Rapid Transit Signs Key to Taylor Woodrow's Marketing

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Sophisticated San Franciscans don't often venture to Colma, Calif., just south of the city.

July 01, 2003

Sophisticated San Franciscans don't often venture to Colma, Calif., just south of the city. But a new Taylor Woodrow community manages to pull some out of their city lofts and into new townhomes there.

Of 10 units released at Verano on opening day, June 28, six sold to San Franciscans. A new rapid transit station across the street drives much of the traffic to the 59-unit community, says Toni Leance, Taylor Woodrow's director of marketing. Not surprisingly, proximity to public transportation plays a huge role in marketing the project.

Forgoing most (but not all) of the usual expensive advertising in the San Francisco Chronicle, Leance and her colleagues spent the bulk of their advertising budget on backlit billboards in Bay Area Rapid Transit stations all along the San Francisco Peninsula. The signage directs commuters to www.visitverano.com, where they are met not by driving directions to the community but by a transit system map and how to ride there on BART. And in a grand-opening promotion, the first 150 people to visit the Verano sales center received a $5 BART pass.

"We want people to ride BART to the project to emphasize that Verano offers urban living in a suburban environment," Leance says. "We want to pull our buyers from San Francisco because we knew they would respond to the benefits of full townhome living for about $100,000 less than what they are paying for a 17-foot-wide loft in the city."

Verano's two- and three-bedroom floor plans start at $458,000. The remaining 49 homes will be released in increments of 10 every three weeks.

About 200 people have registered on the interest list.

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