Case Study: Selling Homes Before the Presentation Centre Opens

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Case Study: A client in a northwest GTA community.

Challenge: Go to market as early as possible to get a solid base of sales for our client.

Strategy: Host blueprint preview events to start selling homes before we had completed coloured renderings or an open sales office.

Solution: Create urgency and value, as well as a feeling of exclusivity.

If you are in advertising, you know it pays to create a sense of urgency and value among prospective buyers. This is especially true in Canada, where, as I mentioned last week, we rank second only to Italians in deal-hunting.

But how do you achieve this? How do you create irresistible value? How do you persuade buyers to bypass the competition and choose you?

As this week’s case study shows, in the low-rise home building business, one way to achieve this is to sell homes out of the basement—literally.

Let me explain. Builders traditionally wait until they’ve opened a sales centre, complete with full-colour renderings, before they start selling homes. This makes sense: people like to visit fully appointed and staffed locations where they can inspect full-colour renderings that show what their home will look like.

But what if we could sell homes earlier, say, 6 to 8 months earlier than usual?

Doing so would allow the builder, who at this point has already spent a ton of money, to recoup some of its huge investment a little sooner and reduce his risk. It would also reduce the wait for impatient homebuyers.

This is exactly what we did for one our clients, a builder in the northwest GTA community. Here’s how:

1. We ran ads in publications and online, offering a special opportunity for potential homebuyers to come preview the home designs before the general public. We amassed a large list of registrants.

2. We emailed our registrants, inviting them to book appointments to an exclusive blueprint preview event. The booked appointments allowed us to not only control traffic flow throughout the day, but also made the event seem that much more special. Signing up creates momentum. It tells potential buyers, “This is so hot you have to sign up in order to get in.”

3. We hosted our blueprint preview events in a rented basement in a local community centre. We sold homes off of black-and-white blueprint drawings.

4. We created urgency and excitement by reminding buyers that the sooner they buy, the more money they will save.

5. We also reminded them that buying early lets them choose the best homesites.

The results? We sold 68 homes in 4 days of appointments.

Once the Presentation Centre was finally ready to be opened this May, we had yet another Preview Opening by appointment only. This resulted in another 50 home purchases.

But it all started from black-and-white blueprints displayed in a basement, before the presentation centre had even opened.

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