Why is Research Important for Master Planned Community Marketing?

June 27, 2023

Why is Research Important for Master Planned Community Marketing?

If you're tasked with land development and design, you already know how important it is to have access to data relevant to product, place, price and promotion. Gaining research insights that apply to land planning pursuits helps reduce risk, discover opportunities and establish value. Having any of the four Ps out of line can result in a master-planned community that takes years to sell, missing the mark on potential profits.

For developers looking to maximize land use while staying within a budget and maximizing profit, add a real estate market analyst or real estate research firm to the team early on to evaluate the new home community before purchasing the property and expending dollars on development or marketing.

The fact is research is vital to the success of any business. Still, it is especially critical before embarking on a master-planned community as some factors (like the place or location) can’t be changed after the land purchase.  

Effective real estate research helps land planners, and developers select land that is practical and capable of producing profitable results. Research firms are an undeniable asset in critically assessing the existing and potential value of land opportunities.

Here are the benefits research firms offer land planners in the early stages of master-planned community development, thus setting them up for successful marketing campaigns.

What is a Real Estate Research Firm?

A real estate research firm is a partner that provides expert advice, research, and analysis on property investments, planning and development. They can provide developers with complete reports on their findings, including property assessments, data on housing trends and more. These firms can plot your planned development against resale and new homes in the same area and determine if the home size and pricing are appropriate. They can also project absorption as there is a big difference between a five-year sell-out and a community that takes 20.  Some of the benefits of working with a research intelligence firm include the following:

  1.  Comprehensive Data — Easy-to-read data influencing housing, including monthly and annual historical trends.
  2. Visual Storytelling — Data in trends and market shifts can be easily interpreted and visualized through heat maps, charts and graphs.
  3. Succinct Analysis — Understand where the market is in the housing cycle and the latest conditions through curated and insightful housing analysis.
  4. Exportable Data — Data can be shared quickly and effortlessly through Excel-ready information for home building. This makes it easier to dive deeper into numbers when necessary and generate an investment package.

Why Master-Planned Communities Need Research Firms

Once a developer identifies a site, they need to understand how it will accomplish their vision. This is where research firms come in handy with the latest trends, data, advice and recommendations to assist you in achieving that vision and maximizing your opportunities with that site.

Although certain sites may appear to be highly profitable opportunities based on intuition, evaluating the potential long-term success takes time and effort. Economic and demographic factors can cause substantial shifts in land value that impact its stability, growth and potential decline in appeal. Without a research firm, it is tough to accurately assess the actual value of the land related to the vision for the new home community.

Research firms have specialized experts to provide information and analysis. Going at it alone means you risk inaccuracies, mistakes and wasting valuable funds.

A few of the reasons research firms are critical to the success of your company’s land development process include the following:

  • Minimized investment risk
  • Facilitates strategic planning
  • Identify threats and opportunities
  • Save time on data collection
  • Evaluate your business’ success for continued growth
  • Ability to stay ahead of the competition


What Role Do Research Firms Play in New Home Community Marketing?

Research is generally significant to businesses because it allows you to take what you've learned and make informed and educated decisions. In new home community marketing, research firms do this and more. Rather than deciphering the data insights yourself, research firms perform the heavy lifting to deliver the information you need to set your real estate brand and land development up for success. In addition to aligning with your real estate branding, here are eight significant roles research firms play in the success of your new home community marketing.

1. Market study of the competition

Understanding your competition is great for any business, but it is vital for new home community marketing to stay ahead. Firms provide competitive analysis to understand what other developers are doing and better position your community within the market. More specifically, understanding pricing and square footage relative to the competition can help to identify opportunities and unmet needs in the housing market.

2. Refine search area

Regarding land planning for new master-planned communities, location is critical. Understanding homebuyer segments and the market offers valuable insight into where to buy and what to build. The appeal and desirability of specific sites depend highly on the potential buyers, the neighborhood itself and its accompanying local resources such as education, healthcare, retail, recreation and entertainment.

Working with a real estate intelligence firm helps determine which sites are profitable investments that offer valuable appeal for target buyers and are predicted to have a strong growth trajectory. Although it may seem easy to guess which locations are best for establishing communities with sizable profits, digging deeper provides higher odds of success.

3. Identify Emerging Trends

Demographic shifts in age, income and home buying behavior and economic state changes within an area can significantly impact the demand for new homes, and it’s crucial to be ahead of those trends to develop thriving new home communities strategically. Real estate market research plays a vital role in identifying the market and buyer trends that can affect the success of a master-planned community. Research firms can offer your company influential insight into homebuyer purchasing patterns and demand levels to reduce risk and maximize opportunities to create value.

4. Reach the right buyers

Marketing your new home community successfully requires an intuitive understanding of your target buyer. But first, you must ensure you’re reaching the ideal buyers for your master-planned community. Real estate research firms can help research the buyers best suited for your development based on your offerings, development location and business differentiators. Research firms can help you develop target audience profiles to inform the overall community and product designs. After identifying the various target audience profiles, research these individuals' unique lifestyles, needs and desires to determine how your community can deliver offerings with compelling appeal.

Once the marketing process starts for the master-planned community, you can take this a step further by developing personas for marketing your new home community. This begins after you have thoroughly researched the target audience. Real estate personas help the marketing team better understand the target audience and cater to their unique needs and desires.

To develop effective personas, consider these steps:

Gather demographic information: Gather and analyze demographic data for your target audience, such as age, gender, location, education, income, marital status and other relevant factors. This information helps understand the audience's background and identify common patterns.

Identify psychographic traits: Beyond demographics, delve into your audience's psychographic characteristics, including values, lifestyle, interests and motivations. These traits offer a deeper insight into their decision-making process and how your master-planned community can appeal to them.

Create fictional personas: Based on your research, create fictional individuals representing the target audience's typical traits, desires and needs. Ensure that each persona is distinct and representative of a specific segment within your audience.

Develop personalized marketing strategies: With the personas in hand, craft tailored marketing strategies and tactics that resonate with each persona's unique needs and desires. This will allow you to reach and engage your target audience effectively.

Continuously refine your personas: As your marketing efforts progress and your community evolves, continue to refine your personas based on feedback and new insights. Stay flexible and be willing to adapt your strategies as needed.

By incorporating real estate personas into your marketing approach, you can better understand the target audience and develop strategies that resonate with them. This enables you to attract and engage potential clients effectively, ultimately setting your brand apart from the competition. Furthermore, developing personas allows you to create content and marketing materials that genuinely connect with your audience, ensuring your message is impactful and empathetic.

5. Product mix recommendation

Every site offers unique benefits that can be uncovered and showcased to buyers through insightful land planning. However, this starts by selecting the best products to complement and incite intrigue. Today’s buyers value a connection to the outdoors, flex space and quality finishes in a home and walkability and amenities that allow them to explore nature. A housing research firm will review the new home community’s planned product mix and amenities and make recommendations to be competitive.

6. Price point analysis

Based on the study, the firm recommends pricing your product relative to the competition and resale homes. They will deliver a comprehensive report providing a price point analysis and expert recommendations on how to best price your product. Thus, it isn't too high or low but perfectly competitive. This also helps you set a price point that will likely be profitable for the community in the long term.

7. Complete ROI guidelines

To achieve the desired return on investment (ROI), you typically must follow a basic guideline — "If you sell X# of Y products at a price point of Z, you will achieve ROI." It's simple, straightforward and exactly what you need to know to ensure you're not only getting a good return on your investment but also maximizing potential ROI. Working with a real estate research firm helps your team fill in those blanks and consistently remain on track to hit your intended sales goals.

8. Accuracy

To be successful, the data needs to be accurate.  Research firms have all the best technology, experts and practices on their team, obtaining and sifting through important data for you and your business. Don’t make a million-dollar mistake or gamble with investor’s money; give your new home community the best start possible by using an expert.

Get Help Marketing Your Master-Planned Community

It's a challenge to market your master-planned community in a saturated industry with many buyer options. Even more so after the pandemic shook up the real estate and homebuilding industry. Research firms help you understand that impact, the change in trends and how to adjust to mitigate risk.

Partnering with the real estate and home builder marketing specialists at Milesbrand ensures that every investment of yours reaches the right buyer at the right time and is maximized to its full potential. Get started with our team today!

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