Here are six principles that guided our successful presales efforts:
- Hire consultants who understand the buyer’s age group. This sometimes means looking outside the industry to complementary resources for planning and design.
The first issue facing The Palace was to assemble a development team that understood both the market profile and the luxury resort lifestyle. We believed that the people who could afford our product were likely to have experienced and appreciated the amenities and style found in today’s luxury resorts, so we looked for expertise outside mainstream residential construction. The developers themselves included design professionals who specialized in luxury resort properties and had previously worked together. This added tremendous synergy to the team.
We also capitalized on this team’s successful reputations by highlighting them in the marketing materials. This gave the community increased credibility.
- Create a sales environment that is comfortable and inviting and that reflects the overall decor and ambiance of the community through the sales environment.
The Palace developers created a sales environment that truly allowed residents to experience the convenience and friendliness of the community’s lifestyle by locating the sales center in an upscale shopping center with excellent foot traffic.
- The investment in a retail space lease afforded excellent parking, lighting, convenient restaurants and coffee shops that were far superior to an on-site location.
- Office hours were geared to attract the interest of passers-by to the restaurants.
- The sales staff stressed European hospitality by encouraging prospects to stop in for coffee, refreshments, a glass of wine and even appetizers, reinforcing the luxury resort theme.
- Look for unique amenities that appeal to the market and give your community a distinctive advantage.
Proving they understand their market, The Palace takes a unique position on pets. While most condominium communities limit or prohibit pets, The Palace embraces them because we understand the close affinity people have to their beloved pets.
We created special amenities and services for pets so empty nesters with pets would feel welcome. This removed a major obstacle of moving.
The Palace uses reprints of publicity extensively. When coverage appears in local magazines, we reprint it and merchandise it as direct-mail pieces and as handouts. We emphasize pictures with people because people like to see their faces.
We held special events to create controlled publicity opportunities. They also provided “Meet Your Neighbor” opportunities that helped develop a real sense of community among potential buyers.
- Create direct-mail pieces that are memorable and interesting to prospects.
Following the groundbreaking, The Palace created a CD with photos of the event that was sent to buyers. The mailing included pictures in cardboard picture frames, a newsletter and publicity reprints. The Palace wanted to make sure that even those who were unable to attend received information.
- Use a groundbreaking to solidify contracts and sell hot prospects.
Knowing that active adults want to show their friends and family that they’ve made a good decision, include them in community events to help reinforce their decision to buy.
The Palace groundbreaking was a bit different. Rather than have a few dignitaries pose with shovels and champagne, the developers invited all those on contract and the hot list and encouraged them to bring family and friends to the event.
No expense was spared to create a memorable event for about 500 people. A ballroom-sized tent was erected on site complete with misting fans to combat the June heat. They wanted an event that would create buzz long after the gold shovels hit the ground. And they wanted an event that would provide ample publicity, reprint and direct-mail opportunities as well.
Memorable marketing and strong communications can not only help convert prospects into buyers, it can help your buyers feel good about their decision to move to your community. It worked in our community and it can work in yours.
Adam Rosenblum is the vice president of sales and marketing for The Palace Management Group, one of South Florida’s top companies specializing in seniors housing and care. Based in Miami, The Palace’s continuum of care includes The Palace at Kendall campus, an independent living community with two assisted living residences and a nursing and rehabilitation center. The company also operates The Palace Gardens Assisted Living Community in Homestead, FL, Homestead Manor Nursing Home and The Palace at Home, a Medicare certified home health agency. The Palace at Weston, a luxury 55-plus age-qualified apartment community, and The Palace Tel-Aviv, a continuing care retirement community in Israel, are under construction. For more information, email Rosenblum, or call him at 305-270-7000.
Attend the 2005 Seniors Housing Symposium in Metro Washington, D.C. Area
Learn more about the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. Plan to attend Building for Boomers & Beyond: Seniors Housing Symposium 2005, the premier educational and networking event for industry professionals serving the burgeoning 50+ market. For more information, click here.
'Boomers on the Horizon' Available at BuilderBooks.com
Capitalize on the niches, needs and opportunities of the rapidly growing 55+ market by learning their preferences in "Boomers on the Horizon: Housing Preferences of the 55+ Market", available at BuilderBooks.com. To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665 to order.
Learn More About Seniors Housing Through the Seniors Housing Council
To learn more about seniors housing, join the NAHB Seniors Housing Council. The council provides information, education, networking and recognition opportunities for its members and represents NAHB on seniors housing issues. For more details, e-mail Jeff Jenkins or call him at 800-368-5242 x8292.