I love my parents. They are a big reason I started my own agency so many years ago. Sure there was some trepidation and fear but I forged ahead. Made my own path, so to speak. They’ve lived up in the Dallas area for nearly 20 years now and recently decided to relocate to be closer to the family in Austin.
So began the trek to find them a place to live – something “nice, elegant, upgraded but affordable,” said my mom. As most of you know, Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in America – all the hip, cool, creative types just can’t get enough. We’re changing the world down here, man! At any rate, we turned our eyes to the quickly growing city of Buda and all the new housing developments under construction.
Visiting the sales centers I realized just how important new development marketing and pre-sales/leasing centers are when you’re, in all essence, selling dirt. Good ‘ole Texas clay. At Threshold, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time developing best-of-class new development creative that gives clients a leg up. Here’s some advice on new development marketing when breaking ground on a new student apartment community, senior housing facility or any new home division:
- Make sure to find a pre-sales or leasing center that can staff your team of marketing experts until the permanent model home or clubhouse is finished. Preferably, doors for the sales centers need to open well in advance of anticipated move-in (especially in student housing) in order to build the brand awareness necessary to capture folks when they begin searching.
- Your digital brochure – aka website – needs to be up and running as soon as a name, the amenities and a contact are ready to go. Search engines take time to index you and the extra time will be well worth it when things really start to heat up.
- Get the construction site filled with as much signage as possible. Bright, creative, relevant designs that won’t dirty OR are cheap to replace. We hate seeing great creative all muddied up from the elements. Check with the city on temporary construction sign ordinances to ensure your sign isn’t removed.
- Think about ways your future residents can interact with your community at the pre-leasing center. Mini-models or interactive display boards are fun and certainly help people pass the time while they wait in the long lines to lease or buy.
- Create a solid marketing plan. New developments will cost more to market becuase you are building awareness. Do it right the first year and you’ll be thankful the second.
Now, while this list isn’t all-inclusive it’s a good start to ensuring your new start launches well. Those folks in Buda did a good job at ensuring my parents felt comfortable and excited about that new piece of Texas clay they just purchased. And we’re certainly excited because we now have another set of well-qualified babysitters moving to town.