Being a community developer, you’ve spent extensive time and energy creating the perfect community for your homebuyers. But without great community branding and marketing initiatives, no one will be able to find your master planned community, or should I say masterpiece in today’s competitive marketplace.
In order for your target audience to find your business online, you must have appropriate branding in place. Community branding is not simply developing a creative logo and catchy tagline. It’s about creating a message filled with core beliefs about your property and how it relates to your buyers.
Great branding is the art of story-telling. Every master planned community is different, so what makes yours’ stand out? When you start to think of a story for your community, think about the customer’s experience. Put yourself in the homebuyer’s shoes and ask yourself, “why should I pick this community over the other available properties?”
One of the first steps in telling a great story is to determine the right terms to describe your community. By conducting keyword research, you can determine what specific words your potential consumers are using to find other similar properties. You need to hone-in on those words and phrases to develop a cohesive, brand story for your community that will resonate with your audience.
It’s not uncommon that the way your consumers are searching is completely different from the way you may think. For example, you might think your community should rank for keywords such as “Best community”, “Top community near me”, etc.
But in reality, people might be searching for “Family-friendly neighborhood”, “homes for sale in safe area”, etc. By doing this important research, you will find what is going to perform best.
Again, try and put yourself in the prospect’s shoes to help with your keyword research strategy. Another tip is to work closely with a third-party marketing or advertising firm. This allows your company to take advantage of their resources and tools available to develop a targeted keyword list.
Now that you have a list of keywords and phrases that need to include in your message, what’s next? Developing the story. Many home builder companies tend to speak at their target audience explaining to them how wonderful and spacious their floor plans are or listing your amenities. Instead of talking at your audience, share with them your relatable story to resonate deeper with their needs.
Craft your story to build relationships with each one of your possible homebuyers. Strong relationships build trust with your audience and nothing is more trusting and important than you building someone’s home.
Invite your homebuyers and those who live already in your community to be a part of your brand’s story. You provided families a place to live, a place for them to call home. As a community developer, your goal is to not just sell homes but to provide a welcoming community where families can grow together in a safe environment.
This is merely an example of how you need to change your mindset from talking at your audience to speaking with them. Here are more ideas and questions for you to consider when drafting your community brand through story-telling.
Like with any story, a good brand story involves characters, a plot and a great setting. By allowing your homeowners to become part of your brand’s story, you’re inviting others with their shared core beliefs to also be a part of your audience as well. Your community’s story has the power to grow your audience with other like-minded individuals.
What’s something your homeowners all have in common? Is it their age, their social status, or other traits that make them similar?
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
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