Shortcuts in marketing impact even small developments, so get your plan right

Peter ChittendenSeptember 3, 20120 min read

Once the project website and the scope and detail of display material are under control there are a number of other key assets that I would always see as important. Many if not the entire remaining budget points are all related, including: photography, creative, signs, CGIs, direct mail, brochure, advertising and a project model.

In this post it is not my intention to go over each point in exhaustive detail. The intention is more about highlighting that despite the fact we are reviewing small projects, shortcuts in marketing will have an impact. And if one or two late or lost sales result that might have been secured with better marketing, this can actually have a much bigger impact. That point made, it is even more logical for smaller projects to have well-planned and considered budgets, so no opportunity is lost within the sales path.

This brings me back to a reoccurring point. The budget and planning processes are essential steps and the sales path will suffer if the marketing is not in tune with local conditions and the expectations of target buyers. Flawed plans may well result in a costly mistake and early research and access to an experienced sales team (even if small) is always wise.

While major developments will have more extensive up-front costs associated with bringing projects to market, smaller projects nonetheless still need to invest wisely in the key budget items below, and those that have already been outlined.

In combination these items, when well-managed, will present an entire raft of proven marketing opportunities. Planning will be a key issue, but experience shows that with careful monitoring of each stage, activity can and should be fine-tuned. For small projects this is very relevant during any registrations of interest campaign, where webtraffic and registration results can help unlock further valuable information about the target market and who is showing potential interest in the project.

Now as we move to look at other detailed aspects, like creative, advertising, brochures and signage we might keep in mind a number of pointers. Smaller developments tend to be either at the high-end part of the market where they can be very expensive apartments or where we are looking at popular in-fill locations, but generally we are marketing locations in well-established areas.

There is a trend where smaller developments are being built across already well-known suburbs because they usually have good access to public transport. This can still include a very wide variety of properties across particular areas including high-value developments where traditionally larger residential blocks are being amalgamated.

This can create a choice of apartments for sale in popular locations where there is an appealing marketing offer that can be told. These locations can provide a good foundation of material for brochures and being in already built-up areas where signs and direct marketing will usually have solid impact.

Even though there will be a diversity of product and demand across these markets, there will be challenges. Among the key challenges will be the possibility of having to develop projects with higher site and build costs.

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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