While almost every real estate developer and property manager approaches a new residential asset launch with the same set of physical and digital tools, it often comes down to how well their asset launch strategy is envisioned and executed. From embracing their role as placemakers supporting an entire community, to understanding and answering the questions of potential homebuyers and leveraging multiple online strategies, it boils down to the quality of the conversation.

The Westin Residences located in historic Queenhithe Dock, London, Image via: JLL

Placemaking with Purpose

For property developers, engaging with the local community and ensuring a positive impact on the environment, both during planning, construction and post-development, means that local residents, business owners and other key stakeholders are active proponents of your project.

East Village in London was created on the site of the former Olympic Athletes’ Village, with homes available for rent, a school, on-site health centre and plans for additional development. With close regard for existing local communities, the developers actively engaged with local residents and organisations, offering support, sponsorship and funding to relevant projects that were of benefit to the local community. In addition to being named as the ‘Best New Place to Live’ in the London Planning Awards, the project was also awarded a ‘Community Relations’ award.

Successful placemaking in residential and mixed-use developments is usually signalled by a breadth of economic and social activity, supporting a dynamic and resilient ecosystem of households, businesses and community services.

Developers may do well to avoid short term thinking with respect to health and safety, noise, access and diversity. Not only is real estate is an effective investment vehicle, property development has an impact on society. Purposeful real estate companies are constantly on the lookout for ways to make much needed contributions to the community. Participate and sponsor events in your neighbourhood. Together with peers in the property sector, supporting deserving causes in the local community can go a long way in building credibility and good will for years to come.

How Well Do We Know Our Audience?

As with any other launch, study and research targeted leads in depth — age, occupations, budgets, preferences, and more. Filter and categorise to create prospect profiles. Fine tune your value proposition. Is your property targeted at families or dual income urban professionals? Examine what your prospects have in common, and what they don’t. Zeroing in on your demographic is also useful when planning marketing, SEO and advertising.

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can be helpful to keep track of prospect details, identify qualified prospects, assign them to sales, update prospect status, determine next actions, with help from automation to ensure the sales team isn’t overwhelmed by paperwork or administrative details.

Build Awareness Beyond the Basic

Focus on what the property delivers beyond leasable square footage. Convey the bigger picture: not just amenities and services, but what may be less obvious, and especially in relation to peers in the market. Knowing what sets your property apart from others is key to delivering a message that won’t drown in a sea of sameness. Highlight the features that speak directly to the prospects needs. When it comes to the practical nuts and bolts of an asset launch — details are everything.

Stay Top of Mind

Now more than ever, many turn to search engines for information on new developments and a confident, accessible and authentic online presence will be the first point of contact with prospective buyers. Ensure that your virtual property presence aligns with your physical presence, and if sustainability is a priority — consider going paperless, allowing access to your brochure via a simple QR code.

Consider partnering with a property marketing expert to handle the details for you, if SEO, UX design and more aren’t your forte, allowing your core team to handle the overall strategy and relationship building.

Websites and micro sites: A good place to begin is a well designed, SEO optimised website or microsite with a blog, testimonials and information prospects need about the property and how to get in touch.

Online presence: Guest posts on industry websites, remarketing to target Google keywords and a Google Business Profile with credible reviews can also help build and improve your search rankings. Build strong relationships with your prospects through focused and timely email notifications, but avoid spamming their inboxes. Using a good email automation system can help you generate real time inputs on audience engagement to help you tweak and refine your marketing efforts.

Social connections: Tap Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google for lead generation and paid advertising. Ensure all branding materials feature high-resolution images and 3D renderings of your property. Professional videos and virtual tours are useful to help tenants understand the space.

Physical signage: Beautiful, high impact creative signage while a property is still in development may be the easiest way to signal your presence and make it easy for potential homeowners to connect with you.

The show suite: Design your show suite to delight, and attract visitors to share their experience via word of mouth and social. Ensure every prospect leaves with a pleasant experience.

Collateral options and marketing opportunities for a new residential launch are endless from a professional brochures to direct mail, press releases, content, advertising, digital and sales presentations, leasing brochures, flyers, press releases, social media, newsletters, networking events. Choose quality over quantity, with a focus on sharing your distinctive culture and value proposition, building an authentic sense of community, and sharing insights and awareness on why the property makes a good investment.

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