Buying and selling a house are highly emotional experiences. The stakes are high financially and in terms of one’s quality of life. What gets activated in people is a fear of the unknown.
Unique community concepts in residential real estate do not come along often for most builders/developers. The need for pre-design research and pre-sales marketing increases when something unique is on the drawing board. Knowing the differences between the role of research and the role of pre-sales marketing (as well as the opportunities for each) is a key to increasing the unique community’s chance of success.
What is the most fundamental difference? Simplified, it’s that:
• Research is about listening.
• Marketing is about talking.
Consumer research, such as getting conversational feedback and/or written feedback in the form of a survey, gives you critical information needed for decision-making. Your future customers can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your plans, what their greatest wants and needs are, and what they don’t really value (so you can avoid it). When you are working on something unique, or when you are simply out of the group’s core competency into something new, it’s like buying insurance for your vision. Research helps align assumptions that were not quite on target. Research is all about listening to your target customer base and taking advantage of what you learn in community design and programming. Research sets the foundation for the easiest sale, selling people what they want, by uncovering those wants.
Pre-sales marketing, getting out there to promote the community, talking about the merits of the community, giving people, including prospective future customers, a chance to hear and see the vision of community before the ground is broken and before the community is complete. It’s a chance to demonstrate the lifestyle and get people excited about the vision. It’s about creating excitement, and finding those future buyers early (and getting them to stop looking at your competitors and wait for you).
Looking forward to the unique visions of our friends and clients breaking ground in the coming years!
What’s your experience with research? What’s your experience with pre-sales? Leave me a comment, I want to hear from you! – Maureen