Pace has been around since 1949 – and from our earliest days, we’ve specialized in real estate marketing. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of our parent company WPP, said this about Pace a couple of years ago:
“Pace recognized the real estate sector as one with enormous potential, and they seized it at just the right time, carving Pace into one of the foremost real estate agencies… a tremendously successful specialist agency.”
– Martin Sorrell, 2014
Over the years, we’ve worked with some of the finest builders and developers in the nation and we’ve learned how to successfully market residential and commercial space. We’re pleased to share some of that knowledge and experience on our blog. Here, Pace Senior Vice President Holly Kingsley shares some thoughts about Pre-Sell Marketing for a new-home community…
For homebuilders, having a Pre-Sell Marketing Plan is critical to the success of a residential project. Having worked with so many builders over the years, we’ve developed an effective process and timeline for pre-sell marketing that we often recommend. By “pre-sell,” we’re referring to that phase or period of time before your community is officially open for sales, prior to any model home (or homes) being open. Of course, this process is not cast in stone. It needs to be organic and flexible to accommodate the nuances of particular communities and builders, but the basics are essentially the same.
Timing wise, your efforts to pre-promote a community and build a VIP waiting list need to begin about six to ten weeks prior to its opening. Some would say eight to ten weeks prior, but we think that’s too early. Pace will work with you and your team to determine what timing is best. Here’s a list of critical things to do and steps to take:
Develop a pre-sell strategy. What does this mean? Just this: if your plan is to actually SELL homes during this time period before model homes are complete, rather than to simply build a VIP list, there needs to be a strategy that gives customers a compelling reason to buy before they can see a model.
Create appealing site signage. It sounds obvious, but the first step to building a list is to develop signage for the property displaying the name of the community, a short description of the product and the project, an indication of pricing, and a phone number and/or URL to a website or initial landing page. Anyone who passes by the site should know what is coming!
Email marketing. Create a series of email blasts to your entire customer database, informing them about the upcoming community, for their own information and to share with their friends, relatives, and contacts.
Other marketing. Create and place ads in appropriate media (traditional and online), hyping the soon-to-open development.
Create and place snipe signs. These small signs should be placed in a three-mile circle of the development.
Social media. Use your existing company social platforms, or create new ones to do posts about the upcoming development. We recommend Facebook and Twitter for starters, with other sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz to be used later, as more images (renderings, model home photos, etc.) are available.
Digital advertising. There is a wealth of digital advertising opportunities today that cannot and should not be overlooked: Search Engine Marketing (SEM), geo-targeted display ads, relevant real estate websites (BDX, Zillow Group, etc.).
Website or temporary landing page. This is critical, not only to provide details about the project, but to capture VIP registrations and build your prospect list.
And, lastly, follow-up, follow-up and follow-up again! Prospects have lots of choices, resources, referrals, etc. today. The more you continue to be top-of-mind, the more you will stand out from the competition.
We recognize that it can be overwhelming, with so many new media outlets and digital marketing opportunities available today. This is our forte and we would love to work with you to develop the right marketing plan for your next project, including pre-sell strategies and implementation. Contact us – and let us show you how easy, fun, and effective it can be when you have the right strategy!
Holly Kingsley joined Pace in 1997 and today serves as Senior VP, responsible for supervising the strategic planning and providing senior-level management for many of our key clients. Holly is a true problem solver with a hands-on approach and a “can-do” attitude. Her professional style is characterized by a native southern hospitality and congeniality, blended with an aggressive, unwavering commitment to clients and a tenacity in media negotiations.