2008 Nationals: You Never Get a Second Chance To Make A First Impression

John Laing/Village Homes' Southshore community received a gold award at the 2008 National Sales and Marketing Awards.
By By Felicia Oliver, Senior Editor | February 29, 2008

Southshore was the first community to come out of a partnership formed between John Laing Homes and Village Homes back in 1999. The goal was to build an outstanding design and landscape program that would catch the attention of potential buyers immediately.

The centerpiece of the community is the Lake House, a recreational facility located on Senac Lake, a water system that runs through parks. Several models and parks were also completed before potential buyers came to visit.

"People could see the difference as they drove into the community" says Barb Anderson, marketing director for Laing/Village. "To have that type of a multi-million dollar facility put into place so early on in a project is not the norm. The partners really wanted to create that first impression right from the get go."

The "Wanted" campaign direct mail piece, which also won gold, was an engaging means of communicating events and announcements during the year to Southshore's interest list, called the Insiders Club.

"Are you a big fish story teller or a Veranda lounger?" says Anderson. "People have to go online and take a quiz, and they determine based on their personality type which category they fit into.

"The intent," she adds, "was to communicate that our community welcomes all breaths of life — different, unique individuals and a variety of personalities."

Project: Southshore, Aurora, Colo.
Builder/Architect/Interior Designer: Laing /Village, Centennial, Colo.
Ad Agency: Greenhaus, San Diego
Number of units: 2,600
Price of units: Low $300,000s to high $500,000s
Size of community: 803 acres
Photography: AronPhoto.com, Denver