Apologies to Paul Simon, but when I looked at the long list of design ideas I compiled while at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, I thought I’d try to mention 50 of them—a nice round num
Pre-Selling and Grand Openings
Q. I have a new community coming up, but I don’t know where to start. How do I get sales going if I have nothing to sell yet?
A. To answer this, I reached out to new home sales expert Myers Barness, who says:
Homebuilding is an intense business. You are, after all, selling the single largest investment of a lifetime for most people. But when you’re pre-selling (i.e. selling before you have anything built), you're also selling your integrity. Success will be based on whether your prospects believe in you and your team. To foster confidence, you need to have a comprehensive plan for promoting your invisible homes. You need to spend months generating anticipation and excitement. You want prospects to be eager to see what you have going on. Be warned: It will take a substantial investment of time, money and organization.
For grand opening and launch, here's an abridged timeline of what you’ll need to accomplish in the months leading up to the event:
-- 52 weeks before launch: Start grooming property; develop launch budget; hire photographers/videographers to document site development/construction; build prospects database; start working leads
-- 52 to 12 weeks before: Plan launch event (what, where, how.), strategize, and prepare sales team
-- 32 weeks: Plan marketing (materials, formats, fulfillment)
-- 26 weeks: If you’re having an event, send out Save the Date postcards and email blasts
-- 16 weeks: Time for “Coming Soon” billboards, postcards, emails
-- 12 weeks: Inspect site for physical obstacles; finalize plats and plans; begin sending out official launch invitations; post information about the grand opening/launch on your website and all social media sites; update billboards with a Grand Opening message; design and order site signage; begin training sales team and start setting sales goals for launch.
-- 3 to 4 weeks: Install signage; finalize renderings and site maps; furnish and photograph the model; make sure entire site is clean and safe; finalize launch event itinerary.
-- 1 week: Make sure maps & materials are clear, concise and ready to go; double check logistics for the event; make sure sales team is well prepared and clear on what is happening for the event.
As you can see, comprehensive planning is a must in order for a grand opening and launch to go off successfully. If you put in the effort, you’ll have prospects lined up for an experience that makes them feel valued and appreciated, and more willing to buy one of your homes.