Pre-sales essential to selling modern developments

Pre-sales essential to selling modern developments
Pre-sales essential to selling modern developments

off-the-plan sales

Pre-sales will always involve selling off the plan and at times well ahead of any  construction, years ahead in some cases. While there are some very select and limited markets where buyers consider time to be of the essence and buyers are ready to commit, these markets are not common. In fact, today in most markets it’s exactly the opposite, and so we see that most buyers are content to take their time. They do not normally feel hurried, there is little urgency to act.

So any registrations-of-interest (ROI) campaign has to overcome, selling off-the-plan, delayed construction and at times long lead times, and buyers with time on their hands – not a bad run of hurdles from day one! 

Keep the buyers front of mind

While from the material we will review it can be seen that pre-sales can be managed in a variety of ways, it is always important that for all buyers there is a good and positive outcome from the first day of contact so that the pre-sales in turn can then help propel ongoing sales.

This should be a core outcome of this early stage of a marketing that in some projects will run for many years.

This applies no matter what the pre-sales target is – 30%, 50% or more. The target is important, however what is more important is that the pre-sales strategy is a solid success. A poor result can give the development a poor reputation. This has to be avoided. 

However the sales target itself must be achieved and the target needs to be clear from the start of the process. It needs to be the focus of the sales path against which all activity is benchmarked – from the number of enquiries required down to the conversion rate expected. A short fall because of any miscommunication may well put the project at risk.

There are today many purposeful marketing and promotional tools, including the emerging use of social media that can be used to help secure these important foundation sales.

If we look back 20 years or more this was not the case, and selling off-the-plan well ahead of the actual project start was not seen by most consumers as the ideal way to buy property, except in specific circumstances.

There were particular challenges when selling apartments off-the-plan. The scale and detail of development was, without modern marketing assets, much harder for a buyer to grasp than committing to buy a standard home. After all there was usually another similar home already in existence that the buyer could see and touch.

Now with changing housing needs and lifestyles we have now moved into a market where pre-sales and ROI campaigns are centre-stage and in the limelight, and very likely there to stay. This is the core of much project marketing expertise.

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

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