they can possibly make.
Easier said than done.
Matching your customer's expectations requires tried and tested techniques that narrow down and appeal to the very heart of your audience. This is what award-winning master-planned communities do so well:
- Memorable Branding
- Creative Marketing of Amenities
- Impactful Storytelling
- Original Photography
- Omnichannel Marketing
1. Memorable Branding
Memorable branding is going half the distance in your journey of remarkable master-planned community marketing.
What is the first thing that comes to mind whenever your client or prospect hears your brand? If a master-planned community does not take its time to define its brand, the market will define the brand on its behalf.
The first step we will take in branding is defining what sets your master-planned community apart from hundreds of competitors. That's your selling point, and it should have a special place in your branding.
From the community name to the tagline to the pre-construction marketing efforts, your brand should have an aura about it that is impossible to forget. When done correctly, community members will take on the personality of the brand, further improving its image and connectivity.
2. Creative Marketing of Amenities
Remarkable marketing does not just list amenities — it goes much further than that. In the extra mile is where customer satisfaction abounds, and this is how far we are willing to go in the art of amenity marketing.
Remember, a home is probably the most important purchase most people will ever make. Whatever the price point, they expect to feel that touch of luxury and perceive that they are getting the most value and best lifestyle for their money.
Creative marketing of amenities allows you to position your master-planned community in a unique way, highlighting not just what amenities are available, but why they make someone’s life better.
When creating a brand for Solstice, the term "Home Sweet High Line" became our rallying cry, a simple definition that has become synonymous with this breathtaking Colorado community.
We recognized the ability to market this beautiful location — directly on the High Line Canal — and the accompanying amenities it gave residents. From direct access to trails and parks to nearby bodies of water and all the recreational activities that they provide, our marketing efforts proved just how valuable these amenities are.
3. Impactful Storytelling
One of the most overlooked aspects of creating an emotional connection with a prospect is storytelling. Nothing pulls at the heartstrings of a prospective customer and relates to them at a spiritual level like a story well told.
Our master-planned community storytelling creates a distant tale that begins with the dreams and expectations of your customer and slowly brings the story to life through everything your community offers.
When working with Crystal Valley, we branded this community the "Nature Of Happiness." We told a story of the proven benefits of living with nature by focusing on the quantifiable evidence of how nature helps people become better versions of themselves, fights depression, and encourages more kind and tolerant interactions. This powerful story immediately attracted potential buyers.
4. Original Photography
An original picture is worth a thousand words; a fake one is worth none.
In master-planned community marketing, most prospects are bombarded by advertising laced with overused, unimaginative stock photography. Customers crave original photography, and this is one thing that award-winning master-planned communities do so well. Offering this will set you apart from other planned communities and truly capture the lifestyle provided.
5. Omnichannel Marketing
By now, most marketing departments are familiar with multichannel marketing and the role it plays in master-planned community marketing.
However, it is quickly being replaced by a far more effective campaign. Omnichannel marketing goes the extra mile to bring all your marketing goals and perceived intentions under one roof and deliver a consistent message to your prospective buyers across all channels of interaction.
Prioritizing customer success and the buyer’s journey has never been more important for real estate marketing, and omnichannel marketing is the best way to keep your buyers engaged with your community. Rather than fire off static, unrelated messages to buyers across multiple channels (as multichannel campaigns do), omnichannel campaigns follow the buyer through their journey to tell a consistent story.
The Key Takeaway
Be it issues with brand differentiation and establishment or customer perception and conversion, effective and reliable master-planned community marketing solves many problems that developers and home builders face.