With so many failed residential and resort real estate projects still in the minds of consumers, it behooves all developers to establish some credibility in the market. Your track record and longevity are as much a part of the story you must tell as the features and amenities of the homes you have on the market. Development companies have always, in my experience, had a page at the back of the brochure, or a button on the website, that led to some anemic text about the development company or the developer themselves. Projects today are under much more scrutiny, and we need to raise the bar.
It’s no secret that consumers are hungry for information and distrustful of our industry. They have all had an experience, or know someone who has, where a deposit on a new home was refunded after a few years because the project didn’t achieve pre-construction sales levels required for financing. Worse, there are plenty of real horror stories wherein unscrupulous developers found themselves in a financial pickle, and deposits were not available for refunding.
At the very least, any project in the market today needs to beef up the bios and background information on the key team members and the companies they run. Consider having video interviews posted on the website and made available on YouTube. Have links to successful projects already completed for website visitors to review. Testimonials from happy customers snugly ensconced in a new home that you built are a great way to get the point across. Recruit your bankers, your investors, your suppliers and your lawyers to provide endorsements on your business acumen and achievements. This is not a time to be shy about your previous accomplishments.
Better yet, consider a long-term branding campaign for your development company that isn’t about selling product. Establish a clear position for your brand as a leader, and spend some time and money helping current and future customers understand what you stand for, and what your vision is for the homes you build. This will “soften” the market, and make the job of establishing credibility easier when it comes time to selling specific homes in a specific project. It will be time and money well spent.
For more information on Marketing Journalism, as opposed to the old-fashioned hype-and-jive approach to project marketing, download a free copy of my book, Sell The Truth at https://www.braunallison.com/downloads/sellthetruth.pdf and plan on attending a breakfast seminar on March 29th, presented by RENX, featuring myself, Hunter Milborne, and a few surprise guest speakers.
Formal registration isn’t set up yet, but for readers of Sell The Truth on RENX.ca, you can pre-register (sound familiar?) by simply sending me an email at [email protected] and I’ll let you know when the registration system is set up. Proceeds from this seminar will go to a GTA charity, thanks to our generous sponsors, who will be revealed shortly. We have two sponsorship opportunities remaining, at $1500 each, and if you are interested in getting your company name in front of a room full of real estate movers-and-shakers let me know. You can email me at the above address for more information.