8 Out of the Box Ways to Create a Community

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If you ask a sales professional how they would describe their community, what do you think they’d say? You’ll likely hear, “At XYZ Estates, our community has about 20 remaining home sites, a pool, fishing pond and walking trails. The model homes sit towards the front entrance.” Rarely does the sales professional describe the “sense” of the community or what it “feels” like to live there. Why don’t we do this? How can we as new home salespeople bring a greater sense of community to our neighborhoods? Here are 8 tips for doing just that.

Consider this your warning. This may be challenging for most of you, but you’re going to have to GET OUT OF THE BOX for these. In order for this to really work, you’re going to have to grab your fellow sales consultants who sell within your community (yes, your competition) and *GASP* work together. After all, you’re all part of the community and together, you have the relationships to bring everyone together, not just the families to which you alone sold homes. The goal is to show that the entire community is successful and fun no matter whose homes are selling. Here we go.

Passion copy
 

1. Create a community Facebook page. This shouldn’t be about marketing and referrals. At least not overtly. The idea is to engage your homeowners in connecting through social media and provide them a source of relevant information. Make the group private so only residents are able to access the group.

    • Welcome new families (with their permission). Include a short bio and family picture.

    • Allow homeowners to post items for sale

    • Advertise garage sales

    • Post school calendars and menus

    • Create and maintain a list of service providers

    • Advertise resales and open houses (You read that right. Help your homeowners liquidate the investment they made with you and build relationships with local Realtors in the process)

2. Buy closing gifts…for everyone. Chances are, when someone closes in your community, you’ve met them. Rarely does a buyer only visit one model in any given community before buying. Why not set yourself apart from the competition by sending a welcome gift to everyone who closes on a home? Better yet, join forces and send one nice welcome gift from all sales consultants and a more traditionally branded “closing gift” to those who bought from you. Some ideas:

    Mugs for the grownups

    • Moving day activity basket for the kids

    • Moving day basket for the household (flashlight, duct tape, box cutter, advil, bottled water, bandaids, toilet paper, paper towels, snacks, paper and pen, picture hanging kit, small hammer, gift card to local pizza place (get them to donate it!), etc)

    Personalized doormat

3. Hold community events. Leverage multiple marketing budgets and host a block party. Let the community see that the builders in their neighborhood mean what they say when they tout how much they care about their homeowners by working together.

    • Block parties

    • Phase close-out party to introduce everyone once they’ve closed

    • Holiday parties and kids’ parades. There is a neighborhood we know of that is known throughout the town for their Halloween block party. Families trick or treat in this community rather than their own because the hot dogs, friends and hayrides are way more fun that in their own neighborhoods.

4. Partner with local businesses. Ask area small businesses to host events welcoming homeowners to the area and introducing themselves and their services. This could be anything from a morning drive-by offering coffee and doughnuts to a wine and cheese fundraiser.

5. Start a community Instagram feed. Tell your community story through the stories of your homeowners. Feature new floorplans, how homeowners are using their space or the local florist’s latest arrangement.

6. Review local restaurants. Get a real taste for your community! Ask restaurants for coupons for your homeowners (assuming it’s a good review!) or have them host a community night with the proceeds going to a community fundraiser or school.

7. Hold a “We love our pets” day. Give out catnip toys and dog treats at the models. Take pictures of families with their pets and socialize them on Facebook and Instagram. Ask your local pet store to contribute. Have a local vet sponsor. Have a pet fair!

Passion copy
 

8. Create community text group. Use this sparingly to keep homeowners alert to school closings, road closures/traffic issues, crime and weather alerts and lost pets.

Whether you implement several or none of the ideas here, the point is to empower your homeowners to embrace their community by embracing it yourself. If you and your competitors are truly passionate about building a great neighborhood, a little effort will go a long way to instilling that same passion in the families who live there.

It’s one thing to say you work in a community. It’s another thing entirely to say you helped to create one.

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