The ways in which to use pre-sales and registrations of interest

Peter ChittendenMarch 26, 20120 min read

Pre-sales make-up the core of many project marketing roles, and while the value and number of pre-sales required will vary from project to project, pre-sales as such are clearly an essential platform in the development cycle.

There is little doubt that the GFC and the continued jitters in financial markets have intensified the focus on pre-sales – it’s a reality that is not going to change any time soon.

In an increasing number of cases pre-sales can make or break the future of a proposed development. Consequently because pre-sales are now in most circumstances so closely tied to project financing, the success of a pre-sales campaign is more critical than ever before.

The need to secure early sales and hence finance has caused registration-of-interest (ROI) campaigns to move into a more deliberate part of the sales path, and only when contracts are exchanged will the campaign be seen as a success. It’s no longer good enough for the campaign to generate a database, the results have to be there, and in a staged project the developer will be a need to sustain an ongoing level of pre-sales and convert interest into secure sales.

Campaigns aimed at securing pre-sales can, however, be used in several ways, and how they are planned and managed needs to subtly change to fit varied conditions and markets.

They can be used to create a critical number of essential pre-sales, but there are other ways to use an ROI campaign. They can for example, also be used in a market with very precise targets to act to instil urgency in the minds a particular target audience – thus creating a foundation of pent-up demand.

On the other hand, while also creating a foundation of demand that benefits the developer, those purchasers who do get in early can reap great rewards by avoiding price rises due to the demand created.

In this type of market the use of whisper and off-market campaigns can be used and while still falling within the context of ROI campaigns, these are a highly specialised activity.

Understanding how important pre-sales are the job of creating a suitable ROI plan and then making sure it works to meet the core objectives that is securing contracted sales are the key to this entire topic.

At this early stage in this topic I also feel there is relevance to suggest that ROI campaigns might now being used a little too freely, and by being applied to almost any type and price range of project might not necessarily be a positive, and might have the impact, even if unintentional, of reducing the impact and value of ROI campaigns in the mind of buyers.

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.
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