New Normal for Master Planned Communities' Sales, Marketing

June 3, 2020
Matterport 3D Home Tour
Image: courtsey of Matterport

If there was ever a time for builders to pivot toward digital marketing and virtual tools, the pandemic would be it. Though builders of master planned communities have already been dipping their toes into the online world, the coronavirus has redefined the new normal for sales, marketing, and management technology, according to RCLO Real Estate Advisers. This has accelerated the adoption of digital tools, and now video tours, interactive maps, and better online platforms for communicating with consumers are becoming standard. Find out what other strategies master planned community builders are using to survive the downturn and build a better business

With every major crisis event, people are quick to claim that the “old normal” is gone and it is time to get on board with the “new normal” to continue to be relevant, along with an abundance of predictions about what comprises the “new normal.” But what actually changes and becomes permanent are typically shifts that were already trending, and big disruptions like the current COVID-19 crisis merely accelerate rather than create the need to adapt and change. The technology transformations to MPC sales, marketing, and management preceded the current crisis, but are being greatly accelerated by it, and those who do not adapt will likely find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Prior to the social and economic upheaval of the pandemic, there was already a great need to update and improve the consumer experience around homebuying, and those builders and developers who are already utilizing online and virtual technology to make such improvements have had a significant advantage during this period of social distancing. While many builders and developers were already using online and virtual technology to enhance their sales and marketing, those tools are still underutilized in the real estate space. Builders and developers who had previously made investments in technology have been rewarded with less impact on their traffic and sales during this health crisis, and the current crisis has forced other builders and developers still on the fence to revisit their strategies for adopting online and other technology-oriented tools. These tools were widely available before the COVID-19 crisis, but many organizations were still wedded to antiquated marketing practices, whether due to fear that customers wouldn’t adapt, concerns about investing in the wrong technology platform, or simple inertia.

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